I’ll be that guy. Because, in many ways, I AM that guy.
Wow, that was quite a long read but I agree with pretty much all of it. Anyway, here’s my novel:
The issue here wasn’t so much as to whether or not 4K77 met the quality standards of this particular individual, it was that this person pretty much went out of their way to discredit any notion of there ever being any way to watch the original cuts at all in any respectable quality and when confronted with any conflicting evidence or contrarian suggestions, he would act as if I was bullshitting him that any kind of 35mm based fan preservation existed or that such an effort was even possible until I pounded him over the head with screenshots and video clips. He tried to dismiss as “laserdisc upscales” until I finally posted a link to the actual project page. He still went out of his way to pick apart anything he could about it such as select frames from the Blu-ray having to be used as fill-ins, just so he could hold onto and push the idea that the original cuts are lost forever in any kind of watchable quality. He didn’t seem to care one way or the other as to whether or not the original versions are ever available in any capacity of if 4K77 looked good or not, he just seemed to enjoy rubbing salt into the wounds of people who do care by saying that it will never happen and that they are gone forever. He’s one of those people. He wanted to discredit fan efforts in any way that he could because it didn’t fit with his narrative.
The originating comment that I first replied to was in response to a speculative thread about the likelihood of whether or not Disney/Lucasfilm would ever actually release high quality restorations of the original cuts in any capacity (still not holding my breath on that one) and this person chimed in with a rehash of the official Lucasfilm “the original versions no longer physically exist” jargon that we’ve been fed for years, arguing that there is no usable source material anywhere on earth that could possibly ever be used to restore these versions to an acceptable, modern level of quality and that we were forever stuck with VHS and laserdisc transfers as our only option. It just so happened that I was actually watching 4K77 at the time this popped up in my feed so I took a picture with my phone of the pre SE version of the scene were Han is cornered by stormtroopers while it was playing on my 80" TV, basically just to show that it is in fact possible to watch something better than VHS. I explained that this was a 4K fan preservation sourced predominantly from 35mm release print materials and that while not perfect or “end all, be all” by any means, It still demonstrates that a competent restoration can be done of these films given the right tools, time, dedication and availability of materials. I also stated that Lucasfilm almost certainly has better resources to do this with were they ever to embark on a restoration themselves.
These 2 guys were just not having it. As the conversation went on, I don’t think either of them were even interested in what the quality of 4K77 was like, they just wanted to discredit any idea I suggested of an official restoration ever being possible. The first guy suggested I was watching a VHS even though I was quite clear about what it was in my comment. My phone camera may not be top of the line but it is quite clear from looking at my pic that it was no VHS. After a brief back and forth, the first guy blocked me after I shot down all of his incorrect assumptions and he ran out of condescending remarks to come at me with. The 2nd guy to reply to me was actually the poster of the originating comment that I responded to. Basically the same deal. The originals are gone forever, Rah Rah Rah. There will never be anything better available than VHS or laserdisc, Rah Rah Rah. The same exchange as the first guy pretty much follows. I show him screen grabs of 4K77 to which he tries to dismiss as laserdisc upscales, followed by a bunch of condescending remarks that I’m basically and idiot and have no idea what I’m talking about and he knows better becuase he worked in the industry, Rah Rah Rah. I then send him clip after clip of 4K77 followed by a link to the project page, and he still continues on with the narrative that 4K77 is nothing and that Lucasfilm would never be able to do better than the existing Laserdiscs or VHS. That any usable elements are gone or destroyed forever.
I’ve encountered many people like this from within the Star Wars fandom which is why I seldom even participate in discussions of the franchise outside of this forum. These are the type of people who act like if you don’t worship George Lucas, kiss his butt at all times and accept everything he’s ever said or done unequivocally then you’re a bad fan. That we’re wrong for wanting the option to watch anything other than whatever George’s preferred flavor of the month version is.