Author Topic: Star Wars on Blu-Ray  (Read 27899 times)

Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #120 on: August 20, 2011, 01:29 AM »
Someone needs to crop this picture for their avatar.

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Offline Scockery

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #121 on: August 20, 2011, 08:35 PM »
I'm wondering where the alternate Office Duel is from ROTS, the one where Anakin was there the whole time and Palpatine used Anakin's lightsaber. It was in the near-final cut of the film long enough that, IIRC, Lucas called the actors back for a reshoot.

Offline Nicklab

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #122 on: August 21, 2011, 09:48 PM »
Who did I see on the streets of NYC today, but none other than Liam Neeson!  It was cool seeing him, but I didn't get a chance to speak with him.  I hope he (Qui-Gon) gets a little more love from the BluRay deleted scenes for ROTS.
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Offline Matt R.

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #123 on: August 21, 2011, 11:11 PM »
I don't think we will see Qui-Gon, I think it is only his voice we hear.
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Offline Matt

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #124 on: August 22, 2011, 12:41 AM »
Some dude from Home Theater Forum was invited to Lucasland to check out Discs Five (ESB), Seven (Prequel Archives), and Eight (Original Archives), and the packaging.

Of note (quotes from Kayleen Walters, Senior Director of LFL Marketing):

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As you know, Episode 4/5/6 underwent some significant digital restoration back in 2004.  We built off that work and we identified and restored issues down to the subtle defects in picture and sound.  Because the restorations in 2004 were really ahead of their time, most of the work that needed to be done on the original trilogy was just subtle, restorative touches, which included correction of blemishes, working on some images, dirt removal, and correcting of some side-effects from the optical compositing process.

We also tried to address some of those nit-picky errors, like in Empire Strikes Back when Luke is attached by the Wampa, and you can see the edge of the frame and you can see that the Wampa arm is attached to a puppeteer’s pole.  Well, we fixed that, so now it just looks like a Wampa arm altogether with no puppeteer pole.

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Other issues we address:  You know how things just look different when they go into HD or DVD, just by the nature of how the video treats the color space?  A perfect example is in 2004 with the light sabers, how in the original trilogy all of the light sabers sort of dimmed, you lost that really hot, white core.  Well, we went back and wanted to really be true to the original intention of the films, so we brightened up the light saber colors and we brought back that hot, white core that was original to the film.

(Vader's bubblegum saber is fixed!  Check out HTF for the screenshots.  Hopefully Luke's green saber on the Falcon is fixed, too.)

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Another thing, it’s not just the original trilogy that really benefited, the prequel trilogy benefited from this restoration process as well, especially Episode 1.   It was 1999 when Episode 1 was created; over 2000 visual effects were done, including digital animation, environments and digital compositing.  But the entire movie was captured on film, so when we went from film process into the DVD, a lot of the things from the DVD magnify the image of the film, and we lost about 8% of the picture there. With this restoration, we went back to the original digital files for Episode 1, not the film apps, to go through and really check every frame to make sure they were restosred.  We were also much more selective about minimizing that blow-up, so we have more of that image to see.

It sounds like the audio issues from the 2004 DVDs may also have been fixed.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #125 on: August 22, 2011, 02:05 AM »
It sounds like the audio issues from the 2004 DVDs may also have been fixed.

This alone is worth the purchase to me...  That sound, good lord.
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Online McMetal

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #126 on: August 22, 2011, 12:30 PM »
ohfortheluvva...Anakin kills Shaak-Ti? What, does he dig her up after Grievous impales her in the opening minutes of ROTS?

Even Lucas' freaking cut scenes contradict each other, what an unholy mess.
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Offline P-Siddy

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #127 on: August 22, 2011, 12:36 PM »
ohfortheluvva...Anakin kills Shaak-Ti? What, does he dig her up after Grievous impales her in the opening minutes of ROTS?

Actually, it was in the book adaptation.

Offline Matt

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #128 on: August 22, 2011, 12:41 PM »
Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits also attended the Blu-ray preview

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Regarding the Original Trilogy films, I don't think it's quite accurate to say that these are simply the 2004 DVD masters recycled for Blu-ray. These films are NOT the 2004 versions. It would be more accurate to say that these are new 2011 Blu-ray versions. Let me be clear what I mean by that: It's accurate to say that these are probably built from the same negative scans that were done for the 2004 DVD release, at whatever resolution those were produced. (Note that I'm working to determine the exact resolution of the original digital masters of all the films - the resolution at which the restoration work for Blu-ray was done, and from which the final Blu-rays were mastered.) But I can tell you from first hand observation that many fixes and improvements have been made to these films.

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On the audio front, you will be very pleased to know that most of the audio complaints fans had about these films on DVD - about particularly Episode IV - have been addressed and fixed for Blu-ray. For example, many of you will recall that in the 2004 Episode IV DVD release, the music in the rear channels of the 5.1 mix was often reversed. (Credit to Bits reader Neil S. Bulk who first brought that issue to our attention back in 2004.) You should all be very be pleased to know that that's no longer the case. Finally... fixed!

The Supervising Sound Editor on the Blu-rays for Skywalker Sound, Matthew Wood, gave us a pretty detailed demonstration of the new 6.1 DTS-HD MA uncompressed audio mixes on these Blu-rays. (For those wondering why 6.1 and not 7.1, Matt said that 6.1 was chosen because it builds nicely on the 5.1 EX mixing work that was done for the Prequel films.) The first scene he showed us was the beginning of the assault on the Death Star at the end of Episode IV. Now, I suspect he showed us this scene for exactly the thing I noticed immediately upon previewing it. Some of you may recall that on the 2004 DVD, when the X-Wings begin their dive down to the Death Star, the familiar John Williams trumpet fanfare was buried in the mix so you could barely hear it. No longer! The trumpets ring true in the Blu-ray mix loud and clear. When I heard this, I couldn't help thrusting my arms up in the air in a bit of happy relief. I then turned to Matt, who as it happens was standing right next to me, and saw him give a little smile and nod - he knew exactly what I was reacting to. When I leaned over to thank him for fixing it, his simple reply made me smile as well: "Trust me, I read the blogs too..."

Matt and his team have been very careful to ensure that these new 6.1 DTS-HD MA uncompressed audio mixes reproduce in exacting detail the sonic experience of these films we all know and remember, albeit with the added quality and clarity that the latest lossless mastering technology can provide. Matt reported that the 6.1 mixing process for Episodes V, IV and the Prequels was relatively straightforward, because all of the original audio stems and elements were readily available and were well catalogued. For Episode IV, however, "getting it exactly right" required a rather extensive forensic effort, as this material just wasn't cataloged with future surround remixes in mind. In many cases, Matt and his team went back to original analog tape recordings made in 1976 to get the best quality of all the required elements. As a result, it's fair to say that the surround mix for Episode IV was almost completely rebuilt from scratch, with Matt comparing his work to the original print master to ensure its creative accuracy. And at every step of the way, director George Lucas and original sound supervisor Ben Burtt were consulted to ensure that the mix reproduced as closely as possible their original intent for the film's sonic experience. In fact, Matt says he played the film's reels many times for George, in 15-20 second chucks, to get his feedback.

That's not to say that there aren't new little tweaks here and there, but rest assured they're very subtle. A few additional audio details were apparently "added" into the mix as well. I put added in quotes, because in many cases these elements - mostly very subtle background sound effects and voices - were recorded back in 1976-77 for the original film and were even used in the original audio mix, but because of the poor state of the art for movie soundtracks at the time, nobody's ever really heard these things before.

In the scenes Matt sampled for us, the clarity, resolution and staging of what heard was really quite impressive. I have to say, talking with Matt was enormously reassuring. He just clearly gets it. He knows these films, and he loves them as much as anyone. He knows all the complaints fans have had with the 2004 DVD release and he made sure to correct them - to get them right at long last.

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Now, you'll recall that a little bit ago, I said these should probably be best considered new 2011 versions of these films, and not the 2004 DVD versions. All the fixes and corrections alone justify this in my opinion, but there's another reason too... and you can probably guess what it is: Once again, George has apparently added a few new "surprises" into these films. I don't know what they are and didn't get to see any of them on Friday, but I was assured that there will be "new things to notice" when we watch the films. I think we can safely assume that one of them will be the new all-digital Yoda in Episode I. Way back when Episode III was released on DVD, ILM digital effects supervisor Pablo Helman confirmed to me that the puppet Yoda in Episode I was replaced with a digital version to better match his appearance in Episodes II and III. In fact, the Episode III DVD extras includes a clip of the Episode I digital Yoda. However, this Blu-ray set is really the first opportunity we'll have to see it in full. What the other changes to these films may be, I have no idea, but I suspect there will be no lack of blog posts on this very subject within hours of the first discs becoming available to fans.

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will Episodes IV, V and VI look as good as more recent films that have had state-of-the-art negative scans of 4, 6 or even 8K resolution? No, probably not. It will obviously be easier to say for sure when the final product is in hand in a few weeks, and we all have some time to really go over it and live with it a bit. In any case, this is one of those issues over which personal opinions are going to vary widely. The takeaway here is this: These films will look notably better than they ever have before at home, on any home format, and most (if not all) of the A/V issues that have driven fans crazy over the years - particularly about the 2004 DVD release - should be fixed on these Blu-rays.

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Now then, let's move on to the extras. Is it really worth getting the Complete Saga set just to get the three extras discs? For me at least, the answer here is clear: Absolutely. Yes... I've now seen many of the Original Trilogy deleted scenes. No... I can't tell you much about them (believe me, that drives me as crazy as it does you). But I was pretty surprised by them and in a good way. What I can tell you is that they are substantial - at least for the Original Trilogy. This isn't just dribs and drabs stuff - it includes long sequences. And they're extremely cool. Frankly, for me this is the real draw of the entire BD release. As you've seen in some of the teaser clips Lucasfilm has released, they're not pristine, but most of them are in HD - at least the Original Trilogy clips. And trust me, they're well worth seeing. It's stuff some of you have wanted to see in good quality since 1977, along with a few things fans may not have known even existed.

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I have to say, I'm very encouraged by what I've seen so far with regard to these Blu-rays, and by the answers I've gotten to the questions I've asked about them. Like many of you, the last few DVD releases of these films have always left me... wanting. It just always felt like they were rushed somehow, and that all too many little important quality details just were overlooked. But this Blu-ray set feels very different. Finally, it appears that these films may have gotten the attention they deserve on home video at long last - especially the Original Trilogy. In fact, I think this may be the first time since that 1994 Definitive Edition laserdisc box set that the films have been so carefully handled, and that so many of the fan irritant A/V problems have been properly addressed. So can I say that this Blu-ray box set represents the "ultimate" release of the films on disc, or that these films will look absolutely perfect? No. But I think it's now possible for me to believe that Lucasfilm may - just may - have finally done these films fairly proud on disc. We'll see.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 12:42 PM by Matt »

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #129 on: August 22, 2011, 01:45 PM »
Wow...  Just wow.

A lot of the OT stuff hasn't ever been seen by the way...  There's a lot of, "I know I've seen that!" type **** based on a still image, but stuff like the extra Rebel Pilots at Endor, the Bunker Assault, the Wampa Rampage, the Jerjerrod/Vader Smackdown, Veers' Death...  these things haven't ever been seen.  Much like the extended Hoth battle footage to match McQuarrie art, or the "tank".

It's been more Mos Eisley stuff that was available in one form or another, most of it first available on the Behind the Magic CD-ROM from the 90's.  I forget where I saw the alternate Cantina for the first time, but it was available in B&W too.  A documentary showed some of the goofier things that were shot for on the Death Star too while the heroes kind of just tried to pretend they weren't intruders and just walked past Imperials and stuff.

Otherwise, most of this stuff wasn't seen...  That's really neat to me.  It's like a nerd holy grail to finally see it.

It's funny how unimportant the Prequals are in all this stuff too...  "Ani kills Shaak Ti?  Oh that's nice, so anyway how about that one sequence in ESB that was in the novel but not on film..."    ;)

Don't get me wrong, I am interested in the footage for the prequals, but it's just so far removed from the stuff I give a **** about that it'll just be fun when I get around to it.  I'm going right for the OT scenes.

And the fact Hasbro's making that Mon Cal pilot...  Man, that is all kinds of awesome.  I knew of the cut pilots, or at least some of them, but the Mon Cal guy is a surprise, and it really makes me wonder who/what else makes the cut now.
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Offline P-Siddy

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #130 on: August 22, 2011, 02:31 PM »
You know sooner or later the OT Puppet Yoda totally replaced by a CGI one since they did that to TPM Yoda. And the Animatic versions of deleted scenes will be fully developed.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #131 on: August 22, 2011, 02:39 PM »
I dont' know about that...  I don't see Lucas tinkering with the original Trilogy Yoda at this point.  TPM was dismal looking, but OT Yoda really wasn't.  I think this is one of those things he won't touch, but that's me.
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Offline Diddly

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #132 on: August 22, 2011, 02:41 PM »
Jesse, I agree completely, and it seems Lucasfilm does too, hence the reviewing embargo on the deleted scenes. Yeah it's nice to have all of this PT stuff but I know the first thing I'm going to do when I get the set is watch the OT deleted scenes. Like you said, outside of Tosche Station and some of the Cantina stuff, the most we've seen of this material are stills or seconds of footage. Whereas with the PT, we were all on the Internet when they were being made so we've pretty much seen all of that stuff anyway, just in unfinished form.

Offline Matt

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #133 on: August 22, 2011, 03:12 PM »
I dont' know about that...  I don't see Lucas tinkering with the original Trilogy Yoda at this point.  TPM was dismal looking, but OT Yoda really wasn't.  I think this is one of those things he won't touch, but that's me.

Yeah, no way they'll ever "officially" replace the original puppet with a CGI version.  It'd be disrespectful to Stuart Freeborn, Frank Oz, and everybody else who helped bring him to life.

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"After Frank Oz did Empire Strikes Back, I tried to get him nominated for an Academy Award; but we heard back that the Academy doesn't consider puppetry to be an art.  I think it is an art - and Yoda represents the highest level of that art."

- George Lucas

That being said, I wouldn't put it past LFL to digitally tweak him a little, to get his lips/mouth to match up to the dialogue better.  Like Adywan did.

Offline JediJman

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Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« Reply #134 on: August 22, 2011, 03:48 PM »
Yeah, no way they'll ever "officially" replace the original puppet with a CGI version.  It'd be disrespectful to Stuart Freeborn, Frank Oz, and everybody else who helped bring him to life.


Send that arguement straight to Jeremy Bulloch or even Sebastian Shaw.   ;)  I think the key here is that OTC Yoda doesn't look bad and doesn't need replacing.  He's much older than the first three films, so its more important to tie those three together.  I wouldn't put anything past Lucas's tweaking though - you never know what he's going to do the next time they release something.
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