Speaking of your avatar, for those who haven’t already seen this:
Top: Theatrical Blu
Middle: Extended Blu
The tonemapping on that UHD still doesn’t look accurate to me. (It at least shows off the lack of the green tint though!)
Well, I think it’s a photo of a display. There could be a whole lot of weirdness added through that alone (auto-white-balance, etc). But yes, the lack of green (even compared to theatrical) is the reason for showing it off.
Speaking of your avatar, for those who haven’t already seen this:
Top: Theatrical Blu
Middle: Extended Blu
Nick66 is gonna have to change his avatar 😉
Seriously, everything looks pretty delightful to me so far. It’s not the same as the DVD, but I never needed or expected it to be identical to the DVD. I just needed it to be good, and it is!
However, I think I would prefer a cleaned up GOUT that is closer to the VHS. Does anyone know what versions those would be as there are so so so many now?
The project that literally fits this requirement is dark_jedi’s “V3” trilogy:
But there are better options.
I don’t disagree that Star Wars Despecialized, even v2.7, has lots of visible seams, especially in Mos Eisley. IIRC those shots were upscaled from the GOUT, and, well, since the GOUT really isn’t even proper DVD resolution, mixing that with Blu-ray footage (even a low-quality Blu-ray like the 2011 set) isn’t ever going to be perfect. If the seams are the biggest issue, you may want to look into the DVD5 downscales of Despecialized. By capping the video quality at 480i, the Blu-ray and GOUT-sourced footage blend much better.
I do see a couple seams in Empire (nothing that bothers me, but bothering is relative), but Jedi for me seems smoothest of the bunch. Jedi is exactly frame-matched to the GOUT, so if you see any timing issues, you’ll see the same in the GOUT. You may be seeing something wonky with the VFX that’s part of the source that we’ve all gotten used to (or revealed in HD), or maybe it’s a judder/interpolation thing on your display. But if you prefer the SE ending, just go with the SE and don’t worry about it.
I’d also look into the 4K77 & 4K83 projects (the Destiny Editions seem to be a promising branch from these sources as well). They’re from scans of film prints, so while they don’t have all of the fine detail of Despecialized, they still generally have a lot more than the GOUT – and they’re all from one source, so it’s a consistent level of detail. I am personally not a huge fan of 4K77 (there’s something to complain about with every Star Wars preservation), but 4K83 is very nice and worth a look and the only gripe I have is the lack of fine detail compared to Despecialized. Since you’ve already indicated you’re willing to sacrifice some fine detail for a more consistent image, 4K83 may be a perfect fit for you, assuming you can grow to love Yub Nub 😉
Technically the GOUT release of ANH created a new version of the film. They used the 1993 master tape and replaced the opening crawl with the version they had scanned for The Empire of Dreams.
IMO the main unique thing about the GOUT version of Star Wars is the 77 crawl/93 audio mismatch. The fact that the 77 crawl was spliced onto the 93 video is a comparatively minor detail, although it’s a funny reversal of how the 81 crawl was frequently spliced onto 77 film.
Oddly, even though I’ve never considered any of the GOUT versions to be in any way equivalent to the original films, they work out to be the same for the purposes of subtitles, since the 93 audio doesn’t change any dialogue from the original stereo/multichannel mixes for any of the films, and the crawls have the same text.
Can’t help find any of these, but the title of this thread threw me. I thought for a second you were classifying Kevin Smith as a form of Star Wars Megafauna. I remember very little of the prequels, but I’d like to think I’d remember a scene like that!
Very nice as always, Dre. Since you seem to be following along roughly chronologically, you may need to think about the giant disclaimer you’ll need for your color-corrected Mos Eisley frames, to avoid fan panic 😉
My name is doubleofive, and I approve these threads.
And I have to say they do look sharp on you. I especially like the bow tie.
“Done.” Heheh. Nothing’s ever done.
Seriously, this is a geek project and a labor of love that will likely go on and on, under different stewardship. Even Despecialized may continue after Harmy moves on. Theoretically, incremental changes will likely get smaller and smaller as we get closer and closer to approximating perfection. But everyone’s got their own idea of perfection, and people’s ideas can change over time as well.
Look at me. I’ve been working on subtitles for something like eight years now. You’d think that would be sort of a closed field with limited variation, but it just keeps going.
Colors are a matter of strong opinion, so take absolutely everything with a grain of salt, including what I say. From what I’ve seen, the Disney+ colors are a marked improvement over prior official Star Wars releases, and because of the lack of boosted magentas, there’s also not as much clipping in the red channel, etc. I can’t think of a single example where they’re worse.
Yellows fade away first in some types of 35mm film, then cyans, and magentas hang on longest. That’s why old films are sometimes called “pink faded”. Even low-fade prints still fade a bit over time and can have more pronounced magentas. The famous magenta cast isn’t just a Blu-ray phenomenon, the 1993 VHS and Laserdisc releases had the same issue, and it may in part be because they failed to adequately restore the original colors to the faded sources.
The problem is, that magenta look from the 1993 releases is very nostalgic for a lot of OT fans, so when they restore the OT, they bring that magenta look with it, so it matches the most popular home video releases of the unaltered original trilogy.
This is why I prefer 4k83 1.6. It brings back the yellows, tones down the magenta, and bring everything back to more natural colors. I consider it to be the best reference we have for ROTJ’s theatrical colors, even if, as ChainsawAsh correctly pointed out, it’s a little flat by modern home video standards. It’s better than Disney+, if what you’re looking for is theatrical accuracy.
But 1.4 gives you that nostalgic THX boxed set feel, and it’s more vibrant as well. It really all depends on what you’re looking for.
The thing that really tied together the Special Edition of Empire was the Emperor’s scream.
When Luke lets go and falls into the chasm, the first thing you naturally want to know is: “What does the Emperor think about this turn of events?” And with the scream, you know. The Emperor is distraught! His well-laid plans have gone awry! He just starts screaming as if he’s the one falling into the void, not Luke.
But that’s not the most brilliant part. It’s one of those things that’s difficult to notice until someone points it out and afterwards it’s obvious, like the stormtrooper bonking his head, but there’s something else about that scene where the Emperor screams. I’m going to use spoiler tags, because it will blow your mind.
The Emperor is not even there. Really! Go check. Not on Bespin. At. All.
This gives us a few possibilities:
- The Emperor IS there, in secret, hiding in the enclosed area at the other end of the bridge, certainly close enough to see what’s going on and be heard yelling about it. In fact, maybe he’s always been running the Empire from the dark, mechanical underbelly of Cloud City.
- The Emperor is not there, but his hologram is there to witness events.
- The Emperor is using his previously undisclosed “force yell” ability, where you can yell so loud that it can be heard several planets away. Note that this is not the same as the force telepathy Luke uses to contact Leia (the audience could not hear his voice on the Falcon, after all), but something much, much louder.
#1 is appealing, but flawed. Lando clearly knows all the arrivals, departures, and goings-on at Cloud City. If the Emperor was there, he’d have known it. And if he knew it, he’d have appealed to the Emperor directly when Vader unilaterally changed the terms of their deal. That’s not the sort of stunt you can pull when the boss is literally right down the hall.
#3 also has a certain poetry to it. But again, it’s flawed. A force yell of that magnitude would have deafened people between the Emperor and the chasm. And yet people on the Falcon, and on Vader’s Star Destroyer, are later shown talking to and understanding each other, even when their backs are turned. No, much as a force yell would round out the spiritual aspect of the force, it did not happen here. That’s not to say the force yell could not be a real thing, but for that, we must still wait, and hope.
This leaves us with #2. Vader was talking to the Emperor’s hologram at the other end of the bridge, before the last round of the fight started. There are two possible times Vader could have had a brief opportunity to talk to the Emperor’s hologram: before the scene where Vader blows Luke out the window, or after. To start up a call with the boss at such a critical time must have meant he had an important question that could not wait.
If it was before he blew Luke out the window, the question was clearly “Can I fight him two-handed now?” because right when Luke comes in, Vader makes the big show about fighting him two-handed. If it was after Luke went out the window, the question was clearly “Can I tell him I’m his father?”. But here’s the thing: Vader never ended the call – the hologram was still hanging out and watching, otherwise it wouldn’t have screamed when Luke fell. So it clearly could not have been before Luke got blown out the window, or else he (and we) would have seen the Emperor’s hologram when he was inside.
So after Luke’s out the window and struggling to climb back onto the catwalk, THAT’S when Vader makes the call to the Emperor. When Luke tries to re-enter the building, Vader reacts with the speed of a man with an embarrassing website on his browser (watch that scene again, you’ll see it), and Luke never sees the hologram.
So what does this tell us? Vader sought and got permission to tell Luke all of those things at the end of the bridge, and that the Emperor was watching the whole thing. So after Vader said they could join forces to overthrow the Emperor and rule the galaxy together, the scream allows the audience to know this critical fact (sit down for this one):
Vader was being dishonest. Ergo, Vader is actually… a bad guy! Think about this: how else would you have known this? Like Greedo shooting first, sometimes the audience needs these little cues to keep the heroes and villains straight.
And THAT’S why the Emperor’s scream was so brilliant, and why it was heartening to hear that, like all Special Edition changes, it was how Lucas planned the movie to be all along, but simply lacked the technology at the time to do it (in this case, the technological issue was that they hadn’t yet cast Ian McDiarmid, so his voice wouldn’t match the other holographic Emperor, and one thing I know Lucas would never stoop to is using two completely different voices or faces for the same character in the same film, so they obviously had to wait).
Although I am puzzled and disappointed that they removed it later.
The 93 masters certainly marked the beginning of that purplish, red-faced cast covering everything that affected most Star Wars releases from that point forward.
I am always delighted when I can re-post this image and it’s actually topical.
Edited a couple ancient posts as some Ackbar images hotlinked to circa ten years ago now are broken, and lead to a site that isn’t about SW anymore and is triggering virus warnings for some users. Hopefully fixed now!
I guess it really was a trap!
Ben Burtt did a new mix which was a amalgamation of previous mixes, according to the notes included with the Laserdisc.
He also added more oomph in explosions etc.
“New” in this case means “new in 1993, and still relatively new in 1995”. There’s some minor differences even between different releases of the 93 mix, due to the variability of creating home video masters at the time. Any differences in a 95 release are of the same sort and degree.
IMO 1.6 is the way to go, entirely because of the color grading. Others will almost certainly have different opinions.
Shopping Maul said:
This will sound crazy but I just had the most bizarre flashback whilst watching TESB last night. I remembered (after 40 years!) that when I first saw TESB in the theatre and ‘Star Wars’ flashed up on the screen, I thought there had been a mistake and the cinema had accidentally loaded the first film into the projector. Of course the ‘Episode V’ thing followed and all was well.
It’s ironic given that we’ve been discussing the confusion of not having episode titles post-TESB but for me, however briefly, it was the episode title thing that threw me. Did anyone else have this experience?
I had the reverse experience. Star Wars didn’t throw me, but “Episode V” had me thinking I was watching the wrong movie, until “The Empire Strikes Back” came onscreen and all was well. Eventually I just retconned the weirdly high episode number into my Star Wars world and figured Episodes II through IV were left intentionally blank for fans to imagine things that happened between Star Wars and Empire. I didn’t realize Star Wars had been retitled Episode IV until I saw it on home video, long after seeing Empire.
It turns out I was not able to get either of the pre-97 Turkish dubs into a state where I wanted to replace the existing despecialized dubs. The theatrical dub, as mentioned before, was cool but pretty crazy and not quite the Star Wars experience. The Show TV 1993 dubs were also not something I decided I wanted to use, for different reasons. The Star Wars audio had been mixed with SE audio before I got it, presumably in an attempt to sync it and/or improve the audio quality, the Jedi audio was mostly okay but had some terrible moments, and Empire was so bad (audio quality) I didn’t bother to try syncing it.
However, I was able to use the Show TV dubs to further despecialize my existing Turkish dubs. Two “stormtrooper voices” scenes in Star Wars, the “Look sir, droids!” and the “Check the other side of the street. It’s locked.” scene – I could swap out the voices without really affecting anything since the voices were one-offs anyway, and also remove Special Edition music and sound effects at the same time, so that’s what I did. In Empire, I swapped in the Vader-Emperor dialogue from the 1993 dub, and now at least Vader’s speaking in Turkish now, if unfortunately in another actor’s voice. Also, the audio quality drops quite noticeably in that scene, but the goal wasn’t to make it seamless, it was just to get rid of that section being in English.
So the Turkish trilogy dub I’m sharing is still the same despecialized dub I’ve been sharing, just with a couple edits so that it’s all in Turkish now – let me know if you need a link. I also currently have the theatrical dub and the 93 Show TV dubs (SW and ROTJ only) synced for anyone who’s interested, but I likely won’t hold onto either of them very long, since I generally only keep one dub per language, and I personally favor the despecialized ones.