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What's the status of the originals?

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I know we have several fan preservations here on the site, but is there any news on the theatrical cuts being rereleased on Blu Ray? Or what about the article Zombie published on the NFR restoring SW that got pulled quickly? Will Disney bring out the hammer on the preservations themselves now that they own SW? Or has that deal put us in a sort of safety zone and we have done our job?

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 (Edited)

I predict Disney will release them on the 40th anniversary in 2017. As far as anyone has indicated there isn't some special contract thing where they are forbidden to release the originals. Even Lucas, a year or two ago, said something about schedules and budgets holding a re-release up--which is absurd of course, but in hindsight maybe he was already thinking about selling the series and simply wanted someone else to pay and deal with it.

The only thing I can think of holding up a 2017 release is the Fox deal. I'm not sure how future home video deals will be, but Fox's distribution rights will lapse in 2020 but for A New Hope I think they might own the rights in perpetuity (is that the word?). There's some confusion on that status. It would make things like a box set potentially a bit complex, legally. But Disney knows that will happen, no matter what, so I'm sure they'll work out something, if they haven't already.

So, that's my prediction. 2017. It would dovetail with the 3D releases, since they will end in 2016. But I wouldn't stop working as though we know that might happen, as it could easily not. But with Lucas out of the way it will definitely be soon. He sold the films entirely so I guess he doesn't really care anymore. That also means no more SE updates. I guess Disney could do one themselves but the only time I can think of a company making an updated version of the film without the director (or the directors notes) is Night of the Living Dead, and that totally backfired (and sucked).

Also, I think Disney will follow Lucasfilm's lead when it comes to fan projects. The Star Wars machine is simply too big to stop now and Disney has been pretty relaxed when it comes to Marvel fan projects.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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 (Edited)

Yea the originals aren't going to come out until the 3D theatrical releases of the special editions. Those are slated for 2015, I think, so 2017 sound about right.

Or it could go like this:

2013 - 3D theatrical releases of AOTC and ROTS

2014 - 3D blu-rays of prequels

2015 - 3D theatrical release of OT special editions

2016 - 3D blu-rays of OT special editions

2017 - blu-rays of UOT

 

Gotta stretch everything out and keep that cash coming in while teasing the faint hope of the end prize.

 

“Grow up. These are my Disney's movies, not yours.”

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 (Edited)

The 3D releases are slated to end in 2016. If they are following the current pattern, Jedi will be out in January or February 2016. That would mean that a 3D boxset could be released in November 2016 for the Christmas season. They would have to do something special for the 40th anniversary and I'm not sure if a 3D boxset would be a big enough thing. Very few people own 3D televisions, and growth will be slow. I would see the 3D films in the theater because it's only an extra few bucks, but I'm not going to buy a 3D player and a 3D tv just to have Episode I in that format. A 3D box set won't be a big seller.

When it comes to Star Wars, Lucasfilm doesn't have to milk the franchise in the same way they used to. Before, they were mainly dealing with 3 popular films and 3 semi-popular films, so all material had to be spun off from there. It's hard having such a big company with so little product. Now the solution is easy: they will just make more movies, and television shows. They don't have to rely on milking 6 movies over and over because when they've gotten all they need from them they will just move on and make more films, and therefore more product. Which is exactly what they are doing. A new trilogy to start, and then more movies after that. It will be like Star Trek, for better or worse.

That's why I don't think they will make the original versions a huge waiting game. With the 40th anniversary interest in the original film will be enormous again. It would be hard to come up with a reason to postpone it. I guess we'll see.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Since episode 7 is coming in 2015 I'd figure the 3D was being accelerated to be done before that, either way I'm optimistic the originals will get done, there's only a few clowns hanging on to the idea that its financially unreasonable and doesn't have enough demand. (Which, if were true, would contradict the existence of almost every non-new release blu-ray in existence).

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Baronlando said:

Since episode 7 is coming in 2015 I'd figure the 3D was being accelerated to be done before that

Yup.

It would make little sense for them to release the 3D conversions of Episodes IV, V and VI after Episode VII had already hit theaters. We'll see them in early 2015 at the latest, it's a safe bet. I just hope it doesn't mean a rushed, slapdash conversion. They're getting much better at it now, if the 3d trailers for Jurassic Park, Man of Steel and Star Trek were any indication.

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That would certainly clear the way to avoid having overlapping releases. I would prefer a 1997 type scenario myself when I could see each film one month after another. They could make a Christmas 2014 3D boxset if they put them in theaters early in the year. It would be a lot of work to convert them all at once, but with Disney at the helm they could literally throw money at the projects until they were done in time. That's one huge advantage of having Lucasfilm financed by one of the largest multi-national corporations in the world: there really aren't any resources to be tied up anymore.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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The 3D releases of the OT special editions would be in early 2015, just like the 1997 SE releases were in February and March.

That would build up some excitement for the new movie, which presumably would be in May. Might be a little cluttered, though.

I don't know. Either way I'll regard 3D releases of Star Wars as I do any other 3D movie - with a lack of interest.

“Grow up. These are my Disney's movies, not yours.”

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The more I learn about Disney's back catalog the less I trust the. Wouldn't be surprised if we got the OUT with the SE's color pallet given how many of their animated titles turn out.

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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 (Edited)

I think Kathleen Kennedy (and probably still Lucas) would be responsible for the actual product. (For example Zemeckis is supposed to be in charge of the look of the upcoming Roger Rabbit blu-ray.)

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After this Disney deal, I'd be kinda surprised if LFL used the (now ancient) Lowry master as a basis for the 3D conversion of the OT. They need a high-quality 4K source to start from. For TPM, they used the original filmout tapes (since TPM was made just before the DI era), which were used to make the theatrical prints back in '99. AOTC and ROTS still presumably have their highest quality digital cinema masters intact, so those 3D conversions will at least be up to par so far as the source is concerned (the quality of the conversion will be another matter).

The OT should still be considered a film-based project, and thus in need of a 4K rebuild. The only potential problem is that sizable chunks of the movies have now gone through the computer (for the digital recompositing) or been rendered from scratch, in both cases at a limited resolution (presumably 2K if we're talking 1996).

Ideally, Disney would write a check for the kind of treatment Blade Runner got for its Final Cut. That would mean redoing the digital recompositing at 6K this time around. Also, I'm wondering if ILM still at least has the final renders for the cgi shots (I'm wondering the same thing about Jurassic Park). For the Lowry transfer in '04, I'm pretty sure they just scanned in the '97 shots off the negative (there's still some noticeable film-based anomalies even in those completely cgi shots), but it would be nice if they could just use the direct digital source for the 3D conversion, instead of having to pull it off the negative. I wonder if it would even be possible to re-render those shots at 4K .....

Then there's the matter of preserving the OOT and, ideally, the '97 SE as well. If the missing pieces were in fact put into storage, it's a simple matter of scanning everything in. The o-neg is currently in its '97 conformation, so they've got the SE version all ready to go right there, given the proper color-timing, of course. It would be great if they could just use the o-neg as a basis for all three projects:

-'97 SE (scan, color time and you're done)

-OOT (scan the missing pieces, color time, you're done)

-3D version / "Final Cut" treatment (redo the recomps and cgi at a higher res, convert movies to 3D, you're done)

If they follow the Final Cut model exactly, they'll simply use existing interpositives for the older versions. That would still be a huge step up from anything that's been officially released thus far, but:

1) the '85 interpositives are grainy as hell, and

2) In world where we have meticulously de-specialized fan edits using the lowry (negative scan) transfer as a basis, yeah, it would be a tad ridiculous not to use the negative for an official release of the OOT as well.

What do you guys predict will happen????

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Burn that Lowry "master". Burn it and send it to hell.

“Grow up. These are my Disney's movies, not yours.”

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The thing is that a lot of the SE changes were made in 2004. That means they are hardwired right into the Lowry transfer, so to speak. That was one reason why they re-used the transfer for the blu-ray, and I am guessing the 3D releases as well. There basically is no more "negative" of the SE, it's all digital now because the 2004 changes were never put on film in the first place.

When it comes to an eventual OOT release, I predict they will either use an early generation archival print master and restore it, or base it off the negative. Obviously there will be a lot of challenges with using negative because so much of it is the SE; they'd have to fill in the holes using another source and then somehow match them together. Personally, I don't trust them to do it right. A lot of the SE changes are so subtle that they might overlook them or just leave them in. Stuff like the re-comps. They might not see the point. That's why I hope they just go get the best non-o-neg print that exists and clean it up, the negative has just been too reworked. That might be seen as lazy by some, and creating a poor quality scan by others, so I'm not sure what they will actually do. Probably they will use the negative and fill in the holes, but probably they will accidentally leave some changes in the film. The amount of work they will do will depend on how big of an 'event' they want to make the release.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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 (Edited)

georgec said:

Burn that Lowry "master". Burn it and send it to hell.

I couldn't have said this better. Well done.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Post 102 is worth more.

I’m late to the party, but I think this is the best song. Enjoy!

—Teams Jetrell Fo 1, Jetrell Fo 2, and Jetrell Fo 3

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It would be fine if they don't use the negative, it's too easy to screw up and anyway it's Joan Rivers at this point. Just in the last few years they can do all kinds of great restoration on other sources, it would be no muss no fuss. (But ignoring the negative and basically just using a tape from 2004 for the 3D version is kind of weird too, I don't envy the people who have to disentangle all this now).

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Fang Zei said:

After this Disney deal, I'd be kinda surprised if LFL used the (now ancient) Lowry master as a basis for the 3D conversion of the OT. They need a high-quality 4K source to start from. For TPM, they used the original filmout tapes (since TPM was made just before the DI era), which were used to make the theatrical prints back in '99. AOTC and ROTS still presumably have their highest quality digital cinema masters intact, so those 3D conversions will at least be up to par so far as the source is concerned (the quality of the conversion will be another matter).

The OT should still be considered a film-based project, and thus in need of a 4K rebuild. The only potential problem is that sizable chunks of the movies have now gone through the computer (for the digital recompositing) or been rendered from scratch, in both cases at a limited resolution (presumably 2K if we're talking 1996).

Ideally, Disney would write a check for the kind of treatment Blade Runner got for its Final Cut. That would mean redoing the digital recompositing at 6K this time around. Also, I'm wondering if ILM still at least has the final renders for the cgi shots (I'm wondering the same thing about Jurassic Park). For the Lowry transfer in '04, I'm pretty sure they just scanned in the '97 shots off the negative (there's still some noticeable film-based anomalies even in those completely cgi shots), but it would be nice if they could just use the direct digital source for the 3D conversion, instead of having to pull it off the negative. I wonder if it would even be possible to re-render those shots at 4K .....

Then there's the matter of preserving the OOT and, ideally, the '97 SE as well. If the missing pieces were in fact put into storage, it's a simple matter of scanning everything in. The o-neg is currently in its '97 conformation, so they've got the SE version all ready to go right there, given the proper color-timing, of course. It would be great if they could just use the o-neg as a basis for all three projects:

-'97 SE (scan, color time and you're done)

-OOT (scan the missing pieces, color time, you're done)

-3D version / "Final Cut" treatment (redo the recomps and cgi at a higher res, convert movies to 3D, you're done)

If they follow the Final Cut model exactly, they'll simply use existing interpositives for the older versions. That would still be a huge step up from anything that's been officially released thus far, but:

1) the '85 interpositives are grainy as hell, and

2) In world where we have meticulously de-specialized fan edits using the lowry (negative scan) transfer as a basis, yeah, it would be a tad ridiculous not to use the negative for an official release of the OOT as well.

What do you guys predict will happen????

 I agree with you there.

One day we will have properly restored versions of the Original Unaltered Trilogy (OUT); or 1977, 1980, 1983 theatrical releases; So that future generations can enjoy these historic films that change cinema.

Yoda: Try not, do or do not, there is no try.

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georgec said:

Burn that Lowry "master". Burn it and send it to hell.

 Yea they mess up a classic. With color errors, crushed blacks, boosted Contrast. It's just a Cyan/yellow mess. :(

One day we will have properly restored versions of the Original Unaltered Trilogy (OUT); or 1977, 1980, 1983 theatrical releases; So that future generations can enjoy these historic films that change cinema.

Yoda: Try not, do or do not, there is no try.

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Fang Zei said:

After this Disney deal, I'd be kinda surprised if LFL used the (now ancient) Lowry master as a basis for the 3D conversion of the OT. 

I wouldn't be surprised. In fact I'm expecting it. It would explain a couple of the stupid new additions they introduced in the Blu-ray release. Namely the rock in front of Artoo and the incredibly inaccurately sized Jabba's Palace door. Both prep for the coming conversion to 3D to add depth!

Help back OMNO!

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zombie84 said:

The thing is that a lot of the SE changes were made in 2004. That means they are hardwired right into the Lowry transfer, so to speak. That was one reason why they re-used the transfer for the blu-ray, and I am guessing the 3D releases as well. There basically is no more "negative" of the SE, it's all digital now because the 2004 changes were never put on film in the first place.

When it comes to an eventual OOT release, I predict they will either use an early generation archival print master and restore it, or base it off the negative. Obviously there will be a lot of challenges with using negative because so much of it is the SE; they'd have to fill in the holes using another source and then somehow match them together. Personally, I don't trust them to do it right. A lot of the SE changes are so subtle that they might overlook them or just leave them in. Stuff like the re-comps. They might not see the point. That's why I hope they just go get the best non-o-neg print that exists and clean it up, the negative has just been too reworked. That might be seen as lazy by some, and creating a poor quality scan by others, so I'm not sure what they will actually do. Probably they will use the negative and fill in the holes, but probably they will accidentally leave some changes in the film. The amount of work they will do will depend on how big of an 'event' they want to make the release.

  Yes most of the changes was in 2004/2011, but can't they use the 2004/2011 files as a reference for the changes (Apart form the color, crush blacks) and audio form the 6.1 blu-ray (not from the 2004 DVD and the No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!)?

One day we will have properly restored versions of the Original Unaltered Trilogy (OUT); or 1977, 1980, 1983 theatrical releases; So that future generations can enjoy these historic films that change cinema.

Yoda: Try not, do or do not, there is no try.

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pat man said:

georgec said:

Burn that Lowry "master". Burn it and send it to hell.

 Yea they mess up a classic. With color errors, crushed blacks, boosted Contrast. It's just a Cyan/yellow mess. :(

I'm too lazy to look up all those old arguments on blu-ray.com, but the blu-ray was more or less the same since it used the same Lowry print. Just a few tinkerings here and there and a slight increase in brightness.

“Grow up. These are my Disney's movies, not yours.”

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pat man said:

zombie84 said:

The thing is that a lot of the SE changes were made in 2004. That means they are hardwired right into the Lowry transfer, so to speak. That was one reason why they re-used the transfer for the blu-ray, and I am guessing the 3D releases as well. There basically is no more "negative" of the SE, it's all digital now because the 2004 changes were never put on film in the first place.

When it comes to an eventual OOT release, I predict they will either use an early generation archival print master and restore it, or base it off the negative. Obviously there will be a lot of challenges with using negative because so much of it is the SE; they'd have to fill in the holes using another source and then somehow match them together. Personally, I don't trust them to do it right. A lot of the SE changes are so subtle that they might overlook them or just leave them in. Stuff like the re-comps. They might not see the point. That's why I hope they just go get the best non-o-neg print that exists and clean it up, the negative has just been too reworked. That might be seen as lazy by some, and creating a poor quality scan by others, so I'm not sure what they will actually do. Probably they will use the negative and fill in the holes, but probably they will accidentally leave some changes in the film. The amount of work they will do will depend on how big of an 'event' they want to make the release.

  Yes most of the changes was in 2004/2011, but can't they use the 2004/2011 files as a reference for the changes (Apart form the color, crush blacks) and audio form the 6.1 blu-ray (not from the 2004 DVD and the No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!)?

Are you talking about using the raw scan from 2004, before it was further altered, as the basis for an OOT release? Because what they scanned was the negative, which basically exists in the state of the 1997 Special Edition. When it comes to the Special Edition, what you see today is what you will always get. It was always be 1920x1080 lines of resolution with the sound and colour all weird. That's how George Lucas wanted it, and since he no longer owns the film he's not in a position to "correct" it--nor would he be even if he did own it since nothing is in need of correcting, in his mind. But even if he had a second opinion it would be a lot of work for him to come back and re-tinker, and I think just mentally he's said his goodbyes and let the films go. Disney won't be deliberately tinkering with the SE--nor should they be.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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 (Edited)

pat man said:

Yes most of the changes was in 2004/2011, but can't they use the 2004/2011 files as a reference for the changes (Apart form the color, crush blacks) and audio form the 6.1 blu-ray (not from the 2004 DVD and the No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!)?

The audio on the Bluray is exactly the same mix as the DVD version, aside from a few tweaks here and there.  If any part of that godawful, abominable mess was used for a release of the original version of the movie, it would be such a travesty that the term 'completely unacceptable' doesn't even begin to describe it.

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hairy_hen said:

The audio on the Bluray is exactly the same mix as the DVD version, aside from a few tweaks here and there. 

Well ... doesn't it mean that it's NOT exactly the same mix ?

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pat man said:

georgec said:

Burn that Lowry "master". Burn it and send it to hell.

 Yea they mess up a classic. With color errors, crushed blacks, boosted Contrast. It's just a Cyan/yellow mess. :(

Actually the colour "correction" was done in LFL if I remember correctly. There was some interview with the Lowry team around the DVD release where they claimed that they started with colour "corrected" digital files.

Or is my memory complete crap ?