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Audio Mixes used for the 2019 SE release of the Original Trilogy - any issues?


As Lucasfilm have had some some issues with their audio mixes for previous releases of the Original Trilogy [cough 2004 DVD and 2011 blu ray releases]… has anyone noticed or reported any issues or problems with the audio mixes on the 2019 SE releases?

Additionally, are they any good?



OT•com threads on the 2019 SE releases (and them appearing on the Disney+ streaming channel):

Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 4k UHD – 27 DISC Boxed Set - by digitalfreaknyc (with some info on the 18-disc & 9-disc sets)
Changes to the Disney+ 2019 SE of the Original Trilogy - by yotsuya
Maclunkey - by screams in the void
Uncorrected mistakes or unfixed issues of the 2019 (Maclunkey) Original Trilogy release? - by Gonk-DB94
All Star Wars films released in 4K HDR on Disney Plus: 2019 SE with more changes - by idir_hh
Disney+ streaming platform : Star Wars content & various other info - by oojason


blu-ray•com info pages on the 2019 SE releases:

27-disc 4K UHD US version
18-disc bluray UK version (+ also the 9-disc DVD UK version)
SW single release 3 disc (4K UHD, blu ray + bonus disk) France version
ESB single release 3 disc (4K UHD, blu ray + bonus disk) Austraila version
ROTJ single release 3 disc (4K UHD, blu ray + bonus disk) German version


Just for fun, I was watching SW:ANH with the 5.1 DTS-ES Italian track some time ago (Italian is not my language) and I’ve noticed a flaw in the audio for the scene just after the Solo/Jabba conflict where Luke and Ben were making their way to Docking Bay 94 (at the 54:14 mark). I noticed that the music-scoring elements were not sync’ing to each other by about 1 second between them.

For convenience, here’s a 29-second mkv clip of that scene.


Hear it on Audio Track #1

I ripped the audio for that scene and I examined each channel. I’ve discovered that the music element in the front left and right channels are out of sync with the music element in the center channel, but the other sound elements—the dialogue, and the alien sounds (Chewie’s grunt, and an alien stalker speaking on a portable communicating device) were in sync. As a hunch, I’ve compared both channels to the 1977 mix. Sure enough, the center channel element used in this 2019 Italian audio track for that scene is from the sound mix of ‘Star Wars’'s 1st theatrical cut because the music placement for that scene in the center Italian track matches the music placement of the same scene in the GOUT version.

Here’s a breakdown how the music for this 28/29 second-footage covering between these two frames is presented …

In the ’77 version, the music cue for that scene—Inner City (Cue #5M6)- is coming to an end where Luke says, “What a piece of junk.” For the 1997 cut, Lucas extended the said footage by 21 frames. As a result, the said music cue has just ended before Luke says that said line.

Using that same mkv clip (above), here’s how the Italian track on the said footage plays out.

The Left and Right Front Channels of the DTS Italian track (Audio Track 2): It begins with the GOUT audio mix with Ben’s line, “If his ship is as fast as his boasting…” in Italian, then switches to the ’97 mix through-out the remainder of the scene.

The Center Channel (Audio Track 3): It is entirely the center track for the GOUT Italian mix. Notice that after the stalker-alien does his speak (at the :16 mark), the audio fades out to silence and fades back in. The GOUT center audio for that footage would not cover the added frames in the ’97 cut, so, a silence patch in the center track was made to extend the length of the GOUT audio. Since the left and right front channels are filled with music and sound effects, they mask out the center track’s brief silence patch.

However, in the end, the music being out of sync between the channels is audible (Track 1).

Why a polished audio mix of that sequence was never created back in ’97 or that audio mistake was never corrected in future home video releases *, including this one, is anyone’s guess.

*= yeah, this anomaly appears in the 2004 Dolby EX Italian audio track via shorman’s Star Wars Saga HDTV-DVD Preservation


It seems to either literally be the 2011 mix or a tweaked version.

The biggest and most obvious issue to me is wildly inconsistent levels and feel to dialogue.

To pick one of many examples, take Luke’s line, “The Princess, she’s here?!”

In any mix from 77 to 97, it sounds just fine and fits in well with surrounding dialogue. But in 2004 and beyond it sticks out. It may sound a bit clearer or better on its own, but it is jarring in context of the scene.

My stance on revising fan edits.


Mixes are perfectly fine for the 2019 versions because it’s not the OG cinema mix, but the 2019 version(s) mix. Same goes for 2004 mix being the 2004 version, and the 2011 mix being the 2011 version. Want the OG cinema mix, might as well look for the originals for those, not the later versions which are exclusive to their own.
Mainly 4K77, 4K80, and 4K83. VHS and Laserdisc too. But the VHS and Laserdisc would be the 1981 mix, GUESSING, for STAR WARS.


Hal 9000 said:

If it’s official, there’s no problems, then?

Correct. Because the 2019/2020 Disney+/4K/Blu-ray discs aren’t the 1977/1981 version for STAR WARS, not the 1980 version for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and not the 1983 version of RETURN OF THE JEDI. What with all the newer edits, of course there’s different audio mix for this version.
Comparisons on Movie-Censorship:

It’s not the 1997 Special Edition, nor the 2004 DVDs, nor the 2006 DVDs aka “GOUT”, nor the 2011 Blu-ray discs, for the Original Trilogy either. It’s what I have in italics in regards to which release it is.
It’s how I’ve justified all the differing official releases. I didn’t want to list the VHS or Laserdisc, let alone CED, of course. Just current physical media.


Hal 9000 said:

Doesn’t mean there can’t be mistakes to notice and be aware of; nothing is flawless.

True. I’ve figured since there’s too many official releases which have alterations galore, those alterations are of course going to add mistakes. Then there’s the fan edits, randomly speculating, which have fixed those mistakes specific to those versions too, audio included. 2004 DVD audio mix ‘error’ during the Death Star run isn’t an error since it’s the 2004 DVD version, not the 1977/1981 Cinema release or the 1997 Special Edition.
All-in-all, the 2019/2020 release for the OT aren’t the same versions as released originally in cinemas. Of course people know that on this forum. But not many in fact want to have all the officially released main versions. That’s a lot of shelf along with storage space if one is willing.
Repeating a prior post. 2019/2020 audio mix is that audio mix, not the OG cinema ones. I don’t mind owning it either since I’m aiming for all the official versions instead of just only one.