Author Topic: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD  (Read 63733 times)

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cron

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #180 on: July 26, 2004, 01:25:29 PM »
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and so do millions of children all over the world.
context, context, context.

Just Withnail

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #181 on: July 26, 2004, 02:02:27 PM »
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Quote from: picolas
i really hayde that Hayden thing. it doesn't make any sense! you can't be a teenage force-ghost unless you became one with it as a teen, right?


Explanation and Episode III spoiler:

He actually dies in Episode III.

mogwai

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #182 on: July 26, 2004, 02:08:06 PM »
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why did i read the spoiler? god damn it.

Just Withnail

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #183 on: July 26, 2004, 02:12:55 PM »
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I know the feeling  :(  That's exactly the reason that thing right there is the only thing I know about Episode III.

mogwai

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #184 on: July 27, 2004, 10:51:15 PM »
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removed by admin.

grand theft sparrow

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #185 on: July 28, 2004, 11:06:07 AM »
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Quote from: mogwai
*the still of C3PO and R2D2*


Was there anything new in that?

mogwai

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #186 on: July 28, 2004, 01:12:00 PM »
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^

R2-D2 shoots first.

Derek

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #187 on: July 28, 2004, 05:15:12 PM »
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I think I like the other, shittier looking Jabba better.
It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.

meatball

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #188 on: September 06, 2004, 05:21:46 PM »
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George Lucas must really despise his original theatrical releases of Star Wars.

Here's a link showing all the tweaks he made for the DVD release.

http://free.hostdepartment.com/s/starwarstrilogydvd/main.html

mogwai

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #189 on: September 07, 2004, 11:05:18 PM »
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Star Wars Trilogy

Space opera – 1977
20th Century Fox, SF

Reviewed by Kristoffer Larsson

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away … At last the time has come for probably the biggest and most sought-after release in the history of dvd: the classic Star Wars Trilogy which according to many fans, including me, contains the only true Star Wars movies. George Lucas might have taken advantage of the popular brand to create some new movies, but Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983) all sit comfortably in movie history as the most popular movie trilogy ever created.

It took a few years but now this amazing saga has finally arrived on dvd. Perhaps the delay was all for the best, the dvd media had a chance to mature and Lucasfilm could make the transfer that these masterpieces deserve. However, the quality of picture and sound is something we will discuss further down in the review, as well as the extensive bonus material that is included in this edition. We start off with the movies themselves.

The trilogy consists of three movies and I will address them one at a time and tell you about the story. The same procedure will be applied to the discussion of the bonus material. I will also confirm and deny any changes that might have been done to the Star Wars Trilogy as it is now released on dvd.

The story
Star Wars: A New Hope: The Star Wars-saga began with the movie bearing the same name. It opened in 1977 and was only a few years later equipped with the episode title, A New Hope. This, the first film of the series, amazed the entire world and has been influential on the entire movie industry since it premiered on the big screen during the late 70’s. The movie is basically a classical tale about a hero, a princess and a villain. The setting is a little different though since this film takes place somewhere in space, in a time long forgotten.

Luke Skywalker is in his late teens. He lives on a desert planet called Tatooine and loathes his work as a farmer. Luke wants to get away, out in the galaxy. He wants to see and explore new worlds, meet exciting people and try his luck as a starfighter pilot. One day he gets a chance to realize his dreams when a beautiful princess calls out for help. With the aid of a seasoned smuggler by the name of Han Solo, an elderly man with mysterious powers called Obi-Wan Kenobi, two droids and a Wookiee, Luke sets out on a rescue mission to free the damsel in distress and destroy the evil Darth Vader who has her in custody.

Star Wars: A New Hope is the Mother of the saga, according to many fans, and as such the best movie of the three. I have seen the movies too many times, rendering them rather boring to watch today - I know every line - but if I look at them objectively, based on what I thought when I didn't have alls this knowledge, I would say that all three movies make up an unbreakable whole; no movie is better than the other two and all three have to be seen if one is to achieve The Total Star Wars Experience. Having said that, I still acknowledge the fact that the first movie has some really nice scenes. The scene that fans and Lucas alike call Binary Sunset is an exquisite study in nostalgia; calm yet moving music from John Williams is mixed up with the innocence of young Luke Skywalker and a powerful yet desolate desert landscape.

The Empire Strikes Back: The second movie in the trilogy followed up the success of A New Hope and ran almost equally well at the box office. Depending on which “top lists” you are looking at and whether or not inflation is a part of the equation, the places on the lists vary, but usually A New Hope as well as The Empirer Strikes Back occupy two places at the top of the top ten list for most profitable films of all time.

This episode of the saga has a darker ring to it. The powerful and malicious Empire, led by Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, hunts our heroes from planet to planet and lay devastation wherever they go. Luke travels to the planet of Dagobah to be taught how to become a Jedi Knight, by the little creature Yoda, who is a master of Jedi knowledge. The Empire Strikes Back ends on a dark note and keeps it's feeling of depression throughout the whole movie.

Those who have seen all three Star Was movies a number of times and have evolved beyond the level of layman ship often consider this movie their favourite, mostly because of the lack of joy and happiness that the end of A New Hope “suffers” from.

Return of the Jedi: The saga reaches its conclusion with the third movie. While A New Hope really can stand for itself as an independent movie, The Empire Strikes Back ends with one of the greatest cliff-hangers of all time. This episode is a sequel to the last one and begins right where that ended.

Return of the Jedi is a movie about space wars, space wars on a scale that easily surpasses the battles of the two earlier movies. Luke Skywalker is now a full-fledged Jedi Knight and uses his impressive powers to try to bring down Vader and Palpatine all by himself. Meanwhile, Han, Leia and a great number of rebels struggle to once and for all defeat the Empire and once again turn the galaxy into a hospitable place.

Summary
I never was a Star Wars-fan as a child and I didn't see the movies on the big screen. However, in my mid-teens this extraordinary saga finally hit home with me. The extremely seductive soundtrack of John Williams combined with the storytelling of creator George Lucas and a trio of heroes that has yet to be surpassed in movie history proved to difficult to avoid. During a period of fanaticism I watched the movies once a month. Nowadays I still cherish the movies but very rarely put them in the VCR. However, I have looked forward to finally own the movies on dvd and I am happy that this day now has arrived.

Changes compared to earlier versions
As many fans will testify, George Lucas is a big time revisionist when it comes to his movies. He has on a number of occasions revisited his old products and changed them in both major and minor ways. He has improved the special effects and made the colours more vibrant but also added new scenes, as well as changed existing ones. In 1997, new versions of the movies were released and when that happened all older versions disappeared; his many hardcore fans experienced mixed feelings over this, but it didn't affect sales. Jim Ward, Vice President of Marketing and Distribution at Lucasfilm, says to dvdforum.nu in an interview that 30 million copies were sold worldwide.

Ever since official word came out that the trilogy would be released on dvd these same fans (including me) have wondered if Lucas would be able to keep his fingers away this time or if he once again would change Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

dvdforum can now, as the first mass medium in the world, answer that question: Yes, the movies have been changed.

I am indecisive regarding the changes that have been done. Some of them raise the quality of the movies while others lower it. However, before you rush away screaming it's only fair to tell you that there are only a select few noticeable changes to the movies. For the most part the movies look like the special editions that were released in 1997. When you glance at the keep-case covers you get a hint that something has been done, though, since there is no “Special Editon” phrase anywhere to be seen. Below I will go through the noticeable changes I have found in the movies.

Star Wars: A New Hope
In the special edition a new scene with Jabba the Hutt was added, a Jabba that looked computerized and unreal in every sense. In the dvd version Jabba has been redone substantially. He now looks much better than before. His interaction with Han Solo is more believable and the big yellow eyes that made you nauseous in the special edition now look more “natural”. This change is definitely for the better, in my opinion.
Something that hasn't changed is the showdown between Greedo and Han Solo in the Mos Eisley Cantina; Greedo still fires before Han does.

The Empire Strikes Back
In the special edition a scream was added that wasn’t there before. When Luke lets go of his grip and throws himself into the shaft after hearing the big news from Darth Vader, Luke screamed in an almost ridiculous way in the special editon. In the dvd version Luke no longer screams while falling down the shaft. This is a welcome change back to the original movie, since he - a Jedi Knight who himself elects to throw himself into the shaft - naturally wouldn't show any weakness by screaming his lungs out.

Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to study the VHS special edition in detail before writing this review. I can therefore not conclusively tell you whether Ian McDiarmid now portrays Palpatine or if the old actress (!) that used to do him still does. Clive Revill is still credited as the voice of Palpatine at the end of the movie. One possibility is that the image of Ian McDiarmid has been used instead of the old actress' but not his voice. When I get an opportunity to look at the special edtion I will be able to give you a more conclusive answer to this question. For now, I leave it at "maybe".

The line “Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival”, which was new in the special edition and which features Darth Vader and a very strange voice is still there. The original “Bring my shuttle” has not been restored.

Return of the Jedi
There are two changes at the end of this movie. The first one is small and not all that annoying, the second one is not very funny at all.

When our heroes celebrate the joy of victory with the ewoks on Endor there are also flashes of celebrations on other worlds. What’s new in the dvd version is that you now get to see how they celebrate on Naboo as well as an extended celebration at Coruscant. To those of us who believe that the "new" movies don't have anything to do with the real Star Wars seeing references to those in this classic trilogy isn’t particularly funny. Fortunately the celebration on Naboo is a very short sequence and if you close your eyes at the right moment (something I recommend) you miss it. The extended Coruscant celebration is fine with me, it provides the viewer with a little more presence of that planet.

The biggest and in my mind without a doubt the saddest change in the whole trilogy is the fact that Hayden Christensen has replaced Sebastian Shaw as the "Jedi spirit" of Anakin Skywalker. The pictures we have seen on the Internet have proved to be correct, in every aspect. Instead of Luke watching Sebastian Shaw, Alec Guinness and the Yoda puppet he now looks upon Christensen, Guinness and Yoda. This is really sad since you cannot turn away from this the same way you can with the before mentioned Naboo change.

In all three movies the special effects seem to have been improved and this has made the space battles and the lightsaber clashes more natural. I have no problems with that.

Picture
In the beginning of this review I wrote that perhaps it was for the best that the dvd format had a chance to mature before the task of releasing Star Wars on dvd was undertaken. This is certainly true for this category. The picture of all three movies is ... as good as it can be, at least on a non-projector display (I only had a plasma screen available when I saw these movies). I could never see any trace whatsoever of any artefacts. All the space ships and starfighters are extremely detailed and beautiful to behold. In many cases you can see every tiny detail. On some occasions the picture is almost to detailed since you get a subtle feeling that you are looking at models, and not real spacecraft. They are of course models, but I cannot really blame the superb quality of the picture for me seeing that.

The colours are deep and vibrant throughout the trilogy and the blackness is exquisite. The latter is especially important since large portions of the movies are set in space. I have nothing to complain about here. John Lowry has done a splendid job in cleaning away all the scratches, the dust and the dirt from the negatives. In dvdforum's interview he explains how him and his staff achieved this. All the movies get 10 out of 10 for picture and will be used as reference discs by me in the future.

Sound
Both the above mentioned John Lowry and Rick Dean from THX have been involved in creating the Dolby Digital 5.1 EX sound that manifests itself in all its splendour on the discs. It’s a revolutionary experience for all of us who through the years have seen Star Wars in mere Stereo to finally be able to really be there in the asteroid belt with the Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back. The large rocks whistle round my ears with immense power! There is certainly nothing wrong with the LFE channel either. It rumbles as it should throughout the movies – never before have the deep breaths of Darth Vader felt this intimidating – and, as was implicit in the last sentence, the surround effects are nothing less than spectacular, as they should be.

There is no DTS track on any of the movies and Jim Ward at Lucasfilm explains why in this interview - an explanation I actually buy.

The sound is very good. But not everywhere. Because now is the time to tell you the sad part. When listening to the sound of Star Wars: A New Hope, I unfortunately found a number of tonal differences. On a number of occasions the sound of the dialogue varies between rather muffled one second and much brighter and clearer the next. This is especially noticeable in scene 26, when Tarkin and Vader interrogate Leia about the planet of the rebel base, right before the destruction of Alderaan (about 55 minutes into the movie). Peter Cushing (Tarkin) as well as Carrie Fisher (Leia) speak with both muffled and clear voices throughout the scene.

dvdforum has talked to the studio, 20th Century Fox, about this and asked whether or not they are going to act on the matter. The question went overseas to London as well as Los Angeles and last Monday the Swedish branch told us this:

”The sound has been extracted from the original version of the movie that was made in 1977. The quality is the best that Lucasfilm could possibly achieve through the restoration process and the product is not flawed in any way.”

In Fox’s view there is nothing wrong with the sound and they will not recall any discs. I compared the sound of this scene on the dvd with the same scene on the VHS version from 1997. I can hear no tonal differences between the lines on the latter. To me it seems like the sound of the VHS version is better than the sound of the dvd version in this particular scene. I must admit that feels rather strange.

Because of this flawed sound, I cannot give this edition of Star Wars: A New Hope more than 7 out of 10 in this category. The other two movies both receives the top score since I couldn’t hear any flaws there.

Bonus materials
This is a box that consists of three movies and therefore we can probably assume there are more high-quality bonus materials here than there would have been on a sole film. There are four discs in the box, the fourth contains pure bonus materials but has got its own keep-case, which is very rare.

The first three discs contain the movies and the only bonus materials we can find here are commentaries. The commentaries are good, though. The people behind the mikes are George Lucas, sound designer Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren from Industrial Light & Magic and Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher. Director Irvin Kershner joins this gang on The Empire Strikes Back. The commentaries are subtitled in English, which is very nice – even though the dialogue is crisp and clear. If we would have been treated to Swedish subtitles, everything would great, but you can’t have everything.

All the bonus materials on the fourth disc are subtitled in Swedish and many other languages. This is very commendable.

So, what is all this bonus material? First and foremost we have a 2.5 hour documentary about the movies that is called Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy. Since the documentary is this long it includes chapters, which is something very rare when it comes to this context. In this documentary we are treated to interviews with practically every crew and cast member from the trilogy and we get a very thorough guided tour to all three movies. We get to know how they were created, which obstacles the crew went through, how the special effects were created and much, much, much more. This documentary is interesting even for those of us who already know everything about Star Wars since it was shot recently and contains lots of anecdotes, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage that have never been shown to the public before. I have never seen a better, more interesting documentary about a movie.

Apart from this extensive documentary the disc also includes three shorter featurettes. The first one is The Birth of the Lightsaber (15:34) which, not entirely unexpectedly, tells the story of how the famous lightsabers came to be. We get to see Obi-Wan fighting Darth Vader with what looks like fluorescent lamps, without any visual or sound effects. It's fun to watch and gives a whole new meaning to fencing scenes with lightsabers.

The Characters of Star Wars (18:57) features the many exciting and in some cases rather strange characters of Star Wars. Lucas tells us what his thoughts were when writing the script and creating the roles. The actors speak about how they perceived their characters at the shooting and we are also treated to more behind-the-scenes footage. This is a short documentary worth watching.

Many filmmakers have drawn inspiration for their own great achievements from the Star Wars movies and in The Force is With Them: The Legacy of Star Wars (13:24), James Cameron, Peter Jackson and Roland Emmerich reminisce about how the life's work of George Lucas has influenced movies like Titanic, The Lord of the Rings and the lousy Independence Day. This featurette is the least captivating of the three and the one that is the most characteristic of “a-pat-on-the-back-and-celebrate-the-director” tripe.

From the main menu of this disc there is a link to Episode III Preview: The Return of Darth Vader. This is a 9 minutes and 9 seconds long display of not saying or showing anything no one hasn't already heard or seen, only to at the very end show Hayden Christensen donning the Darth Vader costume and disappear out of view. This is a PR stunt that leaves a flat taste, especially since it refers to The Other Movies That Have Nothing To Do With Star Wars.

There is a wealth of information on this disc. A couple of trailers and TV spots from all three movies are interesting to explore. There is also photo gallery containing never-before-seen pictures from the sets – these are also subtitled in Swedish!

The bonus materials round off with pictures of movie posters from around the world, a trailer and a featurette for a new Star Wars game and DVD-ROM access to hidden areas at starwars.com.

Summary
Star Wars has been released on dvd and this is truly a joyous occasion! The box is well-done and extensive, with the exception of the annoying flawed sound on A New Hope and the fact that the headline says "Så gjordes Stars Wars" (approx. "This is how Stars Wars was done") on the back of the fourth keep-case. The latter is an embarrassing incident that easily could have been avoided had the studio proof-read the cover, something that goes without saying on every disc, and particularly on the most sought-after release of all time ...


original link

MacGuffin

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #190 on: September 10, 2004, 04:45:09 PM »
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Comparison screenshots between the Special Editions and the DVD editions:

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/reviews3/starwarschanges.html
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Skeleton FilmWorks

SHAFTR

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #191 on: September 10, 2004, 05:06:46 PM »
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awful
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Blanketing opinions that i'll probably regret soon"

A Matter Of Chance

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #192 on: September 10, 2004, 05:26:01 PM »
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the purple tatoine sky was always one of my favorite things... now its gone

Stefen

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #193 on: September 10, 2004, 08:29:52 PM »
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I'm watching the dvd version of empire strikes back and im not a big enough fan to know or care about all the changes, but this movie looks prettier than I have ever seen it. Looks very modern also.
Let's go to a motel. We don't have to do anything -- we could just swim.

matt35mm

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Re: Original Star Wars Trilogy to be released on DVD
« Reply #194 on: September 10, 2004, 08:51:21 PM »
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Gawd, the 1997 Jabba was SO terrible.  I mean, if they were going to keep that scene, at least they fixed Jabba up to look better (although, still.... eh).

 

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