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. WhiskeyGold Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2001
    star 4
    Well Fox will own the rights to Distribute ANH forever and they keep the others until 2020. Don't look for Disney to release is OOT (pre-se). If they do after 2020 the box set will not have ANH unless some deal is made.
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  2. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    The most important question here is: Do decent prints of the OOT (i.e., DVD/Blu-ray quality) even exist for potential releases? Back in the day, the OOT was released in non-anamorphic widescreen on Laserdisc & VHS. However, I have never seen an anamorphic widescreen version of these OOT films on home video. In late '96/early '97, I do remember reading that the OOT film stock had deteriorated quite badly, and that Lflm. had a very difficult time restoring the movies in order to make the Special Editions. So, who knows if these versions are even available anymore. Maybe the 2006 non-anamorphic widescreen DVD's of the OOT (which were ripped from the laserdiscs, IIRC) are the best we can hope for.

    If would be nice to see some official clarification on this either way, however.

    Also, since I didn't read all of the responses on this thread, I apologize in advance if it's already come up.
    Last edited by Blur, Nov 4, 2012
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  3. fishtailsam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    I too was somehow under the impression that the theatrical release of the OT was destroyed to make the SE-OT. And that's why they released the laser disk version.
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  4. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    Yes, that's what I thought as well. The non-anamorphic widescreen LD version (i.e., the version that's on the 2006 OOT DVD's) was alright back in the '90's when many of us didn't know any better. However, these days most of us are used to crystal-clear picture quality, HD TV's/Monitors, excellent sound quality, etc. - and, it's obvious these LD versions are extremely sub-par. Not only are the picture & sound quality poor (overall), but there are many cases when the picture is cropped on the sides (the throne room celebration sequence is one example)....
    Last edited by Blur, Nov 4, 2012
  5. fishtailsam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    That's so weird. I never bought that set. I have bootleg rips straight from the LD. So at least it hasn't been cropped. It doesn't look too bad but yeah not crystal clear. I still prefer mine to the SEOT.

    So what was someone saying about fox keeping the rights to ANH forever?
  6. Sethian Eber Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    The original Star Wars (aka episode IV ANH) is a Fox film. If memory serves (my apologies if I mess up the details), GL was able to secure the sequel and merchandising rights for SW, a rather genius move in retrospect. Not sure if anybody else in Hollywood ever did such a thing, and if they did it would be a short list.

    I've also read that it gets more complicated when it comes to the Special Edition along with the further modified releases. That 'technically' the modified version(s) are a different film which belongs (belonged before the recent Disney acquisition) to Lucas. I really don't know how these things work or whether or not that is even true.

    There are a lot of good points on both sides in this thread along with some irrational bickering. For example, I do not understand why some people are flat-out against releasing the originals. From a general film perspective, that argument completely fails. It matters not if the interested parties are a minority or whether it goes against GL's vision and GL is the filmmaker. Fans of the films should have a choice. Some fans might wish the revised editions didn't exist, but that it equally irrational. There should be a choice, the same with other films that have multiple variations. And it isn't just the OT, but the PT as well in all honesty. Heck, even the original SEs should be among the choices especially considering they were shown theatrically.

    To be fair, those who refuse to screen or purchase the blu rays are missing out. This is the best that these films have ever looked. These films have never looked better and 95%+ of them are present. Some may feel the changes affect the entire film, but I personally never felt that way and I'm sure many others do not either. Greedo shooting first has always bothered me and the ROTJ "Noooo!!" is definitely annoying. But it doesn't alter the films for me. If it did, I would rip ROTJ and replace that particular audio. Not something everybody could do, but not exactly difficult either (for personal use of course).

    Recent comments by GL indicate that those worried should stop worrying. Nothing GL says is Gospel. He changes his mind all the time, he's often inconsistent and guilty of double speak. Which he admits aka the letter to Lost producers saying never to admit you make it up as you go along. He also has a unique sense of humor that fans (and actors) fail to see. For the 3D releases, I have a feeling the films will be restored including the omitted material. Nothing was destroyed, the original stuff exists and there are plenty of IPs and separation masters, etc. It will be released at some point. Spielberg advocating originals and releasing the original ET will most likely have an influencing effect.

    PS - speaking of 3d, that's why I think the extended rock covering R2 exists in the original on blu ray. To add depth on 3d (which in theory would explain how he got in there, not noticeable in 2d). Same with other alterations. And I wouldn't take some people for their word regarding the restoration process. AKA the blus (and previous dvds) are from a 1080p only source. They look quite amazing. Maybe Lowry was given 1080p sources from LFL, but I don't think they were merely 1080p scans given the quality.
  7. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    Film prints have much higher resolution than DVD or Blu-ray. As for being decent, I'd say yes, they exist in that state:

    [IMG]
  8. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    However, as zombie pointed out a while back, it's illegal for private collectors to own 35mm or 70mm film prints (no one cares about 16mm). So while there's most likely a good few copies of the OOT floating around in collections, the problem is whether or not they're being stored and preserved correctly. Film naturally degrades over time, and even if a complete print of one of the films turned up in someone's basement, it could be utterly unwatchable - not just dirt & a few scratches, but faded almost completely. We're talking about 30+ year old movies.
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  9. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    Yes, you hit the nail on the head - this is exactly what I meant when I asked if there were any good film prints of the OOT available anywhere that could be transferred to DVD/Blu-ray & that are of DVD/Blu-ray quality. As I mentioned in my earlier post, in an article I read around the time the SE's were released (late '96/early '97) Lflm. had a very difficult time restoring the existing OOT prints to make the SE's since the prints had deteriorated very badly over the years. And, if they had access to good prints, I don't see why this would have been a problem.

    The bottom line here is this: If there are no good prints of the OOT available for use, then I don't see how we can get the OOT on DVD/Blu-ray, even if Disney/Lflm. wanted & could make them available.
  10. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    I don't know enough about film restoration (or actual film cutting, for that matter, I work in the digital realm of post-production) to make a definitive evaluation, but as I understand it, the main problem was that the original negative had deteriorated. Using positive prints (the ones they actually use in projectors) doesn't provide the same picture quality - that's why they recut the original negative for Apocalypse Now Redux, although Coppola first had a high quality positive print struck from it for archiving purposes.
    The technology LFL was using for the SE's was considerably behind what's used today, as well.

    Most of the prints of the OOT returned by cinemas to LFL & 20th Century Fox were probably destroyed, I imagine. No, it's not a crime against history, it's a simple storage issue, there must have been thousands of those big film cans.

    zombie's the real expert on this stuff, and sadly, he doesn't post around here any more. Here's his site addressing these issues: http://savestarwars.com/
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  11. Sethian Eber Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Because the original is such an important milestone in the history of cinema, fans are worried that no good prints exist and no proper restoration or an 8k archival scan will ever take place. GL's own comments haven't helped either. Fans shouldn't really worry though, there are good prints and I don't mean release prints either. Interpositives and internegatives, color separation prints, and the original camera negatives for Empire and Jedi are fine. The SE scene with Jabba added to the original is taken from an interpositive because the OCN elements are lost. It looks great (I mean the film quality, not referring to the scene or CG). Many blu rays are made from interpositives that look great.

    The original camera negative for SW E4 was in bad shape with a lot of color loss. This was restored in 1997 for the SE. Whatever generation loss occurred in the transfer process is probably minimal compared to the further deterioration of the film since 1997. The elements not in the SE could be restored from other higher quality masters or the OCN elements themselves (if they haven't completely lost their colors). OCN is desirable but not necessary if the OCN is no longer around. The film stock of the original SW was a poor film stock. Despite some misinformation, the LoC has multiple high quality prints of the original (and the later SE) for archival purposes.

    The worst prints are release prints. Contrary to popular belief, release prints are crap and have at best the equivalent of 720p in terms of spatial resolution when projected. The chemical process smears the resolution due to uneven gate speeds. Then you got dirt and damage on top of that. The ones in private collections are old and have color problems which aren't entirely fixable. Some kung fu films have been sourced from release print on blu ray and they're terrible. It's the negative that has the highest resolution and you need a good scan to bring it out. I think we'll be seeing the original versions in the future on blu ray and other formats. I wouldn't worry about it.
  12. gezvader28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2003
    star 4
    Well film deterioration was a big issue even back in the early 80's , according to Gary Kurtz they were well aware of this and they made 3 strip technicolor safety prints of the movies for preservation .

    also - I would be staggered if after restoring the original camera negative in '96 they then proceeded to cut it up . There'd be no need to anyway , to make alterations you don't hack the negative , you make a print from the negative and fiddle with that to create a new negative .

    for instance - think about 70mm prints , they aren't prints off of the 35mm negative , they have to create a 70mm negative first to make prints .

    it's basically the same with the 35mm prints , there were thousands of them , they weren't all copied off the original negative , they'd make a number of new negatives to then mass produce the prints .
    Last edited by gezvader28, Nov 7, 2012
  13. morrison85 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2005
    star 5
    I wonder what is wrong with the OOT on dvd, It may not be analog film but it is pretty close to the original and hasnt got altered scenes etc.
  14. Sethian Eber Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    The OOT on dvd or GOUT as it is unofficially known as (George's Original Unaltered Theatrical) is based on a 1993 telecine (process of converting film to video). Telecine has vastly improved since then now that most films are scanned at very high resolutions which also allows them to be archived digitally. Gate weave (subtle motion in the telecine film gate) and film shrinkage are now adjusted by a computer to eliminate them. This tech was available for use in 2006 and was used on the 2004 set, but it hadn't been invented really in 1993 so gate weave is present. The source was also interlaced with 3:2 pulldown and may have even been analog (since it was destined for analog formats like laserdisc and VHS) being that digital betacam was brand new in 1993. It's been deinterlaced and IVTC (removes pulldown) with a couple artifacts as a result. Sorry of it's too technical. Basically it's an old primitive scan and it shows.

    It's also not anamorphic widescreen. DVDs stretched letterboxed video and the player or TV would unstretch it. This increases resolution and is also default for HDTVs. With the OOT you get black bars on all four sides and have to hit the TV's zoom button which will cut off subtitles. The source was also very grainy. This was not apparent in the lower resolution laserdisc and VHS versions, but it stands out in the DVD. It suffers from analog noise reduction as well which gives it a soft look and other anomalies.

    It's the original version, but it doesn't look very good. It also has a compressed 1993 pro logic soundtrack versus the uncompressed one on the laserdisc.

    I wish we had an HD choice between original and new, but I still bought the new. The blu ray looks great. Some people don't like the colors because the levels and contrast have been adjusted to give it a modern look at the expense of details which can crush blacks and highlights. I think it looks fantastic, I prefer this look to that of a 70s and 80s film. I also don't mind most of the additions. The re-composited optical effects, the cleaner and in some cases digital mattes, the elimination of matte lines and garbage mattes, additional background detail in some shots. These improve the look of the film. I even like some of the CG such as the death star battle. I don't mind the Jabba scene. It's an addition and not a replacement. It can be skipped or removed. The improved speeder is cool. So is things like the sand crawler. Mos Eisley and dewbecks don't bother me. I prefer the Ian Mcdiarmid emperor in ESB, but again I think people should have a choice. I don't have any preference for either the Jabba's palace 90s popish musical number or the original funky 70s one it replaced. I prefer the new ending music in ROTJ to yub nub, but again people should have a choice.

    I don't like Vader's 'nooooo!' or Greedo shooting first. Greedo shooting first has long bothered me but I realized all the original frames are there. If I cared, I could just remove the frames and adjust the audio. Same with the 'noooo!', could just replace that particular instance with the 2004 dvd audio.
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  15. morrison85 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2005
    star 5
    Oh Okay thanks for clarification.
    I don't have an HD tv I still have a bog standard CRT TV (and then it is also PAL obviously)
  16. ireactions Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2012
    One poster in this thread has really upset me by saying anyone who dislikes the Special Editions are childish or unable to accept change or being controlling.

    I liked *some* of the Special Edition changes. It's nice to see a more detailed and maneuverable Millennium Falcon, fixed matte paintings in the Death Star detention area, the Hoth battle without matte lines, a more open Cloud City, a rancor without matte lines and bluescreen fragments. These enhancements are not distracting and raise the visual quality.

    However, in the CG additions to Mos Eisley have a glossy smoothness at odds with the physical texture of the genuine props and sets in the rest of the film. The slapstick comedy with the droids engaging in inconsequential violence undermines Ben Kenobi saying Mos Eisley is a dangerous place where violence is something to genuinely fear. The new CG creatures have an artificial, plastic look mismatched to the shots they're added to. The same problem recurs in the Battle of Yavin: shots of CG fighters are mixed in with 1977 physical models and they don't fit together visually. It's distracting and disengages me from the film.

    I'm happy with the EMPIRE revisions, but RETURN OF THE JEDI has a CG musical number that, like Mos Eisley, has a plastic, digital look that's totally against the practical, physical texture of the movie. Christansen's appearance at the end is disjointed; he has never appeared in the original trilogy and feels like a stranger. Also, he looks *at* the camera while Ben and Yoda are looking at Luke, so he doesn't mesh with the rest of the shot.

    These are not childish complaints; these are issues where the films have become visually disjointed due to changes that have not been designed to blend into the existing film. The recolouring of the films has also messed up the look of the lightsabers, obliterated shadow detail in dark scenes, blacked out starfields and made it hard to see what's going on.

    If these things don't bother you, the poster who upset me, then good! I am happy for you. But just because the issues don't bother you doesn't mean they don't exist.

    You say we shouldn't have the unaltered trilogy in HD simply because you wouldn't want it -- does this mean shoes you wouldn't wear shouldn't exist and books you wouldn't read shouldn't be written and drinks you wouldn't consume shouldn't be poured?

    If you are happy with the blu-ray versions, why do you care that some other version might exist? Why do you falsely portray those who do not share your opinions as the complaints of the whining entitled?

    In your declaration that nobody should be allowed to show the unaltered films, you describe your fear that people might like the unaltered versions more. You further say that people who might like the unaltered versions more would have been manipulated into doing so -- are you so insecure in your opinions that you need to claim anyone who disagrees with you has been deceived into doing so?

    There are some who think any and all Special Edition changes were wrong. I am perfectly capable of saying I *like* the CG Millennium Falcon and the cleaned up rancor without telling people who disagree with me that they are foolish, incapable of accepting change, shouldn't be allowed to have an unaltered version and calling them names or claiming that people aren't allowed to disagree with me.
    Last edited by ireactions, Nov 22, 2012
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  17. fishtailsam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    So since now we can be pretty sure that the OOT exists, could we assume that in order to produce a OOT bluray box set, all Disney would have to do is to throw some $$$ Fox's way?
  18. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Unlikely. Fox could have spammed OOT material all over the place since ever, as they own the distribution rights to the OT. Note that the only SW material in iTunes/Google Play/Amazon Prime is The Clone Wars, too; there's nothing as far as the films go. Fox is pretty tight-fisted as far as SW goes.

    Plus I don't think any of them really see a need besides pleasing a minority in the fanbase...the OT is still rocking above 80% fresh on RT despite these horrible changes :p
    Last edited by DarthBoba, Nov 23, 2012
  19. darklordoftech Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 6
    What's preventing the LD transfers from being converted to anamorphic?
  20. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Bumped, as the other Disney-OOT thread is newer.
  21. SlashMan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2012
    star 3
    Originally, I thought that they should fix the obvious errors (i.e. Landspeeder blob) if they were going to release the OOT, but I've since changed my mind. For historical purposes, just have the original theatrical versions (and maybe the '81 re-release).

    While I don't think it would be overwhelmingly popular, it's still hard to avoid those who demand the original trilogy. To that, I say release a limited edition set or something. The current releases won't be interfered with, and the purists can get what they want.
  22. Poor Greedo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2012
    star 2
    I downloaded the OT through the interwebs...unaltered and uncut! I would not advocate the use of 'certain' sites, but damn if they didn't have EXACTLY what I was looking for. my pc is hooked up to my HDTV anyway so its an all around win. The blu rays would be nice but ill take a digi copy!

    ps after watching the altered releases for so long the OT unaltered is a bit of a shock tbh :)
  23. Bobatron Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
    See, that's not an "error". No one thought anything about that "landspeeder blob" and a lot of other things until 1997 when Lucasfilm and the press threw it in our faces with behind-the-scenes stuff to promote the Special Editions. Prior to that, the most I ever heard anyone notice were the matte "squares" around TIE Fighters and other ships, and then the TIE Fighters that are seen through the Falcon during the big attack shot in ROTJ (and that was largely because a TV behind-the-scenes special pointed it out), but since changing movies was almost unheard of, no one thought "man, they should, like, fix that or remake it." I was more interested in looking at the landspeeder--seeing my Kenner toy on screen and in action--than its shadow.

    It is so complicated getting that dang Despecialized edition; I don't have experience in torrents, patience in sifting through threads and getting invites and registrations, nor do I trust doing that stuff on my computer. I noticed a co-worker talking about torrents and asked him, and he simply looked it up and downloaded it but it's been over two weeks and the guy still hasn't gotten them to me. You can't rely on people to do a thing; if you ever want someone to do something for you, insist on paying for it even if that person just says "nah that's okay, I can do it, no problem" because otherwise they will not be motivated to do it. That goes for doing anything. ANYTHING. And I am almost certain there will be a problem with it when I do get it because this guy doesn't know a thing about STAR WARS to know what's what in which version.
    Last edited by Bobatron, Jan 13, 2013
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  24. Fives_Says_No_To_Sixes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2013
    star 3
    Sorry if someone has already said this but I figured I'd say it anyways in response to @Poor Greedo because of his post about downloading the "unaltered" version.

    When you say "unaltered," what exactly do you mean? There really technically is no accurate version that can be deemed as "unaltered" considering different prints were sent out to theaters when it first opened. Since then, every subsequent release has had differences until they eventually got to the SE where they overhauled a great deal.


    To respond to the main question of the thread: Yes, there are real reasons that the OT will never get an unaltered release -
    1. There is no complete, assembled, "unaltered" version to do a scan of.
    2. If they were to do a DI of every piece of film in Lucasfilm's library concerning the OT and try to assemble an "unaltered" version, it would be unbelievably expensive and the profit would probably not make it the best business venture.
    3. If they did happen to try and over come the lack of a complete, assembled print by doing what I said in #2, regardless of price, people would still disagree on what they think they saw in theaters because there would be no single version that could appease anyone.

    I think they did the best that they could when they released the tweaked LD on DVD back in '06 - I wish they were better quality, but even when I watch the complete saga on BD, i'm not impressed with the transfer so the '06 DVDs don't fail in my eyes based on their quality.
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  25. Poor Greedo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2012
    star 2
    They were ripped from the Original DVD Release (sometimes spotted on ebay for big $). The quality is no where near great BUT I did get to see han shoot first :) Any changes made to these particular scans, were minute and trivial at best. These looked the closest to the originals I could find and probably is as close as your going to get, for now :)