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Star Wars

Post by Eldorion on Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:45 pm

We've had a few discussions of these movies spread out over different threads, but I think it deserves it's own. These were the first movies that I really loved and watched over and over and over again. This past Christmas I finally got the original, unedited, non-Special Edition release of the films on DVD after years of having to watch the lesser versions, and it's just as brilliant as when I first watched them on VHS when I was five. Very Happy

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:51 pm

I have a star wars question. More of a complaint really. In the last three films made, the first three stroy wise- where are the military? In Star Wars (original film) there's clearly a military council, and the Peter Cushing guy, wouldn't he have been about at the time of Annakin?
I always assumed that up until the start of Star Wars the senate was still in place but under the control of the military. The senate if memory serves isn't dissolved until after the death star becomes active. So were did the military leaders come from and how come they ain't in the prequels when clearly some of them, Cushings character for example, is more important in rank than Vader, or at least equal.

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Eldorion on Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:59 pm

A lot of this is explained in the supplementary material, though that's not the best excuse. The Republic is supposed to have survived for the past millennium or so (out of it's 25,000 year history ... yeah, I know) without a standing army beyond some small security forces. You see these forces in the very first scene of The Phantom Menace piloting Qui-Gon's ship, and there are various uniformed guards in the background of the several scenes set on Coruscant. The Clone Army introduced in Episode II is supposed to be the Republic's first true army in 1000 years, and officer corps seen in the original trilogy was largely still being trained when the prequel trilogy came to an end since academies were only started after Episode II. Until there was a sizable corps, the Clone forces were commanded by the Jedi and some special clones.

That's the official explanation (as best as I can remember it), anyway. It's not the most satisfying, but suffice to say that George Lucas has left many inconsistencies between the prequels and the originals. Watching the originals alone, the Republic seems to be a thing of the distant past, but if you watch all six films together, the Republic ended 19 years before the original Star Wars movie, or about as long as it's been between the First Gulf War and the present day. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Star Wars

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:33 pm

I too always got the impression the time of the Jedi was in the distant past- more Atlantis than Gulf War. Han reacts to the idea of the Jedi and the Force as if they were nothing more than Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster.
And if there is only 19 years between then the Peter Cushing character would have been about- given his seeming authority in Star Wars you would have thought his rise would have been mentioned somewhere in the prequels, working for the Emperor or some such. I was always slightly fascinated by his character and his seeming power over even Vader.

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Ringdrotten on Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:37 pm

Isn't a younger Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing's character) the one shown for a few seconds at the end of Revenge of the Sith? The resemblance is remarkable.

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Eldorion on Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:44 pm

I have to agree with Petty. I think that Ringdrotten was right and they showed someone who was (supposed to be) a younger Tarkin, but I would have liked to see more about the rise of the Empire. While Revenge of the Sith was the best of the prequels, it would have been even better if it showed the proto-Empire (and people like Tarkin) already sweeping away what was left of the Republic. They would have had time to do that, too, if they hadn't wasted Episode I on a more or less stand-alone story that after which the characters were re-set by a 10 year time skip. Evil or Very Mad
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Re: Star Wars

Post by Ringdrotten on Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:51 pm

Indeed. I'd also liked to have seen the early days of the rebellion in the theatrical cut, not just as bonus scenes on one of the DVD releases. And of course, the rise of the Empire should've been done gradually and not super-rushed at the end of Revenge of the Sith. Perhaps it will make it into the re-re-re-re-re-re-re-release if we ask him nicely? Smile

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:55 pm

I would much rather have seen the rise of the empire than the pod racing stuff- only good thing about that one was Darth Maul (and his themetune, classic Williams) and they killed him off!
But I've got to say I am not a fan of the visual look of the prequels. I prefer model work with CG overlaid to all out CG. Despite some interesting potential political intrigue, most of the time whilst watching it was like waiting on a game cutscene to finish- only it kept going and you never got a shot. I thought they were quite poor overall and not comparable to the original three for quality or storytelling.

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Eldorion on Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:58 pm

Thinking about it, I would have preferred the AOTC be Episode I (for all it's faults, it essentially introduces the characters anew, and it does have some cool parts). Then Revenge of the Sith could run mostly as it was, albeit with the Padme scenes added back in (seriously, in the theatrical version she barely shows up) and it could end with the declaration of the Empire and the duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan.

Then Episode III could feature the Empire sweeping away the remnants of the Republic, and people like Bail Organa and Mon Mothma are organizing the rebellion. We could also see some classic Imperial Star Destroyers, stormtroopers, and other stuff to visually and thematically tie the prequels together with the originals. I don't know what would happen with Obi-Wan, but I guess maybe he could just wait to go into hiding. Leia does say that he served her father in the war, but we don't see anything like that in the prequels we got.

I just made that up in like five minutes, but I think it has the potential to work better.
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Re: Star Wars

Post by Ringdrotten on Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:05 pm

They'd have to find a way to fit Qui-Gon in there then, Eldo, as he's the most awesome character of the whole prequel trilogy Smile

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:07 pm

Sounds like it would have been better to me Eldo.

Another thing I was wondering about was Chewy. He knows Yoda, knows about the Force- you'd think once he realised he'd picked up a Jedi in hiding, one of the last of the Council Yoda was head off he would, at the very least, have told Han.

I also think the original film, for all their incredible wow factor visually at the time, hold up today because they are character driven stories under all the effects. This balance between wow and character seemed woefully out to me in the prequels.

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:23 pm

This from the BBC website.

'A prop designer who made the original Stormtrooper helmets for Star Wars has won his battle with director George Lucas over his right to sell replicas.
Andrew Ainsworth, 62, of south London, successfully argued the costumes were functional not artistic works, and so not subject to full copyright laws.
Judges at the Supreme Court upheld a 2009 Court of Appeal decision allowing Mr Ainsworth to continue selling them.
But they also ruled that the director's copyright had been violated in the US.
Mr Ainsworth told the BBC: "This is a massive victory, a total victory, we've already got the champagne out."
He said he went to court on a principle and he was not going to allow the director to "buy his soul".
'David and Goliath'
The ruling about violating US copyright was a moot point, he added, as all it meant was that he could not sell his outfits there, which he had already stopped doing.
"Art is like a Rodin sculpture, film production is an industry and that's what these products are, they were always industrial designs," he said.
"I am proud to report that in the English legal system David can prevail against Goliath if his cause is right. If there is a force, then it has been with me these past five years."
Both the Court of Appeal and the High Court had already ruled in Mr Ainsworth's favour in his multi-million pound battle with Mr Lucas's production company.
The father-of-two has been selling copies of his plastic composite armour and helmets - from the original 1977 film - for eight years.
He uses the same studio in Twickenham from which he made the original costumes, and charges up to £1,800.
In 2004, Lucasfilm sued for $20m (£12m) arguing he did not hold the intellectual property rights and had no right to sell them - a point upheld by a US court.
But the judgement could not be enforced because the designer held no assets in the US, so the battle moved to the UK.
The Star Wars creator, worth an estimated £2bn, claimed Mr Ainsworth was breaching his copyright.
He took his case to the High Court in 2008, Court of Appeal a year later, and earlier this year to the Supreme Court - the highest court in the land.
That court has now also ruled that the 3D works should not be considered sculptures, which means their copyright protection is 15 years from the date they were marketed, and had therefore expired.
But the judges agreed with Lucasfilm lawyers that the director's copyright had been violated in the US by Mr Ainsworth selling his costumes there.
They ruled that those infringed rights were enforceable in the UK, banning him from selling his outfits in the US.
A Lucasfilm spokesman said the court's decision maintained "an anomaly of British copyright law under which the creative and highly artistic works made for use in films... may not be entitled to copyright protection in the UK".
The company said that protection would have been given in "virtually every other country in the world".
On the issue of the jurisdiction of UK courts over infringements abroad, the company said: "The judgement is an important step in modernising UK law and bringing it into line with the EU."
The spokesman added: "Lucasfilm remains committed to aggressively protecting its intellectual property rights relating to Star Wars in the UK and around the globe."

Win for the little guy! cheers

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:20 pm

Just got done watching Star Wars Revisted. A fan edit of the Star Wars film with new fx. A response to the disappointment of the much touted Lucas specials edition, it fixes many of its problem, and even corrects minor continuity errors such as missing oornaments in one shot and the direction shadows are facing, as well as redoing entire cgi sequeneces, most notably the Death Star attack. Heres a comparison vid of the two.
I thought it was superb and by far the best version of Str Wars I have watched. Adywan, who reedited this, is a person after my own heart, and I salute you.




Oh and yes, he fixes it so that Han shoots FIRST! Very Happy

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Eldorion on Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:57 pm

I can understand the color correction being a big deal for some people, but most of those changes seemed utterly inconsequential. The little continuity issues have never really bothered me and a number of the additions and expansions are sloppy because he's trying to create new material by piecing together existing footage. I'd be happy if he fixed the lightsaber effects but other than that just give me the original version. Smile
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Re: Star Wars

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:52 pm

Actually he does fix the wobbly lightsabre effect too! I think you are underestimating how well this has been done Eldo. In structure it is much closer to the 70's original. The Jabba scene and others that were added have been removed (although he rightly retains the Biggs story arc) and Han shoots first. A lot of the twee additions like Jawas humourouessly dangling off things have been taken out, where dialogue had been changed (for what reasons I have no idea) it has been restored using the 70's audio. This is a fan version for the dedicated fan. Where new sequences have been added they are superb, for the most part they simply replace a shot, occasionally there are whole new sequences, but as they more clearly show the viewer what is being described visually they are a bonus not a detriment. Most of the cgi outside of battles is used to up the scale, the Death Star for example has a new reveal which creates a much greater sense of wow factor than the original.

[img][/img]

[img][/img]

It in no way interupts or alters the flow of the film, but it does improve on it.
A lot of the other stuff is subtle, the sky has been replaced on Tatooine, lasers and the like have all been redone. Other touches like seeing ships go by and explosions out of the cockpits of the x-wings where before it was just stars helps immersion, and look great. And they all work superbly in context, one of the best examples of this kind being the HQ the rebels have, the hanger bay has been extended so it goes off into the distance and the map Leia and the generals stand around has been made holographic.

[img][/img]

[img][/img]

There is nothing in this that is not the film you know and love, as I said, its edited closer to the original than Lucas's redo, its got better sfx scenes, it fixes a lot of technical issues, and its HD quality or so damn near I couldn't tell if it wasn't. Its the best cut of that film I have seen. By a good bit.

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Eldorion on Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:36 pm

I'm sure it's better than the 2004 DVD edition (that's not exactly hard Rolling Eyes ), but I wasn't impressed by the clips I saw on YouTube. While the rebel's holographic display is nice, I had no problem with the original display. Sure, it was pretty dated, but there were a lot of moments like that. It's part of the charm and nostalgia of a movie made at a certain point in time. I don't need someone to go re-edit Asimov to remove references to slide rules either.

As for the new and "improved" shot of the Death Star reveal. In the original movie you have an ominous look at the little dot they think is a moon until the Falcon gets closer and the dot grows bigger and is revealed to be a massive space station, it's size established by comparison to the puny-looking Star Destroyers it dwarfs. In the screenshots you posted, the Death Star shares the shot with some random planet. It makes me ask why would they be orbiting another planet in the Alderaan system at such a low level, but more importantly, it's just unnecessary, visually distracting FX, no matter how technically excellent. I didn't like that in Lucas' Special Editions, and I don't like it here.

On that same note, I think the fan editor has a problem with wanting to make things bigger and betterer (again, just like Lucas). He adds a fleet of additional TIE fighters to the Death Star attack and adds additional scenes of dogfighting. In the original movie, the narrative and the attack were both masterfully focused at getting in the trench and getting to the exhaust port (I still remember and love the refrain of "almost there ... almost there..."). Having more fighting is exactly the sort of "kewl!" fanboy BS distraction that I try to avoid by watching the original versions. Smile
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Re: Star Wars

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:54 pm

My view is if you are going to update an old film wtih new effects, and then withdraw the original so it is unavailable- you better bloody do it well. And Lucas didn't.

As to the Death Star reveal that shot is the opeining shot to the meeting set aboard it, the one where Vader Force chokes the bloke for doubting his powers, well before Alderann and presumably its in orbit still around whatever planet it was constructed at. It has been so long since I saw the 70's cut I cannot remember if this is the first time you see the Death Star in it too or not. (I think it must be I can't imagine he cut straight to its interior with no set up shot-if so it rather makes the point that the original reveal shot of it is rather forgetable!).
And you are mistaken in thinking its for the sake of bigger and better, in that the vid it is somewhat misleading (the choice of available vids on youtube for it is not great). There are two scenes they entirely redo the effects and to one degree or another reedit the order, the Tie attack on the Falcon after escaping the Death Star and the Death Star attack. In both the effects are better (Lucas left the black squares around the tiefighter's for goodness sake so you could see how they were cut and pasted!). And in both cases, although there are more ships (in the DS attack bit at least) the effects serve the narrative. So when Wedge has one on his tail and Luke is tryning to turn to find him the effects are used to make this clear, same when R2 get shot, you see the ship and the shot that gets him, this is typical of them throughout. I am first to jump on PJ for using spectacle for its own sake where it doesn't inform the narrative, I would be no less critical of this for the same crime if it committed it. Yes, once or twice it does dip into indulgence, but its a fans indulgence and forgivable. And it is a cut above the official attempt and thats the truly sad thing. The person who did this still has the passion and the love for the project itself, Lucas just loves the money now. In the end that is why this version is the better one, its been made with dedicated love, just like the original was back in the 70's.

(I reccomend you track it down and give it a fair viewing Eldo).

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Eldorion on Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:23 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:My view is if you are going to update an old film wtih new effects, and then withdraw the original so it is unavailable- you better bloody do it well. And Lucas didn't.

I think I've already made it clear that I don't like the 1997 or 2004 "Special Editions" and have no doubts that this version is superior. In any event, the original versions of the OT films have been available on DVD since 2007. Wink

As to the Death Star reveal that shot is the opeining shot to the meeting set aboard it, the one where Vader Force chokes the bloke for doubting his powers, well before Alderann and presumably its in orbit still around whatever planet it was constructed at. It has been so long since I saw the 70's cut I cannot remember if this is the first time you see the Death Star in it too or not. (I think it must be I can't imagine he cut straight to its interior with no set up shot-if so it rather makes the point that the original reveal shot of it is rather forgetable!).

I did a bit of searching on YouTube and while the version I found is the Special Edition (not sure if it's '97 or '04) you are right that there is an exterior shot of the Death Star. Still, I think that the planet is a distraction from the simple and effective shot contrasting the Death Star with the Star Destroyer. It also contrasts with the opening scene showing the Star Destroyer to be much more massive than Leia's ship. The combination of the two shots only further emphasizes the size and power of the Death Star in a visual way. The planet is at best superfluous and at worst ruins the shot.

You can watch the SE clip below, starting at 0:55 (apologies for the annoying watermark in the corner).



And you are mistaken in thinking its for the sake of bigger and better ... Yes, once or twice it does dip into indulgence, but its a fans indulgence and forgivable.... The person who did this still has the passion and the love for the project itself, Lucas just loves the money now. In the end that is why this version is the better one, its been made with dedicated love, just like the original was back in the 70's.

Sorry, but I'm not on your bandwagon about how the desire to make money is horrible. Wink There are plenty of good reasons to dislike the Special Editions (although I can understand how some people might disagree), but they generally come down to the SEs failing on their own terms as movies. If a fan makes the same mistakes as Lucas, I'm going to criticize the fan just the same. I'm looking for entertainment, not a statement about art vs. money or any of that stuff. Very Happy

Lucas left the black squares around the tiefighter's for goodness sake so you could see how they were cut and pasted!

Eh? I'm not sure what the "black squares" you're talking about are. Can you clarify?

And in both cases, although there are more ships (in the DS attack bit at least) the effects serve the narrative. So when Wedge has one on his tail and Luke is tryning to turn to find him the effects are used to make this clear, same when R2 get shot, you see the ship and the shot that gets him, this is typical of them throughout. I am first to jump on PJ for using spectacle for its own sake where it doesn't inform the narrative, I would be no less critical of this for the same crime if it committed it.

The scenes work perfectly fine with fewer ships, and while the editing is very impressive, it is still sloppy and distracting in some places. Besides, the adding of more enemies is one of the same changes that Lucas made with the Special Editions. Sure, he was adding more ground troops rather than ships in the "Look sir, droids" scene and during the escape from the Death Star, but the exact same defense that it "makes clear" the threat of the Empire can be used (surely a battalion of Stormtroopers is more powerful and dangerous than a small group of them). But guess what, I don't really care for that change either. It's inconsequential at best. Wink

(I reccomend you track it down and give it a fair viewing Eldo).

I might if I have the time and inclination, but a lot of the changes I've seen so far just scream "look at me! Look at what I can do!" rather than changing anything meaningful (by contrast, from what I've seen of your edits they actually make substantial changes and improvements to the LOTR films). I'm not going to use a double standard just because this edit was made by a fan. Smile
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Re: Star Wars

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:37 pm

"Sorry, but I'm not on your bandwagon about how the desire to make money is horrible"- Eldo

I don't think making money is horrible I think greed is horrible, whether it is in an individual or a corporation. Lucas has strung out these films in order to maximise the amount of money he can get out of fans, fans who have made him the rich man he is. He coud have put out a blue ray release with the original vesion on it as well as redoing effects that were broken and correcting errors that would have been a fair deal for fans and still made him plenty of money. The manner in which he has choosen to conduct things displays simply greed.

"Eh? I'm not sure what the "black squares" you're talking about are. Can you clarify?"

The best, although not only, example of it happens in the scene immediately after escaping the Death Star in the Falcon where Han and Luke man the guns. Its more or less obvious depending how your brightness and contrast is set, but the model shots are shot against a black background, cut out and put over the finished background. But the black of the background and the black around the tie fighters in their cut out box do not match so you get a black square around the fighter that will rotate if it does, there was no way around it in the 70's but it was one of many things not corrected in the special edition DVD. I would have been happy with the original, but as I say if he was going to do a special edition with new effects then he should have done it right and corrected the many minor technical faults in the original film, what he released is sloppy work.

"but a lot of the changes I've seen so far just scream "look at me! Look at what I can do!"- Eldo

I have tried to give examples of this not being the case, someone of that mentality does not cgi in a small ornament on Obi Wan's table because it was in one shot but not the next- almost no one is ever going to notice it. Or puts the condensers iin the fields around Lukes farm that his uncle is always going on about. Again the holographic display is a good example, it enhances the scene, if you look closely tiny representive ships are flying about it, but it could have been made to be some flashy, distracting display (Lucas would probably have done so) instead it in no way gets in the way of the scene or distracts from the focus. This has been done with a lot of care and a lot more respect than certain other directors I could mention have been capable of showing.


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Re: Star Wars

Post by Eldorion on Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:37 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:The best, although not only, example of it happens in the scene immediately after escaping the Death Star in the Falcon where Han and Luke man the guns. Its more or less obvious depending how your brightness and contrast is set, but the model shots are shot against a black background, cut out and put over the finished background. But the black of the background and the black around the tie fighters in their cut out box do not match so you get a black square around the fighter that will rotate if it does

I have watched Star Wars more times than I care to remember and I have never noticed anything like this. I'm re-watching the same upload of the Special Edition on YouTube that I posted before (about 10 minutes into Part 8) and I'm still having a hard time noticing this effect. If I go frame-by-frame there are a few shots that look weird, but it looks fine to me overall. (And frankly, the sort of person who watches films frame-by-frame is just looking for reasons to criticize them.)

I have tried to give examples of this not being the case, someone of that mentality does not cgi in a small ornament on Obi Wan's table because it was in one shot but not the next- almost no one is ever going to notice it. Or puts the condensers iin the fields around Lukes farm that his uncle is always going on about. Again the holographic display is a good example, it enhances the scene, if you look closely tiny representive ships are flying about it, but it could have been made to be some flashy, distracting display (Lucas would probably have done so) instead it in no way gets in the way of the scene or distracts from the focus. This has been done with a lot of care and a lot more respect than certain other directors I could mention have been capable of showing.

I didn't say all of the changes reflected that mentality, so you're just picking nits here at the expense of the broader point. Stuff like table ornaments and even the holographic display (which I did say earlier was pretty nice) are inconsequential to the film. They don't enhance the storytelling and play only minor roles in the visual experience. Stuff like added fighters and battles and extraneous planets do detract from certain shots where the film was carefully crafted and focused in the original.
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Re: Star Wars

Post by Eldorion on Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:41 am

Anyway, I'm really not trying to be an ass about this and if I find myself with a nice chunk of spare time and nothing else to do I will try to find this edit. I guess I'm just not as impressed by what I've seen so far but to really comment on the work as a whole I would need to see the entire finished edit. Smile
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Re: Star Wars

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:30 am

Just to prove I am not going mad, or madder, here's a couple of snapshots- these are from the youtube link, the quality of which oddly enough disguises the efect somewhat and makes it harder to spot. Not as obvious as it is on the DVD. Nevertheless you can still quite clearly see the square around the tie- its more intrusive and obvious when its moving too.

[img][/img]

[img][/img]

(If you still can't see them try turning the brightness level up until they appear- the contrast and brightness on the youtube vids seems a bit off, too dark compared to the dvd).

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Eldorion on Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:29 pm

Looking at the HQ stills from the YouTube video with my screen set to maximum brightness I can see it now, but that's honestly the first time I really have. I might see if I can notice it on the DVD next time I watch the film to see if I can notice them without going frame-by-frame. Smile
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Re: Star Wars

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:35 pm

I spotted it without going frame by frame somewhere in the 80's I think! The point is if Lucas was going to make a big song and dance about making an enhanced version that looks better than ever before (as he did of the DVD release) and doesn't even bother fixing technical issues left over from the 70's effects before adding in whole new routines, and he wants fans to pay yet again for the privelage, then its a bit of a cheek and its sloppy work. It should not take a dedicated fan to fix these things.

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Re: Star Wars

Post by Eldorion on Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:12 pm

Come on now Petty, be reasonable. You know he was too busy adding CGI dinosaurs that block the camera. Twisted Evil
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