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DavidMDaut

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9-Mar-2018
Last activity
22-Sep-2020
Posts
68

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Post
#1371967
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

For what it’s worth, the 70mm print of Star Wars screened publicly at the Academy last year was said to have been given special authorization by George Lucas, which corroborates Pablo’s inferred statement. You are correct that no one has directly said in absolute terms that George Lucas is the one preventing the release of these films, but it’s been so heavily implied and talked around that there’s no real reason to assume anything different. We can only speculate as to the “why,” but the “who” is pretty clear. It’s George Lucas. It’s always been George Lucas. He doesn’t want them released and the current rights holders are either unable (less likely, in my opinion) or unwilling (more likely) to go against those wishes.

Post
#1369889
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

act on instinct said:

I think there’s some sour grapes on here because we don’t have access to Legacy, but this is more than a decade of work and it has been a labor of love, I’m not comfortable brushing aside all that dedication and effort as MV just doing whatever he wants, he could really be much less considerate if it was the case that he was exclusively altering to personal taste.

Speaking only for myself, this isn’t a case of sour grapes. I’m very happy with version 1.0 of 4K77, and the improvements being worked on for 2.0 just push it over the top. No, the reason I’m down on Verta is because he’s courted this cult of personality surrounding himself predicated on this hypothetically perfect preservation of Star Wars that, after all these years, he still has almost nothing to show from it. Further, what little he has shown, it seems clear that he is grossly misrepresenting the process used to achieve those results (I’m trying very hard not to use the word “lie”). I’m just very exhausted by having to continually pretend that Verta’s Legacy project is worth being discussed in the same conversation as legitimate works of preservation and reconstruction like 4K77 or Despecialized. Or worse, that it is somehow superior to those efforts despite the fact that not a soul on Earth has seen it. If Mike ever sees fit to release this thing, I’m more than happy to evaluate it on its own merits. I look forward to having that conversation in the year 2086. In the meantime, I wish we could all move on and stop hailing as a hero the guy selling something that, at this point, might just be snake oil.

Post
#1369495
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

My point is merely that if Disney really wanted to release the original films they’d have done it by now. As people inside Lucasfilm have indicated, the primary obstacle to an official release is Lucas’s wishes. Some have interpreted that to mean it’s a contractual obligation; I find that unlikely. I think it’s simply a calculated trade-off.

Whatever Disney estimates they could earn from a release isn’t worth losing having Lucas in good (enough) graces to occasionally show up for the opening ceremony of a new theme park land or maybe drop in at Star Wars Celebration. In other words, they’re willing to risk alienating him over the direction of VII, VIII, and IX, but not on a home video release of the original movies. To me, that says all that needs to be said about how Disney estimates their value.

Post
#1369473
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

44rh1n said:

And the home video market is nowhere near dead. What a strange thing to say. It’s pivoted to digitally-owned movies, sure. But dead? No way. In fact, it’s stronger than ever.

A lot of stories came out last year about how the home video market topped $25 billion. I’m guessing that’s what you’re referring to. It’s important to note, though, that the vast majority of that is in subscriptions to streaming services. Digital sales are rising, but not enough to offset the decline in purchases overall which dropped over 9% from 2018 and only accounted for $6 billion out of the aforementioned $25 billion (disc sales barely topped $3 billion).

https://variety.com/2020/digital/news/2019-us-home-entertainment-market-25-billion-1203463878/

At this point, the motivation to release the original films would lie solely in courting new subscribers to Disney+. The question, then, is how many new subscribers would they actually attract that hadn’t already signed up for the existing versions of the Star Wars movies or The Mandalorian or The Clone Wars, and is that enough to justify the cost of restoring the original films and potentially invoking the wrath of George Lucas? The answer, as ever, is probably not.

Post
#1369421
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

We always circle back to this argument and the conclusion is always the same: there’s far less incentive for Disney to release the unaltered original trilogy than fans estimate (the home video market is effectively dead and the number of people who know or care enough to seek out the original versions of these movies are diminishing by the day). Combine that with an internal reluctance at Lucasfilm to go against Lucas’s wishes for these movies, and there’s not really any plausible reality in which these movies are released anytime soon.

The good news, though, is projects like Despecialized and 4K77 exist and account for virtually every taste. Want something that feels like a modern home video release? Despecialized’s got you. Want a more true, warts-and-all preservation? Great! There’s 4K77. Sure, an official release would be nice, but I suspect I’d still opt for 4K77 even in that hypothetical scenario because I just don’t see Disney offering up a true preservation like that to modern audiences.

Anyway, as for Verta, do we have receipts that he ever actually met with Disney/Fox? Wouldn’t be the first time he’s, uh, shall we say, told stories from “a certain point of view.”

Post
#1311108
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

DrDre said:

Not really I think, but they just don’t care like 95% of the world. The OOT has zero relevance for them financially, and as others pointed out Disney is already known for being revisionist. So, the combination of a lack of commitment to preserving classic films in their original form, Lucas’ desire to suppress them, and a diminishing demand for the original versions, makes it highly unlikely they will ever be released again.

Hit the nail on the head. Physical media is gasping out its dying breath. We’ve reached a point where most consumers don’t realize there’re now greater than five distinct versions of this film, and even among those who are aware, the versions they can stream for “free” on Disney+ are considered “good enough.”

We are a niche within a niche. 15 years ago during the height of the DVD boom a release of the OOT could have been a big deal, but not so much now. From a cynical corporate bottom line perspective, any money there’d be in releasing the original films on UHD discs isn’t enough to be worth losing whatever benefits Disney gets from staying in Lucas’s good graces. And yeah, I do believe that a lot of the leadership at Lucasfilm feels a strong personal sense of loyalty to the guy and aren’t in any hurry to betray that.

Also, if we’re being fully frank here, any official release of the films is unlikely to be as faithful to the original as the 4K77 project, and if that particular preservation’s not your jam there are, like, half a dozen others to choose from. It’d be nice to have a widely available official release, but too few people care, and for those of us who do, we’ve got options. Maybe things might be different after Lucas is gone, but I for one am not hoping for that any time soon, so for now I’m content with excellent fan preservations and an official version that – though it still contains the unsavory alterations – looks better than basically any other official release to date.

Post
#1305021
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

FreezingTNT2 said:

I think it’s because if they change any of the Special Edition changes, then they’d have to change/rewrite parts of the current Star Wars canon too.

Back when his Twitter was still public, Pablo Hidalgo addressed the issue of the Special Editions as they relate to canon a few times. Basically, the way the Story Group sees it, all that matters for “canon” (i.e., what other storytellers are beholden to) is that Han and Greedo met in the cantina and Greedo died. The exact specifics of who shot first don’t really matter, at least from a canon perspective.

I also get the impression that a lot of folks at Lucasfilm would love to see the original versions released, but they don’t want to thumb their noses at Lucas’s clearly and repeatedly stated desire to have the revised versions be the only ones widely available.

Post
#1304987
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> Discussion Thread - * <em><strong>SPOILERS</strong></em> *
Time

Scientist working with Werner Herzog is in some way connected to Kamino. Wild, probably wrong theory time: were the remnants of the Empire (precursor to the First Order) trying to clone Palpatine? Perhaps they needed to harvest midi-chlorians from another source?

Or maybe the yadpole itself is a clone (though, of course, I prefer to think Yoda and Yaddle got it on, and that’s why Yaddle left the council).

https://twitter.com/NumidianPrime/status/1194476747485536257?s=20

Post
#1304588
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

I can’t confirm this personally, but I’ve seen a couple people mention that on Pablo Hidalgo’s now private Twitter, he said the latest Greedo change did come from George Lucas himself when they started work on the 4K restoration.

Grain of salt, of course, but that makes more sense than LFL/Disney deciding to arbitrarily make one more weird change without his input.

Post
#1298907
Topic
Blu-Ray and other HD box size STAR WARS covers
Time

DavidMDaut said:

Took a stab at making a set of Blu-ray slipcovers for all eight saga films. I decided to use the sequel trilogy title aesthetic (Serif Gothic) to have a consistent look on the spines, while using the original title treatments and teaser poster artwork on the cover. I haven’t gotten around to designing a back cover yet, but here’s what I’ve got so far:

Star Wars Blu-ray

Empire Blu-ray

Jedi Blu-ray

Phantom Menace Blu-ray

Clones Blu-ray

Sith Blu-ray

Force Awakens Blu-ray

Last Jedi Blu-ray

And here’s The Rise of Skywalker to round out the set.

Skywalker Blu-ray

Along with the complete set of spines.

New Spines

Post
#1298753
Topic
STAR WARS: REBELS (animated tv series) - general discussion thread
Time

I can’t imagine they got McDiarmid to redub (and match the animated lip sync) on six seasons of The Clone Wars. Plus, with how highly Dave Filoni has spoken of the late Ian Abercrombie in the role, I don’t believe he’d go along with erasing that performance.

As far as changes go, this was a pretty “easy” one to make. It’s a single scene, there’s no lip sync to match, and they can even go get Witwer’s blessing if they felt so inclined. It also makes it match up better with Palpatine’s later appearance in Season Four. I don’t love it, but I also understand the inclination to do this.

EDIT: What I could see, though, is them getting McDiarmid to voice Palpatine for the upcoming final batch of Clone Wars episodes coming to Disney+. If they already got him in the booth for that, it’d be easy enough to have him read this one scene from Rebels.

Post
#1298744
Topic
STAR WARS: REBELS (animated tv series) - general discussion thread
Time

Tobar said:

They’ve redubbed the Emperor with Ian McDiarmid for The Siege of Lothal

Huh. Presumably this is for Disney+?

Obviously no one sounds as much like Ian McDiarmid as Ian McDiarmid, but I think I actually prefer Witwer’s line delivery.

Anyway, chalk one more up in the pro column for physical media. Glad I picked up Rebels on Blu. Frustrating that we’re still dealing with Star Wars tinkering even post-Lucas.

Post
#1297582
Topic
The Phantom Menace - Theatrical version scanned in 4K (a WIP)
Time

ZigZig said:

Actually, it is quite the opposite for me. I didn’t like the movie after the first viewing, but I began to understand what GL tried (and I began to appreciate it) after repeat viewings and a few days of reflection.

Time has been kind to The Phantom Menace, at least compared to the other two prequel movies. I still don’t love it, but I appreciate it way more than I used to. It feels the most like a work of sincere (if sometimes misguided) passion and the higher ratio of practical effects worth and film-based photography means it looks substantially better than its peers in that trilogy (just don’t watch the blu-ray version that has been scrubbed of all texture).

Post
#1296274
Topic
<em><strong>Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge</strong></em> (Disney Theme Park)
Time

captainsolo said:

I think that as said above the distinct lack of energy and vibrancy is a major problem. The thought of going to a park which is teeming with life/activity/droids/scum and villainy like a real spaceport is MUCH more like it.

While I fundamentally disagree on the issue of content as it relates to the sequel trilogy, the lack of energy is a fair criticism, and unfortunately comes down to a lot of eleventh hour budget cuts imposed by the current president of Disney Parks. There were plans for autonomous roaming droids, stunt shows, and more characters and creatures populating the land, but Bob Chapek – who has quickly gained a reputation as something of a miser – pulled the ripcord and refused to hire the performers necessary to fill these roles.

The most frustrating thing is that the infrastructure is all there in plain sight in the land, it’s just not being used. There are stages and performance spaces around just about every corner of the outpost, there are props and set pieces placed conspicuously close to doorways that hide the beacons that would have told the droids areas to avoid. The grand opening press event in California featured one of the stunt shows that has yet to materialize for the general public, and similarly the opening in Florida featured a full Hondo Ohnaka walk-around character costume that – again – has not shown up since then. There’s all of this stuff that they spent the time and money to develop and have basically ready to go, but none of it’s online because the guy holding the purse strings is too cheap to hire performers.

Post
#1293823
Topic
<em><strong>Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge</strong></em> (Disney Theme Park)
Time

Biggs Audio Dynamite said:

I imagine it will be super expensive, yet worth it if you have that kind of money!

There’s a report going around quoting $3,300 for the full three-day experience for a single occupancy cabin or $7,200 for a cabin with five passengers. Keep in mind, though, that even if these reports are accurate to what’s currently being discussed (dubious), we’re at least a year and probably a recession away from this thing opening. Nothing is set in stone yet.

Also worth noting is, despite being commonly referred to as a hotel, this will be more like “what if Sleep No More was on a cruise ship?”, so expect pricing closer to a cruise than a typical hotel.

Post
#1291776
Topic
The Chronological Star Wars – A Year-Long Critical Reappraisal
Time

Now that we’ve made it through the prequels and Solo, I’m back in cartoon mode until (checks calendar) October. I know that doesn’t carry as much interest as the films do around here, but I thought I’d share my piece on Star Wars Rebels’ first season either way.

After Lucas left, the future of Star Wars was uncertain. Still dealing with the fallout from a decade backlash against the prequels, the series needed a renewed statement of intent. Star Wars Rebels became just that, appealing to nostalgia for the original films while at once working to unite Lucas’s two trilogies into an inseparable whole and lay the ground work for the future of Star Wars stories.

This show is one that means a lot to me, and as such this is probably the most sentimental this series is going to get. Anyway, you can read it here if you’re into that. Enjoy!