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CT STAR WARS LEGACY EDITION - RESTORATION OF THE 1977 ORIGINAL STAR WARS

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by DrDre, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
  2. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    The North remembers. :p
     
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  3. TX-20

    TX-20 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Pepperidge Farm remembers.
     
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  4. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001

    Your gut remembers.
     
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  5. Mr. K

    Mr. K Moderator Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 1999
    It would be interesting to know what contractual obligations there are with CT (and even PT for that matter) re-releases in the LFL sale to Disney. When does Fox lose control of ANH? 2020- or is that even on the table? What if it is a GL "over my dead body" type of thing? Which pretty much secures SE versions until Georgy croaks? Who knows- like Riddler says "questions, questions, questions...".

    Both Kathy Kennedy and Bob Iger are sound business people. Surely they see the benefit. I think their hands are tied.
     
  6. Bowen

    Bowen Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 1999

    Yeah, none. The most current release is the best release, for me. The Special Editions were an incredible leap forward and that's when I became a Star Wars fan. I always loved the movies, but seeing them on VHS and just looking dated wasn't my idea of "ideal." When I saw them in theaters as Special Editions, that was when I was blown away. I love the SE changes. While I certainly can understand someone appreciating the historical version of the 1977 Star Wars, that's also all it would be for me -- an interesting piece of history. I'd never want to see it. It would be like going back in time and using an old computer. Sure, maybe it would work, but it's not as good as current computers.
     
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  7. Mike Verta

    Mike Verta Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2015
    It would have been possible to improve the vfx shots in the original Star Wars in a way which matched tonally and stylistically. I may have even explained that in the X-Wing VFX breakdown video, but ultimately, it's not particularly difficult to do today, it would just require a lot of work and a vfx lead who understood the aesthetic. Arguments about whether it should or not should not have been done are separate from the piss poor amateur way they were done. But of course, just because something sucks doesn't mean a million people won't like it anyway. I mean, clearly. But for those of us who do vfx professionally, we don't try to target the people who can't tell and don't care, we target the ones who can and do.
     
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  8. Mandalorian Ray

    Mandalorian Ray Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    May 31, 2014
    I relistened to an old episode of The VFX Show today about the 2011 blu-ray release of the films. Where they had one of the colorists of the 2004 dvd release on to talk about the restoration and revisionism that's been going on with Star Wars through the years. An interesting listen for most people in this thread I reckon :) Head over to FXGuide.com
     
  9. Darkslayer

    Darkslayer Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Not to be a nag, I just want to say that it is only your opinion that it wasn't done well. There are no facts when judging something like this, IMO
     
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  10. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 10, 2011

    But didn't Dennis Muren supervise the new VFX shots in the Special Editions? He worked on the original shots back in the 70s, so I don't think you can dismiss him as some amateur who simply didn't understand the aesthetic. Maybe he and the others who worked on the Special Editions just had a different opinion on how much the new shots should adhere to the style of the old shots. After all, the whole point of the new shots was to be different from the old shots. How closely the new shots needed to adhere to the aesthetic of the old shots in order to fit in with them was probably a conscious judgment call on their part. That doesn't mean your professional opinion is wrong, but it also doesn't necessarily mean that aspect was a mistake.
     
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  11. Mike Verta

    Mike Verta Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2015
    It is not my opinion that the new vfx shots were not done well (some were, incidentally, like the Tractor Beam aurabesh addition and Detention Block Corridor Extension - flawless), it is a simple fact of execution. The "subjective" part of it is whether you like it or it bothers you, but it's not like in vfx we finish a shot and just go, "Well, I have no idea if that's right or not; you know, it's all subjective." No, it isn't. There are many things which go into a shot, and many places where the execution has either been done correctly or not. I dunno, maybe this is a "everybody-gets-a-medal" generation thing, but the best I can do is try to educate people a bit on what goes on, so you have an understanding of the process beyond how you feel about the results. One thing I can tell you is that every individual film has an aesthetic; a set of guidelines which defines everything from how the costumes are designed to the sorts of colors used in production design, to the lenses used, types of camera motion and scene blocking, the nature of the lighting and photography; everything. It's why The Godfather looks and feels completely different from The Matrix. If you went back 30 years later and put a Matrix-style bullet-time shot in The Godfather, it would break the aesthetic; it would be wrong; it would not fit stylistically, lighting-wise, camera-motion-wise, nothing, and breaking the aesthetic is a mistake. This is why, outside of the SE, it is never done. And in the SE, nobody was intending to, like, break some new stylistic ground where new stuff which didn't fit was shoehorned into a movie; they just couldn't tell or didn't care. But they're still just like bullet-time shots in The Godfather. The new X-Wings do not look like the X-Wings in adjacent shots nor anywhere else in the sequence. The CG modeling is poorly detailed and the surface materials are flat. The animation style of the new ships was not possible in 1977, so they do not cut with the remainder of the sequence, with anything else in the film, and do not belong to the camera-motion aesthetic of the other 99% of the movie. Ditto the unbounded, CG camera used in those sequences. To redo the vfx in Star Wars, you'd have to redo all of them, to reset the aesthetic, and the quality of the models, textures and lighting would have to be far better than was done. You'd have to, ultimately, build completely accurate CG versions of the practical models, and light them as well as the practicals were lit. It's possible.

    In fact, as a sort of pet project, veteran Star Wars model maker Steve Gawley and I got together a couple months ago and talked about doing a practical/CG side-by-side, where he builds a new 32" Falcon, which I'm simultaneously going to model in CG precisely, so we each have the identical geometry - one practical, one CG - and then after he paints the model, I'm going to texture my CG one with that paint job. Finally, we're going to film new motion-control shots with the model against greenscreen, replicate those shots precisely in CG, and really have the world's first direct comparison of practical and CG in ideal circumstances. It should be fun, and enlightening!
     
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  12. lovelikewinter

    lovelikewinter Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    May 28, 2014
    OMFG, thank you. That is what I tired to say for a long time, written from the perspective of someone who is in the industry. The Special Editions lost the cohesive whole the films enjoyed. Each revision has made them even more of a mess.

    I want to bring attention to your comment of the "everyone-gets-a-medal" generation. It is spot on, now everyone's opinion must be respected and treated as right, regardless of the quality of the ideas. Thats sickening.
     
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  13. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 10, 2011
    I accept that you have a much greater professional knowledge of these things than I do, but so far you've failed to explain in layman's terms exactly what you are talking about. I accept that it is a failure of understanding on my part, but if your goal is to educate people like me, I don't think you're doing a very good job. That's all. I do indeed understand on a basic level that all movies have a unique aesthetic defined by a variety of factors decided on throughout the course of the filmmaking process. Most people couldn't tell you that the aesthetics of the lighting and photography of each of the three films in the original trilogy vary quite a bit from each other, but I can! It's patently obvious to me, so I don't think I have a particularly bad sense for that sort of thing.

    I'm not talking about the color grading issues, because I think you've proved your point there and agree with you about that 100%. I'm just not understanding how the SE itself (independent of Lowry's restoration) fundamentally failed to match the aesthetic of the OOT on the totally objective level that you're claiming. I'm not saying the differences in texture and lighting aren't objectively there. Of course there must be objective differences, because they're not the same models, and it's unlikely that they created perfect facsimiles with 1997 CGI technology. I'm saying it's subjective whether or not those differences are aesthetically significant enough to actually matter to most viewers. There are plenty of aesthetic incongruities in the OOT which owe to the different effects methods that were used, but oddly, no one ever seems to complain about those. Apparently, those incongruities just give the movies a bit of good, old-school charm.

    Anyway, I agree that whether these differences exist is an objective matter. But whether these differences are jarring enough to be aesthetically significant is subjective. I don't think adding in a few shots with an unbounded camera is in any way equivalent to inserting a bullet-time shot into The Godfather. From my layman's point of view, I see that as simple hyperbole. There are several similar camera shots in the space scenes in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi--I assume because the superior camera set-ups for those films allowed for a freer range of motion. So clearly, this kind of thing isn't a huge departure for the series. It's just not something Lucas could do at the time he made A New Hope. So now the space battle aesthetic of A New Hope is slightly closer to the aesthetic of the space battle aesthetic of Empire and Jedi. So what? Isn't that a good thing? They're a part of the same series, after all. The same trilogy, even.

    And I'm curious, then, what exactly you think Dennis Muren even contributed to the project, if the SE team fumbled so prodigiously in matching the new shots to the OOT's aesthetic to the best of their technical ability, which was of course their explicitly stated objective at the time? I'm genuinely curious how that happened with Dennis Muren there. After all, he was the one who suggested doing it all with CGI instead of just re-filming the old models, as Lucas was apparently considering at the time. Surely, then, he must have given some thought to the pitfalls sure to be encountered by the SE team, and would have given them even rudimentary advice to that effect, even if he was only there at the beginning stages and in an advisory capacity? Would you say it's likely that he did, and the people creating the shots just didn't listen, or simply forgot? Or is it even remotely possible that they actually wanted the shots to be that way, and simply had a different opinion than you as to what constituted a major breach of aesthetic continuity?

    I guess I just don't see how this is in any way in the same category of objectivity as whether the blacks are supposed to be crushed or not. I don't see how this is any different than including a static shot and a tracking shot in the same sequence, like is done all the time in movies. Why can't Lucas include different kinds of shots in a space battle sequence? Who says? Where's the rulebook? How did George Lucas, a highly accomplished professional filmmaker with decades of experience in the industry, somehow overlook the fact that he was utterly trashing the aesthetic continuity of his film, if such things are so well-accepted as being objective laws of cinema?

    That sounds great! I'd love to see it and I wish you luck.
     
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  14. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 10, 2011
    I accept that you have a much greater professional knowledge of these things than I do, but so far you've failed to explain in layman's terms exactly what you are talking about. I accept that it is a failure of understanding on my part, but if your goal is to educate people like me, I don't think you're doing a very good job. That's all. I do indeed understand on a basic level that all movies have a unique aesthetic defined by a variety of factors determined throughout the course of the filmmaking process.

    I'm not talking about the color grading issues here, because I think you've proved your point there and agree with you about that 100%. I'm just not understanding how the SE itself (independent of Lowry's restoration) fundamentally failed to match the aesthetic of the OOT on the totally objective level that you're claiming. I'm not saying the differences in texture and lighting aren't objectively there. Of course there must be objective differences, because they're not the same models, and it's unlikely that they created perfect facsimiles with 1997 CGI technology. I'm saying it's subjective whether or not those differences are aesthetically significant enough to actually matter in a reasonable sense. There are plenty of aesthetic incongruities in the OOT which owe to the different effects methods that were used, but oddly, no one ever seems to complain about those. Apparently, those incongruities just give the movies a bit of good, old-school charm.

    Anyway, I agree that whether these differences exist is an objective matter. But whether these differences are jarring enough to be aesthetically significant is subjective. I don't think adding in a few shots with a more mobile camera is in any way equivalent to inserting a bullet-time shot into The Godfather. From my layman's point of view, I see that as simple hyperbole. There are several similar camera shots in the space scenes in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi--I assume because the superior camera set-ups for those films allowed for a freer range of motion. So clearly, this kind of thing isn't a huge departure for the series. It's just not something Lucas could do at the time he made A New Hope. So now the space battle aesthetic of A New Hope is slightly closer to the space battle aesthetic of Empire and Jedi. Isn't that a good thing? They're a part of the same series, after all. The same trilogy, even.

    And I'm curious, then, what exactly you think Dennis Muren even contributed to the project, if the SE team fumbled so prodigiously in matching the new shots to the OOT's aesthetic, which was of course their explicitly stated objective at the time? I'm genuinely curious how that happened with Dennis Muren there. After all, he was the one who suggested doing it all with CGI instead of just re-filming the old models, as Lucas was apparently considering at the time. Surely, then, he must have given some thought to the obvious pitfalls sure to be encountered by the SE team, and would have given them some advice to that effect, even if he was only there at the beginning stages and in an advisory capacity? Would you say it's likely that he did, and the people creating the shots just didn't listen, or simply forgot? Or is it even remotely possible that they actually wanted the shots to be that way, and simply had a different opinion than you as to what constituted a major breach of aesthetic continuity?

    I guess I just don't see how this is in any way in the same category of objectivity as whether the blacks are supposed to be crushed or not (obviously they aren't). I don't see how this is any different than including a static shot and a tracking shot in the same sequence, like is done all the time in movies. Why can't Lucas include different kinds of shots in a space battle sequence? Who says? Where's the rulebook? How did George Lucas, a highly accomplished professional filmmaker with decades of experience in the industry, somehow overlook the fact that he was utterly trashing the aesthetic continuity of his film, if such things are so well-accepted as being objective laws of cinema?

    And what's with the weird "everybody-gets-a-medal generation" jab? Are we having some sort of war of the generations here? I guess it is true that I stare at my phone too much, like a typical Millennial, and perhaps my prolonged engagement in this brain-numbing activity has had a deleterious effect on my ability to properly adjudicate quality--but I still don't appreciate being passive-aggressively insulted in what was up to this point a relatively friendly discussion.

    That sounds great! I'd love to see it and I wish you luck.
     
  15. Mike Verta

    Mike Verta Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2015
    I am happy to take it on myself to try and do a better job of explaining, and will endeavor to do so, especially in future videos. In terms of Muren, the bulk of the animations and textures/lighting were done in software called Electric Image supervised by John Knoll, and John himself would tell you today that absolutely the look of those additions is already dated and sub-par; they were just great efforts at the dawn of an emerging technology - which itself has the capacity to blind people. And don't forget, the dictum behind those additions was that it was an excuse to test out things to see what was possible for the prequels, all while getting Fox to pay for it. So Lucas was looking deliberately to test things for the future, moreso than fixing the past. Remember, there never was any compelling reason, sales-wise or brand-wise to do the SE. Nobody was clamoring for it. George has not been waking from fevered dreams for nearly 40 years over the fact that R2 wasn't hiding behind rocks he couldn't have maneuvered around. And there are rolls and rolls of press photos of Hamill and Fisher lip-locked in an embrace, so you can forget the official narrative that the whole thing was planned out beforehand, etc. I'd take no shortage of things he says with a grain of revisionist, retcon salt. His entire empire and all the cultural value in Star Wars had been built before a frame of CG was ever added.

    But it was the 90's; we were all giddy on CG. Trust me, when we were all first delving into CG, we all fell prey to the trap of doing something because we could rather than if we should. This is why the earliest days of CG were plagued by such clear "seasons" of effects. We had the "morphing" season, then the "lens flare" season (this was pretty much dead until JJ brought it back), and then we had the "particle effects" season, and then the "jiggly skin" season, and then the "shockwave explosion" season, and then the "bullet-time" season, etc. This is still true somewhat today. One of us figures out a new cool thing, and then it gets used and used and overused until eventually it shows up in a TGIFriday commercial and we move on. But during those seasons, people just get carried away with the "what" of it, instead of the "why," and even seasoned pro's can, have, and do fall prey to that sometimes.

    But believe me, no vfx supervisor would ever want, ultimately, to stand back from work they've done and have to acknowledge that it's aesthetically disconnected. It happens anyway. But, the point is, it happens. It happened.

    And there's another thing: Just because it's Star Wars doesn't mean people are living and dying for it like fans do. The first official Star Wars job I was hired to do was to create a new CG R2-D2, exploded view, for the Complete Visual Dictionary. I got the job because the guy who did R2 for the prequels (Billy Brooks) recommended me, and I had already done one as a personal project. Lucasfilm was happy to just use the one I had, despite the fact that it was, ultimately, quite inferior to what it deserved to be and what was actually possible to do given time and resources. I had to argue and plead a case in order to get access to the original R2s, and do all the painstaking work of documenting him and recreating him. That was just a fan who wanted to do it right. In the end, even with all that time and care, the schedule was such that I was never really happy with the version that went to print, and didn't finally call my version done until months later. Happily, that final version has been used in tons of places now, and most people don't know it's CG. You've seen it, guaranteed. My point is that there is not always the reverence, care, and consideration put into Star Wars stuff that you'd expect, even by the people you'd be sure would care most. Plus, they may ultimately just have to do what they're told. In the end, there are a lot of things which affect the creation of images, but we are ultimately judged by what it ends up being. There are no disclaimers allowed, and film is forever. It's a bitch, but there are worse things, believe me.


    _Mike



    P.S. I'm not bashing Millennials - I have nothing but empathy and compassion for you guys because I think you've been screwed 1000 ways, and I have a son of my own. I just also have noticed a real tendency away from the simple, meritorious judgments of right/wrong, win/lose, pass/fail, it all being sort of euphemistically washed into a gray area where everything is "subjective," and I wonder why. The "everyone-gets-a-medal" thing is real, and nothing we've had for the last 100,000 years of civilization, so I just wondered aloud about that as being indicative of a philosophical paradigm shift with consequences. Let's chalk it up to internet misunderstanding, instead of malice, please.
     
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  16. lovelikewinter

    lovelikewinter Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    May 28, 2014
    If Lucas was looking to test the technology for the Prequels, more than "fixing" things, why would he fight so hard against releasing the OOT and giving people a choice?
     
  17. Mike Verta

    Mike Verta Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2015
    It's what you call a win-win. Nitpicky old stuff he wanted to change, new stuff he wanted to test, Fox footing the bill? Perfect. When you ask yourself questions like why did he edit out the first laser/chest-fire shot in the Detention Block but not the one a couple of seconds later, the answer is going to be some flavor of, "because it kinda bothered him, but not enough to have really been 'on it.'" Hell, everything I did 20 years ago I'd like to redo, too. You grow and change as an artist. But actually dig up all the reels and spend the money doing it? Nah. But if there was additional reasons to do it, and somebody to pay for it? Sure, why not? I mean I'd love to rerelease my first album with all the stuff that makes me cringe on it fixed. I just wouldn't blow-out the first one; a lot of people dig it. You know, that's just an artist-to-artist thing. He has the right. And, dude's kind of a strange bird, but cut him some slack. Let's give you a billion dollars and surround yourself with nothing but yes men for 4 decades and see how normal you are. Anyway, trust me this is all moot. The OT will be released, eventually, one way or another.
     
  18. lovelikewinter

    lovelikewinter Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    May 28, 2014

    Do you know something we don't? Until an announcement, I am worried that Lucas made sure the SEs are the only things that can be released. As I said before, until they are available to everyone, I consider the films lost.
     
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  19. Darkslayer

    Darkslayer Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2013
    In my opinion, everyone's opinion must be respected, but you don't have to agree with them. If you want to disagree, just do so respectfully. Disagreeing disrespectfully just leads to the pathetic internet hate that George Lucas got, which no one deserves.
     
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  20. Mike Verta

    Mike Verta Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2015
    ...Unless that opinion is that black people are monkeys and Mexicans are only good for sweeping up hair... I assume? Or are ignorant and hateful opinions to be respectfully honored as well? It's half a real question, half an "are you sure?"
     
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  21. lovelikewinter

    lovelikewinter Jedi Knight star 4

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    May 28, 2014
    You have to tolerate other people's opinions, not respect them.
     
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  22. PymParticles

    PymParticles Cruel but Fair Tyrant of New Films star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 2014
    This is something I've been worried about, but like I've said before, I feel certain that if this were true we would have heard about it by now. I could be wrong, but that seems like too big of a clause to be kept quiet for nearly three years.
     
  23. Encuentro

    Encuentro Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2013
    I don't believe that Disney would pay $4 billion with that kind of a clause in the contract.

    Until the original unaltered trilogy is officially released, there is Harmy's Despecialized Editions which are pretty damn good!
     
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  24. PymParticles

    PymParticles Cruel but Fair Tyrant of New Films star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 2014
    They are, but they're a ***** and a half to download for people that don't know what they're doing, which is the majority of people. I am one of those people. That limits how many are able to watch them significantly.
     
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  25. Encuentro

    Encuentro Jedi Knight star 2

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    Aug 8, 2013
    Agreed. It took me forever to figure it out as I am not very computer savvy. I had to get some help with it. I've never gotten around to burning them to disc, so I'm forced to watch them on my laptop.
     
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