Official Star Wars Thread

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by Buzz Bumble » August 17th, 2014, 12:37 am

Possible, but I wouldn't hold your breath. Besides, the "unaltered" versions have already been released as bonus material on a previous release, but in a format most people wanting them complained about (pan 'n' scan? I can't remember now without checking my discs).

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by Dan » August 17th, 2014, 1:05 am

Yep. Most folks are adopting the wait-and-see approach given the complexity of just how much of the rights Fox has over the original trilogy (it's one giant debate that doesn't seem to end) and also Disney having to work off the original negatives, which appear to have been damaged.

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by droosan » August 17th, 2014, 1:58 am

There are several issues fans of the Original Trilogy had with the 'bonus disc' versions released alongside the 2006 Special Edition DVDs.

:arrow: The primary gripe was that those 'bonus' DVDs are not anamorphic .. they are 4:3-aspect transfers pretty much direct from the Laserdisc masters (at a lower native video resolution than DVD is capable of displaying). The letterbox black bars at the top-and-bottom of the LD image frames are 'burned into' the DVD image -- meaning that if one views these DVDs on a 16:9-aspect screen (which constitute the vast majority of TVs and monitors, by now), that black bars appear on all four sides of the movie image .. decreasing already-diminished video resolution even further.

. . . . . . . . . . Image

Making those DVDs anamorphic would have at least allowed the framing to be adjusted for 16:9 TVs by zooming the image to match the screen's horizontal width. (it still would be a grainy blurry mess, though)

There are other issues with the OT presentation (2-channel stereo audio, etc) .. but that was the main one.

----------------------------------

Honestly, a decently 're-mastered' transfer of the original movies to a modern standard home video resolution (1920x1080) -- even with just the mildest of filtering for 'dirt / grain' cleanup -- coupled with a 5.1 THX audio mix -- is all it would take to make a sizable majority of grumbling OT fans very happy. :)

It would be a cheap and exceedingly simple way for Disney to build widespread goodwill for their new films.

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by Buzz Bumble » August 17th, 2014, 2:06 am

The best way to build up goodwill would be to fire Abrams and stop making new "Episodes". Just make new spin-off films instead. They should also finish the CLone Wars TV animated series properly. :(

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by Ben » August 17th, 2014, 9:15 am

This has been mooted since Disney bought Lucas, but it makes sense for them to reissue the films that lead up to these new ones again. The question now becomes...are the new films going to continue from the '77, '80 and '83 versions or from the Lucas revised '97/04 editions...?

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by Randall » August 17th, 2014, 2:01 pm

Here's an excellent description of what happened to the original negative, in terms of previous restoration and the creation of the Special Editions:
http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/savingstarwars.html

Properly restoring the original films should be possible (with the proper time and resources, including locating every scrap of negative, though other alternatives certainly exist), and cheaper than it ever was before. That would leave the only practical barrier being the fact that it is Fox who still has distribution rights to the Original Trilogy (apparently having the first film's rights in perpetuity, and the next 2 until 2020). Of course, money--- big gobs of it--- tends to solve such issues.

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by Ben » August 18th, 2014, 5:38 pm

Hmmm...much interestingly speculated on incorrectly there: when I was involved in some Lucas projects I saw an inventory of film assets held in the library and pristine interpositives of the original trilogy, pre-SEs, were there. Sure, you can take a dupe neg or print from 77 and show how bad it is, but the truth was that the interposes were and are still viable master sources, used for the basis of the 97 SEs.

In terms of who owns what, Fox paid for and produced Star Wars 77. They own it, it's their's. Lucas held the option on sequels, giving Fox the option to release them and take a percentage, the same deal he had with Paramount on Indy. Fox has distribution on these until 2020. I do believe that Lucas was able to take control of Star Wars 77 with the 97 SEs, but Fox still has distribution and other rights.

Disney could of course work out a deal to claim the full ownership of Star Wars 77 from Fox (though they simply shouldn't have turned the movie down to start with!), but the two have teamed up before on box sets for Die Hard and Narnia. Indeed, maybe Disney could hand over their rights to the first two Narnia films and Die Hard 3 (and anything else they might have co-pro'd with Fox) and get full control of Star Wars 77 that way, but whatever happens, Disney now says what happens in terms of Lucas' contract deals and so probably has the upper hand in terms of a new deal, just as thry bought out Paramount on the Avengers (or how the Bond folk managed to do with Casino Royale 67 and Never Say Never Again).

Bottom line: Disney didn't shell out for a series that they can't find a way to fully control.

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by Buzz Bumble » August 18th, 2014, 9:36 pm

Fox doesn't own anything to do with Star Wars ... they have the distribution rights to the Original (original Original Trilogy and Special Edition Original Trilogy) and Prequel Trilogies. Nothing else. They almost missed out on being the ditributor of the Prequel Trilogy.

George Lucas bought back the ownership rights to the original "Star Wars" movie a long time ago (hence why he was able to make the Special Edition version and further changes) and the entire Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises are completely owned by Lucasfilm, which is now owned by Disney.

Of course, Disney still can't distribute the earlier Trilogies without some sort of agreement with Fox.

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by droosan » August 18th, 2014, 11:48 pm

During the next six years, there is a practically-guaranteed giant pile of money to be made for both Disney and Fox if a high-quality 'uncut Star Wars Original Trilogy' were to be released on home video.

After 2020, the lion's share of profit from any such venture would belong solely to Disney.

Fox has every incentive to reach an agreement with Disney sooner, rather than later.

But (of course) they'll probably wait until the 'eleventh hour' to act .. like they did with Warner Bros over the Batman TV series. :roll:

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by Buzz Bumble » August 19th, 2014, 12:22 am

droosan wrote:there is a practically-guaranteed giant pile of money to be made for both Disney and Fox
Not really. It's only a few extreme-hard-core "original Original Trilogy only" fans who are that bothered about it. Everyone else already has one, if not multiple, versions of the movies anyway and is pretty fed up with the continual releases of slightly different versions / packaging.

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by EricJ » August 19th, 2014, 12:37 am

Buzz Bumble wrote:Not really. It's only a few extreme-hard-core "original Original Trilogy only" fans who are that bothered about it. Everyone else already has one, if not multiple, versions of the movies anyway
And of those, most only want the original Ep. IV, could take or leave the original Ep. VI, and don't even know the changes made to Ep. V.
You see "Han shot first!" on t-shirts, but you don't see "There were fewer armies on Hoth!"

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by Buzz Bumble » August 19th, 2014, 2:26 am

EricJ wrote:... don't even know the changes made to Ep. V.
Come on now ... nobody could miss the new Admiral Ackbar song and dance number in the middle of the Hoth battle sequence ... all together now: "I'm singing in the snow, Just singing in the snow. What a glorious feeling, I'm happy again. ...". ;)

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by EricJ » August 19th, 2014, 6:25 am

Buzz Bumble wrote:Come on now ... nobody could miss the new Admiral Ackbar song and dance number in the middle of the Hoth battle sequence ... all together now: "I'm singing in the snow, Just singing in the snow. What a glorious feeling, I'm happy again. ...". ;)
(Would be worth ruining the corny third-rate joke to publicly geek-expose myself by nitpicking that Ackbar wasn't in Episode V?
Nah. Best to keep my mouth shut, and let the lame ba-dum-chinger get his fifteen seconds.)

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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by eddievalient » August 19th, 2014, 8:33 am

I was lucky enough to come across a fan made DVD of Star Wars (I will not call it "A New Hope") that's a transfer/preservation of a 1977 film print (presumably from someone's private collection) and doesn't even have the minor fixes applied for the 1978 rerelease. You can't get any more "original" than that! Actually, watching it that way in all it's scratchy, grainy, warts-and-all glory is very enlightening because unlike the more polished versions, it actually does seem very close to the cliffhanger serials he was paying tribute to when he made it, at least from an audiovisual standpoint. It's like seeing a whole different movie.
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Re: Official Star Wars Thread

Post by Ben » August 19th, 2014, 11:37 am

(Sigh)...

Twentieth Century Fox produced and paid totally for the first Star Wars film in 1977, granting Lucas rights to all sequels and merchandise because they thought it would bomb (the film was only made because Alan Ladd Jr believed in Lucas).

Twentieth Century Fox remains the sole owner of the film, the only one from the series that Lucas was a hired writer-director on and does not own outright.

With the 1997 SEs, gentlemanly agreements were made that gave Lucas more control over that first film - especially as Fox wanted to get the distribution rights to the prequels - but Fox still owns the original Star Wars neg, and does so in perpetuity. Thanks to the now abandoned 3D reissues that Lucas was hoping to get Fox to pay for, they have distribution rights for the first six films through 2020, after which Episodes I, II, III, V and VI will revert totally to Disney in ownership and distribution terms.

But they will still need to negotiate with Fox to gain ownership or some kind of ongoing licensing of the original 1977 Star Wars film, which is Fox's, was paid for by Fox, and remains their property. I can't say anything more simply than that!

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