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George's Alternate Altered Trilogy (AKA, The GAAT) (ANH V1 Released)

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It goes without saying the Special Editions are a hot mess of issues. Some of the additions are neat, while others are needless additions at best. It also goes without saying that many people over the years have constructed their own ideas of how the special editions could have been handled. About two years ago, I decided to make my own fan edit of A New Hope, mainly focusing on revamping the sound mix. But as time went on, I felt the need to make changes outside of the sound mix and branch off into the color timing and editing. So, after putting the project on the back burner, I’m proud to present my plans for the GAAT (George’s Alternate Altered Trilogy).

To set things straight, this project serves as a “what-if” alternative to the 2004/2011 master. George Lucas wanted to commemorate the finality of the Prequel trilogy by re-releasing the Original Trilogy on DVD, which as many know is seen as one of the worst releases the original trilogy. The color timing by far is the biggest problem alongside the additional material inserted into the film. My approach to fixing these issues is to remove the more annoying SE changes such as Greedo shooting first and CGI Jabba, while providing a more modern sound mix using SFX from the later projects Skywalker Sound contributed to. I also took the time to alter the color timing, but still maintained it’s overall look. George, after all, wanted these releases to resemble the look of the prequel films, and while I’m fine with something like that, I don’t remember the prequels looking like they were color matched to a bag of sour skittles.

To summarize, the point of this project is to say, “what-if the mastering wasn’t rushed and someone looked at what George was pushing for and said, 'I see what you’re doing, but you’re going too far in a few places.”

Here’s what I have with each film so far. This is includes what’s already set in place and what I plan to do. Currently, I only have ANH nearly done. It should be pointed out that when I began the edit of ANH, I only had the 2004 DVDs at my disposal, so the soundmix may inherit some of the “swapped audio channel” problems. Frankly, I never noticed it myself. I Haven’t touch the other two yet, but I have an idea of what I want to do with them. Since I now own the 2011 blu rays, All footage will be sourced from that.

A New Hope (WIP):
-Reduction of saturation in footage, increase in exposure of footage.
-Remixed Audio with additional SFX and adjustments in EQ layered over the 2004 mix.
-During the Tantive IV scene, Leia’s blaster sounds like a Naboo pistol from The Phantom Menace.
-The Rocks in front of R2 are gone.
-When Luke and Ben are confronted by Stormtroopers, the creature that walks in front of the camera is removed.
-Han Shoots First.
-Jabba is removed entirely.
-The Obi Wan vs Vader duel is re-edited using color matched footage from “Scene 38 Reimagined” along with my own custom soundmix. Widescreen matte and grain is added to the footage to help it blend in with the blu ray footage.
-The music during the Death Star attack is no longer drowned out. I did my best to raise the volume.
-Just after red leader tries firing at the Death Star exhaust port, he longer says “negative” twice in a row.

Empire Strikes Back (Haven’t begun yet):
-Reduction of saturation in footage, increase in exposure of footage
-Remixed Audio with additional SFX and adjustments in EQ layered over the 2011 sound mix.

Return of the Jedi (WIP):
-Remixed Audio with additional SFX and adjustments in EQ layered over the 2011 sound mix.
-Additional Boba Fett Voice lines.
-Additional production footage inserted into the lightsaber duel on the Death Star II.
-Vader doesn’t shout “NOOOOOOOOO.”
-Sebastian Shaw is restored in the Endor Celebration.

What’s interesting is that, at least when talking about ANH, I wanted to have two different versions available for viewing. Both of them follow two different “What-if” scenarios.

-Version A:
This is the version that follows George’s goal of having a modern color timing that matches the look of the prequels while adjusting parameters to alleviate the visual problems present in the 2004/2011 release.

-Version B:
-This version does the same thing many people have suggested where instead of making a brand new master, Lucasfilm simply updated the 1997 color timing. For this, I’ll be using my 1997 regrade project that I recently finished. Link here if you’re interested: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/anh-1997-inspired-regrade-with-se-soundmix-version-1-released/id/80173

So far, I only plan on having multiple versions for ANH. I’m debating whether to do the same for the other two films.

Sources:
-ANH:
-2004 DVD
-2011 Blu Ray
-My ANH 1997 Inspired Regrade
-Harmy’s Despecialized
-Scene 38 Reimagined

-ESB
-Adywan’s 1080p 1997 ESB
-2011 Blu Ray

-ROTJ
-2011 Blu Ray
-Production Footage
-Evolution of The Lightsaber Duel
-Harmy’s Despecialized

Things to fix with Version 2 of ANH:
-Alleviate some of the color matching problems.
-Replace Obi-Wan’s monster call with his original Krayt Dragon call.
-Remove the rocks in front of R2.
-ATTEMPT to fix the swapped audio channels in certain shots.
-Further tweaks to the sound mix.

Since I want to have the soundmix sound the best it can, I would really appreciate any and all constructive criticism on it.

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In your edit of ANH, there will be imperial march ?

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An interesting idea. I’ll give it some thought. That’ll involve removing music from the mix, which may be difficult considering the music is slightly mixed to the center channel.

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Oooooo, this sounds cool. I look forward to seeing how you intergrate SC 38 Reimagined. It’s a fantastic scene and I’m glad you’re using it. I also really like the idea of Leia’s gun sounding like a Naboo pistol.

Also, Imperial March in ANH is a big fat yes IMO.

I’m also interested in seeing your new color grades for the 2011 Blu-Rays and the new Boba Fett lines and Saber duel footage for ROTJ. I highly suggest for ROTJ using the 2020 Blu-Ray for the Shuttle Tydirium scene since it was out of focus in the 2011 Blu-Ray but was fixed for the 2020 one.

My Star Wars Fan-Edits
Proud creator of Dinosauria: Ascension, Domination, Downfall

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Version 1A of A New Hope is released. PM me if you’re interested.

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Sounds like great ideas.

I’d love to check it out.

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For those who have viewed the link, what do you think?

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I’ve decided to go into ROTJ next. I’ve been working so much on ANH I need a decent change of pace. I recolored and sound edited the sarlacc pit scene, so I’ll upload a preview of what it looks like soon.

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I honestly think since you’re already using the 2011 Blu-Ray transfers that you should use xxtelecine 7xx’s edits as the bases for these edits instead. They redo and improve all of the laser and lightsaber effects so they are consistent with the rest of the saga (no more wonky Luke lightsaber jumpcuts, and the blaster bolts actually have their white cores), and in ANH it adds the lights on Vader’s chest plate that were missing and the edits the Death Star plans so they’re the ones from AOTC. They’re basically just the 2011 Blu-Rays but with improved visual effects.

And since you’re color correcting them, it’ll be perfect. It is still your choice though obviously.

Also regarding the Shuttle Tydirium scene that is out of focus in the 2011 Blu-Ray that I brought up earlier, you could also use the Despecialized edition which also fixed that issue, and it looks more like the 2011 Blu-Ray then the 2020 one.

My Star Wars Fan-Edits
Proud creator of Dinosauria: Ascension, Domination, Downfall

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Not a bad idea. I’ll look into it. I’m also completely re-designing the lightsaber sound design during the duel to give it a more prequel era flare.

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Probably late January or mid February. I’m pretty much done with the color adjustments and remixing the throne room duel sound.
Which brings me to a question I have for anyone knowledgeable about the topic. Does anyone know where I can find the unused production footage for the throne room duel in good quality? I’ve found other people’s edits on Youtube that use it, but it either is too limited to repurpose or too low resolution.

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Oooooo, that’s really cool! It’s strange that I can’t find that anywhere, I searched all over YouTube for it. Is that the only video with the extended production footage you found?

Maybe attempt an AI upscale of the low res footage, and if you’re not able to do it maybe ask for help.

I think with some good editing (for your version I wouldn’t reuse the same exact audio for the extended parts that is used later so it doesn’t just sound like a weird loop) it would make for an awesome extended duel. I can’t believe George Lucas decided to restore the Jabba scene but not those clips. Then again, there are a billion edits that I can name that would be better then the Jabba scene.

My Star Wars Fan-Edits
Proud creator of Dinosauria: Ascension, Domination, Downfall

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PJ said:

Which brings me to a question I have for anyone knowledgeable about the topic. Does anyone know where I can find the unused production footage for the throne room duel in good quality?

bluray or rinzlers ebook…one of this have the scene.

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G&G-Fan said:

Oooooo, that’s really cool! It’s strange that I can’t find that anywhere, I searched all over YouTube for it. Is that the only video with the extended production footage you found?

Maybe attempt an AI upscale of the low res footage, and if you’re not able to do it maybe ask for help.

I think with some good editing (for your version I wouldn’t reuse the same exact audio for the extended parts that is used later so it doesn’t just sound like a weird loop) it would make for an awesome extended duel. I can’t believe George Lucas decided to restore the Jabba scene but not those clips. Then again, there are a billion edits that I can name that would be better then the Jabba scene.

There are others, but they’re all low res. That’s the only one that seems to use decent quality footage. I feel like the low res ones are just from people down scaling and compressing the footage.

If the footage is on a blur ray, can someone tell me which one? I have all three of the 2011 blu rays but they’re in the 3 in 1 pack that seems to lack the special features outside of audio commentaries.

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I figured out where a good chunk of the unused footage comes from! It shows up in The Evolution of The Lightsaber Duel special ESPN hosted. Does anyone know where I can find the highest quality version of that special?

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Good news and bad news. The good news is I found a 1080p version of Evolution of The Lightsaber Duel and found some pretty neat ways to incorporate it into the duel. The extra footage is going to be added immediately after Luke tries attacking the Emperor. The bad news is that one shot that I needed to complete the sequence is low res and fuzzy. It’s a shot from the Making of ROTJ Ebook where Luke does a backflip. I tried using detail preserving upscale, but it’s still not the best. It’s only a few seconds, so maybe it won’t stick out too much. If anyone has suggestions or could possibly assit in cleaning it up, that would be appreciated The other bad news is that since this is unused production footage it’ll take a awhile to get the Lightsaber effects composited on every shot. I’ll render out a test clip to show how it looks soon.

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Here’s a sample of the ROTJ GAAT! This contains the Sarlacc Pitt battle, as well as some of Boba Fett’s Additional voice lines.
https://youtu.be/kjatWKBjxgw