Watching the unchanged Special Edition effects shots (particularly in Star Wars), I began to see that some effects are different and less polished than in the Definitive Edition/Faces trilogy (1993-1996). Compare the shots of the Star Destroyer shooting the main reactor in the beginning of SW (the shot just before the interior shot of the droids). The "faces" version was much more colorful, whereas the S.E. explosion just consisted of smoke. Intrigued, I put in an old pan-scan (non-THX) VHS and watched the scene. It matches the Special Edition version exactly.
The point is that in restoring the true original version of Star Wars, the 1997 S.E. can be utilized for clean, high-quality original effects shots that were enhanced for the THX version of the original movie. As far as TESB and ROTJ go, the S.E.'s are indispensable tools for recreating the original 70mm mixes of the movies. Some of John William's musical cues (which were chopped up in the 35mm mix) are intact in the S.E. and different or additional lines of dialogue are heard. These original tracks can be recreated by mixing the THX mix and the S.E. mix together, which I'm doing currently. Heck, with enough information, someone could even attempt the 70mm mix of the original movie (although this would be far more difficult, considering that all 3 mixes were blended together for the S.E.).
This is why I'm grateful for the 1997 versions of the S.E.'s. All of the work was done off 70mm prints, which were unavailable previously. Has anyone else noticed these things or any others (like effects shots that were changed for the THX version but not for the S.E.)? I would like your comments on this.
Episode II: Shroud of the Dark Side
“Back when we made Star Wars, we just couldn’t make Palpatine as evil as we intended. Now, thanks to the miracles of technology, it is finally possible. Finally, I’ve created the movies that I originally imagined.” -George Lucas on the 2007 Extra Extra Special HD-DVD Edition