Sign In

The Theatrical Differences

Author
Time
I dunno if this is a good idea or not but I thought it would be nice to have a true database on the differences in the different theatrical versions of the OT. However, I don't know anything about Empire or Jedi, only Star Wars, and not a whole lot about that one. So if someone has something to add, reply and I'll edit the main post. Again, not sure if this is a good idea, but I thought it'd be nice.

---

STAR WARS

Video - There was a 35mm and a 70mm print. I am unaware of any differences between the two visually. Originally, all prints had the following crawl format:

STAR
WARS

It is a period of civil war.
Rebel spaceships, striking
from a hidden base, have
won their first victory
against the evil Galactic
Empire.

During the battle, rebel
spies managed to steal
secret plans to the Empire's
ultimate weapon, the
DEATH STAR, an armored
space station with enough
power to destroy an entire
planet.

Pursued by the Empire's
sinister agents, Princess
Leia races home aboard her
starship, custodian of the
stolen plans that can save
her people and restore
freedom to the galaxy. . . .

In the 1981 re-release, the crawl was altered to:

STAR
WARS

Episode IV
A NEW HOPE

It is a period of civil war.
Rebel spaceships, striking
from a hidden base, have won
their first victory against
the evil Galactic Empire.

During the battle, Rebel
spies managed to steal
secret plans to the Empire's
ultimate weapon, the DEATH
STAR, an armored space
station with enough power to
destroy an entire planet.

Pursued by the Empire's
sinister agents, Princess
Leia races home aboard her
starship, custodian of the
stolen plans that can save
her people and restore
freedom to the galaxy. . . .

That is, as far as I know, the only visual difference until the 1997 SE rerelease which will not be covered here.

AUDIO - There were three different sound mixes made in 1977:

1.0 Mono Mix (35mm)
2.0 Stereo Mix (35mm)
4.2 Six-Track Mix (70mm)

The mono mix contains the most differences between the rest. If I miss anything please tell me.

- The alarms are different throughout
- Some Threepio dialogue uses alternate takes
- Aunt Beru has a different, younger-sounding person dubbing for Shelagh Fraser, whose real voice has never been heard in a Star Wars film to date
- The voice of the stormtrooper searching for the droids on Tatooine is different
- There are some added sound effects aboard the Falcon
- Tarkin's comlink communications are completely different
- Threepio's tractor-beam line is in
- "Close the blast doors!" is in
- Countdown voices aboard the Death Star and on Yavin IV are different
- Communications between ships during the final battle sound less "synthesized"
- Luke's line is "Blast it, Wedge! Where are you?!" and sounds more distressed

The stereo mix I have not heard but from what I understand the differences are as follows:

- Alarms in this version are the same as every other version besides the mono mix, as are Threepio takes, Aunt Beru's voice, the stormtrooper's voice, Falcon sound effects, Tarkin's conversations via comlink, countdown voices, oversynthesized communication voices, and the less-distressed "Blast it, Biggs, where are you?"
- The tractor beam line is gone
- "Close the blast doors!" is gone

I have no idea what differences there are in the 4.2 (or six-track) 70mm mix.

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Video - There were apparently some differences in video from the 70mm and 35mm versions:

In the 70mm version:
- The hard cut between the probot and Luke on the tauntaun is an optical wipe.
- After Luke wanders through the snow and falls face down, there is an optical wipe to Han instead of a straight cut.
- The bacta tank scene starts on a close-up of 2-1B and pans right to a closeup of Luke in the tank. It then cuts to FX-7 extending it's arm to the tank. There is no cut to Leia, Han and Threepio observing.
- The AT-ST in the Hoth battle has no depth to it.
- The Emperor hologram does not "tune in," it is there from the start.
- When Luke falls from Cloud City into the Millennium Falcon, the Falcon's radar dish is not added to the shot.
- The Luke/Vader "telepathy" conversation has hard cuts rather than quick dissolves
- The final scene begins with the first establishing shot of the rebel fleet, then cuts inside the Falcon for Lando to say, "Luke, we're ready for take-off" (but a different take of this was used). After Luke says (voice over), "Good luck, Lando" the scene cuts to inside the rebel cruiser where Luke says, "I'll meet you at the rendezvous, " etc. Not in this version are two more establishing shots of the fleet and an interim effects shot over which Lando says, "When we find Jabba the Hutt and that bounty hunter we'll contact you."

Audio - There were two different audio mixes - no mono mix this time:

2.0 Stereo (35mm)
4.2 Six-Track (70mm)

Differences between the two:

- On Hoth, right after C-3PO tells R2 to "Switch off," R2 gives out a little 'blurp.'
- When Luke finally collapses in the snow, he lets out a grunt as he lands on his face.
- Han says "until I can get the shelter up" instead of "until I can get the shelter built."
- Luke says an additional "Ben... Dagobah..." just before Han says "and I thought they smelled bad on the outside."
- When C-3P0 tells Luke "It's so good to see you fully functional again," Luke replies "Thanks, Threepio."
- The line "Headquarters personnel report to Command Center" is repeated three times instead of two.
- The line "The first transport is away!" is said in a different voice altogether.
- When R2 is being loaded into Luke's X-Wing, C-3PO says the word "and" before saying "do take good care of yourself."
- Han's line "Transport, this is Solo. Better take off, I can't get to you. I'll get her out on the Falcon" is followed by, "Come on!"
- In the asteroid field, after C-3PO says "Oh, this is suicide." He says, "There's nowhere to go."
- Luke says "You were lucky to get out of there" instead of "You're lucky you don't taste very good."
- Yoda makes a frightened "Ehhhhh!" sound just before Luke says "Like we're being watched" and points his blaster at him.
- Yoda says the word "Run!" before "Yes. A Jedi's strength flows from the force." The following lines "But beware the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side of the force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight" are also much louder and clearer.
- In Cloud City, after C-3PO says "That sounds like an R2 unit in there. I wonder if it..." he says "Hello?" only once instead of twice.
- Before C-3PO gets shot, a different voice says "Who are you?"
- The Imperial fleet establishing shot after the magic tree scene has a different TIE fighter sound effect.
- While C-3PO is on Chewie's back when they enter the carbon freezing chamber, the line "Now remember, Chewbacca, you have a responsibility to me, so don't do anything foolish" is louder and heard more clearly.
- During the duel, when Luke knocks Vader off of the platform, Vader lets out an "ooooh!" instead of an "aaargh!"
- Lando's line at the end, "Luke, we're ready for takeoff." is a different take.
- In the final scene, there is no tracked music from "Yoda and the Force".

{Thanks go to Neil S. Bulk and Obi-Wan Spicoli for the information on Empire}

RETURN OF THE JEDI

Video - There were two film types, 35mm and 70mm. I am at this moment unaware of any visual differences between the two.

Audio - Again, two mixes:

2.0 Stereo (35mm)
4.2 Six-Track (70mm)

Some differences between the two mixes:

- In the 70mm version, Han says, "It's alright, I can see a lot better" instead of "It's alright, trust me."

{Once again, thanks go to Neil S. Bulk and Obi-Wan Spicoli for information on Jedi}

---

Well, there you have it - not entirely complete but I think you guys can fill in the gaps, unless you feel this thread is unneccesary.

a trolling bantha

Author
Time
Empire and Jedi did not have mono mixes!

Here is a list of changes between the 70mm Empire Strikes Back and the 35mm version (which is the one we all know).

* After the probot lands on Hoth and moves frame left, there is an optical wipe to the overhead shot of Luke on his tauntaun, instead of a straight cut.
* After Luke wanders through the snow and falls face down, there is an optical wipe to Han instead of a straight cut.
* The bacta tank scene starts on a close-up of Two-One-Bee and pans right to a closeup of Luke in the tank. It then cuts to FX-7 extending it's arm to the tank. There is no cut to Leia, Han and Threepio observing.
* In the snow battle scene, when Luke drops into the snow after throwing a charge into the Imperial walker, the AT-ST in the background has no atmospheric depth. It looks to close and small.
* In the Emperor scene, the hologram of the Emperor is already present in the first shot-it does not "tune in" gradually.
* The Imperial fleet establishing shot after the magic tree scene has a different TIE fighter sound effect.
* When Luke falls from Cloud City into the Millennium Falcon, the Falcon's radar dish is not added to the shot.
* The telepathy between Luke and Vader during the "Hyperspace" cue has straight cuts instead of quick dissolves.
* In the final scene, there is no tracked music from "Yoda and the Force". The scene begins with the first establishing shot of the rebel fleet, then cuts inside the Falcon for Lando to say, "Luke, we're ready for take-off" (but a different take of this was used). After Luke says (voice over), "Good luck, Lando" the scene cuts to inside the rebel cruiser where Luke says, "I'll meet you at the rendezvous, " etc. Not in this version are two more establishing shots of the fleet and an interim effects shot over which Lando says, "When we find Jabba the Hutt and that bounty hunter we'll contact you."

That list can be found in Volume 2, Issue 1 of Film Score Monthly. It was compiled by Michael Matessino who reportedly saw the film 70 times theatrically in 1980.

Neil

Well at least the reversed surround channels have been addressed.

Author
Time
Thanks a bunch. I paraprhased some of the info and did a direct copy of some of it. If anyone has any info on Jedi or any info on the 6-track mix of Star Wars, or the 70mm release in general, or any additional info on Empire, please share!

a trolling bantha

Author
Time
From what I understand of the 1977 crawl, rebel was not capitalized?
"I don't mind if you don't like my manners. I don't like them myself. They're pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings."
Author
Time
Originally posted by: TheSessler
From what I understand of the 1977 crawl, rebel was not capitalized?

That is correct. And for what it's worth, it's never been capitalized in the titles for ROTJ.

Neil

Well at least the reversed surround channels have been addressed.

Author
Time
From what I understand of the 1977 crawl, rebel was not capitalized?


...and that is reflected in my 77 crawl, what are you getting at?

a trolling bantha

Author
Time
Originally posted by: Neil S. Bulk
Originally posted by: TheSessler
From what I understand of the 1977 crawl, rebel was not capitalized?

That is correct. And for what it's worth, it's never been capitalized in the titles for ROTJ.

Neil


And something else interesting about the ROTJ crawl that always seems to be overlooked:

In every other movie, there are 4 dots at the end ("freedom to the galaxy. . . ."; "the far reaches of space. . . ."), however Jedi only has 3: "to the galaxy . . ."

a trolling bantha

Author
Time
It's rather difficult to photograph a television screen, but here's a blurry pic of the lower case "rebel" from my pre-ANH bootleg.

http://home.austin.rr.com/obiwanspicoli/rebel.JPG

Originally posted by: ChainsawAsh
- Aunt Beru has a different, younger-sounding person dubbing for Shelagh Fraser, whose real voice has never been heard in a Star Wars film to date
I've always thought the same person did the voice-over for both sound mixes. It sounds like the same person to me. I'd like to hear other opinions. Here is a wav comparison with the mono voice followed by the normal voice.
Originally posted by: ChainsawAsh
- The voice of the stormtrooper searching for the droids on Tatooine is different

To be more specific, there's a different line as well. The Stormtrooper who knocks on the door which R2 and 3PO are hiding behind says, "Alright, check that side of the street. It's secure. Move on to the next one." Instead of, "Alright, check this side of the street. The door's locked. Move on to the next one."

Regarding the 70mm version of TESB, in addition to the visual differences that Neil has mentioned, there are numerous audio differences as well. These differences can be heard in the Special Edition and the 2004 DVD, and many can also be heard on the original 1980 "Story of" album. The audio differences include (but are probably not limited to) the following:

-On Hoth, right after C-3PO tells R2 to "Switch off," R2 gives out a little 'blurp.'

-When Luke finally collapses in the snow, he lets out a grunt as he lands on his face. (Also in the 1980 "Story of" album)

-Han says "until I can get the shelter up" instead of "until I can get the shelter built." (Also in the 1980 "Story of" album)

-Luke says an additional "Ben... Dagobah..." just before Han says "and I thought they smelled bad on the outside." (Also in the 1980 "Story of" album)

-When C-3P0 tells Luke "It's so good to see you fully functional again," Luke replies "Thanks, Threepio." (Also in the 1980 "Story of" album)

-The line "Headquarters personnel report to Command Center" is repeated three times instead of two.

-The line "The first transport is away!" is said in a different voice altogether.

-When R2 is being loaded into Luke's X-Wing, C-3PO says the word "and" before saying "do take good care of yourself."

-Han's line "Transport, this is Solo. Better take off, I can't get to you. I'll get her out on the Falcon" is followed by, "Come on!"

-In the asteroid field, after C-3PO says "Oh, this is suicide." He says, "There's no where to go."

-Luke says "You're lucky to get out of there" instead of "You're lucky you don't taste very good." (Also in the 1980 "Story of" album)

-Yoda makes a frightened "Ehhhhh!" sound just before Luke says "Like we're being watched" and points his blaster at him. (Also in the 1980 "Story of" album)

-Yoda says the word "Run!" before "Yes. A Jedi's strength flows from the force." The following lines "But beware the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side of the force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight" are also much louder and clearer.

-In Cloud City, after C-3PO says "That sounds like an R2 unit in there. I wonder if it..." he says "Hello?" only once instead of twice.

-Before C-3PO gets shot, a different voice says "Who are you?"

-While C-3PO is on Chewie's back when they enter the carbon freezing chamber, the line "Now remember, Chewbacca, you have a responsibility to me, so don't do anything foolish" is louder and heard more clearly.

-During the duel, when Luke knocks Vader off of the platform, Vader lets out an "ooooh!" instead of an "aaargh!"

-Lando's line at the end, "Luke, we're ready for takeoff." is a different take. (Also in the 1980 "Story of" album)

That's all I can remember right now. There's likely to be more that I'm forgetting about or am not aware of.

The 70mm version of ROTJ has far less differences. The only one I can think of right now is Han saying, "It's alright, I can see a lot better" instead of "It's alright, trust me." This line is also in the original 1983 "Story of" album.

Scott
Greedo shoots first? Not in my DVD player.
Author
Time
Nothing to see here.
"I don't mind if you don't like my manners. I don't like them myself. They're pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings."
Author
Time
Another dialogue change that I believe is only in the "Story Of..." 1980 album is an extension of 3PO's dialogue just before Han is carbon-frozen--the additional dialogue will be marked in bold...

"...I'm not ready to die in the back of a demented Wookie!" Was this in the 70MM prints as well?

“Hear you nothing that I say?”
-Yoda

Author
Time
Originally posted by: TheSessler
Originally posted by: ChainsawAsh
From what I understand of the 1977 crawl, rebel was not capitalized?


...and that is reflected in my 77 crawl, what are you getting at?


In the first post of this thread rebel is capitalized is what what I was getting at.

Yes it is, since it's the start of the second sentence.

Neil

Well at least the reversed surround channels have been addressed.

Author
Time
Uh, the "r" is capitalized where it starts the sentence, but not when it's in the middle of one. I didn't edit that or anything, I made sure to remember that when I wrote up the crawl, since on Rikter's 'edits' thread it is capitalized unintentionally.

I'm going to edit the first post with the new information right now.

a trolling bantha

Author
Time
All right then, forget I said anything.
"I don't mind if you don't like my manners. I don't like them myself. They're pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings."
Author
Time
Man, even SW geeks would call you guys SW geeks.

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

Author
Time
I believe you just did.

Neil

Well at least the reversed surround channels have been addressed.

Author
Time
Reading these specific differences makes me wonder something: Was the stereo mix of releases prior to the DVD based on the stereo mix, and was the DVD mix based on the surround mixes (2004 changes aside, of course)?

I now need to pull out the DVD to see if the stereo track has one set of changes while the surround has the opposing set of changes.

Edit: Nope. The DVD has "We've Stopped" and "Close the Blast Doors" in both tracks.

Now THAT would be a cool feature. The (relative) sound mix of each version as a selectable option. Mono, stereo or surround with the corresponding differences. Video option of the true original crawl.

MBJ, Zion, you guys listening?
I am fluent in over six million forms of procrastination.
Author
Time
How different, precisely, is the DE from the 4.2, I wonder?

Moll.

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

Author
Time
Well, the Empire one is clearly not from the 4.2 mix at all...but I don't know about Star Wars, and Jedi may be based on it somewhat but it doesn't seem like it... Plus, if the 4.2 was included on DVD, some have mentioned making it a 5.1, but I think this is stupid to bother doing that - just make it 4.1, compile the two LFEs into one - I mean, Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 4.1 DVD...why can't Star Wars be? It'd be better for preservation, right?

a trolling bantha

Author
Time
My idea was to take the TR47 2.0 PCM track, if it could be equated to the 4.2, and make a 4.1-channel AC3 stream to put with the 1.0 and 2.0 mixes. mencoder has something like a ProLogic emulator and can encode 4.1 AC3s (I've done it).

Moll.

(Edit) should've clarified I specifically meant ANH

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

Author
Time
How different, precisely, is the DE from the 4.2, I wonder?


Just out of curiosity, what is the DE? Is that the Definitive Edition? Because there's no such thing, is there? It's Definitive Collection, is it not?

(Have you ever seen a post that's all questions before?)

Author
Time
Same difference, really... I'm only concerning myself with one movie at the moment anyway.

Moll.

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

Author
Time
I've been led to believe that there are subtle differences between the original stereo 35mm track for TESB and the "Faces" mix. Does anyone know whether this is true?

Episode II: Shroud of the Dark Side

Emperor Jar-Jar
“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

Author
Time
The whining snow speeder engine sound effect is missing after it's shot and crashes after the line "One-Seven-Decimal-Two-Eight".

Neil

Well at least the reversed surround channels have been addressed.

Author
Time
Thanks, Neil. Do you know of any variations between the ROTJ sound mixes, or are the 35mm stereo and the “Faces” exactly the same? I know there was little difference between even the 70mm mix and the 35mm mix (Han’s line to Lando), but I don’t know if there are any other changes in any of the original tracks of which I am unaware.

Episode II: Shroud of the Dark Side

Emperor Jar-Jar
“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