600 Apple Power Mac G5s used to restore Star Wars trilogy for DVD release

“He whipped Indiana Jones into shape and cleaned up Sunset Boulevard. ‘The most popular movies are often, by far and away, in the worst shape,’ says DVD cleanup guru John Lowry. Now John Lowry is the unseen force behind the sparkling new DVD versions of George Lucas’ Star Wars films, which arrive Sept. 21 in a four-disc $70 box set,’ Mike Snider reports for USA Today.

“Over the past four years, Lowry Digital Images has emerged as the pre-eminent destination for studios looking to prepare their classics for DVD. Having cleaned up the Indiana Jones films for last year’s DVD package to the satisfaction of Lucas, director Steven Spielberg and studio Paramount, the Burbank-based firm earned the chance this year to do the same for the Star Wars trilogy,” Snider reports. “‘The most popular movies are often, by far and away, in the worst shape,’ Lowry says. ‘They have been printed more often and been duplicated more often, and each of those passes adds scuffs, dirt, scratches and the like.'”

“The high-definition video transfers of the first three Star Wars films (Episodes IV-VI: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) that Lucasfilm delivered to Lowry, he says, ‘were a little rougher than we expected coming in the door. I thought, ‘Oh, man.” Especially prevalent were scratches and dirt on the Tatooine sand dune scenes in Episode IV: A New Hope and on the snowy slopes of the ice planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. Lightsaber scenes in all the films, Lowry says, ‘were softer and grainier and had all kinds of dirt,'” Snider reports.

“But Lowry mobilized the forces: 80 employees and 600 networked Power Mac G5 computers with the equivalent of 378 terabytes (378 million megabytes) of hard-disk storage.”

Full article here.


  1. This can’t be right. I was just over at Ars Technica forums, and they all assure me that Macs are slow computers that cost too much money, and no intelligent person would ever use them.

    This idiot bought 600!! At 72, he is obviously senile.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />


  2. The MSRP is $69.99; I think that, when products are written about, it’s generally accepted that the MSRP is the price listed.

    Of course, anyone who buys at retail since the advent of Froogle and Pricegrabber and the like should get their head examined…

  3. Yeah, and if they had used PeeCees for the job, you’d never see any DVD releases !!

    First they would have to patch the WinDoze OS, remove the spyware, check for viruses… remove the popups…. then open the movie restoration app…

    Reboot the machine, cuz the restoration app crashed.. then repeat all the steps above…

    Over and over

  4. Now wait, Mr. T,

    There are quite a few ARS Technica fans who also use Macs. And a lot of that guff you get over there is simple jealousy. Hannibal’s articles on the G5 are pure gold, and prove Macs are as good or better than anything available from any other company.

    But ther are plenty of dorks, too, over there. Just ignore them.

  5. Hey Mac Dood,

    If they did it on PC, it would not be released on DVD but on 3.5 inch floppy which is still an option that they don’t believe is dead yet! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Ahhh, let’s see…. 4 DVDs = about 24 GB of movies (or thereabouts) = 24,576 MB = 17,067 floppies…. Well, if M$ released the movies I guess they would put them on floppies. I can see the moving truck now!

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  7. “Hannibal’s articles on the G5 are pure gold, and prove Macs are as good or better than anything available from any other company.”

    The guy obviously has a chip on his shoulder. He inserts snide remarks about “Mac zealots” in his articles. For such an example, see his article on the history of PowerPC. Go to


    and see the third paragraph.

    This person is also the one who accused the guys at Virginia Tech for being in bed with Apple, even though Dr. Srinidhi Varadarajan admitted that he never used a Mac before this supercomputer project.

  8. MS Blaster,

    I’ve heard, at the end of Jedi when the Jedi ghosts appear to Luke, that Hayden Christensen has replaced the actor that originally played Annakin Skywalker in the movie…

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