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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the film(s) 3 stars for the presentation on DVD of the 1980 unaltered version
First off I have no problem with George Lucas altering his films. They are HIS films after all but I do take issue with Lucas not making the original films that a generation (or two) grew up on available in a restored form.

Fans should be aware that while a marked improvement on the laserdisc edition (which appears to be from the same source elements)the image...
Published on September 16, 2006 by Wayne Klein

versus
95 of 107 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bait and Switch!
Lucasfilm is marketing this trilogy release on the inclusion of the unaltered versions of the films when in fact this is a shoddy laserdisc transfer on a bonus disc and the buyer is forced to purchase, yet again, the 2004 versions also. This is essentially retail fraud given that Lucasfilm holds itself as a bastion of home video quality and film preservation - these...
Published on May 27, 2006 by M. French


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95 of 107 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bait and Switch!, May 27, 2006
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Lucasfilm is marketing this trilogy release on the inclusion of the unaltered versions of the films when in fact this is a shoddy laserdisc transfer on a bonus disc and the buyer is forced to purchase, yet again, the 2004 versions also. This is essentially retail fraud given that Lucasfilm holds itself as a bastion of home video quality and film preservation - these transfers are 13 years old, non-anamorphic and substandard. YOU WILL BE PAYING $[...] FOR OLD LASERDISCS TRANSFERRED TO DVD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. You will not be able to watch them on a widescreen TV with adequate quality - this is shameful and shameless marketing taking advantage of buyers. DO NOT BUY!
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125 of 147 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars George Has Become The Emporer, September 11, 2006
By 
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
So after waiting 11 years or so, we finally get a re-release of the original The Empire Strikes Back in all it's unaltered glory. Just as fans have been dreaming about since the advent of DVD.

Well, um...I don't think any fan was dreaming about this particular release.

The original release version of The Empire Strikes Back (the only reason to buy this set as most all fans will already have one of the previous Special Edition releases) is relegated to bonus material on disc two. Ouch! But wait, it gets worse.

George Lucas, the champion of pristine presentation in the theatre and at home has released the film that made him a legend in the state of the art of technology circa 1993.

Yes, that's right. This transfer is from the laserdisc release of '93. Even worse, the film is not anamorphic like just about every other modern day DVD. What does that mean? Well a non-anamorphic DVD has a low visual clarity and the image won't fill a widescreen TV. To make a movie anamorphic takes very little time and money. That Star Wars is not anamorphic shows a disregard for the film that is troubling.

Star Wars fans expect these landmark films to be treated just like many other films (Vertigo, Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane, Snow White, etc.) that have gotten detailed restorations that cleaned up dirt, grime and audio ticks and presented the films in today's state of the art. This is the release most fans were dreaming of. A release that showed the film some modicrum of respect.

George, the fan base you have worked so hard to woo over the years is fed up with your shoddy treatment of these films.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the film(s) 3 stars for the presentation on DVD of the 1980 unaltered version, September 16, 2006
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
First off I have no problem with George Lucas altering his films. They are HIS films after all but I do take issue with Lucas not making the original films that a generation (or two) grew up on available in a restored form.

Fans should be aware that while a marked improvement on the laserdisc edition (which appears to be from the same source elements)the image is improved by being transferred digitally vs. analog. The film looks decent although no where near as good as the digitally enhanced edition included here. Why Lucas could not have had these anamorphically enhanced is beyond me (it would probably have required another transfer however and that does cost $$).

However, there's some issues with the print being unstable at times with the resulting image shakey on screen. Colors are bolder here than on "Star Wars" more than likely because the film elements survived the passage of time better (and the fact that they are a bit younger as well). The bigger your widescreen monitor is the more noticeable the flaws are in the prints, the transfer (it's nonanamorphic which basically means there's less clarity, less detail and inferior image quality). Anamorphic is the standard for DVD and improves the image quality signficantly so I'm a bit surprised that Lucas didn't at least try and upgrade these to an anamorphic transfer in some way shape or form.

The digitally altered version looks terrific. It's interesting because the fact that Lucas presents the original with minimal digital clean up and no restoration is kind of like an unhappy child being forced to hand over something they don't want to--they make sure it's in as bad of shape as possible so that no one will want it. It's almost as if Lucas is saying, "see I was right about how bad these things looked".

I hope we might see this improved for the NEXT incarnation coming out next year (rumor has it that it will be a deluxe boxed set of all the films)but have no firm info on that. This might be the only time fans can have original version I'm just disappointed that George didn't think enough of the fans of his films to improve the presentation of the original "Empire" without altering further.
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80 of 97 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the movie deserves five stars but the dvd treatment a 0, July 13, 2006
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
to paraphrase darth vader " I find Mr. Lucas lack of faith in the oot disturbing"

out of all the three at least empire deserved the gold standard when It came on dvd in it's orginal version. But non anamorphic for one of the greatest sequels in movie history please!

again thanks for nothing mr. lucas.

Please somebody stop him before film history is erased forever by a so called film preservationist activist, who often likes to re-write history and cgi the crap out of it.

Please AFI and the DGA stop this madness! Lobby him to perserve these films as they deserve to be treated not as bastard children he once disowned.
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185 of 233 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Move along. These aren't the DVDs you're looking for., June 27, 2006
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
If you love the original Star Wars trilogy as much as me, it is time to send a loud and clear message to Lucas that you will not endorse a subpar, inferior product. Do not get too excited when you pop this DVD into your player to watch on a widescreen TV. The 1980 version will appear as a tiny, low-resolution image. It is a non-anamorphic transfer (which in 2006 is NOT an industry standard), so it is NOT enhanced for 16x9 viewing. Get ready to enjoy Star Wars like you never have before - as if you were watching it through a mail slot!!!

Boycott this DVD until Lucasfilm acknowledges and corrects this. This trilogy's most loyal fans deserve better.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did'ja Notice???, September 13, 2006
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Has anyone noticed that the packaging on Episodes 1, 2, and 3, have gold lettering, but when the boxed set came out last year, the lettering was silver? Now, the "limited editions" have gold lettering, making them a better "fit" with episodes 1-3 on your DVD rack.

Its almost as if they planned this whole thing from the beginning...

Suckers!

Seriously, if Lucas only planned to release the unaltered versions as non-upgraded bonus disks, then he should have offered them for free, as part of the box set last year. That's exactly what Spielburg did when he released the Special Edition of E.T. Sure, some people would still complain about the lousy transfer, but at least they wouldn't feel that Lucas tricked them. He did. Most of us would not have bought the box set last year if we knew that he was going to offer the original version as a bonus disk in the future. We would have waited.

Shame on you, Mr. Lucas.

The film actually deserves 5 stars. In my opinion "Empire" is not only the best SW film of all time, its one of the best FILMS of all time. I'm giving it 1 star because of the principle of it all.

As for the 5 star reviewers who are saying "get over it" and "get a life", don't be a hypocrite. You're wasting your life writing silly reviews on Amazon just like the rest of us geeks.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Empire Strikes Back, April 7, 2000
By A Customer
The second entry in the Star Wars trilogy is my personalfavorite. Irvin Kershner and George Lucas accomplished something fewother filmakers have done: They made a sequel that is considered to be better than the original. This film, has a more dark, eerie edge to it comparing it to Return of the Jedi or the original. This is probably the most realistic film of the series. Mark Hamil is great as Luke but probably is better in Return of the Jedi. Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are in top form in this one though. At the 198O Academy Awards Empire won Best Sound and a Special Achievement Award for its dazzling visual effects. I felt bad that it didn't win Best Art-Set Direction but felt it got cheated when it lost Best Original Score since the score in this was probably the best in the series. The fight on the ice planet Hoth where the Imperial AT-AT Walkers attack the Rebel base is very exciting and memorable, as are several other scenes such as the chase through the asteroid field and the part where Han is lowered into the carbon-freezing pit in Cloud City. The dialogue is funny such as "Shut him up or shut him down!". Yoda was very good and Frank Oz did a great job as the voiceof Yoda. The climax is a thrilling lightsaber fight in the bowels of the Cloud City . It is my favorite one in the series, edging out the one in Return of the Jedi aboard the half-completed Death Star before the Emperor. Pretty cool. I really liked how you got to see Vader's meditation chamber and the Imperial Fleet. I also liked how you got to see all the Imperial officers and the inside area of the Executor. seeing more of the Cloud City made this dark film a bit brighter. I heavily recommend this movie to anyone, especially HUGE Star Wars fans like myself.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, September 16, 2006
By 
RES (Boston, MA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
We are given 2-DVD releases where the films in the much sought-after original 1977/83 STAR WARS Trilogy are relegated to the status of "bonus discs," a remarkably cynical move even for Lucas and Fox, who know full well that very few people actually want the dreadful 1997/2004 revisions that have been around on DVD for two years. These "bonus discs" are largely non-cleaned-up, low-definition, non-anamorphic transfers based on the 1993 laser discs. The picture is actually not bad, all things considered--better, in fact, than any other issuance of the originals (which admittedly appeared in media far inferior to the DVD); but with a little effort, they could have been so much better--especially for folks with 16x9 TVs. The 2.0 sound is more than adequate--actually rather clearer than the 5.1 mess that was produced for the 2004 disasters. Ironically, it is the 2.0 mix, not the 2004 5.1 remix, which is more similar to, though less complex than, the 6-channel, non-digital, non-surround stereo that was heard theatrically 30 years ago.

A couple of interesting details: one reviewer felt that these DVDs were worse than the 1995 VHS tapes, which he remembered as having been better cleaned up. In point of fact, the LDs from 1993 and the LDs/VHS tapes from 1995 were the *same* THX remasterings--just packaged differently; having seen both, I can say confidently that neither are nearly as good as these still-below-par DVDs. Moreover, the 1993/5 THX versions from which these DVDs were transferred are full of print damage at the same points--odd for a THX mastering; it means that even for what he said would be the *final* release in 1995, Lucas *already* didn't care about the old versions, as he was about to embark upon his 1997 distortions! Another important point: not all of these DVDs are direct LD transfers. For STAR WARS, the LD, and *every* home video version since the film first appeared on VHS, had the later title scroll that included "Episode IV A New Hope." This one, nicely, does not--the first time in a home video release! However, either good elements for this truly original opening do not survive or were not searched for hard enough because the whole frame rocks from side to side somewhat--owing to uneven print shrinkage: it's disconcerting to see a sky full of stars that all move back and forth together. This could have been cleaned up along with the many other points of print damage in the source material. One last observation: someone said that the opening sequence in STAR WARS is time-compressed. That is rubbish: all earlier versions have identical running times *to the second*! Let's not savage Mr. Lucas when he doesn't deserve it, folks.

The problem with allowing George Lucas to clean up, or even anamorphically enhance, *anything* in his original STAR WARS Trilogy is that he obviously wouldn't know when to quit, and we'd get another non-original permutation. It's a shame because far older films have been restored to look much better than the 1977-83 STAR WARS originals in their new DVD releases. Films of this cultural significance deserve far better. But since Lucas can't be trusted not to tinker, perhaps we should be satisfied while we're ahead, even though the results are compromised. If the originals ever do get issued in cleaner and higher-definition, anamorphically enhanced versions, you can bet that something will also be missing--again! My guess, however, is that Lucas regards his first versions merely as historical artifacts, remembering all the grief they caused him in the making; he obviously prefers to forget about them, continuing to insist that his most recent thoughts, however inferior we all find them, are the standards. It also occurs to me that Fox is testing the market: sure, thousands have been clamoring for the genuine films for years, but they wanted to see if we'd shell out the cash even for technically outmoded versions. Well, now we have. Perhaps they will realize that, despite how much we are currently protesting about Fox's (and perhaps Lucas') greed, when the originals are restored--not changed, just restored, preferably without Mr. Lucas' "assistance"--we will, in fact, buy them. In the meantime, these are better than nothing. Watch them on a 4x3 SDTV.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stay away from this release., May 25, 2006
By 
Adam (Westchester County, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Save your money for something decent. These 1977 films appear to be what fans wanted all along but are tainted, old, non-anamorphic releases. Stay away. Stay far away.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 0 Stars - It's the original 1980 movie & it looks BAD, June 23, 2006
By 
Troy (Lancaster, PA, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
First off, I already have the special/altered movies on dvd. IF I bought this latest release, it would only be to obtain the ORIGINAL theatrical release (with all the matte lines/primitive technology). The original version is all that I'm missing from my collection & my only motive to purchase this dvd.

DVD has a maximum resolution of 720x480 dots on the screen; did Lucas take advantage of that improved hi-res technology for this "first time on dvd" original theater version?? NO of course not. He's giving us the original movie in laserdisc resolution:

540x320

(analog letterboxed). That's only *50%* the pixel resolution that DVD can offer!!! What a royal ripoff. Are we fans supposed to be happy about getting an inferior-quality print of the original movie? Fat chance. The original movie was recorded with 6-track surround & on hi-resolution 70mm film <---- THAT'S what we want, not some inferior 540x320 blurry picture from an old 1980s laserdisc.

Get with the program George.
You should have released the originals in hi-resolution 720x480. You should have taken advantage of DVD's full potential, not dump some inferior/blurry/lo-resolution video on us.
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