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Were the prequels released on 70mm, and were the sequels released on film other than IMAX 70mm?

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I know the originals were released on 35mm and 70mm, the prequels were released on 35mm and digital projection, and the sequels were released on digital projection and IMAX 70mm. My question is were the prequels ever released on 70mm and were the sequels ever released on 35mm and regular 70mm?

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AotC got an Imax release only a week before (or was it a week after? can’t remember now) the dvd hit shelves. The Imax projectors’ platters could only hold 120 minutes of film running at 24 frames a second, so the movie had to be cut down to that length. Presumably the end credits were time-compressed to keep as much of the actual movie as possible. By the time The Matrix Reloaded hit theaters the following May, the platters had been modified to hold 167 minutes of film. Notice we’ve never gotten a movie released on actual Imax film prints since then with running times going over that (Watchmen, Avatar and Dark Knight Rises all came close, and Interstellar had to compress its end credits to shave off two extra minutes).

The technical specs for RotS on its imdb page list 70mm Imax as one of the printed film formats, but I’m not sure how accurate this is.

There were a small number of 35mm prints made for TFA. This was probably done at the behest of JJ Abrams. There were, apparently, also 35mm prints made for TRoS, but I don’t remember hearing about it like I did with TFA. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, no 35mm prints were made for TLJ.

There were no regular 5-perf 70mm prints made for the PT and ST movies.

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I don’t know how many were made but i have seen cut film cels from Rogue One and Last Jedi on 35mm. That leads me to believe there must have been prints somewhere in the world.

There was no 70mm Imax on film for rise of skywalker that was confirmed. But i have never been able to find out if Last Jedi was on 70mm film. I know Force Awakens was.

Rise of Skywalker being on liemax was a disappointment but was still the premiere way to see the movie and the only venue consistently sold out.

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I saw TLJ at the IMAX dome in San Jose. It was a film print. They went laser projector sometime in the past two years, but I was unable to travel there to see TROS.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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The Special Edition also was in 70mm but not in wide release. And not in Imax.

I can only find info on the Oslo Norway showings. But i could have sworn the royal premiere in the UK was also 70mm.

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ANH: 35mm, 70mm
TESB: 35mm, 70mm
ROTJ: 35mm, 70mm
TPM: 35mm, digital
AOTC: 35mm, digital, IMAX 70mm
ROTS: 35mm, digital

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I don’t know if TPM got a digital release. That movie was filmed on 35mm, so I assume it would only be shown in conventional theaters at the time. Maybe I’m wrong though.

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Article on TPM Digital Screenings in the USA:
http://www.theforce.net/episode1/story/Specifics_for_the_Digital_Screenings_80130.asp

Rogue One 70mm Article:
http://www.theforce.net/story/front/UK_News_Rogue_One_1570mm_IMAX_Experience_In_2D_171417.asp

Rogue One IMAX Article:
http://www.theforce.net/story/front/IMAX_Poster_For_Rogue_One_A_Star_Wars_Story_171315.asp

Thread: “Info Wanted: The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi in 35mm”
https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Info-Wanted-The-Force-Awakens-Rogue-One-The-Last-Jedi-in-35mm/id/64221
Which has a link to a Rogue One film cell: https://imgur.com/a/DuYY5tv

Memorabilia Film Cells of OT, PT, Rogue One, TFA, TLJ, Solo:
https://www.film-cell.co.uk/collections/star-wars

Article on Prequel trilogy and release variations:
https://flicknerd.com/2019/06/28/will-star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-be-shown-on-imax-70mm-film/

This listing is of one part of an AotC IMAX 70mm Film Can:
https://picclick.ca/Star-Wars-Episode-2-Attack-of-the-Clones-192323596220.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IMAX_films
Quote: “Films that may have been projected onto IMAX screens using a standard 35mm print, such as Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, are not listed.”

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It’s entirely possible that all of the Disney era films got released in 35mm in certain overseas territories where they’re not as far along in converting their theaters to digital, but the only Disney era Star Wars movie I’m absolutely sure got released here in the States in 35mm is TFA (I remember reading an article about it on slashfilm).

Thank you for the clarification about RotS, none. I didn’t remember any ads at the time saying it was playing in Imax, so now I know why that misinformation about it being shown that way got out there in the first place. Someone should really update the technical specs on imdb.

I wonder why RotS didn’t get the Imax treatment. Maybe there was some other big Hollywood movie opening in 15/70 within only a couple weeks of RotS (Batman Begins came out in Imax only a month later, so that might’ve been a factor). Maybe they needed more than two weeks to get the prints made and Lucas cared more about having the extra time to tweak the digital version. Who knows?

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Was there still a time limit in 2005? Maybe Lucas didn’t want to make a shorter cut again.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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There was also the recreated opening star destroyer flyover in 70mm for that Ben Burtt documentary but not an entire film. I still have not seen that, it was called Special Effects Anything Can Happen. I wish i hadn’t missed it.

The Star Wars segments don’t happen to be on home video.

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Is there any definitive proof out there that TLJ and TROS were released on 35mm prints anywhere?

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SilverWook said:

Was there still a time limit in 2005? Maybe Lucas didn’t want to make a shorter cut again.

As far as I know, they upped the limit from 120 minutes to 167 in time for The Matrix Reloaded’s release in May of 2003, and that was only two minutes shorter than RotS.

It was probably a combination of George wanting more time to work on the 35mm and digital versions of the movie (Imax probably needing more lead time to get the 15/70 prints made and shipped to theaters before release day) and the fact that Batman Begins was coming out in Imax only a month later.