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Star Wars Prequels Movies

Original 1977 Star Wars 35mm Print Has Been Restored and Released Online (arstechnica.com) 272

AmiMoJo writes: A restored HD version of the original Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 35mm print has appeared online. While this isn't the first time that attempts have been made to restore Star Wars to its original theatrical version—that's the one without the much-maligned CGI effects and edits of later 'special' editions—it is the first to have been based entirely on a single 35mm print of the film, rather than cut together from various sources. The group behind the release, dubbed Team Negative 1, is made up of Star Wars fans and enthusiasts who spent thousands of dollars of their own cash to restore the film without the blessing of creator George Lucus, or franchise owner Disney.
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Original 1977 Star Wars 35mm Print Has Been Restored and Released Online

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  • The other 2 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kyokugenryu ( 817869 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @10:33AM (#51541113)
    Here's hoping they can do this with Empire and Jedi, too.
  • A list of changes (Score:5, Informative)

    by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @10:36AM (#51541129)
    This wikipedia article delineates what got changed between the 1977 release and all the re-releases: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    • The 2006 release DVD set "original edition" discs keep the original storyline intact. Wikipedia is replete with accurate criticisms of the image quality, etc., but I don't find any serious fault when casually watching it on an old 42" LCD-TV.

      • They were a conversion from the laserdisc masters, weren't they.

        I agree, quality is pretty good, although it is limited to standard definition. And you do get all the limitations of both DVD format and Laserdisc format.
        • They were a conversion from the laserdisc masters, weren't they.

          This is my understanding, yes. As such, they are necessarily not HD, but should certainly be up to the best of what SD can do, short of separating out the luma/chroma channels.

          • They were a conversion from the laserdisc masters, weren't they.

            This is my understanding, yes. As such, they are necessarily not HD, but should certainly be up to the best of what SD can do, short of separating out the luma/chroma channels.

            That's what Wikipedia says, as I said: fine for casual watching, if you want to be fully immersed in an IMAX experience - from a movie that was released in 1977, these probably are lacking.

            If I recall, I saw the original theatrical release of "Return of the Jedi" in a theater that was using 70mm prints, I don't know if they even did that version of "HD" for the original "Star Wars".

          • but should certainly be up to the best of what SD can do

            Not really, they're not. There's too much noise reduction which manifests as temporal blurring, and they're not anamorphic transfers. I'd say they're a little closer to the best Laserdisc quality than to the best DVD quality.

    • Re:A list of changes (Score:5, Informative)

      by plopez ( 54068 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @10:46AM (#51541203) Journal

      Han shot first! He was a scallawag, which is why the album version liner notes referred to the Millennium Falcon as a "Pirate Ship".

  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @10:36AM (#51541131)
    So they can release it to theaters on May the 4th.
  • Not "Episode IV" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @10:37AM (#51541135)

    A restored HD version of the original Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

    Sigh.

    If it's the original movie it's not "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope."

    Ask any Gen-Xer who saw this movie in the theatres in 1977 (likely multiple times) and they'll tell you the same thing: The movie is called "Star Wars." Nothing more, nothing less.

    • and you aren't getting the full original experience unless it looks like you're streaming it through Comcast
    • Today I learned: I'm Gen-X. But, not any Gen-Xer can tell you about the original release, some of them still weren't born yet.

      What I remember the most about the 1977 release was how it was still in theaters for a continuous run through the end of 1978, and beyond in some places.

      • I probably watched that movie 50 times in the summer of 77.
      • Us Gen-Xers born after Star Wars don't really count. We are somewhere between Gen-X and Y. We missed these movie moments. Gen-X's music was changing just as we started to get in to music. The dot-com bubble hit before most of us were gainfully employed. But we are still old enough to know a past where our every moment wasn't consumed with tech. A time before a ubiquitous internet. A time when our computers had to squeal at other computers to communicate. We were mostly mature before social media too
    • Re:Not "Episode IV" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Coisiche ( 2000870 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @11:14AM (#51541359)

      It may have been billed purely as "Star Wars" but I can remember being puzzled as I sat in the cinema over the fact that the scrolling text at the start was titled "Episode IV: A New Hope". Why haven't I heard of episodes I, II and III, I wondered.

      Now I'm nearly 40 years older and wish I had never heard of episodes I, II and III.

      • Re:Not "Episode IV" (Score:5, Informative)

        by green1 ( 322787 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @11:56AM (#51541661)

        The original title scroll didn't call it a new hope... that was added later...

      • You probably saw that in the re-release in 1981 (I think, I forget the exact year, but they re-released it just before ESB.) It absolutely was called "Star Wars" in the original scroll in 1977 (or '78, when I watched it, in the UK.)

        • Minor correction - I believe there wasn't a name in the scroll at all. Basically you saw "Star Wars" and then the scroll, which had no title because it wasn't necessary because Star Wars was already the title.

          Somewhere I have a CED (yes, really) of the first movie, I think it dates back to the pre-1981 cut, so I'll have to watch it and work out how they handled it.

          • Wiki page agrees [wikipedia.org] with you.

            Flaky memory on my part I guess. I was sure I was familiar with the concept of episode IV from '78 (I'm also in UK) but it seems I can't have been.

      • It may have been billed purely as "Star Wars" but I can remember being puzzled as I sat in the cinema over the fact that the scrolling text at the start was titled "Episode IV: A New Hope".

        If you sat in the cinema in 1977 you're remembering wrong.

        Here's the original crawl - No "Episode IV" no "A New Hope."

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      • May I suggest that you remember seeing Empire Strikes Back and being puzzled by "Episide V"? That is my experience.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Good point well made, but I have to ask... I thought I was gen X and I wasn't even born in 1977.

      • Good point well made, but I have to ask... I thought I was gen X and I wasn't even born in 1977.

        Many if not most consider Generation X [wikipedia.org] to run into the early eighties. It should have only run into the seventies but a lot of the boomers actually waited to have kids.

        • It should have only run into the seventies but a lot of the boomers actually waited to have kids.

          Most Gen-Xers parents aren't baby boomers. They're pre-baby boom. My parents for example, were born in 1939 and 1941 in England and grew up during the war and post-war era.

    • I saw the movie in the theater in 1977, and I don't remember what it said. I wouldn't trust someone else's memory either. Eyewitness testimony isn't very reliable after decades, especially not when exposed to different versions of the events at later times.
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      I agree that it's not "Episode IV", the scrolling text in the restored version has no title. But for everyone that tries to keep track of this it's an useful key to clarify what's discussed.

    • If it's the original movie it's not "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope."

      Pedantry aside, FYI this transfer is the "original movie."

      There's no "Episode IV: A New Hope" on the scroll.

    • Even Star Wars has its Richard Stallmans.

      Next you'll be telling me Pink Floyd ceased to exist the moment Syd left.

  • Good work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eravnrekaree ( 467752 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @10:37AM (#51541137)

    It would be good to see the others restored such as this. I can understand the need for people to experience the movie as they originally remember it. I am of the view both the original version and the CGI enhanced version could have been made available by the studio so people could watch which one they please. But they seem much to arrogant for that. Its appalling how these companies treat their fans which made them a success.

    • In 2006, the DVD box set did just that. I guess there isn't much margin in doing two lines of movie restoration anymore.

    • by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @11:25AM (#51541445)

      Can't wait for the 35mm transfer of another Lucas masterpiece: Howard the Duck.

      • I know you're trolling, but I actually liked Howard the Duck. I thought it did a reasonable job of matching the spirit, if not the details, of the comic. Watching Lea Thompson in lingerie wasn't all bad either.
    • Re:Good work (Score:4, Interesting)

      by GTRacer ( 234395 ) <gtracer308@yahoo.cTWAINom minus author> on Friday February 19, 2016 @12:02PM (#51541725) Homepage Journal
      I know Lucas, then Disney seem hell-bent on releasing "new" versions of these films every few years. What I want, and would pay dearly for, is a DVD Trilogy set (no flames; I just don't do Blu-Ray) where the first thing you get is a list of checkboxes.

      These control the edits. Want original empty Mos Eisley streets + Han shoots first^wonly + CGI hangar Jabba + Ghost Hayden? Knock yourself out.
  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Friday February 19, 2016 @10:47AM (#51541215) Homepage Journal

    n/t

  • I like the Special Edition better. The Battle of Yavin at the end makes a lot more sense then the sometimes random collection of ships flying presented in the original. I'm not obsessed about whether Han shoots first.

    • Allow me to be the first, and possibly only, to say: that's cool. To each his own.

      Myself, I like a combination of the two. Some of the SE stuff is great, some... not so much. That's why I was once a Star Wars fan editor. Before it was cool :p

      • by aitikin ( 909209 )

        Allow me to be the first, and possibly only, to say: that's cool. To each his own.

        Myself, I like a combination of the two. Some of the SE stuff is great, some... not so much. That's why I was once a Star Wars fan editor. Before it was cool :p

        I agree with a blend, although I'm excited to be able to see it as it was originally made finally (being born in the 80s, the original was never truly available, although I still have the pre-SE VHS trilogy). I can simplify and say that I like almost none of the first act (all of Tatooine basically) from the SE, but after that, anything added I feel isn't detracting from the movie and actually improves upon it in most cases. I'm sure that's an oversimplification of my true feelings, but I'm not about to d

  • by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @11:16AM (#51541381)

    I saw the this movie at a movie theatre! It was also when gas was 57 cents a gallon, leaded or unleaded, and Calif houses were less than 100K. Anyway back on topic a friend told me, "You gotta see this movie, the special effects are as good as 2001." Which back then every other space movie was cheesy looking. I also remembered some local store made a few Star Wars shirts (7 total) and were promptly served papers to either stop and destroy the shirts or pay $7million. And then Battlestar Gallactica TV series featuring that guy from Bonanza and all that space age Tektronix test equipment (you know, those O-scopes where all the controls were easy except finding the power on/off was always a challenge).

    I find it amusing we are 16% into the 21st century and a lot of people view SW as "something new" which probably there are people seeing this 1977 re-release, "wow I didn't know SW was that OLD!" For me I saw the two sequels on late night TV, I haven't watched any of the pre-re-seq-whatever versions. And probably have no clue what everyone is arguing about.

    • by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @11:30AM (#51541483)

      I haven't watched any of the pre-re-seq-whatever versions. And probably have no clue what everyone is arguing about.

      Good. And stay that way. For your own sake.

      • by ledow ( 319597 )

        Why the venom?

        In 20 year's time, when they're making Toy Story 26 or The Expendables: Resurrected Again (where Sly Stallone is a re-animated corpse for the third outing), you'll get sick and tired of the shit too.

        Though I haven't yet found anything on there that's "killer", I have to say that just the idea of Amazon Originals (i.e. independently funded, non-Hollywood crap) is appealing.

        Let's be honest, if you resurrected any trilogy from the 70's (were there others? Possible Alien technically?) and just ke

  • by seven of five ( 578993 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @11:21AM (#51541415)
    How is this even possible, legally? If you so much as put a Mickey Mouse wristwatch on upside down Disney comes down on you like a ton of bricks. This group... obtains a 35mm print, restores and releases it? Makes my head spin.
    • Re:Baffled.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @12:29PM (#51541919) Homepage

      How is this even possible, legally?

      It's not. Not legal, anyway. But not being legal doesn't make something impossible.

    • by suutar ( 1860506 )

      It probably isn't... legally. The print is probably still legally the property of 20th Century Fox (or whatever that company's name is now), just tagged as "lost" in the records, and I recall hearing that "restoration" counts as making a new work, which would be derivative, and therefore infringing...

  • Lone Starr: Who hasn't heard of Episode IV!
    Princess Vespa: A New Hope!
    Dot Matrix: Star Wars Episode IV!
    Barf: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope!
    Star Wars: Please, please, don't make a fuss. It's just plain Star Wars.

  • Maybe Star Wars would be a case where it was so popular that so many prints were struck that it was hard to keep track of them and enterprising fans were able to snag prints at the tail end of the extended run.

    Then I guess there is (or was?) the old "revival house" that showed older movies, so obviously there was a warehouse someplace filled with 35mm prints and I would imagine these walked off or "got lost in shipping" from time to time.

    But what kind of equipment would you need to actually work with and di

    • Back in the 80's when my friends wife owned a video store, she had copies all the Disney movies that had never been released on videotape or DVD, so apparently there has been a booming black market on converting film to digital for quite some time now. I assume many of the art film/non-first run theaters do this as a sideline; how else would they stay in business?
  • From a single Print? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    From the fine article, there were multiple prints used. A spanish language LPP version was the basis for most of the work but several other Kodak Eastman prints were used, especially for effect heavy scenes.

  • If it doesn't have Teddy bears it ain't Star Wars!

  • I like that they did this and applaud the risk they're taking in releasing it online (as a bittorrent, I'd imagine), but ironically I'm not even sure if I really care. Since Revenge of the Jedi I've more or less had the entire Star Wars thing ruined for me. I haven't seen the new film, probably never will, either, because it stinks of just 'piling on' for more profit. It has nothing to do with 'bringing Star Wars to a new generation' or anything even as high-minded as that, it's just monetizing the living h
  • I've downloaded it. It's pretty good. Pretty grainy compared to what we're all used to these days, especially in dark scenes. Grain and subjective quality varies a fair bit from scene-to-scene and sometimes shot-to-shot, but is probably fairly representative of how it would have looked in cinemas in 1977.

    VLC reports the framerate as 23.809523.

  • Will ne happy. Whoever he is!
  • Back in my day, we didn't call it "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope", we just called it "Star Wars", and we were happy with the name, doggone it!
  • by xororand ( 860319 ) on Friday February 19, 2016 @07:03PM (#51545097)

    The currently best reproduction of the original Star Wars trilogy is a fan edit compiled by Harmy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    http://originaltrilogy.com/top... [originaltrilogy.com]
    https://docs.google.com/docume... [google.com]

    This is a reconstruction of the 1977 theatrical version of STAR WARS. The original shots were painstakingly restored using various sources (listed below) and the film received an extensive shot by shot colour correction based on a fade free 1977 I.B. Technicolor Print.

    This fan edit is compiled from many sources, including an earlier scan by Team Negative1, the group this article is also about.

    VIDEO SOURCES:
            STAR WARS Episode IV A New Hope Official Blu-Ray 2011 (Preliminary colour correction by You_Too)
            STAR WARS 2006 Bonus DVD (sourced from the 1993 Definitive Edition Laser Disc Master - upscales by Dark Jedi, You_Too and Harmy)
            Star.Wars.Episode.IV.A.New.Hope.1977.720p.HDTV.x264-DON (2004 DVD Version)
            STAR WARS 1997 Special Edition (Reivax DTV capture)
            Custom mattes, 35mm and 70mm film cell scans etc.
            Team Negative1 35mm LPP print scan of the Mos Eisley sequence
            Puggo Grande (1977 16mm print transfer)

    Harmy has since released restored edits of Episode V and VI as 720p MKV.
    The MKVs also include many subtitles and alternative audio tracks.
    It is currently the definite edition of the original trilogy.

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