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Best fan versions and scans of the OG theatrical versions of the SW Episodes 1, 4-6


mxsch
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Just look at this. This is 4K scan of the original and theatrical Czech print of The Phantom Menace.

 

And on the second picture is horrible, DNR-ed, and wax-looking 4K version of TPM from 2020. (2011 Blu-Ray looks like shit too)

 

There is no comparisons of OT because they are all looking like shit on DVD and Blu-Ray and like a little bit improved abomination on the 4K release. (DNR-d to hell on all three releases)

 

If somebody doesn't know, TPM was almost completely shot on film and this look was altered to bring it more in line with AOTC and ROTS.

 

The situation with SW home releases is almost as laughable as with the soundtracks because there is still no ultimate versions of OT, TPM and AOTC.

 

And there is no way you can watch OT without any changes officially.

 

For Original Trilogy I recommend Harmy's Despecialized editions, which are 720p, but by compiling different sources they are undone all Special Edition, DVD and Blu-Ray changes. Changes from previous year 4K releases are absent too. But they actually did 4K scans of original 1997 Special Editions of OT and redone all the changes from DVD and Blu-Ray from scratch. Plus added the new ones, such as Greedo exclaming "Maclunkey" (Lucas intended to do this when new scans were prepared for potential 3D release which plans were scrapped, but conversions of AOTC and ROTS were shown on SW Celebrations)

 

Or you can simply watch 4K scans of ANH and ROTJ, which are absolutely identical to originals, because they are the originals. 4K scan of ESB is soon will be out too. Only two reels from the six left to scan. Just google projects 4K77, 4K80 and 4K83.

 

With all that stuff, you can forget about original releases for good besides owning them for legally owning fan versions or scans. They are all outdone by them. Only ROTS is really good.

 

For all who's interested there is giant comparison gallery for the OT build by one guy, here is the link:

 

https://starwarsviscomp.wordpress.com/

 

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21 minutes ago, mxsch said:

For Original Trilogy I highly recommend Harmy's Despecialized editions, which are 720p, but by compiling different sources they are undone all Special Edition, DVD and Blu-Ray changes.

And I recommend the 4kxx-es for their lack of jumping around wildly in source quality. Harmy's were a good placeholder, these are the closest we can possibly get to the real deal until Disney mans up.

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2 minutes ago, Holko said:

And I recommend the 4kxx-es for their lack of jumping around wildly in source quality. Harmy's were a good placeholder, these are the closest we can possibly get to the real deal until Disney mans up.

I don't think that Disney will put the originals. I've heard something like Lucas said that this are the ultimate versions and there is no need in the originals. And I'll bet that there is pretty big amount of people which want them, maybe not as many as the soundtrack lovers, but still. Disney just sitting on the gold mine. Almost everything SW is still selling like a hot cakes.

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1 hour ago, Holko said:

And I recommend the 4kxx-es for their lack of jumping around wildly in source quality. Harmy's were a good placeholder, these are the closest we can possibly get to the real deal until Disney mans up.


I’m not sure I agree, it depends on what your definition of the “real deal” is. While the 4K projects present a more purist  experience in that they’re scans from a single source, they still have their own set of flaws and often have even less detail than some of the Blu-Ray sourced projects.

 

You want Project 4K if you’re a purist looking for something that roughly looks like a theatrical print of Star Wars would have looked like in the cinema in 1977. But not even highly regarded Blu-Ray and 4K releases (e.g. Indy, Apocalypse Now) look anything like Project 4K looks.  It’s a VERY niche thing. 
 

Harmy and the D+ editions look more like what a proper, unaltered Blu-Ray & 4K release would look like, which is what I think most people outside absolute purists are looking for.

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Rewatch Harmy's ESB and tell me again that an official proper release would jump around so widely between sources and colour grades, and that it's closer to the original. Like all the Falcon cockpit shots that were zoomed in minutely for the SEs coming from some worse quality reddish tinted version. Come on.

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Of course Harmy isn't exactly what a proper home video release would look like (if for no other reason than It's constructed from home DVD & BD sources). I'm just saying it's closer than 4K77.  Don't me wrong, I love 4K77.  But people expect a slick, polished presentation on modern home video releases, and the raw look and grain alone would put people off from 4K77. It's just a few steps above a Grindhouse print.

 

Both 4K77 and Harmy are attempts at preservation, which would not be the goal of a home video release.  Even removing the SE changes, a proper "unaltered" home video release would still do plenty that would infuriate purists, like clean up the matte lines, fix hundreds of other SFX glitches and small mistakes, and probably a new colour grade & sound mix whose goal wasn't necessarily to match the theatrical releases.

 

Basically, it would look and sound like the current official 4K's available, without the Special Edition crap. The D+ 4K project from OTD is frankly closer to that than either 4K77 or Harmy.

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I'd hope they'd go easier on the DNR in the future, something like the new Indiana Jones 4K releases would be perfect. Not super grainy, but also not wax-like either.

 

I did Project Ewok for TN1, but they're of course outdated now... :P

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2 hours ago, Manakin Skywalker said:

I'd hope they'd go easier on the DNR in the future, something like the new Indiana Jones 4K releases would be perfect. Not super grainy, but also not wax-like either.

 

Those are an absolute benchmark in my eyes. It's a shame Spielberg doesn't oversee more film restorations because his film's home video releases are consistently excellent.

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3 hours ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

the raw look and grain alone would put people off from 4K77. It's just a few steps above a Grindhouse print.

 

This.

 

Honestly, taking an answer print and scanning it in 4K and then releasing it as 4K is a kinda scam. I can just as well take an 8mm film, scan it in 20K and release is as a 20K film...

 

I've seen bits of the 4K77 project, and had had a look at Harmy's. As you say, they're both reconstructive works, with varying (but far, FAR from perfect) degrees of success. Also, as far as I can tell, Harmy does retain a few small changes that were made to the films during their theatrical run.

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2 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Honestly, taking an answer print and scanning it in 4K and then releasing it as 4K is a kinda scam. I can just as well take an 8mm film, scan it in 20K and release is as a 20K film...

 

I agree that simply scanning in a film in 4K can definitely be a scam. The fact that the Harmy version, at 720p, in many scenes has more detail than the 4K scans is proof enough of this.

 

That said, I believe 35mm film is more or less the equivalent of 4K digital resolution. What will be the real scam is when they start trying to release old films in 8K.

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Technically speaking true film has no "resolution", it can be scanned natively at any resolution. Some elements may not be derived from film however, such as the CGI in TPM which I think was rendered at 2K, or in the case of film that have elements that are shot digitally and then converted to film later.

 

Although I will say if you're just watching a movie on a standard television that's ~10+ feet away from you, you're probably not going to notice a difference between 4K and 8K anyway, or heck even 1080p and 4K. Might be different if you're watching from a large computer monitor that's inches from your face though I suppose. :P

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Right, what I meant is that it's not "pixelated" like digital. In the case of film it'll just start to look like no difference is taking place the higher the pixel resolution. Better anti-aliasing perhaps, but I doubt anyone would notice that, especially if you're sitting at least a few feet from your TV. :lol:

 

I'm a supporter of the 4K format, but I can't really see the benefit of going higher. As it is I can't see a huge difference between 1080p and 4K on my TV. 8K would just be unnecessary unless like I said before you're sitting inches from a large PC monitor, or you have a massive theater setup in your home.

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1 hour ago, Manakin Skywalker said:

Technically speaking true film has no "resolution", it can be scanned natively at any resolution. Some elements may not be derived from film however, such as the CGI in TPM which I think was rendered at 2K, or in the case of film that have elements that are shot digitally and then converted to film later.

 

Although I will say if you're just watching a movie on a standard television that's ~10+ feet away from you, you're probably not going to notice a difference between 4K and 8K anyway, or heck even 1080p and 4K. Might be different if you're watching from a large computer monitor that's inches from your face though I suppose. :P

 

Obviously, "resolution" is measured differently in analogue film and digital, that goes without saying. But we can say different films (8mm, 16mm, 35mm, etc) more or less correspond with x digital resolution. There has been loads written on this.

 

4K digital is pretty much going to give you all the benefit you can get out of a digital scan of 35mm film. So as you said, 8K, in most circumstances, is way overkill. I agree that in most cases under normal viewing conditions, most people can't see the difference between 1080p (and perhaps even 720p) and 4K.  Unless your face is pressed up against the screen and your squinting, most of the wow factor in UHD is in the HDR.

 

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2 hours ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

That said, I believe 35mm film is more or less the equivalent of 4K digital resolution.

 

3.2K or less, depending on stock speed and exposure, and this includes the grains: If you look just at picture information its in the 2.5K area.

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2 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

3.2K or less, depending on stock speed and exposure, and this includes the grains: If you look just at picture information its in the 2.5K area.

 

As I said "more or less". I wasn't offering a math formula down to the pixel.

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Its quite considerably less than 4K.

 

I've seen footage from 3K digital cameras (which, after demosaic and OLPF, resolve well below 3K) offering results equivalent or superior to 35mm film photography.

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Ugh.

 

We're talking about comparing film to commonly available home video formats. As I said, 4K is the going to give you all the benefits you can squeeze out of 35mm film in terms of resolution. Could a 3K UHD disc do the same? Sure. But that's not the standard. 4K is. 1080p doesn't cut it, 8K is overkill.

 

What you've seen from a 3K camera is immaterial to this discussion.

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I see, fair enough.

 

If we're talking display formats, than it helps to think of it as a drawer size: you get a lot of content that doesn't completely fill the 4K "drawer" but is nevertheless too big to fully fit in a 1080p drawer. That would include 35mm film projects (without too many opticals) and digital projects shot and finished at 3K-4K.

 

Only at 5K/VistaVision do we really start filling the 4K drawer, and anything bigger than that is basically just oversampling: there's no realistic need for display resolutions in large excess of 4K for home media.

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1 hour ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

Are you seriously saying that 4K discs take up more space in a drawer than a Blu-Ray does? Please. They’re the exact same size.

 

And if you’re running low on space, I recommend sleeves.

 

Maybe you're joking? But that's not at all what he's saying. He's talking about how much resolution and detail from 35mm, etc. fits into a 4K frame ("drawer") vs 1080 frame ("drawer"), etc. 

Essentially: The digital equivalent resolution of 35mm film isn't quite big enough to fully fill a 4K sized frame ("drawer") and is also too much to properly fill a 1080p sized frame ("drawer").

 

As far as Star Wars. I don't really care. I've watched the 4K fan version of Episode 4. It was fine. If Disney ever puts out the original originals...fine.

 

But I do agree with this:

3 hours ago, Chen G. said:

there's no realistic need for display resolutions in large excess of 4K for home media.

 

We definitely do not need 8K delivery, or whatever the next thing is, for Home Media. 4K is more than enough. Anything higher res is absolutely unnecessary and will never be truly appreciated in even the best set-ups your average home theater snob can get together. Leave 8K for the movie theaters. It will join IMAX, 3-D, 4-D, Dolby Atmos and beyond as another gimmick (however cool and brilliant they may be) that the theaters will need to get people to show up, soon enough.

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8 hours ago, TSMefford said:

He's talking about how much resolution and detail from 35mm, etc. fits into a 4K frame ("drawer") vs 1080 frame ("drawer"), etc. 


Wait...so the frames go in the drawer? Well then where do you put the discs?

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10 hours ago, TSMefford said:

If Disney ever puts out the original originals...fine.

 

Didn't Kathleen Kennedy said she wouldn't touch those?

 

I wouldn't be surprised if Lucas had something binding in that regard put into the contracts with Disney.

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I don't believe anyone at Lucasfilm/Disney has ever addressed them, or their potential release. But yeah I wouldn't be surprised if ole' George slipped that into their contract, or at least made it a personal request.

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We already know that Lucasfilm is working hard in preventing anyone from even screening 35mm prints of the Star Wars theatrical cuts.

 

A non-for-profit organization in Stockton, CA, The Friends of the Fox Theater, was to screen the original ‘Star Wars’ 1977 cut in July 2019, but when word got around about it, Lucasfilm gave that organization a C&D notice.

rQqFS2Y.jpeg

 

So, they ended-up screening the 2011 cut.

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1 hour ago, SilverTrumpet said:

Why is Revenge of the Sith fine compared to The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, again?

Because this is the perfect version. Audio mix and picture are top-notch on both 1080p Blu-ray from 2011 and both versions from 2020

 

You can check this review btw

 

https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Star-Wars-Episode-III-Revenge-of-the-Sith-4K-Blu-ray/257143/#Review

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3 minutes ago, SilverTrumpet said:

I think it's also the only version with no changes between the theatrical release and VHS/DVD/BluRay/4K, right? 

There were three changes for ROTS at all:

 

Transition wipe in one scene was changed on DVD but it was mistake that was corrected on 2011 BR.

 

Added some plants on the roof of Kashyyk building in which Yoda was chilling for two scenes.

 

Clone troopers have lines when they are attacking Utapau.

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I thought I was way too in the nose on Star Wars changes but I had no idea of any of those.

 

Is there any home video release of Attack of the Clones where Anakin's robot hand doesn't hold Padme's hand at the wedding?

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13 minutes ago, SilverTrumpet said:

I thought I was way too in the nose on Star Wars changes but I had no idea of any of those.

 

Is there any home video release of Attack of the Clones where Anakin's robot hand doesn't hold Padme's hand at the wedding?

This was in the original 35mm print plus some more changes.

 

I highly recommend to watch this vid

 

And do you know about one guy who have visual comparison site with a shit ton of photos and descriptions? Insane stuff.

 

Here is the link:

 

https://starwarsviscomp.wordpress.com/

 

 

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Looking over the most recent changes, its clear Lucas decided Tatooine was going to have grey skies (I think he got the idea when, on some of the shooting days in 1977, a rainstorm made the Tunisian sky look just like that, something which is only appearant in a few shots in that film because the Tunisia footage is spliced with footage from California) so he went through every shot on Tatooine across the six films and, if the sky were blue, made it grey.

 

Silly man.

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Its not really much of a continuity thing: its something that's only appearant in a handfull of shots in the 1977 film. I think George Lucas just liked the grey sky because they helped sell the otherworldly nature of the setting, as opposed to being, y'know, just a desert.

 

The end result is just a duller look.

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7 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

Its not really much of a continuity thing: its something that's only appearant in a handfull of shots in the 1977 film.

 

Of course it's a continuity thing. 

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Because across four films that feature daytime footage of Tatooine, the sky is always supposed to look the same?

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Not really.

 

The characters in that film spend, what, three or four days on Tatooine? and they travel around it quite a bit, too; why then should the sky look the same across all shots?

 

Its not a continuity thing: its just something Lucas saw one day in Tunisia and thought would help give the film an "alien" look, so he copy-pasted it across every shot.

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11 hours ago, mxsch said:

There were three changes for ROTS at all:

 

Transition wipe in one scene was changed on DVD but it was mistake that was corrected on 2011 BR.

 

Added some plants on the roof of Kashyyk building in which Yoda was chilling for two scenes.

 

Clone troopers have lines when they are attacking Utapau.

What about Vader’s “noooooo” at the end being shortened? I was 6 when I saw it in theaters so I can’t remember it being longer than the current version, but that’s the story.

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14 hours ago, SyncMan said:

We already know that Lucasfilm is working hard in preventing anyone from even screening 35mm prints of the Star Wars theatrical cuts.

 

A non-for-profit organization in Stockton, CA, The Friends of the Fox Theater, was to screen the original ‘Star Wars’ 1977 cut in July 2019, but when word got around about it, Lucasfilm gave that organization a C&D notice.

rQqFS2Y.jpeg

 

So, they ended-up screening the 2011 cut.

 

Wasn't the 1977 version screened at some ceremony for Marcia Lucas not too long ago? An exceptional case, I know.

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1 hour ago, Brando said:

What about Vader’s “noooooo” at the end being shortened? I was 6 when I saw it in theaters so I can’t remember it being longer than the current version, but that’s the story.

There is no documented info anywhere

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55 minutes ago, Tallguy said:

 

Wasn't the 1977 version screened at some ceremony for Marcia Lucas not too long ago? An exceptional case, I know.

I think you mean the June 2019 screening of a 1981 UK 70mm print presented by AMPAS. 

Star Wars and Rogue One | Oscars.org | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

After the screening, there was a seminar that featured the crew of Star Wars--including Marcia Lucas, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, et. al.  According to Dykstra at that seminar, the Academy took significant effort to get Lucas to sign-off on the showing.

 

Yes, very exceptional.

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I watch 4K77 for SW, and Harmy’s for ESB and RotJ. Gorgeous movies, and incredible work on the fan restorations.

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