Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

UPDATED! More Details About The STAR WARS: SE Screening In LA!! Was The Print Changed'!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

Another update to a story from earlier in the week, this one regarding the supposed changes in the print that had been made when (take a deep breath) STAR WARS EPISODE IV A NEW HOPE THE SPECIAL EDITION showed in LA last Sunday. As it happens, my co-writer took the day off work to go to that screening. There is no bigger STAR WARS freak that I know. And I’m one of the hosts of the Jedi Council, a group of people who tend to take the films very seriously. So when I heard about these changes, I went straight to the man himself, asking him in e-mail what he had noticed about the print. He took the time to read the original article, and this is what he had to say in response:

Hey, Moriarty… Obi-Swan here…

I just wanted to put my two cents in regarding the article I read here about the recent screening of STAR WARS at the Director’s Guild.

In the piece penned by “Darklighter,” it was reported that there have been some big changes in the print. I was at the screening. If I hadn’t gone, based on that report, I’d be kicking myself for missing all the great new stuff. If you didn’t go, take my word for it: you didn’t miss anything.

In fact, I have no idea how Darklighter arrived at some of these startling conclusions.

Darklighter: “This was not the Special Edition print that is on VHS.”

Obi-Swan: This is true. But the changes are far less dramatic than we’re lead to believe.

Darklighter: “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-Swan: Enhanced? I suppose, if a slight variance in color timing counts. Fixed? I strongly disagree. The color timing appeared to be slightly different, making the color of the sabers more intense, but that’s it. The original rotoscoping work was still in this print. I say this without reservation because there wasn’t a steaming load of crap in my shorts when I left the theater. If the sabers had been “fixed” and all the old rotoscoping had been removed, I most assuredly would have shit myself. If Mr. Lucas is in fact working on the final versions of these original films, I’m certain the revamped lightsaber effects will be on par with the lightsaber effects in the prequel trilogy, complete with the removal of jump cuts when the swords are ignited and switched off.

Darklighter: “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.”

Obi-Swan: I can get behind this part. The saber colors did appear more striking, as I mentioned above, and Vader’s saber IS indeed red as the blast doors are closing. The color on Vader’s saber in this particular shot is the only big difference I spotted.

Darklighter: “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.”

Obi-Swan: Nope. Still looks like a stick to me. Honestly, I have no idea why Lucas didn’t fix this back in ’97. Oh, that’s right... he was too busy de-fanging Mos Eisley. Okay, never mind.

Darklighter: I wasn't imagining things because the guy next to me immediately whispered, "Did you see that?!"

Obi-Swan: I attended the screening with a fellow STAR WARS geek. Afterwards we talked about the slight (I repeat, SLIGHT) variances we observed. So, I’m confident I wasn’t imagining that I wasn’t seeing all this new stuff.

Darklighter: “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.”

Obi-Swan: If you watch even the original letterboxed version on laserdisc (which I just finished doing), you’ll see that clouds have always passed in front of the lower right sun. They’re not CG and they’re not new.

Darklighter: “It seems a few changes were slipped into this print since the initial release.”

Obi-Swan: I don’t think this print represents Lucas’ current version of the film one bit, and I don’t think these changes have been “slipped in” at all. This is probably just another case of slightly different versions of a STAR WARS movie floating around. When the original was in theaters during the initial release, there were slight differences in many of the prints sent out. I’ve even read that in one print, Aunt Beru wasn’t dubbed. Also there’s that dreadful C-3PO line about the tractor beam that’s been dubbed into the recent home video versions. My original VHS from the early 80’s didn’t have the line, nor did it have the line “He’s on your tail!” during the Dearth Star battle or the line “Close the blast doors!” when the Stormtroopers are chasing Han and Chewbacca.

Darklighter: “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.”

Obi-Swan: The print we saw the other day seems to be the oddity, so I won’t be holding my breath. Next year, when they put these on DVD Indiana Jones-style, I hope they do include these minor differences. The film did look better with the more vibrant sabers.

I hope I’ve been able to clear up a few misconceptions about the print. It was great seeing it again on the big screen.

Obi-Swan

Thanks, man. I know that initial report caused all sorts of hubbub in fandom, and I wanted to make sure we offered another perspective from someone who was there.

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Oct. 31, 2003, 5:51 a.m. CST

    mystery!!

    by petedk42

    Don't know why Lucas doesn't just come out and tell everyone his plans for the future. Why the need for mystery?

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 5:53 a.m. CST

    I hope Lucas chokes on his own neck.

    by squonk

    Does HE even know which version is which? What an ass.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 5:53 a.m. CST

    15 Years from now...

    by xannibal

    Will someone fix the newer Star Wars films and make them interesting? Sorry, but the newer films have no soul...

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 6:10 a.m. CST

    Seems to me that Star Wars is getting to be like lord of the rin

    by TheGinger Twit

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 6:44 a.m. CST

    I have the solution!

    by Heleno

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 6:46 a.m. CST

    and I posted the solution too soon

    by Heleno

    Doh! Anyway, the answer is for a box set with ALL the different editions. That way each fanboy could have one of their own. You'd have the original theatrical release, original Special Edition, cleaned up original, Archival edition, Jar Jar Binks edition for continuity. It couldn't run to more than 100 DVDs, and that way all the fanboys could stop slagging Lucas and start battling each other to the death for their favourite frequency of light in their sabers.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 6:47 a.m. CST

    NO director's credit

    by Magic_Al

    I hope the DGA never allows Lucas to change the credits. He shouldn't be able to get a director's credit for work done in post-production. Lucas had a chance to direct these films originally and he chose not to, and he can't change that fact now through editing. At best, the addition of new scenes would earn him a credit as a third or fourth unit director. If the DGA wants to change something they should give Richard Donner co-directing credit for Superman II.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 6:58 a.m. CST

    What would be good...

    by earthworm_

    ...would be a Directors Cut Special Edition of my life whereby I could clean up the lost four hours of my life wasted on Episodes 1 and 2, and change them to having root canal work done instead.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Saber-gate

    by BigPoppi

    This is the most pathetic thing I have ever read in my life. Get a life people.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 7:43 a.m. CST

    C'mon Lucas... just take my wallet... and here's my bank account

    by TheAquabatman

    The Story so far.........He releases 4, 5, then 6. Years later releases 4 5 and 6 on video. then releases 4 5 and 6 at cinema... updated. Then releases 1 (followed by dvd) and 2 (followed by dvd), then releases Imax version, then will release 4 5 and 6 on dvd, then will release 3, followed by DVD, then DVD 6 part box set... etc etc. Consider this simple story of good boy meets girl and goes bad and dies fully MILKED.

  • I, for one, am not going to be getting a new DVd everytime Lucas decides to add a few exter flourishes to what was already a great movie.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Lucas, just take my wallet and account number, i give up... gees

    by TheAquabatman

    The Story so far.........He releases 4, 5, then 6. Years later releases 4 5 and 6 on video. then releases 4 5 and 6 at cinema... updated. Then releases 1 (followed by dvd) and 2 (followed by dvd), then releases Imax version, then will release 4 5 and 6 on dvd, then will release 3, followed by DVD, then DVD 6 part box set... etc etc. Consider this simple story of good boy meets girl and goes bad and dies fully MILKED.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 7:55 a.m. CST

    JarJar Binks vs Alien vs Predator.... c'mon, now theres a gore f

    by TheAquabatman

    lets raise some money and make this ourselves... at least a good flash animation... puh-lease (and lots of blood)

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 8:28 a.m. CST

    hey i

    by CuervoJones

    great movie but you

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Can the Wachowski's ignore the vile special edition tempation?

    by Grammaton Cleric

    You know that by the time "The Matrix: Complete" box set is put put together the technology will exist to make the CG effects perfect. Good or bad?

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 8:54 a.m. CST

    What was the C-3PO tractor beam line?

    by rev_skarekroe

    I can't recall it. sk

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Thanks for restating what we already knew.

    by ATARI

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 9:30 a.m. CST

    See GL wouldn't do anything to improve these movies,

    by Conan_the_Humble

    he only tinkers with them to get them closer to his "vision" ie: extremely narrow with a heavy set of blinkers. Gotta have SFX, story, plot, dialogue, character development doesn't matter, only the effects matter. THAT's what makes a 'good' movie. Cheers.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 9:30 a.m. CST

    See GL wouldn't do anything to improve these movies,

    by Conan_the_Humble

    he only tinkers with them to get them closer to his "vision" ie: extremely narrow with a heavy set of blinkers. Gotta have SFX, story, plot, dialogue, character development doesn't matter, only the effects matter. THAT's what makes a 'good' movie. Cheers.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 9:30 a.m. CST

    See GL wouldn't do anything to improve these movies,

    by Conan_the_Humble

    he only tinkers with them to get them closer to his "vision" ie: extremely narrow with a heavy set of blinkers. Gotta have SFX, story, plot, dialogue, character development doesn't matter, only the effects matter. THAT's what makes a 'good' movie. Cheers.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 10:54 a.m. CST

    What the hell is wrong with AICNs servers?

    by Choice

    Please someone change something in the server room for AICN. I have a hard time hitting it some times during the day. While all other web sites seem to have no problem. I'm in NY so maybe spend some money on a bi coastal servers? Pisses me off the way I might have to wait a few minutes to 20 mins to get a response from AICN.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Hamlet had it all wrong, HERE is THE question...

    by LandoSauce

    Who sucks more donkey dick, Jar-Jar Binks, or Cuba Gooding Jr.? I'd give my left nut to see Cuba in Episode III fucking it up right along side JJ. Notice how they don't even put Oscar Winner before his name anymore. Can anyone even remember those days?

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Re: Ultimate Editions

    by The Hillbrothers

    OK, if what Donnie Darko has said is true about the changes for the Ultimate Editions, then I have to say: I heartily approve. I know that further, and in these cases, such extreme changes to the originals is going to upset many of the old die-hard fans (I'm one of them, but I'm a CGI-booster). I think the solution would be to release the films both in their ultimate formats and original formats, just for posterity, you know? You could choose which to buy. But I say, hey, more power to Lucas if he wants to make movies that came out 20 years ago look modern, to look like the prequels. Maybe when the prequels resemble the originals more, folks will be more accepting of the prequels (Although no one is obliged to like The Phantom Menace because it's not a good movie, at least not in it's PRESENT form... I just wish so many people didn't have a deep misunderstanding of Attack of the Clones-- great movie, give it another chance).

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 4:52 p.m. CST

    "Directed by George Lucas and Alan Smithee"

    by Silver Shamrock

    How funny would that be if Kirshner and Marquand withdrew their names if Lucas got his way?

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 5:16 p.m. CST

    three scenes from an original SW version in '77

    by Caped Revenger2

    I vaguely remember three different scenes back during the original run. First, there is a scene right before Luke and Obi Wan leave Mos Eisley with Han Solo - this scene takes place on the Death Star, and has an Imperial officer walking down the hall talking to Darth Vader about how the search is going. This scene exists in the novelization, and in the original Marvel Comics adaptation. It ALSO exists in the Star Wars Holiday special, only new dialogue has been dubbed onto the scene, reflecting the Holiday special storyline. (which is fine for James Earl Jones' Vader, but the Imperial Officer was badly dubbed. The Imperial officer was the same officer who urged Tarkin to evacuate.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 5:38 p.m. CST

    three deleted scenes from the original 77 print

    by Caped Revenger2

    I vaguely remember three different scenes back during the original run. First, there is a scene right before Luke and Obi Wan leave Mos Eisley with Han Solo - this scene takes place on the Death Star, and has an Imperial officer walking down the hall talking to Darth Vader about how the search is going. This scene exists in the novelization, and in the original Marvel Comics adaptation. It ALSO exists in the Star Wars Holiday special, only new dialogue has been dubbed onto the scene, reflecting the Holiday special storyline. (which is fine for James Earl Jones' Vader, but the Imperial Officer was badly dubbed. By the way, the Imperial officer was the same officer who urged Tarkin to evacuate.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Where did that list come from?

    by HonestAbe

    DonnieDarko- Is this just your wishlist, or....? If this is supposed to be true, where did you get the info (without being too specific of course)?

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 7:26 p.m. CST

    was Marquand dead before or after...

    by Silver Shamrock

    he directed Hearts on Fire? And can Kasdan be legally declared brain dead after dreamcatcher?

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Get a freakin' Life

    by El Backo

    If you notice that the colors of lightsabers are different, and that clouds have been erased, then you have WAY too much time on your hands.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Those lines WERE in the original!

    by seplant

    Quote: "Also there

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 9:24 p.m. CST

    Donnie Darko... you're full of shit

    by NeonKnite70

    Ahole

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 9:51 p.m. CST

    The Flickering Light Saber

    by MrStinger

    I always thought that the shot in Episode IV where Obi-Wan's light saber looks like a stick was intentional. The clue was the "sparking" sound accompanying it, an indication that Obi-Wan's powers were weak, and his light saber was failing. I was not surprised when this wasn't "fixed" in the Special Editions, and I don't expect it to be changed in the future--there's nothing to be fixed. I also remember Lucas saying how the first Star Wars movie was intentionally "washed out" in color, to mimic the look of an old, fading print. That, to me, seems to explain the lack of color in the light sabers. I'm glad the colors have been boosted in the Special Editions, and the light saber colors should match those of the prequels.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Darko's list

    by 7Cal

    ...Sounds like about the coolest list you could come up with, knowing that Lucas is gonna fuck with them more anyways. Pretty much ALL the changes sound good. Of course, I'm still with the majority who want the original-original trilogy as well, then I would buy both. Hey... anyone read about the extra footage supposedly shot for Empire, when they capture a few Wampas and have them in a holding room on Hoth. They have a big sign on the door saying something like 'Danger - Do Not Enter', and as the stormtroopers invade the base and everyone is escaping, you see 3P0 take the sign down. Cut later to a few troopers entering the room and getting Wampa all over their asses. I think I read about it on TheForce.net. Wherever I did, they even had a screen grab of 3P0 taking the sign down. That'd be a cool extra scene in the Ultimate Edition.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Changes in the Ultimate Edition--Naboo Must Die!

    by MrStinger

    I liked Donnie Darko's list of changes for the most part, though... 1. I'm torn between a more vicious Ewok and having the entire species airbrushed out of the saga. 2. I would not use "Duel Of The Fates" in Episode IV, since I believe that Anakin's fate will be ambiguous in Episode III so that future generations can watch the stories in order and still be surprised by Vader's revelation in "The Empire Strikes Back." If the theme is used here, it should be HEAVILY disguised. 3. However, "Duel of the Fates" MUST be heard when Vader decides whether or not to kill the Emperor. 4. If Vader's final speech is modified, his final words should be "The Force has returned to balance..." 5. An aged Jar Jar won't be available to celebrate the fall of the Emperor, and neither will Naboo, since Naboo will be destroyed in Episode III (the first test of the Death Star cannon). 6. After Anakin, Yoda, and Obi-Wan appear to Luke, he is amazed to see the trees filled with ghostly images of the fallen ranks of Jedi, including Mace Windu and Qui-Gon Jinn.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 11:02 p.m. CST

    The REAL Emperor from Empire Strikes Back...

    by Kelvington

    Just to put this to rest once and for FREAKING all. According to the IMDB and most everyone's recollection - Clive Revill played the Voice of the Emperor. You might remember him from Star Trek The Next Generation playing "Sir Guy of Gisbourne" in the Qpid episode. The eyes of the Emperor were put in later. Also from - http://www.cswu.cz/skript/AFS-FAQ.txt - 2.L - Who played Emperor Palpatine in TESB ? Clive Revill is credited as the VOICE of Palpatine but the face is NOT Alec Guinness, as some would like to believe...it is a woman with monkey eyes super imposed to create the effect we see with the Emperor in TESB. The Emperor in TESB is NOT played by Ian McDairmid, who, as we all know plays the Emperor in ROTJ and Senator Palpatine in TPM. Click below to see the Pictures as further evidence of this : http://www.btinternet.com/~andykwimfc/Emperor.htm I hope this settles this, for those of us who saw it in 1980 in a theater it was a great effect and very spooky looking at the time. Just my 2

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 11:03 p.m. CST

    "Open the Blast Doors!"

    by CHEWBLACCA

    I could swear I've seen Star Wars with and without that line.Why take it out.It makes the Stormtrooper/Han & Chewie chase lighter.I'm usually against comic relief-but that worked.~~And while we're at it:Has anyone noticed any differences in the cable version of AOTC vs. the theatrical realease.It's been a while so I may just have my head up my ass(it's there a lot).

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 11:07 p.m. CST

    hey seplant...

    by MisterGrimloch

    you're right, those lines were in the original (with, i believe, the exception being the 3P0 line regarding the tractor beam. i too snuck a recorder in way back in '77) but the lines that were added back in to the special editions were "new" recordings of the original dialogue, and to my way of thinking they don't fit as seamlessly. if you listen to your old tape (assuming you still have it) you will hear the stormtrooper saying "Close the blast doors" is clearly the same voice that then shouts "open the blast doors", which was essentially a moment of comedy in the film. but in the SE, its very obviously a louder, different voice that speaks the line "Close the blast doors!". also, do you recall that Chewie had a "grunt" when Han told him to "get back to the ship, and get her ready". in the cantina sequence? again, this is clearly on my 25 year old audio tape. i wonder if this film will ever be "completed" in Lucas' mind?

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 11:15 p.m. CST

    Naboo is NOT destroyed by the Death Star.

    by ZeroCorpse

    Look- Lucasfilm says the Star Wars Galaxies online game is canon for the most part. It takes place during the rebellion era (between IV & V I believe) and Naboo IS there. There's no reason to believe Naboo is destroyed. Why do people think this happens? Just because they don't mention Naboo in the last 3 episodes doesn't mean it doesn't exist. They don't mention Ithor, either, but it's still there. They don't mention Nal Hutta, but it's still there. They don't mention a lot of planets... But they're still there. Naboo is there, it's just not very important during the rebellion, as it's probably under Imperial rule.

  • Oct. 31, 2003, 11:20 p.m. CST

    And why are they making Stormtroopers sound like Fett?

    by ZeroCorpse

    The Stormtroopers aren't clonetroopers. It's been established that they are recruits- various different people- and not clone. Has Lucas changed his mind about this? It's really not something I'd like. I prefer to think that clones were outlawed once Palpatine was in power, except for himself (you don't want the rebels getting a clone army, do you?) The other problem is that they are various heights, and don't seem to have a problem with that. Clones would all be the same size. Luke was way shorter than the average Stormtrooper, but nobody said anything about it (except Leia) and he wasn't questioned about it by the officers. Also, if the troopers are clones, then where the hell do officers come from? They aren't clones!

  • Nov. 1, 2003, 12:46 a.m. CST

    Voice Overs and Line Readings

    by Darth Brooks

    I, too, had a tape recorder with me in '77. Unfortunately I've lost the tape. But the "close the blast doors!" line was there in the original release. Also, there was a different voiceover (MUCH deeper) saying "The rebel base will be in firing range in SEVEN minutes," etc. Luke has a different line reading of the phrase "R2, that stabilizer's broken loose again - see if you can't lock it down. Hang on back there!" Now, it's distorted and it sounds like he's saying "hang awwwwwn back there!" Bottom line: Lucas hates us all.

  • Nov. 1, 2003, 2:39 a.m. CST

    What do you care Mr. Producer?

    by cds

    You are no longer qualified to make editorial comments on anyone else's work. Oh wait, you never were.

  • Nov. 1, 2003, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Is this really worth the effort?

    by greatczersghost

    I mean, this is getting pathetic. Lucas isn't going to listen to you, so just let him make his changes and buy some of the old VHS tapes online somewhere. Every little thing he changes is not worthy of a column.

  • Nov. 2, 2003, 8:08 a.m. CST

    "The Stormtroopers aren't clonetroopers. It's been established

    by minderbinder

    And what makes you think that?

  • Nov. 2, 2003, 12:07 p.m. CST

    >Yawn<

    by Movietool

    Sorry. Too busy watching the my 24/7 loop of Han SHOOTING FIRST to care.

  • Nov. 2, 2003, 1:53 p.m. CST

    The_ZeroCorpse

    by NeonKnite70

    They didn't mention them in the original trilogy because they were made fucking 25 years ago and didn't fucking exist! Duh. I just love people who buy into Lucas' whole line about writing this trilogy first. Lucas had one thing written down on paper: "Anakin Is Lukes Father". Idiots.

  • Nov. 2, 2003, 4:14 p.m. CST

    NeonKnite70

    by one9deuce

    It's nearly 100% certain that Lucas didn't even have that written down.

  • Nov. 3, 2003, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Caped Revenger2!

    by Shaner Jedi

    Are you saying you saw the rough cut in theatres? What were the other two scenes?

  • Nov. 4, 2003, 8:28 p.m. CST

    DonnieDarko...you claim these are all real changes that are/are

    by Jenga_bean

    Just like in the title my point is this: How can you know about all of these changes if they're real? They'd all be kept so close to George that no one except for the special effects guys and Rick McCallum, and actors involved would even know about them. It just seems too good to be true that some body with "insider info" would just be able to spill the beans about all of the changes that will be made to the original SW movies as well as the new ones. If this is a list of changes that you'd like to see then it's not portrayed as such (you say "Christopher Lee has filmed" and "Until he (John WIlliams) can properly orchestrate it") It just doesn't seem to make sense that anybody would have this info at all, much less that they'd share it. I'm confused.

  • Nov. 21, 2003, 7 a.m. CST

    Donnie Darko is Barry M. Woodward, compulsive liar.

    by Regicidal_Maniac

    This freak has been kicked off more Star Wars forums than most of us will ever visit.