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Original Star Wars on DVD... Sorta

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the well-thats-just-a-let-down dept.

455

An anonymous reader writes "The Original Star Wars is available on DVD. Sure it's more moola in Lucas's pocketsess (Gollum accent). But he did finally release the original version for a limited time. But which Original Star Wars, I bet Episode IV is in the opening titles. " Also apparently the original versions are basically non-anamorphic transfers from the laser discs. So basically, they look terrible.

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455 comments

Greedo didn't do it! (5, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095333)

Han posted first!

Sorry, I couldn't help myself :-)

Re:Greedo didn't do it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095408)

thanks for the laugh

Re:Greedo didn't do it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095466)

Best first post ever :)

Re:Greedo didn't do it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095508)

In the new version, Han and Greedo don't shoot until terrorists break in and shoot first!

darnit (4, Funny)

yoduh (548937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095342)

So its the same as the last DVD release but one of the bonus features is a crappy version of the very original?

I have every VHS and DVD version of the movies and can usually point out most of the differences. But, I am getting better.... I no longer live in my parents basement :)

----------
You know what else grinds my gears? When I can't find the droids that I am looking for.

Re:darnit (5, Funny)

ZSpade (812879) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095376)

A move to the attic isn't what they meant by "It's time to move up in life.", Yoduh.

Re:darnit (4, Funny)

mccalli (323026) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095415)

I have every VHS and DVD version of the movies and can usually point out most of the differences. But, I am getting better.... I no longer live in my parents basement :)

"That's good. You've taken your first step into a larger world"

Cheers, Ian

Episode IV is *NOT* in the opening credits. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095344)

See subject - I've seen the DVD.

Will we ever get what we really want? (5, Interesting)

Cerberus7 (66071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095348)

Honestly? Will the original Trilogy ever be released in a non-craptastic form? Perhaps we will have to wait for the Blue-Ray HD-DVD battle to be resolved. This particular release leaves me feeling underwhelmed, and my pocketbook will stay closed.

Re:Will we ever get what we really want? (2, Insightful)

saxoholic (992773) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095366)

I agree. This definitely isn't what the fans wanted. But it is a step in the right direction given lucas's stance in the past of never releasing the original version. I'm also very happy for there to be a dvd version of return of the jedi that doesn't have hayden christiansen. he just pisses me off.

Re:Will we ever get what we really want? (2, Informative)

jmauro (32523) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095372)

According to LucasFilm the original originals were destroyed in the making of the "Special Editions". The laserdisk master is all that is left, this may be as good as it gets since Lucas doesn't want to release the "incomplete" originals.

Originals probably still exist (5, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095435)

You may be referring to the great print recall in the 1990s. According to this guy [thedigitalbits.com] high-quality prints still exist and so do the "original" interpositives. Granted the guy is speculating about the interpositives but he seems pretty sure about high-quality prints. If stored carefully these are probably better than the analog laserdisks.

Re:Originals probably still exist (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095661)

I have seen, in a shop in the Universal theme park, framed frames(no pun intended) of what was claimed to be the original master of starwars. They were priced somewhere between 100$ and 200$ and don't remember. By the time I thought it was a smart move from Lucas to make a ton of bucks. So, maybe they really don't have it anymore

Re:Will we ever get what we really want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095497)

According to LucasFilm the original originals were destroyed in the making of the "Special Editions".

And according to Robert Rankin [sproutlore.com], who told me this in a pub so accuracy cannot be guaranteed, that's not true. His mate Jason Joiner [guinnessworldrecords.com], in the course of amassing his record breaking Star Wars collection, bought several filing cabinets full of paperwork/documentation from the original shoots. In one of the drawers were... tins of film. That's right folks, the claim is that Jason Joiner has the originals, or at least enough of them to make Lucas use a 2nd generation print as the source for the "Special Editions".

They surely digitized it all (1)

tentimestwenty (693290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095626)

In making the special editions any idiot would have digitized and archived all the film even if it wasn't eventually used. If some guys on the internet can string together a version based on the DVD with only select shots from LD then Lucas will have NO problem. Just a lame excuse.

Re:Will we ever get what we really want? (4, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095686)

I gotta call bullshit.

This is freaking ILM we're talking about. If they can't undo the changes they made from the Special Edition 'masters' (whether they're in digital form or actually some type of celluloid, I don't know) then I'll eat my non-SE VHS tapes. These people are masters at digital manipulation and restoration. There is simply no way that they are incapable of recreating the originals using the SE versions as a base + laserdisc (for reference).

No (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095379)

Honestly? Will the original Trilogy ever be released in a non-craptastic form? Perhaps we will have to wait for the Blue-Ray HD-DVD battle to be resolved.
You know, I saw a recent 're-release' of Star Wars' Original Trilogy [lucasarts.com] that was in pretty high quality. But there was something strange about it that didn't feel right. I mean, sure the picture and quality was excellent but there was something different about it that I just couldn't quite put my finger on.

Re:Will we ever get what we really want? (1)

gregmark (750089) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095385)

Honestly? Will the original Trilogy ever be released in a non-craptastic form?

No. Star Wars was released in 1977. No matter what, it's going to look old. Frankly, I'd rather it be a little grainy that suffer the contrast of 1997 CGI which, more than anything else, shows the true age of the original film. Count yer blessings.

Re:Will we ever get what we really want? (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095530)

People say the it is old and will look grainy, but I do not buy it. Unless there is terrible damage to the film, most movies can stand the test of time. I have seen movies that are almost 20 years older on HDTV and they have done a good job of cleaning the films. It takes a lot of work, and honestly, this is work that Lucas doesn't want to do because he really doesn't want to release the originals in a form people will like. I suspect we will see Blu-Ray versions next year with the 30th anniversary and also the Star Wars 3D. While I might be interested in seeing it in 3D if the experience is good, I really will not be able to bring myself to spend even more money on the series. (Though, I am not buying into any of the HD formats until someone is a clear winner or until a dual format player is available, which isn't as impossible as they want you to think.)

George Lucas' Fear of Failure (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095353)

Well, there wasn't much to the 'article' in this one except a bunch of odd links on www.starwars.com. But I noticed that CBS's Early Show was covering this [cbsnews.com] and states:
Like it or not, this is probably all you can expect if you're clamoring for new "Star Wars" material. Lucas has vowed not to make any new movies for the series.

"I said it might be amusing to come back with Harrison and Carrie when they're 70-years old and make a movie, but I forgot that I'd be 70-years-old, too," Lucas said, referring to people who ask him about more sequels.

Lucas has talked about doing 3D version of all these films, for theaters. They would be released one-a-year. There is also talk of a 2007 "ultimate set" with all six films and new bonus material. There have also been rumors of a TV series, books, cartoons, and video games.
What, will the 3D releases offer you another chance to alter them? Was your 'original vision' to have Jabba the Hutt slither out on people's laps?

Oh, an ultimate set? You don't have enough of my money?

Seriously, I wish Lucas would understand that we would rather see completely new material from him than to see him repackage and alter what we have and do love from him. I would rather see him release 9 mediocre or bad movies than to have him edit, 3D-ify and edit again episodes IV, V & VI.

Damnit Lucas, let the studio technicians re-master the movie (they went to school for it, they know what they're doing) and give us more original content! Look at all the famous directors you've studied. Did Akira Kirosawa edit and re-release Shichinin No Samurai or Rashômon over and over and over again? No, he continued to make more movies, some very very good and some mediocre.

Re:George Lucas' Fear of Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095407)

Thread title -> "George Lucas' Fear of Failure"

Sadly, after the crapola that was ep's 1,2, and 3, Lucas has already failed, and failed in a very spectacular manner. So he should be used to failure by now.

The Defense of I, II & III (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095437)

Sadly, after the crapola that was ep's 1,2, and 3, Lucas has already failed, and failed in a very spectacular manner. So he should be used to failure by now.
I'll defend them.

I hated Episode One, I liked Episode Two and I loved Episode Three. Overall, they're a good addition to the Star Wars universe. Episode One was fluff and terrible fluff at that. But it'd be a lie to say I don't own them and I know that these are movies that will survive time and last in my movie collection.

The important thing is that I will show them to my kids, much like the IV, V & VI were shown to me. And hopefully, they'll spur imagination and entertainment for everyone that sees them. That is the point of sci-fi movies, by the way, not to satisfy everyone that views them. I think that any eight to fourteen year old kid would enjoy all the Star Wars movies thoroughly and that makes them good. I, II & III contain excellent social commentary even though some of the acting might be terrible and the plot clunky.

We expected platinum for Lucas and he gave us silver. That's not very fair. Still, I'd rather watch Episode One than 90% of the crap I see hit movie theatres these days.

Re:The Defense of I, II & III (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095477)

I'd rather watch Episode One than 90% of the crap I see hit movie theatres these days.

Agreed. It was a good sci-fi movie, but a lousy Star Wars movie.

Re:The Defense of I, II & III (2, Insightful)

CxDoo (918501) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095531)

All Episode One had was a bunch of CGI muppets.

Re:The Defense of I, II & III (4, Insightful)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095560)

I thought Qui-Gonn was an interesting charcter. Darth Maul was very good. The light sabre fight was really well done. The starfighter and capital ship battles were astounding. This is all good sci-fi stuff.
The movie had its faults. The little boy was awful, the introduction of midi-chlorians was a mistake, and of course, Jar Jar was a disaster.
But for me, Ep 1 did not have the scope that the others had. It was too localised, and perhaps in that respect it was aptly named.

Re:The Defense of I, II & III (2, Insightful)

CxDoo (918501) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095682)

I guess no one expected Episode One to be a festival of good acting or superb storytelling, but I for one hoped we'd get more background to characters involved, as in why & how. Sadly, the movie wasn't neither character, or at least action (like the original), driven, but served as a special effects showcase.

Not in a single moment was I involved in what was happening on the screen; at best I was impressed by CGI, at worst I was plain bored.

Re:The Defense of I, II & III (2, Insightful)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095693)

Ep 1 seemed way to formulaic to me. ep's 4-6 worked and he was trying to just copy what they did. Jar jar was trying to be another Chewbacca, but he was so horrible he had to get virtually written out of the rest of the series, making for a wasted character opportunity. Seemed like he was trying to copy the end battle of Jedi, with a space battle, a ground battle, and a few selects attempting an infiltration. The whole thing just seemed forced to a formula.

Re:The Defense of I, II & III (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095633)

I think that any eight to fourteen year old kid would enjoy all the Star Wars movies thoroughly and that makes them good.

Does it really? Or does that just cheat the 8-14 year old? I'd say you are overstating the marginal improvements II and III had over I; they may have been well conceived as far as the Grand Themes go (which they were, and oddly topical, too), but the execution was just inexcusable. I'm pretty sure that in "goodness per dollar spent" these are some of the worst movies ever made.

For me the "Oh it's for the kids, so I don't have to bother hiring competent writers and directors" excuse just doesn't hold much water. That was not silver, not by a long shot; somewhere between lead and pyrite, I'd say.

Re:George Lucas' Fear of Failure (4, Insightful)

nucal (561664) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095429)

Seriously, I wish Lucas would understand that we would rather see completely new material from him than to see him repackage and alter what we have and do love from him.

George Lucas had a few good movies in him, but in reality he had one great thing and that was to revolutionize the use of special effects. He is more of a technical specialist rather than a story teller - why else would he continue to re-work the same material over and over again by enhancing the effects?

But to expect any great new material in the form of new stories and plots from him is unrealistic. I think that Star Wars volumes I-III proved that.

Re:George Lucas' Fear of Failure (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095525)

why else would he continue to re-work the same material over and over again by enhancing the effects?

Piles and piles of money?

-Eric

Re:George Lucas' Fear of Failure (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095451)

Agreed. Enough is enough.

I find it interesting that Lucas, when he made Star Wars, was fearful of falling into the influence or patterns of the big studios. The success of the movie(s) allowed him to become the very thing he fought against. It is not unlike the story of Anakin/Vader. In the end the character is redeemed when he remembers his roots and sees what his son represents. Lucas does not seem to have the same 'good in him'.

Enough already George. Stop re-editting the damn movies. Stop releasing them in various forms and edits. Stop being the thing you once hated. Come back to the light side.

Re:George Lucas' Fear of Failure (5, Funny)

slapout (93640) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095504)

"I would rather see him release 9 mediocre or bad movies..."

3 down, 6 to go.

Re:George Lucas' Fear of Failure (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095514)

Damnit Lucas, let the studio technicians re-master the movie and give us more original content!

It seems obvious he doesn't have any left. And he had some good writers on the original Star Wars, we see what crud he writes now when given his head and no one is up to tell him how bad it is.

Re:George Lucas' Fear of Failure (2)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095715)

Seriously, I wish Lucas would understand that we would rather see completely new material from him than to see him repackage and alter what we have and do love from him.

I wish Lucas would put the camera in a box, and bury the box.

Let someone who knows how to write dialogue and get actors that aren't witches (you know, made out of wood) continue the Universe. Maybe hire those smart folks who wrote and directed Knights of the Old Republic [wikipedia.org]?

Horrible Transfer (2, Insightful)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095354)

I was looking at the comments section at Amazon, and that is the biggest grip, Im going to hold onto my 60.00 and wait for them to show up at the pawn shop if this is the case.

Is Lucas trying to make a point?

yes (1)

workbench (875813) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095384)

Is Lucas trying to make a point?

I hope so anyways. The originals look like crapola compared to the new releases:

http://www.starwars.com/episode-v/release/video/f2 0060901/20060901_picview/pictureviewer.html?imgNum =1&world=episode-v [starwars.com]

Don't let your childhood memories of these movie cloud your judgement... let's stop whining and be glad that he could afford to go back and fix them!

Re:yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095484)

I hope so anyways. The originals look like crapola compared to the new releases:
One was remastered and edited, the other wasn't. We do want a remastered release, no doubt about that, but not an edited release.

Horrible Transfer-Future. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095443)

"Is Lucas trying to make a point?"

Much like DNF. It truely will be forever before he gives the fans what they want.

In the mean time Bad Mojo (a DOS game) has been redone, and will get the money Lucas didn't.

I felt a disturbance in the force... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095355)

...as if millions of Star Wars nerds cried out in ecstacy, and then were silent, off to search for tissue paper or a damp rag.

Slight sanity check. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095362)

Let's be real. The transfers aren't "from the laser discs" ... the transfers are from the same masters used for the laser discs.

Reminds me of.. (5, Funny)

Ka D'Argo (857749) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095365)

a line from the Comedians of Comedy documentary


"Yea I saw Phantom Menance and Attack of the Shit. It was like your uncle sticking his weiner in your mouth. Not like when you were a kid but grown up. You don't expect it either, your uncle's your favorite person, got you high, bought you your first beer, hate your mom hate your dad but your uncle is cool.

You're at your parents for christmas, everyone's in bed, you're watching Letterman and you look over and see your uncle trying to put his weiner in your mouth. That's what Phantom Menace was like.

I'm not even gonna see the third one (ROTS). It'll just be me walking into an empty theater and there will be Lucas ready to rape me some more. And I'll just do it to get it over with.

Then he'll put on a Greedo mask and call it the Special Edition."

Re:Reminds me of.. (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095424)

You know what I feel the same way. I own the first two "new" movies. I still havn't even seen the third.

Re:Reminds me of.. (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095629)

the first two were shameful... however I, as well as many others that share the sentiment about the first 2, really liked the third one. You should check it out, its so much darker and much more going on inside the characters

Re: Reminds me of.. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095499)

> I'm not even gonna see the third one (ROTS). It'll just be me walking into an empty theater and there will be Lucas ready to rape me some more.

So now it's "* me twice, shame on you; * me three times, shame on me"?

Slashdot just can't be pleased (2, Insightful)

Pigeon451 (958201) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095369)

He finally releases the originals after he said he never would, and /. still complains bitterly ... If it's all original but fixed a couple typos (such as the opening credits), is that such a horrible thing?

Re:Slashdot just can't be pleased (3, Insightful)

Deluxe_247 (743837) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095400)

You are right, we have nothing to complain about. And the next (first for most of /.ers) time you get a kiss, your lips meet, and he/she pukes down your throat, Im sure you'll have nothing to complain about.. After all, you DID get the kiss.

Re:Slashdot just can't be pleased (0)

Sinnix (898301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095402)

Cheers mate, my thoughts exactly. Everybody bitched when they released the re-re-re-re-mastered "Now with completely new scenes" editions and screamed for the 'original'. Now you have the original and you want it remastered? You guys are cracked.

Re:Slashdot just can't be pleased (2)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095434)

No see what people wanted was the grainy picture cleaned up and new sound effects. What we got was a new storyline with han shooting first. With the rerelease of the originals people were still hoping for a good transfer from some semi original film stock, and maybe some digitial cleaning up of the grain and sound. What we got was a badly done transfer of the old video disc release. Though I personally think this is all anyone really expected, the complaints are just people wanting more.

Re:Slashdot just can't be pleased (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095521)

Remastering the originals is fine, as long as the original content remains unchanged. Things like adding CGI that looks awful against a 1977 movie, making Han shoot first, and totally removing one of the actors from a scene and inserting Hayden Christenson is what people complain about. Hell, the extra scene with Han and Jabba should have been added as a deleted scene on the dvd, not inserted into the movie where it serves no purpose what-so-ever.

Re:Slashdot just can't be pleased (1)

tilde.d (994884) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095642)

I agree with Mindstalker about remastering the video but I personally would not like to hear "new" sound effects (re-touch but don't alter the current ones). Mainly, I want a medium better than VHS. Yes I still have my VHS originals, released right before the remastered, altered ones. I worry for their quality though.

Re:Slashdot just can't be pleased (1)

Cerberus7 (66071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095418)

Well, kinda, yeah. I already have the original trilogy laserdisks, and have them converted to DVD. Why should I pay $xx.xx to have it again with a nice pretty package? I'm looking for the original trilogy transferred to DVD cleaned up and pretty, not laserdisk or VHS quality on DVD media. Until that happens, it's unlikely that I'll purchase another copy of Star Wars.

Re:Slashdot just can't be pleased (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095706)

> I'm looking for the original trilogy transferred to DVD cleaned up and pretty, not laserdisk or VHS quality on DVD media.

Actually, laserdisc can look better than DVD. The real issue is the quality of the film transfer - if they don't clean it up digitally like they did for the Special Editions, then it will be a very faithful reproduction of a dirty source.

Opening Credits? (1)

slarrg (931336) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095436)

Have you seen any of the Star Wars movies? There are no opening credits to fix typos in.

Re:Slashdot just can't be pleased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095472)

Not that I'm much of a Star Wars fan, but if I were, I would probably feel screwed given Lucas' DVD release approach (had I bought any of that stuff).

Why didn't he simply release the theatrical cut along with the remastered/special edition? I'm guessing that most people who disliked the special editions did so because of the newly added scenes, not so much for the fact that the print was cleaned up and the sound brought up to speed (if that is the case: I still have some really old, really dirty VHS originals that I'm willing to sell to the highest bidder!:-)). So basically, he could have just gone the way that Cameron did with the Ultimage Edition: Terminator 2 DVD, i.e. using branching, or he could have added another DVD with the original cut (and cleaned picture and sound) to the special edition release.

Of course, this way he does get to milk "purists" a little more.

Don't worry about the bad quality (2, Funny)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095388)

They'll try again in a year.

And again a year after that.

And again a year after that.

I'll Wait (1)

artson (728234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095392)

There are some series of movies and TV that I wouldn't mind having in my library, but with this gabble about anamorphic/non-anamorphic which I still don't understand [acmehowto.com], maybe it would be better to let someone else buy it and ask them if it's any good.

Grump.

Side-by-side comparison, and anamorphic vs. non-an (4, Informative)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095502)

First: Here's a shot-by-shot comparison of the newly released footage to recent home releases. [starwars.com]

Next, here's a simple explanation of what "anamorphic" is all about. It originally comes from the cinema. An anamorphic lens stretches or shrinks the image along one axis. In the movies, they use it to shrink the image horizontally when they film it, and stretch it back when they project it. This is what allows theaters to fit a widescreen image on square cells on the film. Anamorphic DVDs work similarly.

See, the aspect ratio (ratio of width to height) of the Star Wars theatrical release is somewhat larger than TV's traditional aspect ratio of 4:3. Annoyingly, the video format that DVDs use is hard-coded to a range of fixed resolutions, all of which have 4 times as many pixels across as they have vertically. (Ok, I'm oversimplifying slightly, but not critically.) To fit content wider than 4:3 onto a 4:3 format, you have 3 choices:

  • Shrink the image uniformally so that it fits width-wise. This gives unused areas at the top and bottom of the image. The resulting output is referred to as "letterboxed."
  • Crop away the sides, adjusting camera shots to bring in the most interesting aspects of the scene. This is referred to as "pan-and-scan."
  • Shrink the image horizontally so that it fits width-wise but fills the screen top-to-bottom. This uses all the available pixels but gives you the complete image. This is referred to as "anamorphic."

To display an anamorphic DVD on a regular-screen TV, the DVD player will still need to shrink the image top-to-bottom, otherwise everything will look tall and thin. On such a TV, an anamorphic DVD will not look much different than a letterboxed DVD. On a wide-screen TV, though, the DVD player can stretch the image side-to-side to fill the entire width of the display. This provides a direct benefit over simply enlarging a letterboxed DVD image: You gain vertical resolution.

--Joe

Re:Side-by-side comparison, and anamorphic vs. non (2, Informative)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095538)

Err, typo above. "4 times as many pixels across" should read "4/3rds as many pixels across." Carry on.

Re:I'll Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095546)

You'll understand when you try to play the dvd on your brand new wide screen TV/Monitor and wonder why the movie is only taking up 1/6 of your screen.

quality (3, Interesting)

mzs (595629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095416)

My wife just bought these yesterday. She put in the original version of Jedi for my daughter. A bit later my daughter came to my wife saying that something did not look right. Then my wife put in the new version, no complaints. I am hoping that it was something simple like the aspect ratio was not right on the TV, but if not it does not bode well if a 4 year old complains about the picture.

When I came home from work, I noticed that the new version was very dark. I turned-up the brightness for the kids. I wish I knew why that was.

How is the quality of the bootleg DVD rips of the original trilogy from LD? How does it compare to these? Wouldn't it be a shame if the bootlegs looked better. Anyway for me quality better than my old VHS versions will be acceptable, but why could it not have been at least an anamorphic rip of the original trilogy on these new discs?

Re:quality (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095450)

...but why could it not have been at least an anamorphic rip of the original trilogy on these new discs?

Because that would have taken a bit of effort, some time, and some money. Three things that apparently Lucas feels he's in very short supply of...

A New Hope (1)

bitrot42 (523887) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095669)


There's still hope for a remastered version:

http://www.x0project.com/ [x0project.com]

It looked like their project was going to be a dead end with the new release, but I guess it's still a go. It's sad that Lucas wouldn't actually hire some folks to do the same thing.

Re:quality (1)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095453)


How is the quality of the bootleg DVD rips of the original trilogy from LD?

Not great but a degenerate collector will want them. Audio is Dolby 2.0, video is a bit grainy (it *was* laserdisc after all) but it'd be nice if the ripper ran it through some denoisers in AVISynth/VirtualDub.

Re:quality (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095594)

How is the quality of the bootleg DVD rips of the original trilogy from LD?

There was a bootleg set from this one guy (he went by the handle "TR47") that were absolutely superb. They looked much better than my LD set (looks like he used a top-of-the-line player, some video processing, and good encoding). He even offered bonus material never released on any of the half-ass Lucas editions. You can bet his versions are much better than anything Lucas is ever going to release.

Lucas is like a spoiled child. Even when he's forced to concede something, he's going to try to sabotage it just for spite.

-Eric

The problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095667)

...is that he's change them so damn many times, he can't tell what "original" means anymore, or where the "original" copies are. Bootlegging an LD was probably the only option.

I'll Bite (3, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095438)

Meh. I've read the complaints, but I'm tired of waiting. Getting 2-DVD sets for $20USD a pop is a good deal, and I put my VCR (original trilogy on VHS) away a long time ago. So I'm going to go ahead and pick them up. If a remastered version of the original ever comes out, I'll probably pick it up. But life is too short to wait around for perfection.

I've got a bad feeling about this... (2, Insightful)

cyber1kenobi (666018) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095442)

I still have my original VHS tapes which were recorded off of regular TV way back when. I remember using our VCR that had a wired remote control! lol At this point they've been viewed so many times you can barely see ANYTHING in ESB because everything is so dark. I was extremely pumped that they were releasing the "originals" on DVD, only to be crushed by this mess with a bad transfer. Didn't they digitally remaster the originals before making all of those changes?! Can't they use that to make these new DVDs?! They took away the orignal Ewok song / celebration at the end of ROTJ. That part always gave me the shivers. Now we've got that awful multi-world celebration and that horrible music - what were they thinking! And that f'n' animated creature singing in Jabba's palace - hold on, I have to wipe the puke off my shoes.

Re:I've got a bad feeling about this... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095718)

" Didn't they digitally remaster the originals before making all of those changes?! "

Yes he did!! Bastard. Before the big special edition release, he released a remastered version of the originals that only showed up here in america on VHS tape. I believe they may have made onto laser disc in Japan.

I like the new DVDs (5, Insightful)

arcticstoat (993717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095467)

I bit the bullet and bought the DVDs. Much as I'm loathe to give bullfrog-face Lucas any more of my money (having seen that he spends it on making rubbish like Jar Jar Binks), I decided that the Special Editions just irritated me too much, and I wanted to watch Star Wars without shouting at the TV. Quality-wise, I think they're actually pretty good. They're not the digitally remastered versions, but they still look very clean, and they're also in widescreen. These DVDs offer a much clearer picture than any old VHS tape will, although the compression is a little more obvious than on the Special Editions. The quality isn't anywhere near as bad as some whingers would have you believe anyway. At the end of the day, I'm glad I bought them. They might not be cleaned up, but if they'd never been digitally remastered before then you wouldn't be complaining about that anyway. I think of them as a piece of history i.e. the way the films looked originally, and should really look now. Now that I have the originals, I'm going to blissfully pretend that George Lucas died in 1984, and that the Special Editions and Episodes I, II and III never happened. This makes me happy.

Let's solve this problem the standard way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095469)

Could someone please re-release the LD-Rips of the theatrical-release version on http://thepiratebay.org/ [thepiratebay.org] and post a link here?

We don't see the copyright holder stop f***ing the customers anytime soon, soo....

So is this the "correct version"? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095479)

Part 1, no, 4 of a 12 erm, 9, 3, erm oh yeah - 6 part series where we follow Luke skywalker. No we follow Aniken skywalker who was killed by Darth Vader, but as it turned out became Darth Vader, and Han dies or possibly survives at the end, and it turns out that the first officer on a tatty smugglers ship was always intended to be a high ranking military officer, and han hsot first. Or maybe second. Or maybe they had a friendly arm wrestle to settle their argument over Jabba.

And it turns out that Leia is Luke's sister, alghough you wouldn't have thought that was what in mind given the kiss in the first film. Which comes fourth.

But at least we know that the super THX enhanced 1138 genetically engineered extra shiny doublemint editions are the version of the story that George Lucas wanted to tel us in the beginning.

Poster didn't check out the article properly :-) (1)

Archibald Buttle (536586) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095487)

I bet Episode IV is in the opening titles.

No, it's not.

There's a picture comparison of the two editions which can easily be found from the article that's been linked to. The third picture clearly shows that "Episode IV" isn't in the "original".

You know you'll buy it. (2, Funny)

Helmholtz Coil (581131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095489)

A friend of mine that's a rabid Star Wars fan was grousing about this yesterday, even as he talked about when he'd pick them up.

I told him the SW fans' motto should be "I may have to buy it, but I don't have to like it." :)

LaserDisc quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095490)

I had the Episode IV, V & VI set on LaserDisc and I thought the quality was actually quite good. It was a magnitude better than VHS...

Not THAT bad (5, Informative)

iamjoltman (883526) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095492)

I just wanted to clarify something. They aren't transfers from LaserDisc, they are transfers from a 1993 LaserDisc master. Big difference there. And I think crappy is a bit harsh. Do they look as good as they could? No. Are they anamorphic? No. But are they better than the LaserDisc-ripped bootlegs? At the time, I think the answer is yes. Granted, once the X0 Project [x0project.com] gets completed, there might be some competition there. But for now, I think this is the best you're gonna see the legitimate non-SE original trilogy. (In other words, that doesn't include some where people integrated the 2004 DVDs with LaserDisc rips, while that's better quality, it's still not the same as a legitimate release)

Any word on the Christmas Special? (1)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095496)

I want to celebrate galactic "Life Day" on HD or Blu-ray.

Why does George Lucas discriminate against certain holidays?

Re:Any word on the Christmas Special? (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095624)

never. it will never happen.
there are numerous copies available on ebay however.
I rented it from a local rental store a couple christmases ago and it was just as horrible as i remembered. The Boba Fett cartoon is the only reason to watch it. -- well that and seeing grandpa moan and grown while watching some scantilly-dressed disco singer.

Terrible? (4, Informative)

Schnapple (262314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095503)

Also apparently the original versions are basically non-anamorphic transfers from the laser discs. So basically, they look terrible.
It's true they're non-anamporphic transfers from the Laserdiscs, but over at the forums on OriginalTrilogy.com [originaltrilogy.com] a number of people have bought them and say that actually, they're pretty good. These are people who have more or less every bootleg transfer on the Internet and still have their original laserdiscs, high-end setups, etc. And many are reporting that while yes, their video quality can't really hold a candle to the quality of the 2004 versions of the movies, they do blow away every previous LD bootleg transfer, look better than the Laserdiscs (not too surprising) and actually hold up well when zoomed in (as you would need to do on a widescreen set). I don't own the discs nor do I have a high-end setup so I can't really vouch for any of this.

i got fucked at the used dvd lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16095566)

i just bought a 1080p LCoS set from Sony and own I already own the CLV versions on LD (with a nice LD player formerly used in medical applications). When my box arrived in the mail, I immediately opened it up and A/B-ed the DVDs with my LDs. The quality of video was marginally different, and if forced to choose, I'd pick the LD on simply because they were forged from the same master, but the LD didn't go through an ugly A/D conversion. In terms of audio, the LD has uncompressed PCM, but it was resampled from 48k-44.1, which sounds less bad to me than the compressed 48k on the DVD.

Basically, I got fucked. even the DVD version of The Wizard got a fucking anamorphic transfer.

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/mytwocentsa121.html# fr [thedigitalbits.com] for more

Enough already (2, Insightful)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095569)

You people will always find something to complain about when it comes to George Lucas, won't you? If he discovered perfectly preserved original prints of the first trilogy, decided to release them in theatres again, got John Williams to play the Star Wars soundtrack live at each theatre with the London Symphony Orchestra, AND paid for everyone's first ticket to see them, you'd blame him for your popcorn being stale.

I applaud Lucas in his devotion to his creation that millions love. It's an icon of our time.

If you don't like the movies or the editing that has been done to them, that's fine. Don't buy them. It's that simple.

"They look terrible"? (1)

fruey (563914) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095600)

I'd like to see some screenshots. I mean, my original copies on VHS which were recorded from a TV transmission over 15 years ago look awful, and they're pan and scan. Then I've got stuff from paid satellite TV on VHS, widescreen but on analog TV => still look awful. These are from an analog format, but transferred to DVD and must be way better than what I have. It's still an upgrade in quality (especially the sound) compared to my two VHS copies. So, they could look better, but how terrible is terrible?

Transferring VHS to DVD? (1)

soboroff (91667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095607)


So I have the THX widescreen release of the original trilogy without the new scenes. What's the best way to transfer these to DVD?

What do you want? (1)

zosa (261289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095613)

I am fan of Star Wars...especially the first film released...and I hate these whiners who will never be happy with whatever they get...If you want the "original" then you need to get the film reels and appropriate projector...and maybe a theater & screen circa 1977...

I liked them (1)

fr0dicus (641320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095619)

My last memory of the originals was a worn out VHS copy, so this collection seemed pretty good to me. I was too young to see the first two films at the cinema, so I've never seen them as good as this.

Definitive Version? (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095630)

So, what is everyone's vision of the definitive version?

Mine would simply be the original* cinema version with cleaned up picture and sound. Lucas should have stuck that on the two disk set along with the special re-re-release.

Anyone else?

*Personally though I do like the Death Star explosions in the Special Edition, they look more impressive.

Yeah .. I bet you have ... (1)

darkuni (986212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095631)

When I discovered these weren't anamorphic, I had a crap attack just like the rest of you (btw, $48 at Fry's Electronics this week for all three - not THAT bad of a deal). But, I expected nothing else, honestly - with Lucas basically saying he had ZERO interest in releasing these at all. I expected mono, pan & scan (or matted 1.85:1) or worse. I watched Star Wars front to back yesterday after picking them up. The sound suffers a bit after being exposed to all the new remastered stuff, but it's better than I thought it would be. It's nice to hear things in their original glory. The video is indeed 2.35:1 non-anamorphic widescreen and the quality on my Toshiba second gen plasma suffered because of it. I have a feeling on a non-next gen TV, the quality would be perceived a lot better. Quite acceptable considering the alternatives (the bootleg laserdisc to DVD which I have seen all versions as well). Fact is - watching Han shoot first made it all worth it. I know that sounds petty and sad, but I've been without that classic scene for so long, I actually paused everything I was doing while I watched it and simply sat transfixed watching Han blast Greedo. I bathed in the glory that was the landspeeder and lightsaber "poor"effects - THAT'S how I remember Star Wars, folks. Nostalgia DESERVES to be preserved and this might just be it. This is one case where I'm going to just be happy we got them AT ALL.

Woah, hold on there buddy! (3, Insightful)

isecore (132059) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095639)

So basically, they look terrible.

Now, I'm no expert but wasn't that the whole point with releasing the originals on DVD?

*ducks and waits for a +flamebait to hit him*

Lucas and Microsoft (4, Funny)

blacknblu (988181) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095643)

So, is this the equivalent to Star Wars Service Pack III? Even Microsoft stops updating it's OS after a certain number of years.

So what? (1)

teflaime (738532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095644)

Better a worse looking original than the ultra-pretty but ultra-crappy digitally enhanced versions released decades later with all the stupid stuff in them.

Originals destroyed? I don't think so.... (3, Insightful)

JakiChan (141719) | more than 7 years ago | (#16095717)

They make it sound like it was unavoidable to destroy the original footage. Somehow I doubt that.

Wouldn't the first step in making the "special editions" be to digitize and clean up the original film? And who in their right mind would destroy that data? It can't take up too many drives.

So to me it means one of two things:

1. In his hatred of his original work, Lucas ordered the data deleted, which is pretty stupid (since keeping it around would be cheap).

2. He *has* a very nice cleaned up original version sitting on the Lucas SAN somewhere but refused to allow that to be released.

Either way it blows....
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