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Was Star Wars ever released on home video in widescreen with the Dolby Stereo mix?

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I know it was released in pan-and-scan on VHS, Betamax, and Laserdisc in 1982, but was it ever released in widescreen? I have heard the 1985 mix wasn’t on Laserdisc until later but I have also heard the 1985 mix was included in the Japanese Special Collection Laserdiscs. Any information on this is greatly appreciated.

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kujythrgefdw said:

I have already asked this in Theatrical Cuts vs. Subsequent Releases but I didn’t get an answer to my question. This is an interesting subject to me, because the original Dolby Stereo mix was on pan-and-scan releases in 1982, but I have never heard of a widescreen release with the Dolby mix. The first widescreen release of A New Hope was on the Japanese Special Collection Laserdiscs in 1986, but they had the 1985 mix. However, I have heard (correct me if I’m wrong) that some Laserdiscs released after the Special Collection had the Dolby mix. The question is, is this true and were any of them widescreen? I am asking this because I wonder what would be closest to the 1981 theatrical re-release, since the only home video release with the original crawl were the 2006 bonus discs, and those have DVNR and the 1993 audio mix.

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The 1992 Letterbox VHS release has the 1985 mix which is mostly the original stereo mix just with 3P0’s tractor beam line added. Aside from that I’m not sure. The 1993 and 1995 LD releases had the 1993 remix which had some new sounds added.

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 (Edited)

The 1985 mix had some stereo’d effects (such as Jawa voices after R2’s capture) added as well. As I said, I heard it wasn’t on Laserdisc until a few years later, so it’s possible the stereo mix might have been on a widescreen release.

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Is your question about the mix or it is if the other home video releases had the matrixed Dolby Surround encoding. The 1977 Stereo (encoded Dolby Surround) was never on home video in widescreen. It has been included in a wide variety of fan releases of the GOUT as well as the Silver Screen Edition and 4K77. All home video releases of the Star Wars trilogy were encoded for Dolby Surround. If you run any of them through a Dolby surround sound decoder, you will get the original 4 channel surround. Be it the original theatrical mix, the 1985 mix, or the 1993 mix for Star Wars, Empire, or Jedi. But if you want the 1977 experience, it was never on home video. Plenty of releases around here if you care to look. 4K77 would be the best quality all around. Plenty of tools to take the GOUT and replace the audio with the 1977 stereo soundtrack.

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Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough, but I was talking about the 1977 Dolby Stereo mix. That stinks that all home video releases are either cropped or altered, but whatever. Star Wars is Star Wars.

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kujythrgefdw said:

Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough, but I was talking about the 1977 Dolby Stereo mix. That stinks that all home video releases are either cropped or altered, but whatever. Star Wars is Star Wars.

I feel you. My holy grail is the 77 mono soundtrack and that was never on any home video release. The best quality version comes from a UK television broadcast (with some additional copies on film prints). Fortunately this site has enabled me to track down all the audio and rebuild all the video so I can watch whatever version I want. My next goal is to repeat that in HD.