Hey folks, Harry here... got this report in on the screening of STAR WARS SPECIAL EDITION that was part of that really cool festival we told you about. Well, not only did Lucasfilm not let them show the original, but technically, the print that was shown has been changed since we last saw it. The light saber thing sounds reasonable... but cg clouds in front of one of the binary sunsets... makes me nervous, I have loved that shot forever... sigh... whatever, maybe next time it screens he can put a flock of toucans flying out there.
Today I attended that screening of Star Wars: Special Edition here in L.A. at the City of Angels Film Festival. As you mentioned on your site, this was the Special Edition print, not the original cut. Special Edition or not, it's always cool to see Star Wars on the big screen.
But there was something unusual about this screening.
This was not the Special Edition print that is on VHS. There were changes in this print - specifically, the lightsabers in the Obi/Vader duel were enhanced. This has been a nitpicky thing since the SEs were released: why didn't they fix the rotoscoping on the lightsabers? Well, in this print (which, strangely, was not a new looking print) the sabers WERE fixed. Obi-Wan's saber was brilliant blue and Vader's saber was bright red (not white) in every shot - even in the shot as the blast doors are closing. In the shot where Ben's saber is pointed at the camera (where it suddenly looks like a stick) it was correctly filled in and had a glorious blue glow. I wasn't imagining things because the guy next to me immediately whispered, "Did you see that?!"
There was one other minor change as well. In the first binary sunset shot as Luke is walking out of the homestead, the lower right sun had CG clouds passing in front of it. I came home and checked my VHS copy -- no clouds. It seems a few changes were slipped into this print since the initial release.
Perhaps this seems like minor stuff, but the lightsabers have bothered me for years. I'm happy to report they HAVE been fixed. Hopefully soon, everyone else will get a chance to see it on DVD.
If you use this, call me Darklighter.