Fans restore original ‘Star Wars’ edition creator George Lucas has declined to release to HD quality

“Longing to see an unaltered edition of 1977’s A New Hope — without the decades of special edition makeovers — a group reportedly spent thousands of dollars and years of effort to restore to a faded print of Star Wars to the best-seen-yet high-definition version of the original cut of the film — and then leaked it online,” James Hibberd reports for EW.

“Calling themselves Team Negative1, the group (at least, their leader claims there’s a group) quietly released their ‘Silver Screen Theatrical Version’ last month to message board acclaim,” Hibberd reports. “Then on Tuesday, film writer Corey Atad posted a lengthy interview with the primary fan behind the restoration, chronicling his extensive frame-by-frame efforts to recreate a version that’s quite close to what fans first saw in theaters 39 years ago.”

More info: Star Wars: 35mm Silver Screen Theatrical Version

“The Silver Screen version is without the special editions’ dialogue tweaks, visual polish, and Mos Eisley’s added CGI creatures, and Han naturally shoots first (Atad points out that it’s actually jarring to realize that not only does Han fire first, but Greedo doesn’t shoot at all),” Hibberd reports. “George Lucas has famously refused to release a high-quality 1977 version of his classic film.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: George Lucas is not a top flight film director or screenwriter. “Idea man,” yes. Feature film director or screenwriter, no.

If his prior filmography wasn’t enough (Star Wars was saved by his editors, most notably, Lucas’ ex-wife, Marcia Lucas, John Williams’ genius score, and Harrison Ford’s charisma) we offer up I, II, III reasons as absolute proof and we’ll even throw in a duck.



    1. I am going to have to beg to differ.

      “American Graffiti” is not a great film. It is a great bit of nostalgia.

      I had a chance to see it on a big screen, with a good audience not too long ago, and I was really struck by how ponderous, and slow the entire first half is. If you’re not watching it through the eyes of nostalgia, I don’t see it having any appeal.

      The second half is really pretty good. However, I would attribute most of that to the excellence of the cast, and Dreyfus in particular.

      Actually, very similar to what I think made Star Wars (I grew up calling it Star Wars, and sorry, but I just cannot call it “A New Hope” without gagging) so successful – the excellence of the cast, and Ford in particular.

      Of course, this is just my opinion, but I completely agree with MDN’s take. Lucas is brilliant at inspiring, and making things look cool. His is a lousy writer and director. Again, just my opinion.

      1. I beg to differ. “American Graffiti” is a solid film. Excellent direction. Excellent script. Yes, there is a nostalgic element to it, but I was a teenager at the time and it really spoke to me. The sense of trying to find your place in the world–especially one that is a small town.

        Do I think Lucas is in the same league as his contemporaries (Coppola, Spielberg, Altman, etc.)? No, but he did show great promise up to (and including) Star Wars. The success of that film and the obsession with that franchise, tamped down any possibility of seeing what else he could do.

        1. I think we will need to agree to disagree on this one.

          I did not see “American Graffiti” as a teen, so I can’t speak to that. I saw “American Graffiti 2” as a teen – and someone still owes me money for that waste of time & $.

          I still contend that it was the nostalgia for the era, and the very excellent cast that was cause for the first movie’s success, and popularity – not necessarily anything from Lucas.

          But again, just my opinion.

  1. Here’s the thing these spoiled brats don’t seem to realize: The enhanced original trilogy reflects Lucas’ ORIGINAL vision for the films that he couldn’t make because of financial or technology restraints (other than the Greedo thing.) It makes me sick that people can’t just honor the artists’ vision.

    1. Han shot first, and Greedo did not shoot at all. This was not an issue of lack of technology, this was a completely different character that Lucas decided to change Han Solo into.

      1. And the thing is, Han was acting in self-defense. He was about to be taken to Jabba, a shadowy threatening figure who never appears in the film. But then Lucas adds bacj that worthless deleted scene where Han meets Jabba, and they just have a conversation. So now Han has no real reason to kill Greedo, does he? So we get the bullsh*t of Greedo shooting first.


    2. People don’t honor it because his “vision” is wrong.

      An awful lot of the success and popularity of “Star Wars”, was INSTEAD of Lucas, NOT because of him.

      And no, his meddling hasn’t improved anything.

    3. Baloney. George Lucas’ “original” vision kept changing over the years. He used to say that Star Wars was really the story of C-3PO and R2-D2. Then it was “The Adventures of Luke Skywalker”. Finally, he decides that it’s the story of the fall and redemption of Darth Vader. Whatever. The guy had no clue what his story was about. Star Wars was a wonder, beautiful accident. An accident he kept trying to recreate, with increasingly worse results every attempt.

      In the case of Star Wars, the “artist’s vision” sucked. The masterpiece was the original “flawed” version. It’s so sad that Lucas could never just accept that.


    1. Unfortunately, your 4 year old has probably never had the opportunity to see “Star Wars”, as it was originally shown, so not really a valid comparison. If he had seen the original first, would he still prefer “A New Hope”?

      There’s no way to know.

  2. The special editions and prequels are harshly judged against the nostalgia of older fans – you just can’t compete with that feeling we got back in ’77. But they were necessary “evils” to future-proof the saga.

    What really matters is how the saga will be received by future audiences watching them in order, I-IX (or however far Disney decides to go).

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