Well the recomposited shots utilized the higher generation camera negative rather than the standard negative right? My understanding is that non-fx shots always used the camera negative while fx shots were copied multiple times to achieve their optical compositing. So when making the SE, those fx shots were cut out of the negative and their higher generation film elements were instead scanned so that they could composite digitally and avoid generational detail loss. So in this idea, those upgraded shots would still be replaced by the theatrical versions of those shots by scanning those spliced-out bits in storage and cutting them back in. Like I said though, this would only work if the Reliance restoration exists without grain removal and sharpening.
Scanning in the parts of the negative that were cut out and then digitally reinserting them into the latest restoration sounds like a good idea on paper. But the big question I have is whether Reliance saved copies of intermediary steps in their restoration. Because normally, a restoration involves scanning, cleaning, then color correction. With Star Wars though, it’s been scanning, cleaning, then massive amounts of grain removal, then “proprietary enhancement” (I interpret this as sharpening), then color correction. And this might be a problem for assembling a theatrical cut if they didn’t save the pre-grain-removal versions. If all they’ve got is their enhanced versions, then the theatrical snips of the negative would also need to be treated in the same way to fit with the surrounding footage…but this sort of defeats the purpose of a theatrical version because “proprietary enhancement” with grain removal can’t really be considered pure or original.
So when Lucas says they’d need to spend a lot of time and money restoring the entire movies again, maybe there’s some truth to that if they didn’t save the cleaned-only versions of the latest restoration.
Even the SE version still had Shaw, at least it did before 2004.
Anyway, I can sort of see how people might not immediately recognize the Shaw ghost as Anakin since the ghost form is healed and in Jedi robes. But that’s what’s cool about it. It requires the audience to turn a few cogs in their brains to figure it out: Obi-Wan was a Jedi and he died…now he’s a ghost. Yoda was a Jedi and he died…now he’s a ghost. So who is that 3rd guy with them? He must be a Jedi…oh, it’s Anakin, because he became good and died as a Jedi! Things don’t need to be so explicitly spelled out as to awkwardly paste Hayden’s head from episode 3 onto the scene, especially when the Hayden ghost fails on both a visual and thematic level.
Of all the forms he could take, the Shaw form makes the most sense. Visually, it’s consistent with how the other ghosts don’t magically de-age from when they died. And thematically, it represents growth with how the character has truly become a better person after all his life experiences. Any pre-Vader Anakin form just symbolizes regression because PT Anakin still acts on greedily possessive “love”, whereas post-Vader Anakin has finally grown beyond that flaw.
Weren’t the finalized scores for some of the prequels hastily chopped up in editing? If I recall, John Williams wrote a letter to Lucas expressing his displeasure at how his music had been chopped up in episode 1. The scores for the original trilogy probably don’t have this problem because the final cut was locked down before Williams started scoring, though some weird edits may still have been introduced from all the special edition tinkering. So given that this is an issue, I can’t imagine that they’d just use the current “film version” of those scores as the isolated score tracks. And going in to smooth out some of the choppiness seems like work…and we all know they won’t bother doing extra work for something like this.
So given the two possibilities that they’d either include the final film versions of the scores for all the movies or not include any at all, I predict it’ll be the latter. Letting us hear the isolated scores will just expose how they were edited from their original compositions. I personally wouldn’t mind it, but I can’t see them releasing something like that.
By that logic, the Hayden ghost is also a plot hole, since a long-haired Anakin with an intact right arm and those specific robes also never existed.
Though it might be worth comparing the framing of the Reliance demo reel. Because apparently the D+ streams are 2.39:1 vs. the normal 2.35:1 they have been on prior releases. I hope that this is only a quirk of the streaming version.
I remember an employee from Reliance who worked on the restoration posted on a forum last year saying that they restored “the original film scans”. So that does make me wonder if all the elements necessary to reconstruct the theatrical cuts are now fully restored. And if so…it shouldn’t be too hard to just put them together. Unless, by “film scans” he meant the 1997 negatives? But I find that hard to believe since even the 2004 restoration went back to the camera negatives (for at least a few shots), so it seems logical to assume they also went back to camera negatives here. Plus it seems like some of the sand dunes on this new 2019 version have reverted to the 1977 version? (forum post by the Reliance employee: https://thecantina.starwarsnewsnet.com/index.php?threads/star-wars-4k.54414/#post-528618)
As you can see from this old archive of starwars .com, the first teaser released in November 1998: https://web.archive.org/web/20061224050901oe_/http://www.starwars.com/episode-i/release/trailer/archive.html
And here’s the direct .mov link to it (you can download and watch with vlc): https://web.archive.org/web/20061225164218oe_/http://www.starwars.com/episode-i/release/trailer/mov/menace00.mov
It looks the same as the teasers uploaded to youtube.
Does NeverarGreat’s version match to a digitized IB Tech print or to a projected IB Tech print?
And I repeat that it doesn’t matter what the audio on the GOUT is like, because one can still use the GOUT as a standard for which frames to include in any given release. The fact that the missing frames for RotJ are in the middle of a reel makes adjusting the audio a little trickier, but it can still be done in high quality with software that can stretch small portions of an audio track to maintain sync but leave the rest untouched.
Okay, but I also mentioned missing frames, not just audio. Why go through that trouble with cutting the audio and frames from a more complete source just to conform to a less complete source? If the answer is just that it’s convenient to stick with a known standard that already has other tracks synced to it, then I certainly understand that. I just personally value completeness and historical accuracy more. But I’m not the one doing all the syncing work so I guess it’s up to others whether to adopt a new standard or not.
It’s got nothing to do with syncing to the GOUT audio. The GOUT standard was about which frames were to be included in any given release so that decent audio, subtitles, and foreign dubs could be easily muxed in. This was very important in the days when we were syncing LDs that had all sort of frame differences – those were the releases that sometimes had black frames inserted to maintain sync; it was also important when editions (notably Harmy’s) that were based on the SE DVDs (and later the BDs) were produced. The GOUT could have been released with a laugh track and still have served as the basis for a standard as to which frames to include.
Well my point isn’t so much about the quality of the GOUT or its audio, but rather about how complete it is. When I say it’s “flawed”, I mean that frames are missing and the audio (at least in ROTJ) had to be looped in a certain place to maintain sync with the video. Given that, I just feel that a better source (“better” in the sense that it’s more complete and free of those audio edits) shouldn’t be cut down simply to conform to an inferior (less complete) standard. And now we’ve learned that the missing GOUT frames in question were actually in the middle of a reel, rather than at the end, so that increases their significance in terms of what audiences originally saw in theaters.
Sorry, I meant 4k77 IS GOUT-synced, even though it’s missing at least one frame from the end of Reel 5 that was on the BluRay, and I believe at least a couple more from a French PAL laserdisc if I remember correctly. And then they turn around and change tactics for 4K83, adding every frame and breaking sync with tons of audio and sub options?
Is the GOUT audio for Star Wars 77 not entirely complete? Because my understanding was that they chose to add black frames in order to maintain sync with the GOUT audio, which is apparently the most complete audio out there. And doing so did not involve any removal of frames, so it was non-destructive.
With 4k83, their optical print audio is the most complete audio out there (and they discovered that some clunky audio edits had been made to the GOUT audio to keep it in sync with its video). So I think they’re just trying to keep their projects in sync with the most complete audio available. And it just seems counterintuitive to actively remove frames & audio, just so it syncs with the flawed GOUT audio. I get what the other side is saying about how this de-syncs all the other audio. But shouldn’t historical preservation be the top priority instead of convenience?
4k77 not having enough frames can be solved by either using black frames or splicing Blu-ray frames in (I think they did the former). But that is very different from actively removing frames that are on the print just to conform to an inferior standard. I think it makes sense for 4k83 to be the new sync standard for ROTJ.
The 4k83 project will be including a 16mm version of “From Star Wars to Jedi”. Perhaps you can utilize that when it’s out to get HD versions of those shots.
Wow the grain-managed and cleaned up frame looks fantastic! When you say “grain management”, is that the same as DNR? I would love to read more about grain (or really, anything you have to say about film restoration). Do you have a link to the document? I remember in Mike’s video, he talked about “rolling” the yellow globs into the blues or something like that.
The images look great! But I’m wondering, is the yellowish color noise something that would only be on release prints, or would the negative also have them? And why do those appear? They seem much different to what grain looks like.
How about a third option, where you go with an unfamiliar plot, and just create an original story not driven by either satisfying or subverting expectations. Both your options rely heavily on what the audience knows, and in order to subvert expectations you still have to first follow the familiar trajectory. Consequently, the movie still feels very familiar, despite the barrage of twists.
My two options were for if they began with the “familiar scenarios”, which they did in TFA. Once they did that, then it seems like those two options were really the only ways they could have gone.
But yeah, I like the idea of just starting with a new scenario altogether. No empire vs. rebels. No family member that has turned to the dark side. No old Jedi mentor on a remote planet. And so on. With the old ideas, the “subversion” feels like driving down a familiar road and making a left instead of the usual right. With new ideas, it’s like driving into a different town altogether where we have no idea what paths lie ahead; I would’ve liked that more, if executed well.
The audience may not have had as many expectations if there weren’t a lot of familiar scenarios. So when there’s a story with a lot of familiar elements, then the two options are to either go with the familiar plot and turn it into a rehash or try to subvert audience expectations but risk turning it into an unsatisfying story.
Of course, if they opted to start with something completely different, then that carries its own risk. It’s tough to find that balance.
I’ve compared some frames myself and it does appear that the Blu-ray has more detail in many cases. Now as you say, this could be due to the heavy sharpening which creates the illusion of more detail.
In any case, I’d love to see some comparisons where the Blu-ray looks sharper, but is then matched by a heavily sharpened 4k77. I’d be glad to be proven wrong on this because it would be fascinating if a fan project has beat out an official release made from the best sources.
The benefit would be to utilize both 4k77 and the Blu-ray to create something that takes the best from both sources. Because as great as 4k77 is, it was sourced from release prints whereas the Blu-ray had access to the original negative and even the camera negatives. And while there are a few shots in 4k77 here and there that exceed the detail found on the Blu-ray, the reverse is also true a lot of the time.
So my guess for future DE versions would be that the Blu-ray would be the base since it still has more detail overall. And then 4k77 would be used to remove special edition changes…to “de-specialize” them, if you will.
I actually have another question. Does the process of going from the negative to a release print distort the image in any way? In other words is it technically possible to retrieve a more or less exact copy of the original interpositive by averaging and then deblurring an infinite number of release prints? In general I’m wondering what the limitations are of doing a restoration from a set of release prints, rather than using an interpositive, or the original negative.
In other words, is Mike Verta actually accomplishing what he says he is? I’ve also been curious about this. I know that the multiple duplications to get to the release print leads to the addition of generational grain. But does the image actually get softer outside of that fact?
The Star Wars Blu-rays are a different case though, aren’t they? Because they seem to be the same version that the 2004 DVDs were based on (but with some further modifications). And so, if deadlines were what contributed to their botched colors, then it would be the deadline for getting the 2004 DVDs out in time for the holidays and to promote the last prequel movie. But what’s baffling is that the Blu-rays came out 7 years later…and still had the same color issues! You would think that they’d at least try to make some kind of effort to improve the colors. But nope, perhaps they were okay with all the characters looking magenta.
I am having trouble tracking down some footage in part 7. It is 2 photos of a younger George Lucas at 6 minutes. I thought it might be in Empire of Dreams but I can’t seem to find the moment. Here is a link for where it is.
Does anyone recognize it?
I don’t know if there’s video footage anywhere. But I found those pictures (better than nothing I guess).
The first one (flipped from video): https://bodyheightweight.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/young-george-lucas-bio-facts.jpg
The second one (missing top part of his hat): http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mGl8LEo-RQc/Trddd5sLBzI/AAAAAAAAARg/QLMwTRSXne8/s1600/05.jpg
The second one (missing everything below collar, but has top of hat): http://www.slashfilm.com/wp/wp-content/images/younggeorgelucas.jpg
I’m not sure if they’re high enough quality but it’s the best I could find. And for the second one, you might be able to composite the two together into a single picture after color matching one of them to the other using Dr. Dre’s color correction tool.
EDIT: Yeah I guess Empire of Dreams has the first one like the others said.
Just a heads up, the reviews have already been Lucas’d. Like in the ROTS review, the one on their channel has the Nadine storyline removed and the ending music was changed from having Trench Run music to some generic stock music (for copyright reasons). The OOT of Plinkett reviews is no longer available. Are you going to be creating an HD Despecialized version of the original Plinkett reviews?