Fascinated by this. That the listing indicates it’s been in someone’s private collection for thirty-some-odd years is the most intriguing wrinkle. Seller also has a listing for original studio masters of Jackson’s Dangerous. Could this be stuff that was liquidated from the Neverland Ranch sale?
Dek Rollins said:
The epilogue text was changed for the 1978 reissue if I remember correctly. So if the prints you saw weren’t 1973 prints the text would’ve already been changed.
Ah! Had no idea. Interesting.
Wasn’t some of the text at the end about the character’s fates altered slightly to sync up with the sequel though?
Not that I’m aware. I’ve seen it on 35mm twice fairly recently (as in pre-pandemic), and I don’t recall the epilogue text being any different.
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.
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.
In other words, it’s an elaborate fan-edit, only this one he isn’t sharing it–not in its entirety, anyway.
That is probably the most charitable way to describe it.
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.
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).
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.
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.”
I’ll give it a shot and report back! Could’ve just been a hiccup in the download.
Thanks so much for putting in the time to do this! Not sure if something went wrong with the download, but I’m not able to get it to play past 00:27:30. Video stops in both VLC and mpv. Anyone else having similar issues?
A few years ago Pablo Hidalgo ran a poll on Twitter asking people whether they thought Sith took place over days or months. The vote was split 50/50. The correct answer is days. He said it was the only movie where Lucas was ever super specific about the timeline of events.
Then we have to GET people to care. I’m never giving up.
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.
I think I remember it being said that this is set about five years after Return of the Jedi, so about four years after Jakku. Plenty of time for word to get out.
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.
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).
Another thing worth noting: the Warner Bros. logo was dropped from The Clone Wars movie, though they’re still using the version of the Lucasfilm logo that was on the original release.
I feel like it’s important to agree on some terminology here.
I submit for your consideration: yadpole.
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.
Not sure if this has already been discussed elsewhere, but the first six movies open with the '94 version of the 20th Century Fox title and the 2015 version of the Lucasfilm logo, but otherwise seem identical to the 2011 release.
EDIT: ChainsawAsh beat me to it.
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:
And here’s The Rise of Skywalker to round out the set.
Along with the complete set of spines.
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.
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.
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).