CT Is there any real reason why the OT will never get an unaltered release?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by IG-85, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. IG-85 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2011
    So now the blu-rays are here, it is evident that we have gotten the 2004 DVDs with some excellent spit and polish, fixes and some debatable additions and tweeks.

    But my point is, why won't Lucas release the Original OT on to blu-ray?

    When the set was announced, I assumed all discs would come with the 2004 versions updated to blu-ray quality and the original couterparts on the same disc, but no.

    With Lucas constantly tweeking the OT, does his hate or despise what he has made? I know it may not have been his original vision, but its one that we all love, regardless if it wasn't what he wanted in places.

    Would it be so hard for him to release and unaltered version of the films to blu-ray? Just a bit of spit and polish and voila! Along with the 2004 version upgraded to blu-ray, what a boxset it could have been. All this time he has spent doing up the 2004 DVDs, he surley could have done the O-OT?

    Is there any real reason why Lucas won't release the Original version? Why does he hide it from the world? He must be the only person that doesn't like it.
    Star Wars age 9 likes this.
  2. halibut Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    Because the vast majority of people who buy it don't really care. It's a tiny, yet loud, minority that are clamouring for the OOT
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  3. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    This.
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  4. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    Yeah, what halibut said. I don't know that Lucas would make enough money off the OOT to justify the cost of restoration and conversion.
  5. Grand_Moff_Jawa Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2001
    star 5
    The restoration is already done! He just needs to remove the SE additions. Bingo. Some of the cleaning up is fine, such as the landspeeder blob being fixed and the better battle at Yavin, etc. Remove the CGI additions, the Jabba scene, the ride through Mos Eisley, etc. I really don't see why this is so hard for Lucas to do!

    It's the tiny, yet loud voices you have to watch out for. [face_peace]
    Star Wars age 9 likes this.
  6. Gary_Buchenara Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2009
    star 3
    I think GL is just philosophically opposed to it. He's all about moving forward, improving, realising his vision etc and he sees the OOT as essentially an impediment to that. In his mind it' the film he made because he couldn't make what he wanted.
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  7. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    I'm not sure why you believe this. Judging by all the media articles and celebrity tweets, it seems like an awful lot of people are missing the original versions these days. Most people out there seem to prefer the original cuts, even if they aren't "clamouring" for them. They are, after all, some of the most popular films of all time.

    The real reason Lucas won't release them is because he knows this is true and wants to control people to watch the versions he like better, so he doesn't give them the choice. Otherwise, lots of people would ignore his Special Editions and just watch the originals.

    Lucas has had a lifelong obsession with control and this is just one more manifestation of it. Sometimes it's for the best and sometimes its not.
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  8. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    Yes, evidently Lucas sees the films as an on-going work in progress, and doesn't want the earlier, and in his mind inferior, versions to be widely distributed.

    I can understand this, even respect it as an artist who likes to tinker with his old artwork. But in the end I "side" with Lucas' friend Steven Spielberg, who regretted the changes he made to ET and felt he was depriving ET fans of reliving their experiences of growing up with the film.

    Spielberg gets this; Lucas doesn't or doesn't want to. Oh, well, we've always got the 2006 OOT DVDs (inferior quality but still watchable and better than videotape) and the various fan restorations to look forward to.
  9. Gary_Buchenara Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2009
    star 3
    I get the impression that it grates GL that the films which he considers compromised and unfinished are so widely held in high regard, whereas those which come closer to his ultimate vision perhaps aren't so well thought of. In refusing to devote much attention to the earlier versions he's stubbornly making the point that as far as he's concerned, his vision is better.
  10. Gundark31 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 30, 2010
    star 1
    I think this is it, Lucas wants control and this is another manifestation of it.

    In the ROTJ special features Marquand as the voice of one of Jabba's droids jokes about a "Lucas bolt" which is a play on restraining bolt and I've heard Ron Howard had issues with Lucas while filming Willow.Not being able to have the control he wanted on Empire,Return and Willow lead Lucas to direct the prequels personally.

    It's funny that Lucas points out that Anakin's major flaw is that he wants "control" to stop people from dying and etc.

    I think Lucas is aware that this is one of his own flaws.
    Star Wars age 9 likes this.
  11. Grand_Moff_Jawa Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2001
    star 5
    Just how clear is Lucas' vision? He's changed things, only to change them back. Saying George makes these changes to support his vision just doesn't jive with me. His vision changes all the time. He has no clear vision, he just changes things to change them.
  12. Gary_Buchenara Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2009
    star 3
    I don't think he's that fixed on the story. I think the vision he's most determined about is his technological vision. In fact, I think in some ways the story is told to fit around that.
  13. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    I've got a feeling it's a bit more complicated than that, & probably quite expensive. As I understand it, the OOT negatives don't exist in their original forms anymore.

    Archival prints of the OOT must exist somewhere, however. I'd happily take a high-res transfer off a print that's just a bit dirty.

    Well, well, look who's come to apologise.;)

    Where the hell have you been?
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  14. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    I'd be interested in some sort of objective poll as to how many people really care that much about getting the OOT in Blu-Ray or the changes that Lucas has made. And I'm not really talking about a poll of users here, as we don't represent the larger movie viewing audience or even the larger audience that likes Star Wars. Those of us who love the franchise so much that we post about it on a message board are the minority. My husband once called these boards the fantasy football of Star Wars, and said that while most fans are content to just watch and enjoy a game (or a movie), I'd be among those who played fantasy football and watched ESPN 24/7.

    An objective poll would have to include the larger movie-going audience and consist of three questions: "Do you like Star Wars?",. "Do you like the 1997 special editions?" and "Do you prefer that Lucas release the 1977-1983 versions on Blu-Ray?" I'd be interested to see how many people would answer "yes" to the third one in particular.

    It's very possible that some of you are right and that there is a huge demand for the OOTs in Blu-Ray. But it is also very possible that there are not enough people who care about it to justify another restoration/clean up and conversion.

    I'd have to see more evidence before I'm willing to chalk up all this to Lucas being some sort of control freak though.
  15. Bring_My_Shuttle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2006
    star 1
    No poll was conducted for Blade Runner afaik, but they were respectful enough to include all the versions anyway. Equally I might add. Ridley Scott was a victim of executive meddling, and he eventually cut the movie he wanted. However, the happy ending/voice-over version wasn't replaced, so whoever prefers that can watch it. Anyone complaining about the CHOICE there?

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  16. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    No, and who is saying that they would complain if Lucas released an OOT Blu-Ray along with the new Blu-Ray?

    The complaints that I have seen on this subject are regarding people calling Lucas ugly names and saying that he should stay away from his own films simply because the new Blu-Ray pack doesn't include the OOT. Or people claiming that they, the fans, have more of a right to make decisions about Star Wars than Lucas himself does. Or even better, calling other fans "Lucas apologists" or the like for disagreeing.

    At least that's my issue with these discussions. Not that some fans are requesting the OOT on Blu-Ray. I don't care one way or another.
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  17. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    If you don't care about the original versions one way or another it's easy to see why you don't get the backlash. But to some people, the fact that he has suppressed not only three of most important films in modern cinema history but the favourite films of millions of people, that is frustrating and hurtful, mainly because it's so very unnecessary.

    People who don't care--which, if they don't care about the original versions, I assume means they care mainly about the SE and PT--it may be hard to understand because there's no analogy. If Lucas said today, no more PT and SE for anyone, it would be horrifying but ultimately inconsequential because you would already have the films in your home in HD, or at least a remastered DVD. That's not something fans of the original version have. Imagine instead if Lucas removed your DVDs and Blu-ray and all the TV airings, gave you a VHS of the prequels and a VHS of the Special Edition and said, this is all you get...You'd probably be upset too. Because why do that? "They're his film." Sure, doesn't really help though, you'd still be asking "why do that?" That's what fans of the original versions have gone through, because the best the films are in are video from the early 1990s. And after fourteen--going on fifteen--whole years of having those VHS tapes you'd probably start saying "Okay, this isn't funny anymore" and getting more and more annoyed as you see people enjoying Lord of the Rings in 4K in their homes and even things like Frankenhooker. FYI Frankenhooker is now out on Blu-ray from a 2K scan of original vault material. Lucas can't afford to present the films, eh? A billionaire? Three of the most popular, highest-grossing films of all time? No audience?

    It's all hogwash. The fact is that the original versions of the films are almost entirely restored already and Lucas didn't spend a dime on it. Twentieth Century Fox spent $20 million restoring and updating the films for 1997. The films looked great on the screen in 1997, and that was without Lowry and any sort of elaborate digital cleanup. How much percentage would you say the 1997 changes represent of the total film, discounting scenes and shots added to the film? Maybe eight minutes worth of shots for ANH, maybe five minutes of altered footage for ESB and ROTJ each? Something like that, I would say. So Lucas would have to retrieve those fifteen minutes of footage from storage, give them a quick clean, and then scan the existing negative, delete the 1997 SE segments and put in the remaining 15 minutes. You might have to go to duplicate sources if any of that footage is damaged. But you see how easy this is? Or--you just get the separation masters or an archival print master that Lucasfilm has and do a scan of that, with mild dirt/scratch removal.

    Realistically, you could totally restore the entire original trilogy to its original theatrical versions from the original 35mm negatives in about two or three weeks, at a cost of about less than a million dollars. As a point of comparison, the 2004 DVD set sold $180 million dollars...in it's first day of release!

    Why do you think films like Frankenhooker are available in high-def from 2K scans? It's not expensive or complicated. Lucas just likes to say that because it's a convenient excuse since his "I will destroy all copies" rhetoric started becoming unpopular, and most people don't know any better to realize what he is saying doesn't make sense for three of the most popular and lauded film in history with an enormous fanbase, not to mention held in ownership by a billionaire. It's actually a bit absurd.
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  18. KennethMorgan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2004
    star 2
    If I may, let me note something for comparisons sake:

    During the time MST3K ran on Comedy Central, the network ran episodes from the show's first season as part of the normal rotation. However, producer Jim Mallon and others at Best Brains, Inc. requested that those episodes not be shown anymore. The stated reason was that they felt that those shows were inferior to the later episodes, as they were still developing the concept and hadn't fully adjusted to differences in making the shows in a more structured and scripted way then they had done at first on UHF. So, the shows were no longer broadcast.

    However, BBI didn't just disavow them and leave it at that. Some of the shows were later re-run as part of a special Thanksgiving marathon. Fan-trading of tapes of those shows wasn't interfered with. Eventually, some of those episodes were released on DVD, including new introductions in some cases. Basically, they still felt the shows weren't as good as later episodes, but they recognized that fans still wanted to see them and that they had some value. Just about the only thing that has prevented other shows from that season from being released have been rights issues. And they didn't alter them from their original form (like, say, having J. Elvis Weinstein's voice in the theater segments replaced by Kevin Murphy's voice).

    Applying this to the OOT, this is how I'd prefer it. Okay, the OOT is not exactly what George Lucas wanted at the time. But fans would still like to see it in as good a condition as is possible to achieve. So, I figure he should release it along with the other versions. He can still say that it's not his full vision of the story, but it's not a total waste, either. And it might even be valuable as a way to compare what he had to settle for and what he ultimately ended up with.

    As for why this is apparently not an option for him, I can only go by what he says. I don't agree with his reasoning, but that's as far as I'll go.

    Or am I on the wrong track with this?
  19. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    You're on the right track, but GL probably feels he's already done that, to a certain extent, with the 2006 DVD release, which included each film of the OOT as a bonus feature.

    Unfortunately, these were made from the same masters as the 1995 laserdiscs, so they're 4:3 letterboxed Standard Definition, which is not really up to standard in this day & age. Not all that much of a step up from VHS.
    I was also quite irritated that in order to get them I'd have to basically buy the 2004 DVDs all over again - so I didn't.
  20. halibut Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    zombie, your arguments are filled with non-sequiturs, strawman, and baseless conjecture.

    For example

    "People who don't care--which, if they don't care about the original versions, I assume means they care mainly about the SE and PT" - wrong assumption. the majority don't care about which version they have. Star Wars is just that. Star Wars.

    "Imagine instead if Lucas removed your DVDs and Blu-ray and all the TV airings, gave you a VHS of the prequels and a VHS of the Special Edition and said, this is all you get" - A very weak argument. Has Lucas taken away your OOT VHS tapes?

    As for the argument about what the media say, journalists only care about getting a reaction. And who are they going to get that from? the happy majority, or the vocal minority? Same with celebrities. They like to have their voices heard to stay in the public's eye. That's their job. So that's another argument that doesn't hold water.

    And the sudden leap from that to "The real reason Lucas won't release them is because he...wants to control people to watch the versions he like better, so he doesn't give them the choice. Lucas has had a lifelong obsession with control and this is just one more manifestation of it." is just staggering.
  21. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    Not really, but okay, let's play.

    Since I wasn't responding to you, I don't know why you are making assumptions about what Anakinfansince1983 likes or doesn't. He or she stated he/she doesn't care about the OOT. If you don't care about the OOT, you must care about the SE, because you have to care about one or the other or both. Since he or she has said they don't particularly care about the OOT issue, they don't care about the OOT and they can't carry about both either, otherwise they couldn't have made such a statement. That means they must care about the SE mainly or only.

    You've missed my entire point. I never said he took away any OOT VHS tapes. That's not what I was saying at all. In fact, that I still have my VHS tapes is part of the problem and the point I was making. I was saying that there is actually no real-world analogy that SE-fans or prequel fans have when it comes to sharing the sentiment of the OOT fan. This is because if Lucas were to start suppressing the SE and PT tommorrow it would inconsequential--the films are in remastered DVD and HD tv broadcasts and now Blu-ray. If he stopped selling them, you could still enjoy the films in the highest quality that it will ever be possible to see them in (the SE is scanned at 1080 lines of resolution and PT are actually less than 1080 lines of resolution, so you see basically the exact same thing that is in the computers at ILM).

    This is not something the OOT fan has available. There are no remastered DVDs or high-def television airings or Blu-rays which have the highest resolution the films can ever be shown in including theatres. The OOT fan is stuck with VHS and Laserdisc from 1993 (riddled with DVNR I might add), with no possibility of upgrading. So, the only hypothetical analogy for the SE and PT would be if Lucas not only stopped selling the SE and PT but also confiscated the high-quality versions you own now, replacing them with VHS tapes (or Laserdiscs, if you prefer) so that you can never watch the SE or PT in anything but that quality. That is what the OOT situation is like--you just have VHS tapes, or alternatively Laserdisc transfers, from 1993, nothing better.

    So, if a SE fan or a prequel fan only had VHS tapes from a 1993 source, and nothing better, with no hope of getting anything better, which is what the OOT is faced with, and Lucas says you will never see the films again and those tapes will rot in 30 or 40 years too (which is what he said in 1997 regarding the OOT)--wouldn't that be frustrating, to say the least? You would be outraged, and maybe you could stand it for a bit, but after 15 years and you see Frankenhooker on Blu-ray from a 2K scan...wouldn't that upset you deeply? Of course it would. That's only natural. So I'm just trying to show things in a way that is on equal footing so people can see where the frustration comes from. It's not unjustified. If fans of the SE and PT were stuck with VHS tapes and Laserdiscs from the early 1990s, with no hope of getting anything better, you'd probably not be so relaxed about the whole thing.

    It was an analogy. I never was suggesting that Lucas actually came into people's homes to take their tapes. I believe that would qualify me as insane. Please read the post more clearly.

  22. halibut Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    It seems that each of us thinks that the other is misunderstanding the points we are trying to make, so I'll just say that I appreciate your rebuttals, but I disagree with them.
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  23. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    OK, just to clarify a point - there's repeated references in these sort of threads to the "1993 Laserdisc" of the OOT. In 1995, there was a UK laserdisc release (the Executor boxset) accompanying the 'last-time ever' VHS boxset. IIRC, there's also a 1991 laserdisc release in fancy faux-leather cases.

    Any difference between these? I'm assuming the laserdiscs from the UK 1995 boxset were made from the same masters as the VHS tapes were that year, which, as I seem to recall, received a very basic remastering (which would suggest that a 1995 laserdisc is, at least, a bit better than ones from 1991 or 1993).
  24. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    That would have been you making such assumptions, not halibut.

    I don't "prefer" the SEs. I simply don't care one way or another--nobody "has to" have a version preference. They're both the Star Wars OT, and I can't follow the line of thinking that a few changes, many of them improvements to the visual quality, make the film completely different. Hence why I don't care one way or another.

    And didn't Lucas release the OOT in DVD in the 2006 sets?

    No, he can't, but you are also making assumptions that people would choose the OOT in droves if Lucas offered it. As far as I know, there are no such objective polls to prove this, only a few loud voices. We have no way of knowing exactly what percentage of the viewing/purchasing public is represented by the vocal objections. I certainly wouldn't draw the conclusion that Lucas is a control freak based on an unproveable assumption regarding whether people would prefer the OOT and would refuse to watch the tinkered versions.
  25. Grand_Moff_Jawa Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2001
    star 5
    It both saddens and disappoints me that so many fans don't care which version of Star Wars they watch. Star Wars is Star Wars, they claim. I guess I'm just more discerning than that. I don't believe that all cars are the same, or all albums are the same, etc. This is admittedly an unpopular attitude towards Star Wars, but I can't help but be me. This is a hopeless battle at this point. George gave us something, took it back and changed it and gave us something less than what we had (according to a lot of fans). I'm just not okay with that.