241 (edited by ireactions 2022-06-28 20:00:21)

Re: Star Wars: Movies and Shows on Disney+ and More

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Because just having seen A New Hope, there's no indication from Leia that she's ever met Obi-Wan.

ireactions wrote:
  • Observation that Leia must have met Obi-Wan before A NEW HOPE to recognize and react to the name "Ben Kenobi"

  • Observation that it's odd that Leia would refer to Ben as having "served" in the Clone Wars instead of referring to Ben having rescued her years after the Clone Wars

  • Rationalization for subterfuge based on intergalactic politics so convoluted it takes FIVE PARAGRAPHS to explain it

While I think my explanation and the rationale of the show makes 'sense,' I would argue that in terms of quality -- it's not great that there's an apparent discrepancy between OBI-WAN KENOBI and A NEW HOPE that needs two hundred and fifty nine words from me to explain it.

I mean, who really remembers all the trivial dialogue from A NEW HOPE about Alderaan being a disarmed planet, Leia's cover story for the ROGUE ONE mission being a diplomatic mission, "Princess Leia" being a public front for her true identity as a Rebel commander, and the Emperor dissolving the Senate just after the Death Star is deployed?

Surely OBI-WAN should have built that exposition into its own scripts. ("Leia, you must be careful. Your parents' work -- his work with me -- it must be secret, even in the years to come. No one can know that your mother serves the Empire in public to enable your father to defy them in secret.") Slider_Quinn21 shouldn't need me to convince him that it works; OBI-WAN should do its own damn job.

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Another thought on OBI-WAN. Or rather, an expansion on previous thoughts.

People have criticized OBI-WAN, not unreasonably, for having characters running on obvious courses to obvious destinations. Obviously, Darth Vader can't kill Obi-Wan Kenobi in OBI-WAN KENOBI when it's set 10 years before A NEW HOPE.

But that scene in Episode II really hits hard when Ben is horrified to discover that Anakin Skywalker is still alive. That he really screwed up back in REVENGE OF THE SITH. And Episode III really impacted me, specifically the sequence where Darth Vader storms the village and Ben cowers behind a window grate. Then Ben flees if only to draw Vader away, Vader catches up to him, ignites his red lightsaber... and General Obi-Wan Kenobi, the master-warrior-defender of Naboo invasion, the hero of the Clone Wars... he runs away in terror.

Vader catches up to him, red lightsaber ready -- and Ben triggers his own lightsaber but holds it with all the swordsmanship that a child might have when brandishing an overly heavy flashlight. Ben is so obviously not even holding the lightsaber with the intention of putting up an actual fight; he's pretty certain this his his last moment of existence and he's just trying to illuminate the darkness to see what in holy hell Anakin Skywalker has become.

The name Obi-Wan Kenobi is a name of myth and legend. It summons to mind the resolute, determined Padawan of THE PHANTOM MENACE, the forceful and measured warrior of ATTACK OF THE CLONES and REVENGE OF THE SITH, the wise sage of A NEW HOPE who faced Darth Vader and death with humour, dignity and resolve. But Obi-Wan Kenobi is nowhere to be found in Episode III of his own show; instead, we get Ben and when Ben faces Darth Vader, Ben looks like he's about to wet himself.

Ewan McGregor's acting is really very good here.

This scene really speaks to me. Nobody feels like an adult. Nobody really thinks they have their act totally together. Even Obi-Wan Kenobi has had really bad periods in his life. It was not a straight line from hypercompetent police officer to semi-retired old man who still knows how to handle a laser sword.

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How does changing one's first name seemingly fool the galaxy?  Ben Kenobi.  KENOBI!!!!  A famous Jedi, the idiot never thought to change his last name?  LOL

I find this Vader to be quite lacking.  He's full of little more than rage, like the boss of a 1990's beat em up game.  The Vader of the OT is cunning, calculating, and rarely repeat RARELY has to use the Dark Side of the Force.  You mean to tell me 7 years and one spanking from Palpatine suddenly calms him down?  Come on.  The David Prowse Vader is in full command of his emotions.  Now I suppose one would argue that the mere mention of Obi-Wan turns him into Yosemite Sam, which is ridiculous.  The inquisitors in Rebels were far more cunning as well.  It's like everyone on these Disney+ Star Wars shows are total buffoons.  Granted there aren't many universities in this universe, but seriously?  Han Solo is practically Einstein compared to all of them.

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Nothing wrong with disliking OBI-WAN. The reviews, as I said, were average to poor. However. It's unfair to mock OBI-WAN for Ben not changing his last name. That is a plothole created by A NEW HOPE and REVENGE OF THE SITH, neither of which were OBI-WAN or produced by OBI-WAN's team.

Bringing up a 2005 complaint about a 2005 movie but turning it to a 2022 production is an odd choice in delayed targeting.

Also, A NEW HOPE was written in the pre-internet era when personal records and social media data weren't so readily available; you couldn't imagine Googling Kenobi in 1977. The internet still doesn't appear to be a thing even by the time of RISE OF SKYWALKER.

As for Darth Vader, he is is Palpatine's slave, forever plotting Palpatine's overthrow, seething with hatred. In A NEW HOPE, Vader tried to choke a subordinate to death and was constantly lashing out at the Rebel soldiers. And rather than command some fighter pilots, he got into a TIE Fighter himself to be hands on.  In EMPIRE, Vader wanted Luke to help him kill the emperor; Vader is a deeply disgruntled employee. And in EMPIRE, Vader repeatedly executes personnel in fits of rage.

Darth Vader is the antithesis of self-control. Any indication of 'control' is the suit keeping him alive, not the burn patient trapped inside it. Darth Vader is the poster child for anger management issues and is ridiculously theatrical.
Watch EMPIRE and ask yourself how much advance planning and rehearsal Vader had to do to plan the scene where Han walks into a dining room to find Vader waiting for him.

Again, there are legitimate and fair criticisms to be made of this show. I am certainly not the final arbiter of taste. I am seeing a lot of my own neuroses and insecurities in OBI-WAN, so it speaks to me. It may not speak to others.

If you think OBI-WAN looks cheap, that's not an unreasonable remark in light of Episodes 4 - 6 which use a simpler approach to Stagecraft settings (LED background, foreground 'exterior' dressing, blurriness and fog and darkness to merge the dividing lines). It's low-spectacle and low-drama and to some, it comes off as vacant, empty and dull and that's absolutely fair, just as it was absolutely fair for Slider_Quinn21 to dislike the Rey character (and I apologize for being so obnoxious about that).

But if you have a problem with Ben's alias, that's really not OBI-WAN KENOBI's fault; that problem was there long before a single page of OBI-WAN was typed and will remain long after we're all gone.

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Grizzlor wrote:

How does changing one's first name seemingly fool the galaxy?  Ben Kenobi.  KENOBI!!!!  A famous Jedi, the idiot never thought to change his last name?  LOL

Well, to be fair, I think there's some things you're not really thinking about.

1. I can't imagine that the Jedi are that famous outside of Coruscant.  Han Solo is well traveled and lived during the time of the Jedi during a time when he'd probably be pretty into that kind of stuff, and he's essentially never heard of them.  It's hard to tell if Luke has ever heard of them - he gets really excited when he hears "Rebellion" but doesn't bat an eye when Ben says "Jedi."  Ben has to explain who the Jedi were and what a lightsaber is.  There are Imperial officers on the Death Star that refer to the Force as an "ancient religion"

My guess is that the Jedi were really well known on Coruscant but worked essentially in secret everywhere else.  People might know the Jedi by name as some sort of galactic police force but think they're basically just new age cops who think they have magic powers.

So I'd be shocked if anyone on Tattooine knew who the Jedi were, and they certainly wouldn't know the names of specific Jedi.  We know about Obi-Wan's name and we follow his story, but I don't see how he'd be famous.

2. Tattooine is essentially the middle of nowhere, and it's a place Vader would never go.  As far as I'm aware, at least in Disney canon, he never goes back after Attack of the Clones.  He always sends someone else.  So Obi-Wan could work at the spaceport in Mos Eisley with a big sign saying "Obi-Wan Kenobi, Former Jedi" on it, and Vader would never find him.  Tattooine is a blind spot.

3. Kenobi could be a really common name.  And as ireactions said, the guy is a shell of his former self.  Even if the people of Tattooine knew who the Jedi were and even if they knew who Obi-Wan was, and even if they found out some how, some might not believe it.  It'd be like finding out that Michael Jordan lived down the street from you.  First off, you might not immediately consider that it's the same guy - plenty of guys are named Michael Jordan.  Second, if he weighed 250 pounds and rode around in a wheelchair, you might not think it was him even if you got a good look at his face.

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I understand why Grizzlor would note all the absurdities of the STAR WARS universe. We all have different thresholds for suspension of disbelief. However, I have to point out: STAR WARS is a fictional universe created in 1971 and released in 1977. OBI-WAN is set in this 1971-1977 derived world.

George Lucas wrote STAR WARS in 1971 when communication across distances was done by postal lettermail. Long distance phonecalls. Teletype machines. STAR WARS presents a spacefaring, AI-producing, laser blaster firing society that has no galaxy-wide internet, just as 1971 had no planet-wide internet.

In the STAR WARS universe, long distance communication is only in terms of wireless voice transmission and fuzzy video. This limited infrastructure doesn't allow bulk data transfer, hence Death Star plans being sent by datatape and droid. R2D2 can't wirelessly connect to computers, he has to physically plug in. This is 1971 - 1977 technical limitations scaled to a space opera scale, but the limitations still stand even if the distance covered is interstellar rather than global.

In 1971 - 1977 America, General Obi-Wan Kenobi could complete his discharge papers, leave his home town of Chicago, move to Madrid, New Mexico, change his first name to Ben, and never be found again. There'd be no decentralized, accessible-from-anywhere computer network of government ID or credit history or social media or facial recognition databases to track him. And in this 1971-conceived interstellar society, Darth Vader can send all the Obi-Wan Kenobi wanted posters he can print, but the Imperial postal service doesn't get to Tatooine. This galaxy is still operating on the galaxy equivalent of snail mail.

STAR WARS is always going to ask you to pretend that it is 1971-1984 while you watch it. And period pieces aren't for everyone.

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ireactions wrote:

I understand why Grizzlor would note all the absurdities of the STAR WARS universe. We all have different thresholds for suspension of disbelief. However, I have to point out: STAR WARS is a fictional universe created in 1971 and released in 1977. OBI-WAN is set in this 1971-1977 derived world.

And this is a funny separation between Star Wars and Star Trek.  Star Trek came out even earlier, but Roddenberry at least tried to think forward in terms of technology.  Some of it was out of necessity (like the transporter), but at least there seems to be an effort made to accommodate advanced technology.  Like Disney, he hilariously undershot, but to be fair, TNG hilariously undershot again decades later.  I'm sure Discovery and Picard and Strange New Worlds and the Orville will hilariously undershoot.

But it doesn't seem like Lucas even tried.  Because you're right, it's just the 70s with spaceships and laser weapons.

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Star Wars isn't set in our future (or any future) so it's just a matter of technology progressing differently in that distant galaxy.

It's easy to forgive Roddenberry for undershooting.  The best minds of the 60's envisioned a computer powerful enough to manage the moon landing that could fit in a single room.  The notion that the average person would be carrying one that powerful around in their pocket every day would have seemed ludicrous to even the most optimistic futurist.

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Well, Trek itself is the reason for some of the undershooting.  Whether it's a flip phone communicator or a PADD / iPad, we've used Trek as an inspiration.

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In 1971, George Lucas couldn't imagine what steps would exist after the telephone, civilian band radio, and fax machines that would take us to spaceships and laser blasters. In 2022, it's hard to imagine that an interstellar civilization could have built a spacefaring, galaxy-wide Republic or Empire without wireless data transmission to coordinate construction, resources, supplies, transportation, etc.. But STAR WARS is using space opera equivalents of landlines, radio and fax.

If one had to rationalize it based on the Original Trilogy alone, the explanation might be that there was once a STAR TREK-level of technological achievement that was society wide, but then some devastating, apocalyptic war reduced everyone to using only what scraps remained of the previous generation. Perhaps that series of Clone Wars that Luke refers to. But the prequels dismissed that notion.

STAR WARS was imagined as a legally-dissimilar FLASH GORDON. It was meant to be a science fiction technological universe. But the Force, in addition to making STAR WARS safe from copyright infringement by disassociating from FLASH GORDON, repositioned STAR WARS as a mystical fantasy universe.

George Lucas was not faithful to STAR WARS as (techo)mystical fantasy, introducing midichlorians as a pseudoscientific explanation for the Force, emphasizing machines over magic. He didn't really think through the mythology of his universe; he just focused on the cool visual moment and then the next one after that. The cool visual moment was generally driven by machines (pod races, hoverboards).

But I think a lot of the oddities of STAR WARS from inconsistent technological development to droids would make a lot more sense if it were technomystical like, say, the videogame FINAL FANTASY VII.

In FF7, all the technology of FF7 draws on the "Lifestream", a river of spiritual and metaphysical energy that is the Lifeforce of the planet which people with the right talent can tap into to perform superhuman feats. The Lifestream can also be exploited by technology with FF7's machines, weapons, power plants drawing on Lifestream.

It might make sense to someday reveal that STAR WARS technology is powered by the Force. It would explain a lot. For example: why do the droids have personalities? What computer programmer would create a machine to do a task, but then give that machine fear, reluctance, hesitation and all the emotions that prevent C3PO from doing his job?

Why would a computer programmer take the time to create an artificial intelligence that can experience fear; wouldn't the task of programming a droid to translate or hack computers or fight intruders be enough work?

It could be explained that all machines in STAR WARS draw on Force energy, a living, collective entity and each droid is a unique expression of the life of the Force; droids are lifeforce in a mechanical body. The specific 'magic' of the Force could then be tailored to whatever limitations are needed to maintain a recognizable version of the STAR WARS universe.

Why isn't there galaxy-wide data transmission? Because communications tech that uses Force energy generates electromagnetic interference with engineers being blind to the Force as a psychic and telepathic power. Do people in the STAR WARS universe recognize that all their fuel and power is actually different forms of the Force and that their use of it strictly in terms of physical fuel is self-limiting?

My guess is there's an underlying zero point energy technology in STAR WARS that few understand, all of it copied or replicated from an original source blueprint, the origins of which are lost and long forgotten, and because all power sources in the STAR WARS universe are copies of copies of copies, the technology that makes it to remote places like Tatooine and Jakku is the bottom of the barrel.

That's my fan theory. But as for why the Jedi are government appointees known to the public in THE PHANTOM MENACE but urban legends dismissed by Han Solo in A NEW HOPE... well, I like Slider_Quinn21's theory that the Jedi were not well-known outside of the galactic capital.

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I was rewatching STAR WARS Despecialized on my 55 inch 4K TV. The TV was big when I bought it, now it's average. The Despecialized Edition by Petr Harmacek was great when first released in 2011, removing all the special edition changes, but it doesn't work as well on bigger, higher resolutions. The video quality keeps jumping back and forth from strong 720p quality to poor 480p quality that's been stretched to 720p.

The issue: Harmacek started with the HD blu-rays and the below-SD DVDs. The sub-SD-DVDs are unaltered, but they were released in a resolution that's only 640x480, so the video actually exists in 640x270 pixels instead of the full 720x480 of a DVD.

Harmacek rebuilt a cut of the original version with the blu-ray versions and reversed the odd colour alterations made to it, using a 16mm film scan as reference. Harmacek then intricately transferred the unaltered effect shots from the DVD version onto the blu-ray version. This means that entire shots or rotoscoped portions of shots are stretched, sub-standard definition effects on top of the HD shot.

Over time, Harmacek made a lot of improvements: he and other fan collectors and restorationists located scans of the original matte paintings as well as original 16mm, 35mm and 70mm negative prints of the original films. Harmacek was able to a good chunk of the DVD-sourced SD effects with HD scans.

However, these scans, done on second generation film prints that weren't well stored, are only a small upgrade from the fuzzy subSD-DVD effects; they're still not entirely matched to the underlying blu-ray quality.

Watched on a 1080p TV in the 32 - 40 inch range, the despecialized STAR WARS looked fantastic to me. The mismatches weren't really very glaring and if you're caught up in the film, it doesn't matter. But watching it on a bigger and higher-resolution TV, the despecialized versions are really distracting in how the film quality jumps from sharp blu-ray to fuzzier digital scans of old film.

I think the despecialized fan restorationist stuff was great from 2011 - 2021, but now, it's time Disney did its job and released the unaltered original trilogy. I suspect that George Lucas destroyed the original film masters that would allow Disney to rescan and rebuild each shot and each scene in a true remastering; I've read that the only master film negatives available with all the complete effects is the SPECIAL EDITIONS.

However, Disney has plenty of options: they can AI-upscale the unaltered, low-res DVD release of 2006. They can secure a theatrical print of the film, clean it up physically, scan it at 8K, and then subject it to AI-cleanup for dirt and lines and scanning issues. Given their resources, this shouldn't take more than a week for an AI-upscale of the 2006 DVDs or a year for a new scan.

Footnote: The blu-ray/special edition of EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is fine. The additions were so minimal. The light level conversion isn't great, but given the 1080p detail, it's acceptable.

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I'm looking at a 4K scan of a 1977 theatrical print of STAR WARS. This was done by the fan restorationist team called team negative 1.

The print has been cleaned and run through a variety of filters to reduce the flicker and lines and flashes. Some scenes look incredibly sharp and crisp.


Some are so muddy and grainy that it goes beyond normal film grain. This looks like it's because many shots had multiple layers of film to add in special effects and composite shots which would either double or triple the amount of grain.


There's definitely a bit of work for Disney to do after scanning a theatrical print if the original negative has been destroyed, but STAR WARS from theatrical prints is a viable path to a 4K release of the unaltered versions.

Likely, an AI process can run through all this grain to render it into proper 4K detail. This 35mm image was meant to be cast through a projector, a form of theatrical presentation that softens the look of grain. On backlit displays, that grain looks like static.

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I am running the scan of this 35mm theatrical print from team negative 1 through Topaz. I did, however, reduce the 4K video to 1080p so that my computer could handle it. I set Topaz it to mine all the noise for detail; it doesn't blur, but it will smooth. To avoid the waxy look, I have Topaz adding a modest amount of post-upscale grain. The computer says it'll need five days to finish the job.

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Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I watched A New Hope for the first time in a long time this weekend.  It really holds up.

But since I'm also watching Obi-Wan, I was struck by how he acted.  Other than using the Jedi Mind Trick, Obi-Wan almost never uses the force.  Heck, almost no one uses the Force in the way we think about it now.  It's funny how much the Force evolved from what it is in Episode IV.

And I still think the lightsaber fight between Vader and Obi-Wan is just so awkward.  Alec Guinness looks so scared and defenseless.  I don't know if it needs to look like the refilmed version that a fan did not too long ago, but it would be nice for the fight to not look like two old men hacking at each other.  I know that most of the lightsaber fights in the Original Trilogy look like that, but Episode IV is especially bad.

I wonder if the endless cleanup of STAR WARS for blu-ray, polishing every single image to a low brightness, high contrast sheen is not helpful in this instance. STAR WARS on 4K looks too crisp for a 1977 movie, it has too many shots that look like it was filmed in 2007 and then when the limitations of 1977 arise, it's awkward.

I wonder how it'd have looked to Slider_Quinn21 if the image on Disney+ weren't so pristine but truer to the original presentation, looking like this:


The light levels aren't relentlessly refined; the grain patterns are present. It looks fine on a 4K TV, but it also looks like a product of 1977 and it doesn't raise expectations that can't be met.

My cleanup isn't going to remove the grain, just remove the sense of static being baked into the picture and make it so that the grain level is consistent throughout instead of going back and forth from thick to thin.

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Watching digital scans of 35mm film prints of STAR WARS and EMPIRE. It's interesting. These true-to-1977 and 1980 versions of STAR WARS and EMPIRE generally look quite good and nicely saturated with lifelike, natural colour as opposed to overenriched, Michael Bay style colour.

However, the Tatooine desert scenes in STAR WARS and the Cloud City scenes with bright light in EMPIRE all look a little washed out and overexposed at times.

It doesn't seem to be an 'error'; this is how the movies looked in the theatre. It seems to reflect how a film camera in the late 70s was not equipped to fully film desert sunlight and the desert scenes are constantly on the verge of overexposure with a chemical process dimming the image and therefore turning brown sand into faded yellow.

It reflects how STAR WARS was an exercise in desperation: an unsupportive studio, a budget that struggled against technological limits, four different kinds of film used throughout (which explains why the graininess jumps from thick to thin from shot to shot). It looks like a 1977 film.

EMPIRE benefitted from some modest advances in colour and film processing. But there are a few borderline overexposed shots now and then. When Leia and Han are Cloud City, the windows behind them are almost completely blown out in whites.

These shots are actually effective in establishing that these films were made under the limitations of the era. And when the lightsaber fights aren't acrobatic exercises, when the spaceships look like repurposed model kits of battleships from toy stores, when matte paintings look more like ink than steel and concrete, when aliens look more like costumes than flesh and fur, when matte lines are visible -- it's fine when surrounded by other era-specific limitations.

I think it's worth it to remaster movies for presentation on backlit TVs instead of cathode ray tubes or projectors aimed at screens, but ever since 1997, George Lucas was trying to make late 70s and early 80s movies look like they were shot on digital cameras. And it didn't work because while the image might look more modern and have CGI pressed on top of it, the content was ultimately restricted by what was possible in 1977 and 1980.

Slider_Quinn21, quite reasonably, criticizes STAR TREK for being stuck in the past of the 23rd century. STAR WARS seemed to get stuck for a long time too in endless re-releases and with fan editors now trying to put everything back the it was in 1977 and 1980.

(There was an unfaded theatrical print of RETURN OF THE JEDI that Team Negative 1 located and scanned, and aside from their usual work in cleaning and reducing accumulated grain, they didn't have to do very much restoration to get it looking bright and sharp.)

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There's another fan reconstruction of the original trilogy: the D+77, D+80 and D+83 series. The D+ fan editor took the Disney 4K versions of the movies and also acquired 4K scans of the 35mm film (a theatrical print) with the special effects sequences. This editor removed the special edition additions and put the original footage back in place.

I didn't watch the RETURN version because the 4K83 project found such a great print of the film that it doesn't really need any more reconstruction projects. I did check out the STAR WARS and EMPIRE D+ reconstructions.

The D+ reconstruction uses the 2020 4K blu-ray so the picture quality is extremely crisp and sharp with excellent saturation throughout (but relit to be closer to the original theatrical presentation). RussianCabbieLotteryFan would approve of the colour and lighting.

But then we have the 4K scans of the 35mm film for the special effects sequences and it does not look 4K. It looks like 720p stretched to 4K because the 4K scan is made from a semi-degraded theatrical print whereas the blu-ray is a 4K scan of the master negatives. The 35mm film sequences have a muddy, flickery quality. Even if you ran this reconstruction through Topaz to get the grain consistent, the sharpness wouldn't be consistent. The grain would be normalized, but the image would persist in going from razor sharp 4K blu-ray footage to muddy or smeared 35mm print material.

When Ben and Luke speed into Mos Eisley, D+77 retains the blu-ray landspeeder footage so the shot is sharp and the original Vaseline smeared on the lens to create the hovercraft effect is absent. But we get into Mos Eisley and suddenly, the shots are fuzzier. The Millennium Falcon descends towards Cloud City looking crisp, but D+80 replaces the CG Cloud City shots with the 35mm matte paintings and practical Falcon model, and suddenly, the movie becomes flickery with large grains.

I think it is preferable to go with the 4K77 scan of a 35mm film print of the 1977 STAR WARS where. Even after AI grain-to-pixel conversion, it isn't as sharp as the D+ reconstruction, but it's consistent and you get used to it. I haven't seen the full rescan of 4K80 yet (the fan editors are still cleaning and colour correcting it), but I would expect it to, like 4K77, be consistent in its flaws where a reconstruction will always have a quality gap between the baseline footage and the footage being stitched back in.

Curiously, another path to consistency for EMPIRE is to run the 720p Despecialized version through Topaz and bring it to 1080p. The AI upscale will smooth out mismatches between the 720p and 480p-approximate footage (the scans of 35mm film with an older, lower-res scanning process). There isn't as much of a gap between mildly fuzzy 720p video and fuzzy 480p video. Topaz can make the inconsistency consistent and the Despecialized EMPIRE after Topaz AI cleanup will look... actually a lot like the 35mm print of STAR WARS after a Topaz AI cleanup.

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Slider_Quinn21 wondered why Leia in A NEW HOPE didn't mention her adventures with Ben Kenobi in OBI-WAN KENOBI. Why does Leia's message to Ben say, "Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars"? Why doesn't her message instead say something more relevant to herself and Ben, something like, "Years ago, you saved me when I was kidnapped by Imperial Inquisitors?" I offered a long, convoluted explanation about the geopolitical alliances and covert conflicts of the STAR WARS universe that I nearly fell asleep writing.

But recently, I found a simpler explanation. Apparently, A NEW HOPE has a deleted and extended scene of Leia recording her voicemail for Ben.

Deleted Leia Dialogue from STAR WARS 1977:

Ben Kenobi. Years ago, I was kidnapped by Imperial Inquisitors and you mounted a haphazard rescue that nearly got me killed on seven separate occasions because you could barely use your Force powers and shit your pants at the sight of Darth Vader.

Then you sent me home on a freighter while you abandoned ship for a suicide mission that you survived through what I can only assume was luck.

After which you visited me on my planet and instructed me to never describe your catastrophic ineptitude to anyone.

I suspect your competence has only diminished in the decade since.

However, I have vital intelligence for the war effort. And my ship has been attacked while passing your wasteland planet.

I need this astromech droid delivered to my father on Alderaan and you are, to my dismay, the only person I know within a light year.

Given your abysmal performance before, I think it likely you'll die failing in this mission. You are not my first choice. And yet, I must ask you to help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You are my last hope. Also my only hope, there is literally no one else, I couldn't find Jar-Jar Binks' comm number and I think he moved.

R2D2, erase message. I'm taking a breath, I'm taking a breath, I'll speak to his glory days. R2D2, record second draft:

General Kenobi. Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars...

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Hahah, that's funny.

I do wonder if we'll see more adaptations of dialogue in A New Hope to match what we know of Rogue One, Obi-Wan, and the prequels.  It probably wouldn't take much to alter Leia's message or Vader's dialogue.

I don't know if they should, but I don't know if it would be any more of a change than any of the other things George has changed.

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On the subject of changes... can Disney release the Original Trilogy in 4K without all the Special Edition changes? Is it physically possible at this point? It unfortunately won't be as simple as rescanning the masters.

I just finished some upscaling work on STAR WARS (fan-made 4K77 version) and EMPIRE (fan-made Despecialized version). The 4K77 version of STAR WARS was a 4K scan of a 35mm film print meant for theatre projection. It definitely didn't have 4K-level detail because a projection print is at least two generations removed from the original master negatives and the original is covered in mismatched levels of grain that change from shot to shot due to the mutiple layers of film to create effects.

After downscaling it to 1080p and running it through Topaz AI's grain-to-pixel algorithm, the film now has consistent grain across all shots and within that 4K scan was a 1080p level of detail. Some of the more heavily grainy scenes, after the cleanup, have a slight flickery quality. It looks like a well-presented 1977 film in 1080p.

The Despecialized EMPIRE was a 720p project combining 1080p blu-ray content with 35mm film scans for the original effects footage that looked grainy and blurry amidst the sharp blu-ray footage. But with Topaz AI upscaling it to 1080p, the sharpness and grain levels have all been levelled out; the film no longer looks mismatched. There will be a 4K80 fan release of a scanned 35mm theatrical print eventually and I imagine it'll look a little sharper than what I have here, and be a 1080p level release in a 4K file.

RETURN OF THE JEDI has a 4K scan of a 35mm release print that was fade-free and only needed to be cleaned of dirt and scratches after the scan. However, some scratches and dirt remain (although it isn't distracting). It doesn't look like a 4K level of detail to me; still it's 1080p quality.

I think Disney could get a 1080p release through scanning theatrical release prints for cleanup, but not 4K. They could definitely do a better job than fans at cleaning up scratches and dirt since they have entire facilities for that.

I suspect that George Lucas destroyed any master negatives of the Original Trilogy that contain the theatrical releases, meaning Disney can't simply rescan those in 4K.

I would like to think that Disney has all the original film elements, however, meaning that all the composite shots (locations, effects, lightsabers) could be recreated from the raw film recordings and then reassembled into a matching cut. They could scan the Special Edition masters, remove the CG scenes, and replace them with recompiled versions of the original effects footage made from the raw elements.

Alternatively, they could take any of the missing effects footage 35mm release prints, clean up the film stock, scan it and then perform AI upscaling to get it closer to a 4K presentation (although it'll still look less than 4K, just without the blocky blurriness of a stretched-to-4K image). As effects footage in motion, it might be close enough to not be distracting.

I suppose Disney could do what fan editors have done: scan 35mm prints in 4K, choose the best video quality shots and scenes from each of them (the prints are all of differing quality), reassemble the theatrical cuts, do cleanup of scratches and dirt, do colour correction based on 16mm fade-free prints and then use AI upscaling to clean up and sharpen the 4K resolution image to have a 4K-approximating level of clarity. It still won't be 4K detail, but it won't have the mild blurriness of a 1080p image being displayed at double its true size.

Disney might even pay the fan editors for their fan-created digital scans of release prints. Disney could then do AI upscaling on those scans to get them closer to 4K. Disney would have more time and graphics processing power to spend on each scene. It could pass for 4K.

Passing for 4K without being entirely there might be a good option, however. If the image quality is too modern, then the 1977 limitations of the image content can seem incongruous. If the image is always slightly less sharp than a movie that was released last week, then it's clear throughout that is a piece of art from a bygone era.