Impressive, most impressive.
Makes sense. I ask because I remember reading that the 1997 mix of ROTJ was included with the Destiny Edition, and that now that the 4K trilogy is nearing completion, the focus of Despecialized can shift to being an approximation of what an official restoration of the OOT would look like. I imagine it would almost certainly have at least a few audio tweaks like the “unaltered” (1993) mixes did in 2006, and these mixes sound like kind of the same idea but with different tweaks and in 5.1. But I do understand not wanting to include them as options for something that’s supposed to fill the void left by the lack of an official release.
I know this is a stupid question, but will these mixes be included with Despecialized v3.0 when they come out?
Even though I prefer Yub Nub, I do think Victory Celebration better fits the bittersweet ending of the trilogy, especially in the context of the prequels, in which, let me remind you: the main character gets BURNED ALIVE IN GRAPHIC DETAIL. In the context of 1983, though, I definitely agree with Mocata that it sounds out of place.
It turns out the reason it sounds like “90s new age” is that the temp track was taken from the soundtrack to this TV documentary series called 500 Nations. It aired in 1995 and sounds typical of History-Channel-type documentary background music from the late 90s and early 2000s.
There’s something oddly charming about synthesized generic new age being played by a live orchestra, though. I mean whatever, it still somewhat fits the tribal setting I guess.
I wish they had used these for the U.S. posters. They look much more in line with the Drew Struzan artwork for the SEs and PT.
Poita hasn’t been active on this site in 9 months because he’s focusing on actually working on his projects, so it could be a while before he gives updates for any of them.
MTV’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Premiere
Oh God, I’ve seen that special before, and I could not watch it without cringing. The Backstreet Boys didn’t talk like that in real life; everything was so obviously staged.
Here’s my take on the John Alvin artworks:
I think they’re absolutely important. They allowed ILM the opportunity to practice inserting then-relatively-new CGI into live action shots and (and create entire shots out of CGI) so they could perfect their skills for the prequels, which as we all know would end up using a lot…A LOT…of CGI. I think the backlash towards the prequels overshadowed the fact that they were important leaps forward for CGI technology in cinema, and paved the way for the recent CGI-heavy blockbusters like the MCU films (whether or not that’s a good thing is subjective). The point is, the 1997 Special Editions were perhaps almost as influential on modern (as of late 2019-early 2020) Hollywood as the original versions were.
Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe they were also the last time Ben Burtt personally worked on the audio mixes before handing the torch over to Matthew Wood for the 2004 DVDs, which is why the 2004-present mixes of ANH sound, to put it lightly, nothing like the original and not in a good way.
It says the price is a placeholder, but half a million dollars makes a lot of sense given that it was only shown at 4 Disney Parks in the world (except for that one time it aired on MTV but that’s beside the point). After 2015 it was never shown again, and let me remind you - this was a DISNEY PARKS ATTRACTION for crying out frickin loud! Whoever can buy this print and scan it is a hero.
While April of this year will mark the 10th anniversary of the Despecialized Editions, it will also have been 10 years since the last official copies of the original theatrical versions of the Original Trilogy (a mouthful, I know) were pressed and sent to retail stores. In April 2011, the 2006 GOUT DVDs ceased production, and were sold in stores up until September 2011, just before the Blu-rays were released.
Yes, the DVDs were an absolute JOKE of a product, but at least it meant the original versions were legally available to the general public in SOME form. While Harmy has done the community a HUGE favor by saving the greatest film trilogy of all time from becoming lost media and I can’t thank him enough, I also can’t help but feel like we lost something when the official releases went into the vault. It marked the end of an era when George’s Original Unaltered Trilogy was out in the open for all to buy, and the general public could view the three movies that made him so successful in the first place.
Was he really GOING for “40s style” dialogue? I mean I always got sort of a 1930s-1940s vibe from the OT (since it was inspired by Flash Gordon and all), including the delivery of the dialogue, but was it (the dialogue) really INTENDED to give off that vibe? I just thought it was a result of his self-admitted inability to write good dialogue.
That might be why fans forgive the OT for its cheesy dialogue delivery, but chastise the prequels for it - the rest of the OT (the original versions at least) has an old-timey feel to it in general due to its drawing from early-20th-Century film, so the dialogue fits right in with that aesthetic. The prequels, on the other hand, have a distinctly modern (by late 90s-early 2000s standards) look sound and feel to them, right down to the digital cameras they were shot on, so the bad dialogue/acting sticks out more.
The “minimal DNR” versions of ROTJ are my go-to’s since they remove stuff some may find distracting like excess grain, writing on the print and reel change markers, but still retain enough grain to not scrub away fine details. To my eyes, the maximum DNR version looks vaguely like the 2011 Blu-ray (albeit with competent color grading and without the changes), and that’s no good.
A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one, but SERIOUSLY, HOW THE HELL did this end up in the seller’s hands? They only made like, four prints of this (one for each park), right? In any event, I can’t wait for this piece of Lucas (and Disney) history to be preserved.
obnoxiously defending the prequels or something like that
That’s me on occasion even now.
The corrected music cues in TESB - preferably all of them but if I had to choose one, probably the one right after Yoda says “That is why you fail”
Well that was convenient…
I used to like the PT almost as much as the OT, and while I didn’t necessarily LOVE Jar Jar, I thought he was pretty tolerable (probably because I read the books more than I watched the actual movies, so I understood that he meant well, he was just a bit clumsy). But as I got older and started using the internet more, I found out how much Star Wars fans HATED the PT, particularly Jar Jar’s supposed omnipresence. Of course I still like the PT a lot and think the story is on par with that of the OT, but now that I’m a lot older than I was in 2005-2012, I recognize that they definitely have their technical flaws, and I don’t enjoy them nearly as much as I used to.
As for the ST, I wasn’t too thrilled when they were announced, since it would render the Rebels’ triumphant victory over the Empire meaningless since they would BASICALLY come back, just with a new name. Besides, George explicitly said “There is no Episode VII”…[siiiiiiiiiighh]… Anyway, when I saw the first teaser trailer for TFA in 2014, I was stoked, nevermind that I thought it was wholly unnecessary. When I first, saw TFA, I loved it and genuinely thought it had promise, even if it was basically just a really-well-made rehash of ANH… When I first saw TLJ, I didn’t like it at first. I thought the whole subverting-expectations-for-the-sake-of-it gimmick was nothing more than a gimmick, although I did appreciate that Rey’s parents were (at the time) just “nobodies”. And THEN came TROS….yeah I hated it and my opinion of it hasn’t changed since I saw it one year ago today. I thought TFA just being a rehash of ANH would just be a one-off thing, but by the time the trilogy was finished, it had basically turned into a rehash of the OT, complete with the second installment being TESB on steroids. TROS made me appreciate that TLJ tried to stray away from the formula (no matter how badly it did it), but overall it tainted my opinion on the previous two installments knowing how the trilogy would end.
I wasn’t born yet when the OT came out, but I do know that the fandom seemed to be a lot more unified in their love of Star Wars pre-TPM - even when the Special Editions came out in 1997. In virtually every promotional and news coverage video I’ve seen surrounding the SE’s and TPM before their release, the fans all seemed unanimously enthusiastic when in line to see the movies and when they walked out of the SE’s, regardless of the new additions. I feel like the period after TPM ended its theatrical run was the point when the fandom started to become divided into sects - OT vs PT fans, people who liked TPM vs people who didn’t.
I think the reason the fandom is so divided now is just because of sheer amount of Star Wars content that’s been released over the course of nearly half a century - none of it is all the same, there’s a lot of variety, which inevitably means some fans won’t like all of it. That’s true for ANY entertainment property that goes on for so long and produces that much varied content - some will simply just watch the movies/shows, read the books/comics and play the games they like and not do the same for the ones they don’t like, but there will always be fans who debate and argue over what products or aspects of the franchise they like and don’t like.
There are a few things in the SE that I like - full body shots of the Wampa, added shot of Slave I following the Falcon, extended sequence of the Falcon entering Cloud City, and especially the unbutchered music cues. However, I think there are more changes that do harm than good. The worst offender being the added scene where Vader boards the Executor (the interior of which by complete coincidence looks EXACTLY like the DSII that hasn’t been built yet). It completely ruins the pacing of what in the original version was a masterfully crafted climax to one of the greatest achievements in the history of American film.
So yeah, as much as I like some of the changes, the original will always reign supreme for me.
-Vader’s theme in A New Hope suits him better than the Imperial March.
-The instrumental second half of Jedi Rocks is actually pretty tolerable.
-Yub Nub/Ewok Celebration is superior to Victory Celebration (and I say that as someone who grew up with the latter and didn’t find out about the former until I was 12 years old).
-The Last Jedi is the best film in the ST because it actually tried to go outside the box and sUbVeRt eXpEcTaTiOnS, even if it failed spectacularly at it.
Imagine this, if before they altered everything, they restored the O-Neg and printed it on newer film stock to preserve the original versions for future years and they just, have never told us anything about it and they put the it into the Twentieth Century Fox Film Vaults and hid it from the world for years, then they go and create the Special Editions. Then they’d go on in 2006 and give us a Laserdisc Master with the original crawl spliced on, which is another thing, was it from the new Original Version Preservation O-Neg that they (possibly) created?
And another thing that has me thinking, did they really restore the original versions, then printed it on new film stock? Just to A) preserve it for future generations. or B) they plan on releasing these versions when George is dead. But then just went and made the Special Editions, and what I think, it’s (possibly) some sort of a coverup story to hide the fact that, the original versions are restored and could be released. Then they went onto say that they printed over the O-Neg “When these were completed, they apparently were printed onto film and re-cut into the negative, replacing the original negs, which were undoubtedly put back into storage.” - The Secret History of Star Wars, 11/03/09
But could this be a coverup and the “Original” (I use that term loosely due to the fact where my theory is that they restored the Unaltered Versions and reprinted them on newer film stock) Negative, which could still be in the vaults and they’ve kept it under wraps because George acts like a big baby when someone questions the original versions.
So what you’re saying is that the negative that was physically restored is in storage, but the DIGITALLY restored “negative” is the one that was used for every SE since 1997? I guess that would clear up the confusion. Thanks 😃
As a side note, as much as I want Lucasfilm to release the original versions, I also think it would be in poor taste of them to do it after George dies if he doesn’t give them his approval (which he most likely won’t). George’s approval is really the only thing holding back an official OOT release.
Ady was correct in his statement, that the SPECIAL EDITION elements are locked in at 2K at best, including the digitally recomposited shots.
Wait…but in Industrial Light and Magic – Into the Digital Realm by Mark Cotta Vaz https://www.thestarwarstrilogy.com/2017/08/22/return-of-the-force/, it says that most of the unaltered special effects shots were recomposited optically/photochemically using the same equipment as in 1977/80/83 - “In a ironic touch, the old optical printer technology’ used to create Star Wars but abandoned years later in ILMs conversion to digital technology’ would be utilized again to restore the many wipes, the skip frames, and the rest of what Pacific Title vice president Phillip Feiner called ‘the bread and butter opticals.’ Pacific Title’s work involved taking the original elements from Lucasfilm and recompositing them, utilizing the company’s eleven state-of-the-art optical printers. With modern lenses and the latest, best Kodak film stocks, the old-fashioned printer technology delivered new comps boasting ‘a boost in resolution and color saturation’ according to Feiner.”
If they were recomp’d physically in 1997, then theoretically they should be native 4K in the 2019 master, right? I’m confused.
Star Tours (1987-2010) (with Spazz Master and The Wire) - SOME JERK WITH A CAMERA Season One
The blurb: “What happens when a Jerk, an Idiot and a Spazz team up to review the greatest defunct Tomorrowland thrill ride EVER? No, not that one. No, not that one either. I’m talking about the original STAR TOURS! Join Some Jerk With A Camera, The Wire of The Idiot’s Lantern, and SpazzMaster on a thoroughly confounding mystical journey through a galaxy far far away, but somehow right over there somewhere.”
If you’re into Disney Parks and Universal Studios, you might want to check out the rest of the series - most of the topical references are dated, but it’s pretty amusing nonetheless.
My name is Harrison (no, not Harrison Ford). I’ve been lurking around this site for about a year and a half, and thought maybe now would be about the right to sign up. Despite what my username might suggest, I actually really admire George Lucas and a lot of what he did with Star Wars post-Radioland-Murders, especially 2003 Clone Wars.