They are not the same. Harmy’s are a recreation of the original trilogy using the blurays and various other sources such as the GOUT and 35mm film to recreate the original trilogy. The Silverscreen Edition and Grindhouses (ESB and ROTJ) are 35 mm preservations. They have been digitally preserved, but are original without any changes (except for cleanup of the picture due to the age of the film).
Both are true labors of love by truly dedicated fans of the original unaltered trilogy, but are slightly different in how they have accomplished the goal of preserving these original versions.
In addition to ger-el’s message, there are may other versions of the unaltered movies (16mm preservation by Puggo Grande, LaserDisc preservations, VHS preservations…), which have a true historical interest and are very enjoyable, but are less “comfortable” to watch if you just want to have a theatrical-like experience.
IMHO, if you just want to enjoy the unaltered movies with good image and sound, the best choices are :
- ANH: Harmy’s Despecialized Edition 2.7 (more “Blu-Ray like” with sharp and clean image) or Team Negative 1 35mm scan 1.6 (more “theatrical experience” with grain)
- ESB: Harmy’s DE 2.0 (more “Blu-Ray like” with sharp and clean image) or Team Negative 1 Dreamastered v2 (more “theatrical experience” with grain)
- ROTJ: Harmy’s DE 2.5 (it is the only choice, because the Grindhouse version is not yet cleaned/regraded)
You can find all versions on MySpleen, Usenet or some public torrents.
Thank you both. As I already have the Despecialized Editions downloaded I will watch those for now. But I will definitely consider getting the 35mm scans in the future, probably when ROTJ is finished.