Well it's about time....

Discussion in 'San Francisco, CA' started by Zero_has_lightsaber, May 3, 2006.

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  1. Harlock415 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2003
    star 4
    For those who want to voice their opinions and want it be known that LucasFilm should release a proper version of the O-OT and not some shovelware import from an inferior master.

    Jim Ward
    Senior Vice President
    Lucasfilm Ltd.
    5858 Lucas Valley Rd.
    Nicasio, CA 94946

    Phone: 415-662-1800
    Fax: 415-448-2495

    also publicity@lucasfilm.com

    Please keep your tone respectful, But make them aware that we are concerned that the movies will be of substandard quality.

    Now as far as covers are concerned...

    [image=http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b262/Coov/OUT1.jpg]
    [image=http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b262/Coov/OUT2.jpg]
    [image=http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b262/Coov/OUT3.jpg]

    Sometimes the best work is the simplest ones.
  2. Harlock415 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2003
    star 4
    The following is a followup to the previous articles posted on DigitalBits concerning the releases. And before anybody says these are just rumors. I've read digital bits for years. They are the #1 source for DVD news and they are seldom wrong when they go from rumor to news and to when they actually confirm from 2 sources.


    We want to take a few moments this morning to post some follow-up thoughts on our Star Wars DVD editorial from yesterday. Since we first posted the DVD transfer information, and especially after our comments of yesterday morning, we've received many hundreds of e-mails from Star Wars fans, home theater enthusiasts and industry insiders (our sincere thanks to all of you for your thoughts), nearly all of whom agree with our sentiments, specifically that if Lucasfilm is going to release the original theatrical versions of the Star Wars films on DVD, they should at least present them in anamorphic widescreen to ensure some semblance of acceptable video quality for fans who may wish to purchase them. Still, a few people felt we were making mountains out of molehills.

    Whatever your personal opinions, however, there remains a reality that is hard to deny, which is this: Anamorphic enhancement is the widely accepted industry standard for the presentation of widescreen films on DVD. This is not pie in the sky 'unobtanium' technology that costs untold millions to implement... it's a basic technique that is standard practice on DVD and has been for many years now, since the fairly early days of the DVD format back in 1997. Keep in mind, we're not asking for 4K high-definition presentation at this point. We're simply asking that Lucas - who has in the past been so focused on the quality presentation of his films that he created THX (and the THX certification process) to ensure it - expend a little more effort and money to ensure that the Star Wars DVDs planned for release on 9/12, which are already set to offer the original theatrical versions of these films, offer them in reasonably acceptable video quality that is commensurate to the minimum level that's considered standard for the DVD format today.

    Now... we've heard all manner of excuses and contradictory official statements as to why this can't happen: 1) the original film negatives are gone, 2) the other existing original elements have deteriorated too badly, 3) there are just no quality film elements remaining anywhere that could be used, 4) the 1993 laserdisc masters are the best source material that can be found for use on DVD after exhaustive searches of the Lucasfilm Archives, etc. Some of these excuses run from the unlikely to the absurd, and all of them strike us as publicity machine spin.

    We've debunked all of these excuses previously but, for the record, let's do so again:

    1) The original negatives are gone, destroyed as part of the process of creating the 1997 special edition versions.

    We're inclined to believe this is true. Still, the original negatives are not the only viable elements that can be used to transfer the films for home video release. There are numerous interpositive prints. There are the separation masters. Worst case, there are a number of high quality release prints available. In short, other elements exist that can be used for this purpose.

    2) The other existing original elements have deteriorated too badly to be used.

    We'll come back to this one in a minute.

    3) There are just no quality film elements remaining anywhere that could be used.

    See our answer to #1. Even if it's true that Lucas and his staff destroyed all of the original negatives, it's unlikely in the extreme that they also destroyed all of the interpositives, all of the separation masters, and all of the release prints. In fact, we know that they didn't. Where, for example, would the anamorphic footage of the original 1977 opening text crawl from A New Hope - the footage that appeared in the Empire of Dreams DVD documentary - have come from if not from quality surviving film elements? Still, even if Lucas did
  3. Harlock415 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2003
    star 4
    Actual confirmation has arrived via Video Business Online


    Lucasfilm: Original Star Wars 'bonus'
    Fans protest release of laserdisc prints on DVD
    By Susanne Ault 5/23/2006

    MAY 23 | In the wake of extreme fan protests, Lucasfilm is positioning its release of the original ?70s theatrical versions of the first three Star Wars movies as bonus features.

    As groused about on various DVD enthusiast Web sites, including www.thedigitalbits.com and www.hometheaterforum.com, Lucasfilm confirmed the studio is not remastering these early films. The prints for the Sept. 12 DVDs of Star Wars: Episode IV?A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V?The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI?Return of the Jedi come from laserdiscs of the films released in the mid ?90s. This means that Episodes IV-V1 will bow in their original film composition, not in the more cinematic anamorphic widescreen transfer.

    Lucasfilm acknowledges that some imperfections are embedded in the prints, but director of publicity John Singh said the company felt there was little need to invest resources into sprucing up films that have already been restored to pristine form.

    Special edition versions of the films with additions made by George Lucas were released in theaters in the ?90s and on DVD in 2004.

    ?We put a lot of time and effort into digitally restoring the negatives for the 2004 DVD releases,? Singh said. ?The late ?90s theatrical versions represent George?s vision for Star Wars. We hoped that by releasing the original movies as a bonus disc, it would be a way to give the fans something that is fun. We certainly didn?t want to be become a source of frustration for fans.?

    Although the prints aren?t in the best of shape, the masters used for the laserdiscs ?do look good,? Singh assured.

    Both old and new versions of Episodes IV-VI will be included in the Sept. 14 Star Wars sets, to be distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The revamped ?90s theatrical versions will be offered in widescreen.

    This release also represents the first time the movies will be available individually.

    Fans have threatened to boycott buying the original Star Wars films if they aren?t cleaned up.

    ?These are the versions that the fans saw as kids back in the ?70s?this was how they grew up,? said Ron Epstein, HomeTheaterForum.com co-owner. ?George doesn?t like these versions, and it?s not the way he wants his legacy to be remembered. But fans [are saying], ?You aren?t doing us a favor [in putting out] what basically amounts to a laserdisc transfer.?

    Aware of the uproar, Lucasfilm is in the process of directly contacting its upset fan base in an attempt to smooth things over.

    Some fans had been speculating that Lucasfilm was saving its big gun efforts for the new generation DVD formats. But the company said that at this time, there are no plans to release the original ?70s Star Wars versions in high-definition.

    ?We absolutely appreciate the fact that these fans are so passionate,? Singh said. ?It?s indicative of the fact that they care so much about Star Wars.?


    Okay 2 things. What does it mean by contacting it's fanbase directly to smooth things out? The best way to smooth things out is give these movies a proper release. And the other thing is this: Some fans had been speculating that Lucasfilm was saving its big gun efforts for the new generation DVD formats. But the company said that at this time, there are no plans to release the original ?70s Star Wars versions in high-definition.. So those waiting for the ubber deluxe set in high hopes -- well looks like we aren't getting that either.
  4. skye_solo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2004
    star 3

    ?We absolutely appreciate the fact that these fans are so passionate,? Singh said. ?It?s indicative of the fact that they care so much about Star Wars.?



    It's sad that George Lucas cares so little about Star Wars. Actually he doesn't seem to care at all. He just wants money for the SEs.
  5. Harlock415 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2003
    star 4
    It's the beginning of the Corporate Spin after the backlash.

    "We understand your concerns, but you should still buy them because it says Star Wars on it."

    Well all I can say is that the skull and crossbones flag ain't going away anytime soon.
  6. Skatou-Laki Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2003
    star 1
    I read somewhere that if George gave everyone who saw his movies $100,000, there would be someone who would complain that he didn't give them $100,001. I think there would be a lot more who would complain, but it's a metaphor.

    I am personally elated that I get to see my shistavanen wolfmen in the cantina again, that Han shoots first again, that Lapti Nek is back instead of Jedi rocks (I can never make myself sit through that scene, it's just awful and just takes you right out of the movie). I'm glad to hear Boba's original voice, that there's no ASP droid being taunted by a hover droid in Mos Eisley, Sebastian Shaw is back and Jabba is out, etc etc etc REGARDLESS IF IT'S WIDESCREEN, ANAMORPHIC, ANTHROPAMORPHIC, OR MIGHTYMORPHIC.

    I also love seeing the treatment that was given to Cloud City in the Speical Editions, that you see everyone celebrating around the universe at the end of ROTJ, all the activity going on in the background of the hive of scum and villainy, etc etc etc.

    I love the fact that I can have both on one disc. If there is a version that is preferred, then watch it or download the latest fan-edit, but all this nitpicking and whining is giving SW fans a bad name. Look, I don't like some things that GL has done either, but this attitude of GL stealing away our childhood is getting ridiculous. Yes, we want to have it ALL, but sometimes one just can't be happy even if one did have it all.

    Even if there was a 20 disc super-set available, there'd be a website devoted to stuff that still wasn't on those discs. Don't buy it if you don't want it, but I know that I am going to be there when the stores open on September 12th. [face_peace]
  7. Harlock415 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2003
    star 4
    Unfortunately I'm in a bind. I'm buying the set so I can legally say that I not only own the LDs but the official DVDs as well. That way, the "other discs" will be considered backups and re-edits of products I already own. Oh and I was actually contacted by Lucasfilm a few days ago. I received an auto-response addressing the issue.


    To Whom it May Concern:

    I wanted you to know how much we appreciate the passion and enthusiasm you have for Star Wars, and thank you for sharing your concerns about our upcoming DVD release.

    The DVDs being released in September will contain two versions of Star Wars: Episodes IV, V and VI ? the Special Editions (which represent George?s vision of the movies) and the first versions, which will be included as bonus material. We hoped that releasing those ?original? movies on a bonus disc would be a way to have some additional fun with the debut of the movies as individual DVDs. We certainly did not want it to become a source of concern or frustration for any of our fans.

    As you may know, an enormous amount of effort was put into digitally restoring the negatives for the Special Editions. In one scene alone, nearly 1 million pieces of dirt had to be removed, and the Special Editions were created through a frame-by-frame digital restoration. The negatives of the movies were permanently altered for the creation of the Special Editions, and existing prints of the first versions are in poor condition.

    So many fans have requested the original movies, we wanted to find a way to bring them to you. But since these movies do not represent George's artistic vision, we could not put the extraordinary time and resources into this project as we did with the Special Editions. The 1993 Laserdisc masters represented the best source for providing the original versions as DVD bonus material. Although these are non-anamorphic versions, they do preserve the original widescreen composition of the movies.

    We want you to be aware that we have no plans ? now or in the future ? to restore the earlier versions.


    We hope you will understand our decision and, again, want to let you know how much we appreciate your interest and enthusiasm.

    Sincerely,
    Lynne Hale

    publicity@lucasfilm.com


    It's unfortunate really. But consumer technology is catching up and it will be up to us at originaltrilogy.com to do what has to be done. Remember children, don't "buy" bootlegs.
  8. Harlock415 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2003
    star 4
    I'm bumping this up because a European site has screencaps up. bare in mind that the source is most likely a PAL source which has a higher resolution.

    Star Wars
    The Empire Strikes Back
    Return of the Jedi

    Some scenes look ok. But others will not look sohot when blown up to the size of your TV. Of coursse screencaps are not always good representations of what your tv will look like, since these are compressed and resized jpegs, but they look pretty grainy and flat as is.

    I will have to compare these with EditDroid's letterboxed version to verify how different this new transfer will be compared to the work of fans.
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