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THX-1138: The (Digitally Enhanced) Director's Cut 275

StefanJ writes "This is either a marvelous Photoshop hoax or something really . . . cool? Sacreligious? Unnecessary? Reportedly, George Lucas has given his first commercially released movie, THX1138, a digital workover, enhancing backgrounds and altering scenes for more eye-appeal. Here are some comparisons of original and altered scenes. For those who haven't seen the film: Without giving too much away, it's about a working stiff living in a repressive underground bomb-shelter society. Emotion-suppressing drugs are mandatory; people shuffle from work to home, pausing to buy consumer goods along the way. (The goods aren't used for anything; you just feed them into a disposal unit after you get home. Making them keeps people busy . . .) If the drugs don't work, you can vent your spleen in a confession booth manned by a really bad A.I. It's really bleak, and sometimes ugly, but worth seeing. I hope the enhancements don't add too much color: The drab, sterile, white-on-white environment of the underground city is an important mood-setter. Consume more; be happy!"
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THX-1138: The (Digitally Enhanced) Director's Cut

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  • by Cy Guy ( 56083 ) * on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:01AM (#9641105) Homepage Journal
    As far as first films by future 'masters' is concerned. I'd rather wait for the digitally enhanced version of John Carpenter's Dark Star [] to be made and released. The existing DVD [] already has a Director's cut included (this might be the un-enhanced student version though, I've only seen the movie on cable).

    • John Carpenter would never be as thick minded as Lucas has been about ruining his own prior art.

      Dark Star is a great film just how it is (I'm pretty sure you agree with that. At least I hope your post was tounge-in-cheek) from its questionable acting all the way to its special effects that made the original Star Trek, flashlight on a ball of tin-foil effects, look high-tech.

      I hate to think I'll never be able to get the original Lucas films in their original format. For that matter, I want the original relea

  • It's real. (Score:5, Informative)

    by omega9 ( 138280 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:01AM (#9641106)
    I saw the enhanced trailer for it not to long ago.
    • Re:It's real. (Score:2, Informative)

      by JBdH ( 613927 )
      it's here []
  • by moehoward ( 668736 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:02AM (#9641111)
    Get back to working on Star Wars, you lazy bum. And do it right this time!
    • NO! SHHHHH! (Score:3, Funny)

      by ajservo ( 708572 )
      If he's busy working on THX, then that means people are thinking independently on what to do on Episode 3.

      Everytime george wasn't in command, we got decent films.

      And we'd all rather him be busy on a less liked film (sorry THX fans...) or "More American Graffiti" (Sorry, you one MAG fan...)
  • South park (Score:3, Informative)

    by yootje ( 770109 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:02AM (#9641114) Homepage
    This reminds me very strong of an episode from South Park: Free Hat...
    • by Siener ( 139990 )
      My favourite bit in the Free Hat [] episode:

      Announcer: Coming, this summer! It's the digitally enhanced re-release of the very first pilot episode of South Park! Yes, the classic, rough, hand-made first episode is getting a make-over for 2002! The simple, funny aliens are now super badass and kewl! Flying saucer? No longer cheap construction paper, but a 4.0 megapixel constructed through a masterpiece of technology! Everything's new! New is better!

      Trey Parker: When we first made South Park, we didn't wanna

  • Any Mirrors? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by adavies42 ( 746183 )
    Anybody mirror this before it died?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    " I must have the latest PowerBook"...
  • by omega9 ( 138280 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:03AM (#9641129)
    There's a second comparison page here []

  • And substitute weapons for walkie talkies and replace the word "terrorist" for "unamerican"?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:06AM (#9641159)
    ...with the white-on-white borderless rooms. All the actors seem to be removed in this version. And I don't think I remember the "website cannot be found" message in the original.
  • by kalpol ( 714519 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:06AM (#9641160)
    Them:"Lucas is updating X movie to show his true vision which couldn't be expressed at the time due to technical limitations." Us: "Please God no."

    • > Them:"Lucas is updating X movie to show his true vision which couldn't be expressed at the time due to technical limitations." Us: "Please God no."

      So, you won't be rushing out to buy Jar-Jar 3D?

    • Meeesa thinks yousa needsa buy more consumer goods, citeeesen. Lessa all be thanksful weesa all dee commerce and zees new film from yousa god, Meesa Lucass. Yousa buy more. Yousa buy more nowsa. Buy! Anda yousa be vewwy happy.

  • No Hoax (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mfh ( 56 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:06AM (#9641164) Homepage Journal
    I saw this first on Fark [] quite some time ago. They even had a photoshop contest for it. After a little research, this is no hoax at all. I can't wait to see what Lucas does with this film, a film that lead to so many others like it, yet none were quite as good. Can't wait to see the final results!
    • I can't wait to see what Lucas does with this film

      If on the other hand, it's Jar-Jar or Star Wars' merchandise that gets fed into the refuse disposal units... then I, for one, welcome our Industrial Light & Magic overlord.

  • Ummmm, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gannoc ( 210256 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:07AM (#9641173)

    Hasn't Mr. "Lets do another trivially improved release of my movie so people cough up another $20 for it" kind of lost his right to make a movie criticizing consumerism?

    Or perhaps he's already taking those drugs, which explains his directing on Episode II.
    • Er... do you mean Sam Raimi []? Or Quentin Tarantino []? Or James Cameron []? Because George Lucas hasn't double-dipped on a DVD release yet.

      I know there were umpteen versions of the Star Wars movies on videotape, but that was five years ago... people need to get over it. I know it's hip to rag on Lucas around here, but you need to find a different avenue to go down than double-dipping these days.

    • Having made homemade theatrcal film once, and then looking back at it to yearn for more resources to improve it, I liken it to refactoring code. There's just so many great things Lucas can do that other directors don't, I think it's a generous and thoughtful concept to spent time on this, rather than write and churn out another film altogether.

      I think THX-1138 may just get another 2nd-run theater release around here (Portland, OR, USA) for this. I hope Star Wars III to V are next. I don't buy the DVDs -
  • The Oblig Wiki link. (Score:5, Informative)

    by CGP314 ( 672613 ) <(ten.remlaPyrogerGniloC) (ta) (PGC)> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:08AM (#9641181) Homepage
    THX 1138 []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:10AM (#9641195)
    ...they include the original version and include scene markers. I'm a real stickler for the originals. I love the latest Alien release. It includes the original theatrical release and then a director's cut where I can activate text scene markers and know exactly what was changed. You can choose what versions you like best and actually learn something about how the editing process can change your perception of a film.
  • Brave New World? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jvschwarz ( 92288 )
    The story line seems like a ripoff from Aldous Huxley's book Brave New World. Which happens to be a great book if you've never read it.
    • Which happens to be a great book if you've never read it.

      And what kind of book is it if I have read it?


    • Re:Brave New World? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Silverlock ( 36154 )
      While I agree that THX-1138 is obviously inspired by Brave New World, I think calling it a "ripoff" is a bit harsh. That implies that he just ganked the plot and made a few bucks. What it is, is a reworking of some of the same themes within a different medium. That's perfectly legitimate and valuable in many cases.

      THX-1138 is also one of a depressingly few science fiction movies that isn't watered-down drivel with some special effects thrown in. I highly recommend it.
    • Re:Brave New World? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mikael ( 484 )
      When I was in high school, our Political Science/English teacher managed to turn it into a interesting discussion "Do you think information technology will turn society into a world like Brave New World, where information is valuable and jealously guarded, or a world like 1984, where information is worthless and is constantly being overproduced?
    • BNW was a hoot. It's nothing like THX1138.

      (Except for the drugs, maybe. But I'm betting that Soma is just great compared to the dope that THX takes. Soma makes you happy; the other stuff just numbs you out.)

      The happy workers in BNW are encouraged to have all the sex they want; sex is a crime in THX land.

      Robots? We don't need no stinking robots. Drudge work is done by content, dim-bulb Epsilons in the world state.

      Life in Huxley's world state is a happy lark. Work seven hours a day at a job you just (were
  • Lucas has lost it... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This is yet more proof that George has lost his touch as a director. The man seems completely reliant upon special effects to sell movies now. The back-end motivation seems to be: Who cares if it sucks, the special effects will make up for that.

    The LoTR movies prove that special effects and good directing can coexist in a movie. The Star Wars prequals prove that you can sell movies and merchandise on special effects alone... I guess this is historical fact to game players; look at how many games sold well
  • So What? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Walrus99 ( 543380 )
    Big deal. THX has to be the most boring Sci-Fi movie ever made. Its even more boring than watching a guy race robots on an empty ship in "Silent Running." Don't see THX expecting the pacing and excitement of the first Star Wars. Its just people shuffling around in bad clothes and having pointless conversations. If I want to see that I can go to the mall on weekdays and watch old people.
    • Re:So What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by thelexx ( 237096 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:38AM (#9641425)
      "Its just people shuffling around in bad clothes and having pointless conversations. If I want to see that I can go to the mall on weekdays and watch old people."

      Heh, sounded to me like you were describing teenagers.
    • Its just people shuffling around in bad clothes and having pointless conversations. If I want to see that I can go to the mall on weekdays and watch old people.

      D00d, if you had any idea how today's "youthful, hip-hop culture" looks and sounds to anyone over the age of 40, you'd change your analogy in a heartbeat.
    • Re:So What? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dbc001 ( 541033 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @11:04AM (#9642496)
      Please don't mod the parent down just because you disagree. THX 1138 is slow, deliberate, cerebral, and careful; and most movie fans (especially those who prefer the quick pace of modern cinema) will indeed find it boring. Those of us who prefer movies that stimulate the mind over those that stimulate the adrenaline glands and genitals will find THX quite enjoyable. The parent post still makes a valid point: many people (slashdot readers included) will find that THX 1138 doesn't have the kind action that they like.
    • THX has to be the most boring Sci-Fi movie ever made.

      Ah, so you say you've never seen the original version of Solaris?


  • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:15AM (#9641248)
    All replies will be of the following:

    (a) FP!
    (b) GNAA
    (c) How dare he change the film.
    (d) How dare the DVD not have both version.
    (e) Star Wars sucks now, you bastard.
    (f) Proffit!
  • by millahtime ( 710421 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:16AM (#9641255) Homepage Journal
    This would make Lucas the Puff Daddy of Movies. Taking existing good movies and "remixing" them to put out something not near as good as the origional.
  • When does it all end? I mean are we going to digitally enhance everything to death? While we're at it why not go back and redo every movie ever made. It seems like with DVDs these days you can go back and stick 5 hours of extras and 50 extra discs and call it a collectors edition and everyone scrambles to get it. I personally agree with the South Park creators on this one. Remastering is an exercise in futility. As Kyle said, "When an artist creates, whatever they create belongs to society". Thats my ph
  • More info.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by omega9 ( 138280 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:20AM (#9641290)
    The DVD is being released on Sept. 14 of this year. Here's the cover art [].

    It has it's own homepage []

    Direct link to the trailer [] (quicktime).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A hilarious sidekick for THX called JRJRBNKS who adds humor to the movie with his zany hijinks!
  • {Paraphrase of South Park} Kyle: "Changing THX1138 would be like changing Raiders of the Lost Ark"
  • Poor George... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wubby ( 56755 )
    The guy is out of new ideas (not that he had any of his own to begin with) and can't seem to leave well enough alone.

    Can someone please force him to either make his new movies good or his old movies old?

    We should have all seen GL for what he was with the Ewoks, but we were fooled anyway. The guy was watching too much scifi when he wanted to be directing the Smurfs.
  • 8&tid=

    Ok, so it's not a duplicate story, but this was all flushed out weeks ago.

    Not. News.
  • Two quick questions:

    1.) Anybody got a spoiler why the THX sound jive is [I assume] named after this?
    2.) I have to admit -- I liked the original version of Star Wars (Last Hope at least) better and I'm glad I grabbed a tape before they were taken off the market. Anything to gain from finding an old version of this flick insiders already know of?

    As long as it's not full of Ewoks...
    • 1) I guess because it was his first feature film? There is a reference to THX-1138 in all of his movies. A license plate in American Graffiti is "THX-1138". When Luke is looking through his binoculars searching for R2-D2 the numbers along the bottom contain "THX-1138" at one point. In Phantom Menace, one of the droids is numbered 1138. etc.

      2) One of the most annoying things to me about the "enhanced" special editions was the music. In some spots, where he extended scenes, he just replayed the last f

    • According to internet legend, THX-1138 was Lucas's phone number when he was in college.

      References Here [] and
      here []

      I don't know if it's true or not, but it's at least plausible... if you want to try to track it down some more, just Google for "thx-1138 phone number".

      It shows up in a few other places, such as American Graffiti (the car driven by Harrison Ford has the plate number THX 138), and the film "Dark Star" by John Carpenter (one of Lucas's classmates), one of the toilet tanks is labeled "THX 1138" (m
  • I've been trying to determine if this line is a quote from the movie THX 1138

    Guy1: I don't see any dissolution here at all.
    Guy2: Well you haven't.... Don't let it get above 4.7!!!

    Does anyone know?

  • Sure. Just make your first movie with all white backgrounds and sets. That way, when image manipulation technology becomes mainstream, you can color in the backgrounds and sets without re-shooting. Brilliant!

    Now I'm off to shoot a movie that's all black.
    • Now I'm off to shoot a movie that's all black.

      I think Spinal Tap is working on an all black movie. How much more black could it get? None. None more black.

  • by British ( 51765 ) <> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:43AM (#9641480) Homepage Journal
    ...was when those 2 guys were talking and Robert Duvall was convulsing on the floor. Just loved the technical conversation as he was suffering.
  • Oh please... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pedrito ( 94783 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @09:50AM (#9641560)
    Why does he waste his time doing this? Especially with movies that weren't particularly good the first time around anyway.

    Lucas movies don't suffer from lack of visual appeal. They suffer from poor direction (with maybe 1 or 2 exceptions, American Graffiti is the only one that comes to mind). The best Lucas films are the ones where he doesn't direct. He should really stay out of the director's chair and stick with writing and maybe producing.
    • Why bother remaking a good movie? It's already good, and thus is no need of enhancement. Bad movies, on the other hand, those need all the help they can get.

      This, of course has nothing to do with THX-1138, as it is actually a good movie. Right?
  • I think the subject line says it all but polish a turd and it's still a turd, albeit a shiny new turd.
  • Ironic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ih8sG8s ( 4112 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @10:09AM (#9641798)
    Ironic that George Lucas would make a movie where consumerism is a sickness in society. This coming from the guy who is an uber IP controls advocate, and an uber market-the-garbage-to-death-and-they-will-buy guy.
  • I might go back and watch it (it's been awhile) but if I recall my laserdisc version was pretty nice as it was. I mean really, is it worth it? I think a lot of this buggered-up re-release stuff is just a thin reason to get people to buy again on another type of media. Like what the heck, this is in the bank, let's diddle a few scenes and get the true believers to pop another $20.

    Same for Dark Star mentioned in the first post.

    Of course if anybody can get Gilligan's Island re-mastered with a nude Mary Ann,
  • Aldous Huxley (Score:2, Insightful)

    by reames ( 706567 )
    Does anyone else think this movie sounds like a ripoff of Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" ?
  • The movie kinda reminds me of all of the mindless starwar drones that have seen episode 1 & 2 5000 times even though they'll redily admit that they suck.
  • by Allen Varney ( 449382 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @11:18AM (#9642690) Homepage

    Given that Lucas's THX-1138 was an obvious and pivotal influence on the paper roleplaying game PARANOIA, it is perhaps on-topic to mention that the game of a darkly humorous future is returning to print this August in a new edition from Mongoose Publishing [], as previously covered on Slashdot [].

    The new PARANOIA XP edition emphasizes the Alpha Complex sort-of economy and a new consumerism very much in tune with THX-1138. You can follow the development of the game on the PARANOIA development blog [].

    • The new PARANOIA XP edition emphasizes the Alpha Complex sort-of economy and a new consumerism very much in tune with THX-1138. You can follow the development of the game on the PARANOIA development blog.

      Please note that the referenced information is clearance "Red". Infrared laborers and traitors are requested not to read it.

      Thank you.

      (For comparison purposes, you can consider "THX-1138" to be the takes-itself-a-little-too-seriously predecessor to the "Paranoia" setting...)

  • || I hope the enhancements don't add too much color ||

    I hope they don't reduce the impact. I was blown away by THX1138 when it came out. Saw it on the tube recently and figured that the ONLY thing that needed to be done was to replace the shots of tractor-feed pages with video displays. That does need to be done. Everything else is fine. A brilliant work.

  • Since the first version was clearly eXperimental and the new version is Computerized, I suggest they change the X in THX-1183 into a C for the re-release.

    I'll take a Jumbo popcorn with gobs and gobs of extra butter. And some JuJubies. And a Snickers... no wait make that two Snickers. You don't have any Snickers? Well give me two candy bars, whatever you got. No, I never heard of those candybars but whatever they are gimme two. And what are those munchies in back? Whatever they are I'll have one of those to
  • "Me-sa gonna buy-sa some goods, yes?"


  • to my mind, this _was_ his best work in the SciFi genre; simple direction, great
    performances(Robert Duvall), compelling story('1984'), excellent cinematography
    and most importantly, no attempt to spoon-feed the audience why things are the
    way they are(like in SW-Ep1 - the force and 'mito-whatevers'.)

    Judging by the "improvements" he keeps adding to his library of scifi films, this
    Directors Cut will suck too. He just never knows when to leave well enough alone.

  • I can handle stepping on Jabba's tail, but the worst change is the part where THX-1138 shoots first...

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.