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Thread: Re-experiencing Star Wars

  1. #1

    Re-experiencing Star Wars

    I just finished watching the "Despecialized" edition of Star Wars, the lovingly re-grafted restoration that is the closest we'll ever get to viewing the original 70's release short of using
    a time machine. It was worth the massive 17 gig download to see the film I remembered from days gone by. Yeah I sat and watched the entire end credits with tears welling in my eyes and that
    magnificent John Williams orchestration washing over me.

    Firstly, what a masterpiece, you have Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing, Harrison Ford, a feisty Carrie Fisher, the voice of James Earl Jones and yes, let's hear it for Mark Hamill, who's
    totally invested performance is the soul of the movie. I have to admit, I'd forgotten that I actually loved this film, and the later "improved" version helped erase any good feelings I might
    still might have had. In my memory I'd formed a version that didn't stack up to much, corny, childish, a faddish sensation that was over hyped, other sci-fi films that followed were superior.

    No, I was wrong. The film I just watched is a dynamic and classic exercise in what an adventure film can be, it picked me up and took me to a place a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, it
    held true to that first promise.

    One must credit the young George Lucas as a visionary film maker, despite cornball dialogue he delivered iconic and stunning images, the framing absolutely perfect for each shot, and the
    pacing of the entire film is note perfect, you wouldn't change a thing (oh George, why did you?). He obviously knew what he was doing with his casting, both in front of the camera and behind it.
    If one squints through the magic you can almost detect the flop that might have been had John Williams not over delivered with his life saving score, but it was all there, Lucas got it all up
    on screen, Ralph McQuarrie's concept paintings were brought to life and looked like real places with actual history.

    It's easy to forget he was once a significant film maker, an original and singular talent, this would be his last film as a director, the mammoth success of the title ensured he be forever
    consigned to keeper of the flame, I miss the other films that might have been had he just taken the royalties and moved on. But none of that takes away from the spectacular achievement and
    emotional journey this movie was and still is if seen in it original form.

    All those digital improvements were wasted interference on something that needed nothing more than a good print and sound restoration, the film is so well made and the story so well told that it
    survives any matte lines or visibly seams or whatever it was that Lucas felt the need to fix up. In fact those very things make me love the movie as a movie, a piece of work.

    I think this is the only Star Wars I want, it was always that first one that got my attention and fired my imagination, I didn't really enjoy any of the sequels and certainly despised the
    prequels, can't even say I'm too interested in the upcoming film either. Can lightning strike twice in the same spot?
    Thanks to the dedicated teamsters, curators or whoever you are that put this thing together and got it out there.

  2. #2
    Registered User hazmat777's Avatar
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    I remember waiting for the lights to dim in the theater on my second viewing when I was 8 years old. The excitement was enough to make me want to jump up and down and do jumping jacks.

    I have the THX Laserdics of the OT but I think Star Wars has the "A New Hope" thing in the opening scroll that wasn't in the pure version. Other than that I think they are the originals.

    Maybe Disney will do one of the smartest things ever and finish the restoration of the original footage, dump the "enhanced" footage and release it in 4K and on blu-ray.

    By the way, if you ever want to see the absolute original version of THX 1138, it's at the Special Collections Department at the University of Washington. It came into my hands through a former filmaker that used the same processing facility that Lucas used. I got nervous about keeping it and donated to the University so anyone can view it on request.
    "I don't have it... you want half my omelette?"

  3. #3
    Is it an official release?

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    Registered User hazmat777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazsa73 View Post
    Is it an official release?
    If your question was for me, then I'm actually not sure. The film reel canister was from the area in California where Lucas was studying and it has "Head Print" written on the leader of the reel. I've got pictures posted somewhere on this NewTek site. Or I can post them again. It's obvious that it was from the era and the company that did the processing has been long out of business.
    Last edited by hazmat777; 03-03-2015 at 08:37 AM.
    "I don't have it... you want half my omelette?"

  5. #5
    Are you talking about the original student film before it was re-worked into a feature film release?

  6. #6
    Registered User hazmat777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djwaterman View Post
    Are you talking about the original student film before it was re-worked into a feature film release?
    Yes. It was the original film submitted as a thesis as far as I know. The director of the department just about had a heart attack when I actually showed up with it and signed the papers to donate it ! It actually cracked up a little bit because it was like something from Indiana Jones when the receptionist found out what it was she gasped and said, "Oh my God! "
    Last edited by hazmat777; 03-03-2015 at 09:03 AM.
    "I don't have it... you want half my omelette?"

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by hazmat777 View Post
    If your question was for me, then I'm actually not sure. The film reel canister was from the area in California where Lucas was studying and it has "Head Print" written on the leader of the reel. I've got pictures posted somewhere on this NewTek site. Or I can post them again. It's obvious that it was from the era and the company that did the processing has been long out of business.
    Thanks.

  8. #8
    oh corks
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    Quote Originally Posted by djwaterman View Post
    I think this is the only Star Wars I want...
    It's definitely the only Star Wars I've ever wanted. For years after RotJ happened I told people -if they brought up Star Wars- that I'd happily delete ESB from reality if it meant I could delete Jedi too. I probably got ten years of disbelief and sometimes even anger and shouting because, you know, ESB is the best. Everybody knows that. If you don't think so you're just a f****** a****** and f*** y**. Far too many people are kind of pathetic when it comes to Star Wars.

    These days if somebody raises the topic I can't find it in me to care on any level. Oh, you mean those movies aimed at infants?

    It's about the feel. It's always about the feel. Unfortunately, most people are oblivious to feel and are perfectly happy if they get a few explosions, a couple of fight sequences, and three jokes.

    ...can't even say I'm too interested in the upcoming film either.
    Well, it's being produced by people whose only reason for making it is to trick the gullible public into handing over money in exchange for soulless, converyor-belt corporate product, and it's being directed by a vapid man with a facile grasp of storytelling who couldn't create something that truly captured "feel" if his very life depended on it.

  9. #9
    Often Banned Megalodon2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardboard View Post
    Well, it's being produced by people whose only reason for making it is to trick the gullible public into handing over money in exchange for soulless, converyor-belt corporate product, and it's being directed by a vapid man with a facile grasp of storytelling who couldn't create something that truly captured "feel" if his very life depended on it.
    It's great to know that you can look into the mindset of people - or is it the soul(?) - and KNOW without a doubt that their entire reason for making a sequel is nothing but money. It certainly couldn't be that some would like to continue to saga and tell a real story. No... of course not. Because as we all know... Disney never produces anything of worth and they could never capture that "feel" that you so desire.

    Unbelievable.
    Dave Williams
    Digital Sorcery Warehouse LLC

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  11. #11
    Often Banned Megalodon2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarverdGrad View Post
    And what does this have to do with Disney?

    Answer: Nothing.
    Dave Williams
    Digital Sorcery Warehouse LLC

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    Man of many cells. shrox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazmat777 View Post
    Yes. It was the original film submitted as a thesis as far as I know. The director of the department just about had a heart attack when I actually showed up with it and signed the papers to donate it ! It actually cracked up a little bit because it was like something from Indiana Jones when the receptionist found out what it was she gasped and said, "Oh my God! "
    Excellent, and thanks.
    shrox www.shrox.com
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  13. #13
    oh corks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon2.0 View Post
    -(snip)- Unbelievable.
    My views are based on having worked within the Hollywood system for years and years. On having worked directly with big name directors, with less well known directors, and with completely unknown directors. On having worked with uncountable numbers of intermediary people that function between the level of studio exec and... oh, I don't know... craft services.

    What are your views based on?

  14. #14
    Often Banned Megalodon2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardboard View Post
    My views are based on having worked within the Hollywood system for years and years. On having worked directly with big name directors, with less well known directors, and with completely unknown directors. On having worked with uncountable numbers of intermediary people that function between the level of studio exec and... oh, I don't know... craft services.

    What are your views based on?
    People and storytellers who want to tell a story.

    When you tell me that you personally know JJ Abrams and all of the executives that are working on the new Star Wars movies and say that all they care about is the making of money and not telling a good story... then I'll believe you. Otherwise... no.
    Dave Williams
    Digital Sorcery Warehouse LLC

  15. #15
    oh corks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon2.0 View Post
    People and...
    Ah. Wishful thinking and a complete lack of facts or experience. Gotcha. I think we're done here.

    (Also, your interpersonal skills come across as a bit... sour. In ninety percent of cases there's no need to be quite so attacking. Oh, but wait, what am I thinking? You already know this, having been told so numerous times on various forums.)

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