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Preserving the...<em>cringe</em>...Star Wars Holiday Special (Released)

MattMahdi said:

This floated up in a recent eBay visit: “Star Wars Holiday Special 2020 EXTENDED CUT (Blu-ray SPECIAL EDITION 1978)”

The word “extended” seems to refer to this: “As a special treat a new opening theme was created with an introduction that is exclusive to this release.”

Although it sounds intriguing a) I’m never going to pay for another copy of the Special (made that mistake twice 20+ years ago before I discovered this group and a wonderful online community) and b) I would never want to enrich someone on eBay who’s hawking something that shouldn’t be sold anyway.

My guess is it’s the Rifftrax crawl tacked onto the beginning. Extended cut!

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

FYI, there’s a new minor Project Threepio release upcoming, codename “Doce monos”. The main feature is a ton of little fixes for the Star Wars mono mix. While small, I’m just gonna go ahead and apologize to all the mono mix fans out there right now for letting these problems persist this long, because they still look bad. All I can say in my defense is that I rarely watch with the mono mix. If anyone has any changes they’d like to submit, now’s the time to do it if you want them included!

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

CAL0901 said:

Does the OOT subs include Swahili? My son-in-law has been sucked into the Star Wars universe recently, in large part by, and credit is due to DigModiFicaTion ( He created a “Youngling” edit of ESB for younger kids. As a result my grandson was able to watch. Soon after my granddaughter, his younger sister, got hooked, and thereby has subjected her father, my son-in-law, to watching it well over a dozen times. While my son-in-law understands English fluently, I’m thinking he would appreciate it more in his native tongue. On that note, does anyone know if there is a Swahili audio?

We do not have Swahili subtitles, and I don’t know of any Swahili dubs. TV stations frequently commission dubs that never make it onto any “official” releases, so there’s a possibility that there’s a Swahili dub out there, if dubbing is popular in Swahili-speaking areas. Some parts of the world show Hollywood films with English audio AND English subtitles, with an expectation that the audience knows English, but may not be able to follow American accents.

This project does include English template files designed for translators who want to create subtitles in new languages, and Swahili is on my list of languages I’d most like to add. So if you, or someone you know, has the time and ability to create Swahili translations, I would be delighted to add them to the collection.

Keep in mind: translation is hard. For every simple “Hello there”, there’s a “hyperdrive motivator”, and three movies is a lot of translation work. But boy would I love to offer a Swahili language option!

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

Project files have been updated to version 12.1 (codename: “Gigawatt”), and the first post has been updated. Please PM me for temporary download links until the files are available at some more permanent locations.

Rough summary of changes from 12.0 to 12.1:

  • Improvements to Turkish subtitles (thanks to ArdaYlcn)
  • Turkish titles-only subtitles updated to accompany new Turkish dub
  • Improvements to Korean subtitles (thanks to Kaz47)
  • Czech titles-only subtitles included to accompany new Czech dub
  • Persian/Farsi titles-only subtitles included to accompany incomplete Persian/Farsi dub
  • Project Threepio is now theatrically synced rather than GOUT synced, because all major Star Wars preservations now plan to move to theatrical sync – while having theatrical sync doesn’t break subtitle compatibility with the existing versions. In practical terms, this makes no difference at all, since a difference of a few frames means nothing for subtitles.
  • Added support for the 70mm cut of Empire. I don’t currently know of any restored 70mm prints or full-film 70mm reconstructions for Empire, but if/when one exists, the whole world should be able to watch it (thanks to morgands1)
  • Updated Noto fonts to more current versions. Most significant changes: Arabic available in semibold weight, Hong Kong CJK variant available. Lots of minor fixes included as well.
  • Graphical Italian alien subtitles for Star Wars (in the style of the original theatrical 35mm Italian prints) are now based on 35mm scans, rather than approximated with a custom font (thanks to williarob)
  • Project Threepio now includes more Windows binaries for portability, allowing most operations to work on the Windows platform without installing any software at all
  • Fixed several multithreading-related bugs in the scripts
  • Fixed some posterization that would result from subtitle colors being reduced for the indexed PNG format required for subtitles. This was most noticeable in the 35mm alien subtitles, which included lots of subtle color variations. Everything is now properly dithered, and the unmodified PNG32 files are now included for use by preservation projects.
  • Some scripts now support a -yuv flag to compensate for expected color shifts from an RGB-YCbCr-RGB round trip (i.e. they make the colors a little wrong, so that after they’re encoded as a BD-SUP and displayed during playback, they’re approximately right again). All included BD-SUP files have been created this way. These color shifts are extremely small and typically unnoticeable for a single round trip, but since Project Threepio’s instructions for some tasks can include multiple RGB-YCbCr-RGB round trips, they can add up to something noticeable unless compensated for.
  • Python scripts now require Python 3.6 or later
Star Wars 1977 70mm sound mix recreation [stereo and 5.1 versions now available] (Released)

This is not based directly on a 70mm print. AFAIK nobody has a complete 70mm print, but certainly we’d be interested if one turned up, particularly for Star Wars (mostly for the audio) and Empire (for the audio and video). What we do have is in-theatre recordings (mono) of the 70mm mix, which tells us what the content differences are, and the fact that the Dolby surround encoded stereo mixes are closely related to the same four-track master used to create the 70mm mix. The 70mm mix was a 4.2 mix, which doesn’t quite align with the 5.1 home video standard, but it’s what we have, and 5.1 represents it well IMO.

So with a little audio archaeology, a little technical whiz-bangery, and quite a lot of audio skill, hairy_hen put this together, which is a reconstruction of the 70mm mix, but not literally the 70mm mix itself. But knowing the care that went into it, I trust it’s pretty close, and it’s my favorite audio track for Star Wars.

Similarly, the 5.1 mixes for Empire and Jedi are based on the same surround encoded stereo mixes being related to the four-track master used for the theatrical six-channel mixes. The difference being that we have no references for the 70mm audio mix for Jedi, and the 70mm mix for Empire requires the 70mm video (it would not sync with the 35mm video, and has unique audio we’d only be able to get from a print), so the six-channel audio we have is much closer to the stereo tracks in terms of content. These are more of tasteful upmixes than reconstructions, although hairy_hen did put some serious effort into improving the LFE channel, so they’re not simple upmixes either.

My SE knowledge is limited, but IIRC the 97 mixes are pretty good, but they introduced a bunch of crap in 2004. Some of those things, like the swapped surrounds, were later fixed. But a lot of the crap remains, and no SE mixes have measured up to the 97 mixes since.

International Audio (including Voice-Over Translations)

I’ve synced the 2011 Czech Blu-ray dubs, to replace the early nineties dubs in my collection. These turned out really well and are the nicest despecialized audio tracks I’ve done yet.

I’ve also synced the Farsi dub for ROTJ, and I’m now dreading having no other audio projects to do except the Farsi dub for Empire. These pirate dubs are really not great, and are woefully incomplete. I swear Empire is half in English, just from the scenes they didn’t dub. But it’s the only Farsi audio we have, so I’ll do what I can.

<strong>4K83</strong> - Released

When you’re color-correcting, usually you’re aiming at some sort of reference. So if you agree with the target, you generally agree with the correction aiming at that target.

Not sure what the thinking for each version was exactly, but I believe 1.3 targets previous home video releases. So if you’re trying to rekindle the glory days of Star Wars on home video, that’ll scratch that itch.

I believe from what others have said here that 1.4 targets low-fade prints. Those collector’s prints that have better colors than home video (more so for Jedi, Star Wars and Empire prints faded like crazy). So if you’re targeting what a rare private 35mm showing may have seen decades after the film originally screened, 1.4 is for you.

1.6 uses color theory, math, and a little subjective fine-tuning to approximate what an opening day print may have looked like. Not low-fade, but no-fade, but you have to trust that the math works. If you’re targeting a 1983 theatrical showing, 1.6 is for you. The flat colors were a subjective attempt to re-create what some believed were Jedi’s theatrical appearance, but it’s that part I don’t like much.

I’ve hated the colors of Star Wars on home video since before there were special editions to hate, so that’s why 1.3 leaves me cold. I prefer 1.6, then Despecialized, then 1.4, and 1.3 isn’t even in the running. None are perfect. But color isn’t everything – I usually opt for Despecialized anyway for the extra fine detail, but again, different priorities will yield different preferred versions.