As a kid, I would rent an OT film from the video store every single Friday for years. I took an extended break for most of the 2010s, only rewatching my old GOUT DVDs a few months before TFA came out. But, after discovering Harmy’s work last year, I’ve had a renewed interest in the series, so I’ll probably go back to watching the OT at least once a year going forward.
The 1997 versions were what my family rented from the video store when I was a kid, so I do have a lot of nostalgia for those versions of the films. Since they never made the jump to DVD, despite supposedly being George’s “final cuts,” they now exist in this awkward limbo state, and will likely keep on fading into obscurity, but I’d definitely like to see them preserved in some form as a sort of curiosity. Because, despite the many poor decisions George made with them, they were a landmark in the history of the franchise, for better or worse.
If you were trying to create a radical fan edit of the OT where Han turns out to be Force sensitive, then you could use him dodging Greedo’s shot as an early clue to his Jedi-like reflexes. Of course, Han having the Force is the only way I can make sense of his point-blank dodge to begin with, cause there’s no way a non-Force user could dodge like that.
You know, I remember seeing both versions of this scene (the original and the 1997 version) as a kid, and I recall being very confused by the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it exchange of blaster fire that had been added. It happened so fast and looked so janky, I couldn’t really tell what was going on in that split second.
George is the worst fan editor of all time.
He should come on this forum under an alias and have some fun… compete on merit alone… 😃
He could already be here. You never know. He could be any one of us…
It’s that lack of availability that makes me want to spread the word about fan preservations as much as I can to my friends and family. This weekend, my family will be watching the Despecialized trilogy for the first time. None of them have even seen the unaltered versions since they were in the theater, and I’m very excited to make those available to them again. I would be very happy to see some official release at some point, but after all this time, I’ve resigned myself to the reality that fan restorations will always be our only decent option.
It seems so counterproductive not to restore and release them. Doing that would be hugely profitable and produce a lot of fan goodwill towards Lucasfilm. But it seems that George was firm in his demands, and I doubt Disney has any interest in releasing a “non-canon” version of the trilogy alongside their current version.
You know, I’m kind of bummed they never developed Huttese into a fully fledged language like Elvish or Klingon. Would be fun to bust out at parties.
Of course, when Harmy’s 3.0 versions of Despecialized are released, those will almost definitely become my definitive versions of the OT films. From what glimpses he’s shown so far, it looks like they’ll be the perfect blend of polish and authenticity.
The Force has gotten way too overpowered. They needed to place a ceiling on the extent of Force powers at some point, but they just never did, and now it’s gone far beyond what should be possible. I could let Force Lightning slide if it was rare and only something the most powerful Dark siders could use, but stuff like Force speed and Force item teleportation is just too much.
Also, I’ve realized that ESB is the only Star Wars film to end with a shot in space. (Except for Solo, maybe? I’d have to rewatch that to be sure.)
Add Shmi’s grave to the background of shots of the Lars homestead.
Add the hyperspace effect outside the cockpit during Han and Leia’s conversation on their way to Yavin IV.
Add Vader’s TIE fighter jumping into hyperspace after the first Death Star’s destruction.
Carry the changes made to Cloud City’s windows over to every shot that features those windows, so they’re not inconsistent anymore.
Add Kashyyyk to the celebration montage at the end of RotJ.
It’s cool seeing Coruscant and other planets reacting to the outcome, though it doesn’t quite make sense except maybe as a montage of planets being liberated over time rather than immediately. The capital of the Empire shouldn’t have switched over to the Alliance that quickly.
As of now, the most recent version of ANH is v2.7, ESB is up to v2.0, and RotJ is at v2.5. Harmy is currently working on version 3.0 of the trilogy, but that will take quite a while to finish.
The more I think about RotJ, the more I think that this is actually believable, even if Jabba isn’t literally living with his parents. As far as we know, Jabba may not have any actual power in the galaxy. Maybe he’s just been set up for life by his wealthy family, who have given him his own desert hangout and enough spare money to give him the illusion of real power.
It’s hard to say goodbye to a legend like this. His performance helped make Vader the immortal icon he is today, and left a powerful impression on me as a child, and on many others. He had such immense presence everytime he was onscreen, so that every moment was memorable, and that no doubt led to Vader being my favorite character. Prowse was very often underappreciated for his role, sadly, so I hope he’ll now be given due honor as people say goodbye to him and remember how important he was to the trilogy.
That gif is terrifying, but…an apt visual description of Disney’s behavior. I wish Alan Dean Foster the best and I hope he gets his due as soon as possible. If Disney gets away with this, then that will set a dangerous precedent for companies going forward.
I second sade’s recommendation. The D+xx projects are your best option currently if you want a polished version of the trilogy that cuts out the most distracting changes while leaving in some of the subtle improvements (like the removal of the orange blob under the speeder, for example, or the cleaning up of matte lines and fixing of effects gaffes). They use the highest quality sources currently available,so while they’re not the pure authentic experience like Project 4Kxx is, and have been touched up visually, the editing seams should be much less noticeable compared to Despecialized.
I do think a lot of fans are overly harsh on RotJ. It’s my third favorite film in the franchise and will always be a personal favorite of mine when speaking about films in general.
People can always discuss what could’ve been done differently with the film and argue over the validity of different creative decisions, but when you get down to it, it’s a really good movie that does a great job of closing off the trilogy and wrapping up the overarching stories of both the OT and (in hindsight) the prequels.
I’m not a strict purist, so I don’t mind the idea of older films being tweaked or visually polished in small ways, but most of the SE changes are distracting and actively detrimental to the films, for no good reason. The added effects have aged poorly, for the most part, and are poorly integrated into the films. Not to mention, I resent the fact that they’ve been presented as the only, “true” versions of the films rather than just alternate variations.
I’m content with fan preservations from now on, for sure.
It looks fantastic. Colors are so much better, and the image clarity is great. I can’t wait to see how the first two movies turn out. You guys are doing amazing work.
Lapti nek is just so catchy to me. It’s a goofy scene, but it doesn’t take you out of the experience, while Jedi Rocks feels practically fourth-wall breaking. And Lapti nek is just plain a better-sounding, more believable song in the Star Wars setting. I can live with most other Special Edition changes, but Jedi Rocks is a deal-breaker for me. Lapti nek deserves to be preserved.
The radio drama adaptations are probably the closest we’ll ever get to what an “extended edition” of the trilogy would be like. It’s a neat concept to imagine those in movie form, but ultimately, the films are better off in their trimmed down state. ANH, in particular, is a very tightly paced film (except for the Jabba scene), and does an amazing job of telling a strong story in under 2 hours. Adding a lot of previously scrapped content into the film would likely only make it less effective.
I have the Despecialized Editions on Blu-ray, and love watching them as my go-to versions of the films. But I am also very impressed with D+77, and those new versions might replace the Despecialized as my default for future re-watches.
I almost always call it just A New Hope in discussions, regardless of which version I’m talking about, just for simplicity’s sake and to distinguish between the film and the franchise as a whole. Though sometimes, talking with my parents, I’ll call it “the first one” or “the original” since they grew up not knowing the subtitle.
I kind of like “A New Hope,” because of how the titles of the OT mirror the titles of the prequels. Episodes I and IV both have a title referring to an emerging individual who will bring about change in the galaxy. Episodes II and V both refer to an attacking army or military power. And Episodes III and VI both refer to the back-and-forth shift in power between Sith and Jedi.
I’m forever glad.
Meaning my childhood is locked in a happy - and not bittersweet - party on a forest moon.
Same, man. Same.
Kasdan seemed oddly intent on killing off characters. I know he also suggested killing off Luke and having Leia take his place. It seemed he was really after a darker vision of Star Wars than what Lucas wanted. I do think Han and Leia should’ve had more of their own story going on, but ultimately, it was the better choice to have the main cast survive. After all the struggles and character separation of ESB, it was satisfying to watch all the heroes coming together and succeeding.
I’m interested to see how this turns out. It’s a really neat idea that had never occurred to me before. All this time, Lucasfilm has been trying to “modernize” the aesthetic of the OT and scrub away any filmic qualities until it’s totally synthetic looking. But really, the better option might be adding a “retro” aesthetic to the PT. Best of luck on the project, if you’re continuing.
How prominent is the noise/grain with the upscale? Would you say it’s visually distracting? I was looking up the Topaz AI program, and the results seem impressive, so I was thinking of buying the software myself to upscale some of my old DVDs. Would you recommend it?