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Movies Star Wars Prequels

Lost Star Wars Footage Found On LaserDisc 157

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-some-bonus-footage dept.
drxenos writes "A LaserDisc purchased on eBay was found to contain raw footage from Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi. From the article: 'The origin of the LaserDisc isn't entirely clear, but it was purchased for $699 off eBay, apparently once used to demonstrate Lucasfilm's EditDroid station — one of the first digital film editing systems sold nearly 30 years ago. Ironically, George Lucas himself never used EditDroid to make a movie; the Star Wars clips were loaded simply to show off its capabilities to prospective buyers.'"
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Lost Star Wars Footage Found On LaserDisc

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  • by Pieroxy (222434) on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:16PM (#45260201) Homepage

    May the force be with us all...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:22PM (#45260285)

      May the force be with us all...

      Sometimes I think the kids of the 1970s are going to go to their graves moaning and bitching about Star Wars.
      You seriously can't make this shit up.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        I have found the the 2nd and 3rd generation views more about it then those of us who were in the theater when it first ran.,

        OTOH, their are movie far older that get quoted all the time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ruir (2709173)
      Goodgracious. As if the film was not already bad enough, and yet paying 700 dollars for that rubbish is quite over the top. Hey, if I tick the publicity button, do I get rid of this shameless plug to resell the worthless laserdisc?
      • by meerling (1487879) on Monday October 28, 2013 @03:06PM (#45261535)
        He paid $700 for unreleased and presumably lost recordings of a Star Wars movie of the original trilogy on an obsolete media format.

        He'll get at least $7000 if he sells it to a collector, or even to Lucas or Disney so they can take it off the market. I bet if it went to a collectors auction, it could go for x10 that. Yeah, sure, he paid too much for it... NOT
        • by ruir (2709173)
          And now he is making publicity in slashdot hoping some sucker living in his parents basement is gullible enough to buy it.
          • by geekoid (135745)

            It's a collectors piece, Some people are collectors.
            Do you say the same things about people who collect paintings?
            If you bought it for 7000, it will probably be worth 20K in 10 years, if not sooner.

            • by ruir (2709173)
              Lucas ruined so much the memories of the first Star Wars for me milking it, that I think people would have to pay me to keep it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    We can only hope...

  • footage (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:18PM (#45260223)
  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:19PM (#45260233)
    The BBC is still looking.
    • The BBC is still looking.

      They are still looking for the George Orwell radio shows too. I think the scripts are out there, but the recordings seem to have vanished in a memory hole somewhere.

    • The lost Doctor Who episodes have been found 14 years ago, in 2079.

  • JarJar (Score:3, Funny)

    by Iniamyen (2440798) on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:21PM (#45260257)
    Unless JarJar makes a cameo, I no care
    • Re:JarJar (Score:5, Funny)

      by X0563511 (793323) on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:23PM (#45260301) Homepage Journal

      If by cameo, you mean "dies in a fire" then I'd agree.

      • I'd pay to see the Emperor force lightning JarJar. In my mind I am picturing something like don't taze me bro but it keeps going until JarJar is a smoldering cinder.
        • by Teancum (67324)

          I'd pay to see the Emperor force lightning JarJar. In my mind I am picturing something like don't taze me bro but it keeps going until JarJar is a smoldering cinder.

          If that happened, I would make sure that the Rebellion would grant a medal for heroism in the midst of life threatening danger to the Emperor. Seriously, you would need to have some serious balls in order to take on Jar Jar like that. I mean, he (meaning Jar jar) is only the most feared sentient being in the entire galaxy.

          Then again, I suppose the Emperor owes Jar Jar a favor for establishing the empire in the first place. That is most definitely a Sith Master.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        The problem with JarJar is the same problem with every single character in the prequels. The writing was horrid.
        The films is pretty much the worst work of any of the main actors. Imagine judging Natalie Portman by that work alone?

        • by X0563511 (793323)

          Imagine judging Natalie Portman by that work alone?

          I have, as I've not seen her in any other role nor will I ever do so. I will avoid said movies.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:22PM (#45260283) Homepage

    It turns out these *are* the EditDroids we're looking for!

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:24PM (#45260313)

    The Mon Calamari battleships shoot the Death Star first.

    • Johnny (as a Death Star tech) is seen behind a control bay plugging the laser cannon back into its power source giggling "Just kidding!"
  • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Monday October 28, 2013 @01:26PM (#45260323) Homepage
    So I guess there will now be a "special extended digitally remastered unseen original footage director's uncut edition" that everyone will have to buy.
    • everyone will have to buy.

      Nobody has to buy any version.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        everyone will have to buy.

        Nobody has to buy any version.

        Riiiiiight.

        Nobody has to be here still giving a shit about this either.

        And yet here we are, in the year 2013, still talking about a fucking movie from the 1970's that someone found "unreleased" footage barely worth the cutting room floor, as if someone just unearthed an iPhone from an 2,000-year old tomb.

  • And why would have stepped ON Jabba's tail instead of over it?

    • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Monday October 28, 2013 @02:27PM (#45261059)

      Actually, can answer the second question quite easily -- When they were filming the original film, they hadn't decided that Jabba would be a giant space slug yet, and used a human stand-in. The idea was that when they decided what he'd be, they could edit the alien in during post production.

      They included a copy of the original footage on a LucasArts bundle CD of the early LA StarWars games that I picked up some time around 1997, or so... along with film interview with Lucas explaining it. I still have the CD somewhere, probably in storage at my parents' place.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Lucas is a huge liar. He continually says he "meant" for certain things to happen. The truth is the stand-in WAS Jabba, and everyone realized it looked stupid, and they removed the scene. It also kills the film's pacing, Jabba repeats everything Greedo just said. It also kills the big reveal in ROTJ.

        They added it because Lucas had useable footage for the SE, and figured why the hell not. Anything to make more money.

        • He continually says he "meant" for certain things to happen

          I take that that he meant the story to turn into a turgid, cheap soap opera.

  • Was the video itself on the disc digital? I doubt it. The control was computerized, fine. Also, was this system for editing *movies*? How would the resolution be good enough for projecting on a screen? I would rather find out the specifics of the system.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mungewell (149275)
      Wikipedia has a good explanation... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EditDroid [wikipedia.org]
      • I looked but it didn't have enough details for me. The AC down there pretty much confirmed what I thought it must have been given what I know about what technology was possible back then.
        • by gravis777 (123605)

          From Wikipedia:

          Once the entire movie had been edited, an Edit Decision List of marked frames was turned over to a film laboratory where the actual pieces of film were spliced together in the correct order.

          So the raw footage was placed across multiple laserdiscs, the editor would then go through and decide how the movie was cut, then they would take the edit list and send it over to the film labs where they would splice the actual film together following the edits they made in EditDroid

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It wasn't used for final production. You edited the scenes together with this and the microcomputer that ran the whole thing would print out an edit sheet with start and end frames that was used to splice the 35mm film together for the final cut. It's a digital system in the fact that it uses a computer (an old Sun Unix box) to play the scenes from the laserdiscs in whatever order you edit them.

    • If it's CAV format laserdisc then this is a real find!

  • The Real Story (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday October 28, 2013 @02:31PM (#45261119) Homepage Journal

    I think we're all missing the real news here, folks:

    Somebody paid almost $700 for a fucking LaserDisc!!!

    mind == blown.

    • Re:The Real Story (Score:4, Interesting)

      by snarfies (115214) on Monday October 28, 2013 @04:10PM (#45262227) Homepage

      This is not a new phenomena. There was an anime OVA called To-Y that, on the open market, usually went for around $700. It was only printed once and didn't sell well, but has a strong cult following.

      Yes, I own one. Mine has been autographed by key animator Yuzo Sato, and as such I have no idea how much it will sell for after I die (since it will only be pried out of my cold dead hands).

      • I never said it was new, I implied that it's mind-blowing somebody would pay 7 Benjamins for a damn LaserDisc. That's nuts, bro.

        • by compro01 (777531)

          People have paid nearly a million for a stamp [wikipedia.org].

          When it comes to crazy spending, this doesn't even cause the needle to twitch.

          • People have paid nearly a million for a stamp [wikipedia.org].

            When it comes to crazy spending, this doesn't even cause the needle to twitch.

            Maybe I'm just weird, but I don't think I'll ever understand dropping that kind of moolah on anything you can't eat, play, or fuck.

            • by adolf (21054)

              Maybe I'm just weird, but I don't think I'll ever understand dropping that kind of moolah on anything you can't eat, play, or fuck.

              Um. LaserDiscs exist to be played.

              That said, rare sometimes just happens. I own a few "rare" CDs. I bought them new, when they were still in their first pressing, for regular retail prices. They are special to me only because I like the music on them, not because they have any particular monetary value associated with them.

              Normally the way I find out that they're "rare" is w

      • My guess is it will put a grandchild through the first year of college.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Someone paid nearly 10 million dollar for a really old painting!
      mind == blown.

      • Someone paid nearly 10 million dollar for a really old painting!
        mind == blown.

        Right???

        Art is a fucked up industry; it's not about the content, it's about being able to brag to your rich buddies about how you went and dropped the GDP of a few small nations on a hunk of oil and canvas.

        Personally, I'm perfectly happy with the $20 prints you can buy at the local poster store ($60 framed and matted). If I want to see 200 year old oil on canvas, I'll visit a damn museum.

    • Somebody paid almost $700 for a fucking LaserDisc!!!

      Somebody paid $700 for lost RoTJ footage - if it were on 70mm or D1 it still wouldn't have made much difference.

  • I don't recall if I saw this scene in the theater, during "Jedi's" initial run, or in preview clips shown on TV, but:

    There's a scene in Return of the Jedi in which Luke goes mano a mano with a storm trooper riding one of those cycles used to zip around Endor.

    Luke knocks the guy's helmet off, revealing a dark haired guy with a rather skinny face.

    I do know that this brief reveal was cut out of the sky cycle chase as it was shown on the Laserdisc.

    Could it be on this new find?

    • by CQDX (2720013)
      Could they put it back in with Temuera Morrison's face superimposed?
    • here's a scene in Return of the Jedi in which Luke goes mano a mano with a storm trooper riding one of those cycles used to zip around Endor.

      Luke knocks the guy's helmet off, revealing a dark haired guy with a rather skinny face.

      Yeah, and there's that scene in ANH where he throws the grappling hook twice... except it didn't happen.

      I don't recall if I saw this scene

      You can probably stop right there. Human memory is ridiculously unreliable.

      I used to have a perfect example of this from my own life, but I've forgotten it.

  • I'd guess the footage of Han firing first and the Wookie Christmas Special.

    I could just RTFA but I'm contractually obliged to bring this up whenever the subject of Star Wars material is broached.

  • by Boawk (525582) on Monday October 28, 2013 @02:56PM (#45261421)

    In the fall of 1982 I saw a pre-release version of Return of the Jedi. Our high school had some connections to Lucas. An announcement was made that the front office had tickets available to a LucasFilm prescreening of "Twice Upon a Time" (I still have the large blue tickets saved away somewhere). They had booked a large theater in San Francisco for the screening. At showtime a person walked out and regretfully informed the full house that Twice Upon a Time wasn't to be shown, so instead they brought Return of the Jedi (wild cheers erupted).

    Some of the special effects weren't finished, and some scenes had only rough editing. I remember several of the scenes were trimmed down quite drastically in the release version. The dance scene in Jabba's palace was really, really (really!) long. At the end of the movie we were all given a questionnaire to fill out on how we felt about various scenes.

    All in all, a very cool experience for someone who grew up during the original releases of episodes 4 through 6.

  • They had to be discarded. In the clips they kept referring to it as Episode III.

  • I guess that part of the title is just carried over from the story, but what makes the footage "lost"? Simply the fact that it hasn't been released? Unless there's specific evidence to the contrary (which the story does not provide), there's no reason to assume the footage doesn't exist in a vault somewhere.
  • by Tablizer (95088)

    Who actually shot first?

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