I just hate it when I move my action figures by quarter of a millimeter when dusting the shelves. There goes an hour spent on getting it all back to how it was. Those perfect poses, those angles…
Yes, the acting is undeniably stiff in the prequels. As far as I know, Lucas would often be satisfied with how his actors performed in a shot or scene after just one or two takes, giving them little real direction (at times none, as has been revealed in some interviews with the cast) or giving them little to no chance of bringing in some of their own ideas and takes on their characters. He is just a visual director first. That’s how he works.
But the fact is, the prequels were never designed to be the kind of space adventure that the OT was. They were mainly designed to allow for the new CGI technology to present itself on the silver screen in a spectacular new way while story-wise they focused more on world-building, exploring/explaining the Force, the political structure and inner-workings of the whole SW universe. The movies greatly expanded on it through an incredible amount of amazing visuals (rather than amazing characters) giving us background and facts on the creation of the Empire instead of following a group of heroes on a journey to defeat it one day.
It seems like in the PT Lucas used the actors/characters more as just tools necessary to show us all those grand visual ideas he’d been holding at the back of his mind but could never truly realize before. That and the fact that much of the charm of the OT came from the miraculous casting job done for the first film. With his not-so-great directing skills, I believe Lucas just got lucky to have brought together that amazing main trio of actors and then have all the sensible writing and directing assistance later with TESB (especially from Kershner, a great character director) and TRotJ. I can’t imagine how any of the other candidates for those three roles would have been able to bring us that magical chemistry between the characters.
It was obviously not gonna happen again with the PT. And the whole story was going to have a very different feel to it. There’d be spectacular action, fun and excitement. The fun just wouldn’t come from the main characters nearly as much as it did in the OT.
However, what happens to them in the TPM still matters to me and I agree that the Duel of the Fates is a work of genius. The payoff is incredibly satisfying at the end of TPM no matter the flaws that precede it.
But yeah, even though TPM and the other two prequels were planned as a different kind of story from the beginning, there’s no excuse for how some of the dialogue is delivered in the film. All it took was to tell the actors to cheer up a bit and act more interested and engaged. Oh, well. Still my favorite SW film.
I like the prequels a lot. In fact, the more I watch them, the more I like them. Especially after the Disney trilogy (which I do NOT hate btw. Imagine someone actually hating a movie, … A MOVIE 😄 What a pathetic individual that must be. Save such deeply negative feelings for the people and situations that truly deserve them, not a piece of entertainment you don’t like because it’s not what you wanted it to be).
TPM is my favorite of the prequels. Yes, it has its problems and most of the film’s fans are quite aware of them, to a lesser or greater degree.
GL isn’t exactly the greatest director of human actors (he’s better with purely CGI ones - YES, Jar Jar actually has more personality than almost any other character in the film), the dialogue he writes is sometimes weak even for the purpose of his idea of a story that is told mainly through its visuals. And some of those visual ideas can at times come off as a bit too wacky, over the top or even cringeworthy (before you get used to them and eventually get to like them).
And yet, he was able to create the most fascinating, rich and immersive universe by combining known mythological, sci-fi and fantasy themes and ideas with his own vision into this unique world of Star Wars. The world/universe full of the weirdest creatures you’ve ever seen, where the old fairytale-like struggle between good and evil takes place (in a story that actually has a lot more to say than the seemingly simple message on its surface).
I must give GL credit for creating something so imaginative, cool and deep that it has been able to fascinate and grab the interest of so many people of all ages, of many different intellects, professions, religions, etc. and maintain that interest for such a long time.
Even now, with its dated CGI, TPM immediately takes me back to the galaxy far far away anytime I watch it and leaves me with more impression than almost any other modern blockbuster.
For sure, the prequels have their own vibe and atmosphere, very different from the OT and yet so good in their own right. GL introduced us to this new and at the time not-so-perfect CGI technology (which he used in fascinating new ways and also overused, but still - it’s a rather uniform visual style and much of the the uniqueness of the prequels comes from how all those digital backgrounds, CGI creatures, vehicles and sets create this colorful, other-worldly atmosphere of the prequels’ galaxy. Just think about it - with the prequels we were introduced to so many fascinating new worlds, locations, spacecraft and aliens, all of them expanding upon everything that had been established in the OT. Greatly expanding the universe and its mythology.
If the Disney trilogy failed to do one thing it was to let us discover new interesting worlds and capture our imagination the way GL did with his six movies. Always expanding his already rich galaxy in truly imaginative ways, bringing in more interesting and fascinating worlds, aliens and beautiful images overall. His CGI may not hold up to today’s standards but the visual ideas he provided us with are so much more interesting and vivid than the boring environments, aliens, costumes, etc. brought on by the sequels. Maybe it’s because those films were trying so desperately to mimic the OT’s atmosphere that they eventually became almost parodies if it. Plus they had no well thought out story arc and were throwing in ideas on the go
instead of having a good idea about where the story and the characters would go. TPM on the other hand is part of a coherent trilogy of films with a story that felt complete. Not all of it was super interesting (hi, how about an official release of the IMAX cut of AOTC?, gimme please), but at least I knew what and why was going on and felt it was ok if not always perfect.
And no, by introducing new imaginative ideas and images I do not mean images of Lea flying around in open space. We’re not making a parody, we’re expanding upon a well established universe. (coming from a person who actually likes TLJ best out of the sequels).
My recommendation right now would definitely be 4k77 or Silver Screen Edition v1.6, 4k83 and the official 2020 FHD or 4K blu-ray (or D+) for ESB. That is until 4k80 is released. Then it’ll most probably be all the project 4kXX preservations only.
Anyway, these are the only really watchable versions right now, in my opinion. I also prefer the original 4k77 v1.0 and 4k83 v1.0 as basically all the other versions released by fans tend to fix one problematic scene/shot while messing up many others at the same time.
I have kinda accepted the official blu-ray for what it is and can somewhat enjoy watching the film in this form, even with the Wax Wars faces and ugly color changes (even subtle color changes can disturb the original atmosphere of the film’s wonderful locations and the uniformity of the film’s original visual style. Tatooine for example is like a whole different place in the Theatrical version and I like its original colors much better).
However, the moment those super blurry extended scenes/shots start presenting themselves in all their ugliness, I have to stop watching or skip an enitre sequence. Some of the most painful ones include the introductions of the podracers or sth like the shot of Anakin saying: “I will, mum. I promise.” as Shmi comes to see him just before the podrace begins.
These totally take me out of the viewing experience and ruin it for me. Their inclusion is even more obvious in the 4K UHD versions be it those on Disney+ or the official physical media. How, in his right mind, did George Lucas ever think that including such visual garbage in a high-definition release of his film was a good idea? The same GL who strives for perfection in his visuals and for a good while kept replacing what he had considered weak special effects with new ones?
Did he not notice how bad and ugly these shots look sticking out like sore thumbs? The one I mentioned above in particular feels like it’s from a compeltely different movie. But there’s a lot more of those in that sequence.
Unlike all the great guys here who are trying hard to preserve the theatrical version of the film in its original length and colors, GL had all the necessary material and resources to provide us with a wonderful, visually uniform high-def release of his favourite SW film back in 2011, something worthy of the new format. But no. A visionary, a man who always pushed the envelope of filmmaking technology and was always ahead of his time during his active career could not give us a decent release of his precious film in the format that he believes in so much and in a way helped to develop as well.
I’ve said it a few times on these threads, the HDR alone is worth the purchase. If you have a TV and disc player capable of playing HDR, go get these discs. If not, then these discs are significant enough to warrant an upgrade to HRD equipment.
Btw, has it not been a known fact that the OT’s HDR isn’t a true HDR?
It’s interesting to note that watching these in the form of properly tone-mapped HDR -> SDR 4k video files provides some really nice images as well.
Not sure what FHD is?
FHD Full HD (1080p)
UHD Ultra HD (4K)
I was asking about the the 2020 FHD blu-rays that came out with the 4k ones. But I guess since those come from the same “new” sources as the 4K versions, the colors, the tighter framing etc. are identical to those of the 4k ones. Minus the higher resolution and HDR ofc.
TPM is a great (and greatly underrated) movie and I support any project that tries to bring us closer to its theatrical presentation. Sadly, we have yet to see a true 4k99 (1080p will more than do), and I hope we will some day. To me, the mood and atmosphere of the film as seen in its original form is something quite different from what we get in all the official releases. Colors, lighting, film grain, the uniformity of image quality throughout the whole thing,… these all play a huge role in how we feel about the story and have a great impact on the mood those movie images evoke in all of us.
Personally, I do not mind the CGI Yoda, but any future projects that attempt to restore TPM from a good theatrical source should definitely retain the puppet as a first choice.
So guys, do the 2020 FHD blu-ray versions of Episodes I- VI have the colors and other visual improvements (I know not always an improvement there) done to the 4K UHD ones? I wonder if getting the 2020 releases just for the 1080p FHD versions makes any difference when compared with the 2011 blu-rays?
This is so awesome. Loving the preservation attempts for the prequels recently.
Am also happy to see all these. Good thing that after the spectacular failure of the sequel trilogy, the sentiment of many regarding the prequels has changed, sometimes as much as going from pure poisonous hate towards some level of appreciation. The more reason to preserve the prequels whose biggest flaw in my eyes is that we simply cannot get them in excellent enough image quality due to the the limitations of the technology available at the time.
Well, this is what I’m seeing. I’m sure it’s not completely just the noise although it does play a role here. The only thing I did is I turned up the monitor’s brightness to make my point clearly visible.
It’s not the best monitor ever, obviously, but it always shows me more detail in dark areas in any movie I watch on it (eg Godzilla BD, The Dark Knight Rises BD which are infamous for their problematic blacks).
Anyway, like I said: a great preservation and a one that I’ll be watching on most occasions. It seems that this loss of detail isn’t significantly noticeable on any other display I have and you guys aren’t seeing anything at all, so it doesn’t matter. Probably just this monitor thing.
Edit: …is it the contrast and the colors doing this??
Guys, I see what you mean. It seems there’s little difference when viewed on my OLED screens but a rather big difference when viewed on my SONY laptop monitor. The display is definitely making the difference very obvious, whatever it is. The player settings / video card settings don’t play a role here, I’m pretty sure of that.
Just an interesting thing to note - I can only enjoy certain BD releases such as Godzilla on this laptop’s screen as I can clearly see all the action in the night scenes on that blu-ray (without changing any video settings) while pretty much everyone I know and their sisters complain about it being super dark. Trying to fix the image through video brightness, gamma, black point and other settings then negatively affects the daytime scenes for them. I don’t need to do that on this screen and both daytime and nighttime scenes look fine. It’s also only this monitor where I always immediately notice the not-yet-so-great encoding done by hevc h265 in most darker areas of image or in the picture’s bokeh areas as well where lots of little detail and fine transitions between shadowy areas vanish into a uniform mud of the same color tone with h265. Sometimes I will even watch sth like a bad mp4 with tons of artifacts on this screen rather than my own bad h265 rip because of this one reason (for my rips using RipBot on default settings only). Again, always super obvious on this laptop’s monitor. I really do see more and longer creases and better defined detail (by slightly higher variation in the dark color tones of the shadowy areas) on Qui-Gon’s robe in cap A even though in terms of sharpness detail the cap is definitely blurrier overall.
Either way, a great preservation and the little problem that I am seeing is not something 99% of people will see or care about. Wish you could see what I’m seeing though.
Yeah, I’m actually seeing less detail in your copy versus Zig’s. Look at Obi-Wan’s furrowed brow - you can see the creases between his eyebrows clearly in Zig’s screencap, but it’s a blur in yours. I’m also not seeing any loss of detail in shadows.
Yes, definitely looks sharper. That’s pretty obvious. I am talking about the dark areas and the shapes, lines hidden within, the definition of the transitions between the folds, wrinkles in Qui-Gonn’s robes in particular as defined by a greater amount of shades between the darkest and the brighter areas on the surface of his robe. On sharpness alone, Zigzig’s one wins big time, but I definitely see more going on on Qui-Gonn’s robe. It looks less like a big area of almost compeltely the same color.
*not an expert on the terminology
Really? I think it is pretty obvious right away, but it may be my monitor’s brightness and colors making it that much more obvious. I know the noise kinda makes it look like there’s more detail but it’s not just the noise alone - still the wrinkles in the robes are much more prominent, better defined, not so much smoothed out (Qui-Gonn’s chest area, especially on the sides and all along where his arms meet the torso, the transition between them). You can see the wrinkles are better defined and I can see their full length while in the bottom picture they seem to have almost vanished into the same shade of the color of Qui-Gonn’s robe.
Don’t get me wrong, your preservation looks great. This is not a smartass picking on your work. It is just something that immediately caught my attention as I started watching the film and I was curious if any smoothing options settings could have made it less obvious. Either way, thanks for all the great work you do as you’re giving us hope of seeing the real TPM (theatrical cut and colors) again and in the best available way right now.
It looks great but why has this version lost so much detail in the shadows? Below is a screencap from a 4.44GB TPM LD file that I have. Someone here on the forums was kind enough to share a link with me and I was finally able to download it. When comparing it with ZigZig’s preservation I immeditalely noticed the loss of much of the shadow detail on the jedi robes, Qui-Gonn’s in particular. Could this be avoided considering the software tools that were used in the process of making the new preservaton?
A busy person, jumping to the last post and asking sth in a hurry. Sorry 'bout that. Good luck getting a new PC and gettin back to normal life asap. I’m not a fan of what most people do when they try to fix SW movies to their liking as they often fix one problem but make lots of other scenes look worse or introduce new problems to non-problematic scenes by tinkering with the image too much. But I must admit those pics of yours look pretty good.
Is there an estimate on when this could be finished?
The best version of TPM we’re going to get is probably a theatrically graded version of emanswfan’s regrain for the 4K blu ray, with the missing elements patched in from this scan, the HDTV broadcast and digital special features.
I do not think regrain can compensate for the Wax Wars loss of detail on people’s faces that has been there since BD and even the much higher resolution in 4k BD/DNP versions does not fix that. I would take a good enough 4K scan of the original with its natural flaws over any regrained / heavily stitched up version made using the official 4K releases as primary source.
I guess we are looking at 1-2 years of wait time before this sees the light of day? The new DNP 4K version of TPM is nice to look at, but again changes the mood/ atmosphere of the whole picture even beyond what the terrible colors of the blu-ray did (the DNP4K being the better one to look at as it actually looks good in HDR 4K, but is sooo far from the original photography as seen in theaters back in 1999).
TPM rly calls for a good 4k scan as it really does look like a movie and even as a story I like it the best out of the prequels. The more I watch it, the more I like it and see what GL was trying to achieve with not just this movie but the whole prequel trilogy. It is still a flawed film in terms of acting/directing and some creative choices made, but my gosh does it work well if u can drop the “OT is the real SW” attitude.
Guys why is there a 136 min vs 142min running time difference between DVD/HDTV and blu-ray? FPS, longer end credits?
Guys, an awesome project. BTW, does anyone happen to still have any functioning and accessible dl links to a good-quality FotR 1080p TE HDTV capture or a 1080p Theatrical Edition BDrip? Could anyone help me? PM? I own all of the EE blu-rays and the FotR TE blu-ray, but they are catching dust back home in my country and as I currently reside in Asia, difficult to dl this stuff here. Can’t even buy the TE blu-rays anywhere here. Most ppl don’t even buy blus here btw, they all just stream movies and video and watch EVERYTHING on their phones only. No understanding for physical copy collectors and digital archives keepers.
So there are two different v1.4s out there? Now I wonder what it is I’ve seen. It’s definitely labeled v1.4 but seems to have so many flaws… o.O
I’ve just watched 4K77 v1.4. It corrects some problematic shots but introduces new problems as well. Slightly crushed blacks on the top of the hair of all three people when Luke is trying to announce his departure from the farm (a problem similar to SSE), a rather dark face of uncle Owen when buying droids from the Jawas. As if he had used some charcoal to conceal himself. Still lots of space for improvement in the future releases.
Tomas Stacewicz said:
I recently watched 4K83 version 1.3 and really enjoyed the color timing and grading which was strikinly beatiful. Return of the Jedi has never looked so great before. Also, the minimal DNR makes a good job creating visible but smaller grain as probably would be expected from a camera negative.
Keep up the good work Team Negative 1!
Tomas, compare 4K83 v1.3 with v1.0 in scenes like Han out of carbonite - see the unnaturally pepper-red face of Han Solo? As I said before, most of the color corrections on the 1.0 versions of the 4K projects (1.1, …) tend to fix one scene /shot while making the next one worse. We’re still with no definitive, best version of either 4K77 or 4K83 right now.
Edit: u could also compare that scene with the official blu-ray version. Neither 4K83 v1.0 nor blu-ray make Han look so red.
I’d take a bit less fine detail with much better colors and no excessive DNR over the the amateurish blue-ray version any day. Whose idea was it to create such inconsistency in one film? It’s like it was done by a person who was experimenting with various features of a video-editing software and then at some point left it at what it was and passed on as ready for release. It’s truly unbelievable. The more u think about the DNR decisions and color grading of the blu-ray, the more confused u get how anyone thought that was what the film deserved. I get the point of trying to match it with the other two prequels but if that is the case, it went terribly wrong.