Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Limited Edition)
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What do you lose by watching the 1977 version? Dolby Digital 5.1 EX sound, for one thing (only 2.0 Surround here). Digital cleanup for another--Tatooine looks like it's been coated with an additional layer of sand cloud. But for home-theater owners, the biggest frustration will be from the non-anamorphic picture. On a widescreen TV, an anamorphically enhanced (16x9) picture at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio will fill the screen with the exception of small black bars on the top and bottom. The original edition of Star Wars, however, is not anamorphically enhanced (sometimes referred to as "4:3 letterbox"), so on a widescreen TV it will have large black bars on the top, the bottom, and the sides unless you stretch the picture (and distort it in the process, especially considering the substandard picture quality). If you're watching on a standard square-shaped (4:3) TV, though, you won't notice a difference.
Yes, it's true that serious home-theater lovers who want spectacular sound and anamorphically enhanced picture can always watch the 2004 version of the movie also included in this set. But chances are good that they already picked up the trilogy edition of all three films, so their decision to buy the 2006 two-disc edition depends on how much they want the original film. The official LucasFilm stance is that this is an individual release of the 2004 version of Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope, and the 1977 version of the film is merely a "bonus feature." Common speculation is that the only reason the original versions are seeing the official light of day at all is to undercut the booming black market for the laserdisc version. Star Wars fans will have to decide for themselves if that's worth the purchase. --David Horiuchi
- Disc 1:
- **Widescreen Feature (Enhanced Trilogy Version)
- **Commentary by George Lucas, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren and Carrie Fisher
- **Easter Egg - Credit Roll
- Disc 2:
- **Widescreen Feature (For Both Versions Full Screen and Widescreen) - original theatrical movie version in dolby 2.0 surround
- **XBox Playable Game Demo
- **Lego Game Trailer
Top Customer Reviews
This release contains two DVDs: the version that Lucas has been tinkering with, and on a bonus disc, the original movie in 4:3 letterbox, taken from the best-available videodisc masters.
About that "tinkering." The 2004 version of Episode 4 looks, for the most part, quite gorgeous. The _restoration_ that Lucasfilm did is impressive: the blacks are blacker, the whites whiter, the color richer, the contrast improved all around, and the soundtrack is great. The dirt and scratches are gone, the shaky color very solid.
However, at some point Lucas crossed over from "restoration" into making a new movie. That's fine; he has the right to do so. But for him to say that the original Star Wars is not really what he had in mind, when it was one of the most famous and popular movies in history and became entrenched in the culture -- well, I find that weirdly arrogant. And when he says, in effect, that his altered version _is_ "Star Wars" and the original _isn't_ -- well, hmmm. A movie is a historical artifact. There's a difference between preservation and tinkering. Mainly, that tinkering mostly is there to gratify the artist, while preservation serves the art -- and the fans of the art. Artistic creation is a fragile and uncertain process. For Lucas to assume that he knew exactly what made Star Wars great and presume to make it better misstates the amount of control that artists actually have over how their creations are received by the public.
Where you draw this line is slightly unclear. I think the cleanup of the backgrounds is fine.Read more ›
Yes. And no. Specifically, they fixed up parts of the final battle that needed fixing, for although the special effects team labored heroically in 1977 some shots were just beyond them. There are moments where a fighter pilot cries "He's on my tail! I can't shake him!" and in the old version we'd cut to an exterior shot of ships moving slowly and awkwardly. Here the ships dart about dramatically. Some of the explosions have been enhanced, and the early shots of the many ships flying in formation look much better. The whole battle feels bigger. No matter how you slice it, this part of the film is an improvement.
But for the rest of the movie, I have doubts. Do we really need to meet Jabba here? It does nothing but steal thunder from the opening of "Jedi," and it adds nothing to the plot we don't already know. And the scene with Biggs is so awkward it's amazing George could stand to put it back in. Also, introducing a new character 80 percent of the way through a movie has much of the audience scratching their head and saying, "Who's that guy? Did we miss something?"
The new footage in the desert (of the troopers riding the big beast creatures) undermines the elegant understatedness with which Lucas shot the first version--just two masterful shots with minimal movement originally, yet it suggested so much. Now we see these CG beasts walk back and forth as the camera pans this way and that--why, other than to say "Yippee, I can do it"?
The same is true for showing where the Falcon was as it blasted its way out of the cantina.Read more ›
Amazon: A little more truth in advertising, please.
Disney: It's time to scrape that Lucas off your shoe. Distribute the original version, or at least a digitally enhanced original version, along with this Director's Cut. Star Wars is film history, treat it with some dignity.
To begin, I agree with the majority of reviewers in the fact that these films, the original unaltered Star Wars trilogy, deserve much better treatment for release on DVD. Now, from what I understand, the original negatives/prints were destroyed or altered during the restoration for the Special Edition release back in 1997 and, as a result, can't be restored. Therefore, the laserdisc transfers from 1993 are being used as source material for the upcoming DVD release, which explains why these "bonus" DVD's (don't get me started on the originals only being - according to the soulless marketing geniuses at LucasFilm - "bonus" discs), won't be anamorphic and without 5.1 surround sound. I also understand that LucasFilm is not willing to put in as much time, effort, or money into this project since the original unaltered films didn't represent his true "vision" for the films. However, I take issue with the reasoning behind this thought process.
First of all, I'll admit I'm no film restoration expert, but common sense would tell me that 95% of the restoration of the original unaltered trilogy has already been done since only, at the very most, 5% of the original movies was altered for the Special Edition releases.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like this movie a lot. I haven't seen it in awhile, so I just purchased it from Amazon Instant Video so I could watch it right away. Read morePublished 3 hours ago by Kent Mauresmo
I love Star Wars. I like both the original and the release. I give this movie 5 stars. Awesome.Published 2 days ago by Angel
Disappointed that it is not the original, but includes all the awful CGI. Would've been 5 stars for original cut.Published 2 days ago by Jonathan M.
Watch this, treasure this, love this. Ignore the new sequel and all prequels.Published 4 days ago by EcoGrrl
I had to see this after the three prequels and before I saw the newly release Star Wars movie. I would have to say that, of all the movies in the series, this is my favorite..Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
I will not die not having passed my treasury of Star Wars collection among this to my children in the near future.Published 5 days ago by Eric Wesley Martin
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|No Blu-Ray from Lucasfilm Ltd||
so eat your words 3 years later :) it`s coming out this september
Jul 11, 2011 by turkish | See all 11 posts
I purchased this DVD yesterday knowing full well what I was in for. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the transfer (slightly disaapointed its not anamorphic, but I can live with that.) The film looks its age, but it is lightyears better than my 10 year old VHS version, and far... Read More
Sep 13, 2006 by Jeffery Bauman | See all 20 posts
|Wait....Is the scene with Jabba in the original release with a different...||
The scene with Jabba was filmed, with a human actor, for the 1977 release of Star Wars but it was never used and it never appeared in the theatrical release (I was 10 and saw it many times). Some folks are saying that it was in the original release (with the human actor) but it never was.
May 10, 2007 by Kasper Von Deutschland | See all 4 posts
|How is this $65??||
It contains the original Theatrical version of the film which has now essentially become obsolete
Feb 9, 2013 by Julian Pope | See all 3 posts
|Star Wars vs. Star Trek||
A Galaxy Class star ship can lay waste to an entire planet by itself. Star Destroyers have no transporter technology. Star Ship phasers and photo torpedoes would cut through a star destroyer like butter. And Star Ship shields could withstand the power of the planet killers pure anti proton... Read More
May 9, 2010 by P. Reynolds | See all 8 posts
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