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WIP: Star Wars > Animations

Star Wars Legacy Edition
A pet project of Mikes for a long time now. Mike like a lot of loyal Star Wars fans was disappointed with the "Special Editions". He has decided to make his own version changing some scenes around, and doing a lot of colorization work.

You can follow his progress on his website Star Wars Legacy Edition.

  1. Mike Verta (Author)
Update 1

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THE FOX LOGO 000001 -000270
"Which to use, I wonder."

Mike has exhaustingly gone back over every frame of EP IV and thoughtfully considered every situation. Even going so far as to repaint entire starfields to match the original. One dot at a time.

The original starfields were done by making pinholes in black lucite, backlighting it, and filming it. The result were much larger, more organic, and very distinctive stars. The effect in the theater was profound, as you were instantly transported into this vast sea of shimming stars - an effect which doesn't happen with anywhere near the same effectiveness in today's much smaller, CG starfields.

There's only one fix - repainting the entire starfield, star at a time, by hand.

This was truly maddening. I didn't take the time to count as I was doing the painting, but there were tons of stars at various sizes. It took two solid days, but in the end, it lines up star for star with the original plate. The plate seen at left includes the area seen in the pandown to Tatooine. Although the two plates seen here appear slightly different, that is the result of the over-brightening and scaling necessary to show up on this webpage. The source plates appear identical at full resolution, with the new plate obviously being sharper and free of artifacts.

In order to incorporate the new starfield, I will have to track the original scene, and then matte out the starfield." MIKE
Update 2

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One of the great things about Star Wars is that itís themes are so universal, that even 30 years later, the story doesnít feel dated. Iím concerned that the original FOX logo, which is in such bad condition on the print, will start the movie off on the wrong foot. The first sound in the picture is the Main Title theme, recorded in 1976, and thatís going to date the picture as it is. Perhaps using the pristine new Fox logo will help lighten the curse a little bit. I can always swap it out later, but for now, the new one stays.
Update 3

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Although I was able to create image-based mattes for the crawl, the planets, Tatooine and the Tantive IV, I had to rotoscope a new travelling matte for the star destroyer - bits of the new starfield would be visible through certain areas of the ship without it.
Update 4

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2004 DVD - Unretouched
Update 5

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The Definitive Edition Laserdisc
Update 6

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Legacy Edition Restoration
Update 7

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One thing Mike has found doing color corrections is there's a blue-tint to pretty much everything. This is a shot from the DVD to show this effect.
Update 8

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This is the corrected shot.
Update 9

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The other consistent problem Mike noticed was over-saturation.

"Look at the red graphics in the background. These are glowing WAY too brightly... and you can tell the fleshtones on the guy in foreground have been brought up with them - he looks like he fell asleep in the sun for 12 hours." MIKE
Update 10

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A lot of people think the Laserdisc version is the definitive version. There are consistent problems with it too. Alot of the same problems as with the DVD but the quality is much worse. Lots of over-saturation and extreme brightness values.

"I don't go 10 frames without checking the laserdiscs. In this case, the laserdisc image is overall much brighter (too bright and blown out, actually) and even THEN the graphics aren't nearly as boosted or saturated." MIKE
Update 11

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Here's my cleaned up image. Note the luminance values. If I pull the red back much more, it will take the fleshtones with it. This is a good compromise, I think, in that the graphics now stay consistent throughout the sequence. "Feels" a lot more like the "Definitive Edition," too, huh?
Update 12

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You'll have to peruse over Mike's restoration site and discuss it in his forum. He goes into great detail about color problems, tracking issues, Matte Painting lines, garbage mattes, etc. Very interesting read.

"This shot has always bothered me because of the obvious seams between the live set and the matte painting. I thought it was going to be a simple matte fix. I was wrong." MIKE

Check out his site to see the restoration process.
Site by Rogue Multimedia