For years, fans have pleaded and begged George Lucas to restore and release the original 1977 theatrical cut of "Star Wars: A New Hope." Of course, he has refused, even going so far as to say the prints have been destroyed. However, some very dedicated fans have not only proven that wrong, they’ve gone ahead and delivered what fans have been asking for.
A group called Team Negative 1 have tracked down a single 35mm print of "Star Wars: A New Hope," and they’ve carefully scanned each frame, bringing the film as close to what it was like to have seen it back in 1977. They’re calling it the "Silver Screen Edition." How they got the print hasn’t been revealed, but as you’ll see in the samples below, the visual difference is striking when compared to the more saturated, glossy, and crisp Blu-ray editions of the movie (which are saddled with Lucas’ endless CGI tinkering). But it should be pointed out this is from a print, not from the original negative.
This isn’t the first time fans have attempted to restore "Star Wars" and the original trilogy. The Despecialized Edition versions, among others, (mostly) did the same, but this is the first from a single print, rather than multiple sources. Of course, none of this is legal, so it’ll be interesting to see how 20th Century Fox (who owns the rights to the rest of the "Star Wars" movies until 2020) reacts, but at least in public they’ve been quiet.
Check out the comparisons below. According to "Mr. Black" of Team Negative 1, your mileage on the scan vs. Blu-ray may vary. “We know that anyone under 30 kind of prefers the clean, sharp, detailed look,” he told Movie Mezzanine. “Then the older crowd, the retro crowd, is like, ‘give me the grain and give me the matte boxes and give me a little weave in the picture.’ It’s kind of like CD vs. vinyl. I’m like an old school vinyl fan.”
Share your thoughts below, and no, we won’t be telling you how to download this version, but you can find it in certain corners of the internet. [via Boing Boing]