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Star Wars Baby Boom coming soon!

 

Gold Member
Username: Thx_3417

Post Number: 1450
Registered: May-05
Star Wars Baby Boom coming soon!

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'Star Wars' goes back to basics

By Mike Snider, USA TODAY
Die-hard Star Wars fans soon can see the original theatrical versions of the first three Star Wars films on DVD.

Even though George Lucas adamantly declared 2004's digitally restored Star Wars Trilogy DVDs the definitive versions of his movies, fans have held out hope for DVDs of the originals.

Their wishes will be granted Sept. 12 when Fox releases new two-disc DVDs ($30 each) of Star Wars (since retitled as Episode IV: A New Hope), The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi that include the films as they first appeared in theaters, along with the new, restored versions (now available in the four-disc $70 Star Wars Trilogy).

The individual DVDs will be taken off the market on Dec. 31, a strategy that Disney uses on many of its classic releases.

Lucas re-released his original three Star Wars films in theaters in 1997 with inserted scenes and improved special effects. Those "special editions" were further enhanced for the four-disc DVD set. With the original versions coming to DVD, here's what you'll see again:

• In Star Wars, Han Solo shoots a bounty hunter named Greedo. Lucas changed the scene later so it seemed that Greedo draws first, and changed it again for the DVD so that they appear to shoot simultaneously.

• In Empire Strikes Back, the ice creature that captures Luke Skywalker gets less screen time.
• In Jedi, Sebastian Shaw returns as Anakin in the movie's final scene. Lucas substituted Hayden Christiansen, who plays Anakin in the more recent films, for the 2004 DVD.

Back in 2004, Lucas told the New York Post, "The special edition is the one I wanted out there."
This new set of DVDs does not constitute "George changing his mind," says Lucasfilm's Jim Ward. "What we've always said is George viewed the revised versions of the films as the definitive versions."

Fan attachment to the originals is strong. The movies topped entertainment website IGN.com's recent chart of Top 25 Most Wanted DVDs.

"People want the option of having the movies that they remember and people are opposed to George Lucas' revisionist tendencies," says the site's Chris Carle.

The original films' video quality will not match up to that of the restored versions. "It is state of the art, as of 1993, and that's not as good as state of the art 2006," Ward says.
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Gold Member
Username: Thx_3417

Post Number: 1451
Registered: May-05
Wow, "Star Wars" and the "Baby Boom" track, now that's what I'm talking about, only two films out that same year "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Star Wars" with the "Baby Boom" track! Yeah I'll be picking this one up, indispensable!

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The engrossing "Empire Of Dreams" documentary included on the "Star Wars Trilogy" DVD bonus disc offers a portrait of George Lucas as a maverick, independent filmmaker, and covers the production, release, and afterlife of "Star Wars." While the opening of the movie initially in only a handful of theatres is represented, curiously, the documentary fails to explore in detail the influence the film had on production and exhibition technology, namely the use of and eventual industry-wide adoption of Dolby Stereo sound. "Star Wars," it can be argued, has influenced the motion picture industry and a generation of moviegoers more so than any other single motion picture.


Perhaps the lack of coverage in "Empire Of Dreams" is due to the filmmakers' desire to avoid addressing the controversy and confusion that has existed regarding the presentation type audiences experienced in the opening weeks of release. Numerous books, articles and fan recollections have attributed "Star Wars" as having an exclusive opening in the Dolby Stereo process (Dolby System, as it was then known). Other claims have included "Star Wars" being the first film ever released in Dolby Stereo, or that all of the initial prints of the film were in the 70-millimeter wide gauge format. None of the claims are correct, though by extensively researching the subject it becomes clear how one could be misled

"Star Wars" was indeed released in Dolby Stereo, but was not the first film to utilize the then-fledgling technology. A few films prior to "Star Wars" were released in various forms of Dolby Stereo on a limited or test engagement basis. Examples include "Tommy" (1975), "Nashville" (1975), "Lisztomania" (1975), "Logan's Run" (1976), and "A Star Is Born" (1976). "Star Wars" was the first attempt at a wide release in the Dolby Stereo format in the sense that all of the prints put into circulation in the initial wave were Dolby-encoded. All of the prints, however, were not necessarily decoded during playback using Dolby equipment; in other words, the initial mono presentations were Dolby prints played in mono. It appears that the distributor sought to book "Star Wars," at the filmmakers' urging, in as many theatres as possible willing to install Dolby sound systems. The number of suitably-equipped venues, however, fell short of the total number of prints initially put into circulation. As for release prints in the deluxe (and expensive) 70mm format -- with its superior projection quality and exquisite six-track magnetic audio -- they were kept to a minimum.

But I Swear I Saw 'Star Wars' In 70mm



42
70mm Dolby Baby Boom
6-track A-type Dolby NR, Baby Boom tracks 2 & 4

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Many technology-savvy and quality-conscious moviegoers may have a distinct recollection of attending a 70mm (blow-up) presentation of "Star Wars." However, in looking over the list of original engagements some may be surprised to find that only eight 70mm engagements are noted, and that they were limited to theatres in the Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco markets. Ah, but some of you are positive you saw a 70mm showing at a big, famous theatre in Washington, D.C., or Dallas, or Chicago, or Detroit, or even Honolulu. Well, you did... but not during the film's opening weekend!

Throughout the summer and fall of 1977, as "Star Wars" continued to perform beyond expectations, Fox ordered several new 70mm prints, and many theatres were provided with a large-format print. By Christmas 1977

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When people fondly recall the soundtrack experience of "Star Wars" -- the rumble of the Imperial Cruiser in the classic opening scene... the squeaks and chirps of R2-D2... the hum of the lightsabers... the roar of the TIE Fighters... the Millennium Falcon's escape from the Mos Eisley spaceport and jump to hyperspace... the unforgettable John Williams music score... the climactic explosion of the Death Star... -- it is likely that one's memory is based upon having attended a 70mm Six-Track Dolby Stereo presentation, with its easily apparent superiority over conventional 35mm stereo and monaural presentations. While all things "digital" are commonplace today, back then 70mm was the Rolls-Royce of the movies.



As a result of the impact of "Star Wars," the number of theatres equipped for stereo sound increased significantly, as did the number of films being mixed for stereo playback. Counting those initial theatres that installed Dolby for their "Star Wars" engagement, the number of Dolby-equipped theatres in the world by the end of May 1977 was fewer than 50. By the following year, when the film was retired from release, the number of equipped venues topped 700. As for films available with Dolby-encoded soundtracks, the number doubled in 1978 compared with the previous year and would continue to increase each year. As well, the 70mm format, which thrived during the 1950s and '60s, enjoyed a renaissance of sorts with many event movies being released in the magnetic six-track format on 70mm prints for selected theatres as well as in optical Dolby on conventional 35mm prints compatible in all movie theatres throughout the world.

Now You Hear It, Now You Don't

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Variations in the soundtrack presentations of "Star Wars" can be traced to the multiple mixes that were prepared to accommodate the different formats in which the movie would be released:



1) 35mm stereo (optical, two-track/four-channel)

2) 35mm stereo (magnetic, four-track)

3) 70mm stereo (magnetic, six-track)

4) 35mm mono (optical)

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The sound editing and re-recording team began by preparing a four-track master mix (Left-Center-Right-Surround) which would serve as the basis for both the 35mm and 70mm stereo versions. First, the master mix was dubbed to a matrix-encoded two-track Lt-Rt (Left total-Right total) printmaster for use in creating the 35mm Dolby Stereo prints. Then, the same four-track master, with some enhancements added, was used to create the six-track version. In comparison to the 35mm Dolby Stereo version, the Six-Track Dolby Stereo version during playback offered discrete channels, greater clarity, superior dynamic range, and two extra channels for special low-frequency enhancement, in what the Dolby folks affectionately called "baby boom." After completing the multichannel versions, the soundtrack crew created another English-language mix: a monaural mix. This would be included on prints destined for theatres not equipped with a stereophonic sound system and for versions prepared for ancillary markets. The mono prints were put into circulation upon the wide national break in June 1977.

Although the 35mm Dolby Stereo process is mono-compatible, at the time those involved with the new technology were, for both technical and aesthetic reasons, concerned about the effectiveness of mono playback from a stereo-encoded print. For similar reasons, a decision was made not to create the mono master by means of dubbing the stereo master and folding the multiple tracks into one. Instead, a new dedicated mono mix was created.


With each subsequent mix, the filmmakers seized opportunities to revise and enhance selected portions of the soundtrack where they had felt rushed or shortchanged creatively. Sound Designer Ben Burtt recalls: "Because we were always trying to make the film better and better and fix things that were not right, there were some sweetener tracks added; things like different C-3PO or Stormtrooper lines ['Close the blast doors'], additional sound effects, or some different ADR [the dialogue of Aunt Beru]." Knowing that multiple mixes were made containing subtle yet detectable differences help explain conflicting memories of moviegoers who remember hearing a certain sound effect or line of dialogue in one presentation but not in another.


It may be difficult to comprehend today as most major film releases on DVD sport a 5.1-channel digital soundtrack, but at the time, not knowing what the future would hold in terms of widespread adoption of multichannel sound in movie theatres and in homes, some members of the production felt the mono mix represented the definitive soundtrack of "Star Wars." They felt that the stereo version was a novelty that selected audiences would be treated to only during a brief theatrical run. "George put a lot of effort in that mono mix," Burtt remembers. "And he even said several times, 'Well, this is the real mix. This is the definitive mix of the film.' He paid more attention to it because he felt it was more important archivally."



Conclusion


No matter how often George Lucas waves his magic wand and makes changes to "Star Wars," for many, the memory of experiencing the magical space-fantasy in 1977 will never fade. Perhaps this explains the enduring appeal of the movie, despite the ongoing revisions made to it. This article was written to preserve those memories and to provide a history of the original release of the movie. Obi-Wan Kenobi was right: The Force will be with [us]...always

 

Silver Member
Username: Chitown

Post Number: 979
Registered: Apr-05
Fine and dandy, however this episode will still not answer these questions among many others that George Lucas decided to just leave out by back tracking on the story:

1) In Star Wars When Luke and the droids go to the cave where Obi-Wan lives, Obi-Wan says "I don't recall ever owning a droid" How can he not remembr R2 and C3PO?

2) In the Return of the Jedi, Leia says to Luke "Do you remember your mother?" He says "only that she was beautiful" etc. How could they in light of the revelation that their mom dies giving birth?

3) They still never explain why Obi-Wan disappears rather than die like all the other Jedi's do?

 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 2461
Registered: Dec-04
Aw nit and pick, Stof.
Can't you just stuff with popcorn and check reality at the door?
 

Silver Member
Username: Chitown

Post Number: 987
Registered: Apr-05
Dude, I can't.

Take away the story and all you've got is Buck Rogers.

 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 8015
Registered: Dec-03
Erin Gray was hot:-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 2573
Registered: Dec-04
Eebadeebadeeba..way to go Buck.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 2574
Registered: Dec-04
The Robot from the bad,bad 70's Buck Rogers.
Berny, yup!
 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 8026
Registered: Dec-03
yeah..Ziggy, if I remember correctly. What was the name of that guy that had a falcon face and feathers on his head?
 

Gold Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth,...

Post Number: 1472
Registered: May-05
You guys, "Buck Rogers" "Hawk" was that the name of the character?
 

Gold Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth,...

Post Number: 1473
Registered: May-05
THOM CHRISTOPHER played Hawk in the Buck Rogers TV serial.

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Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 923
Registered: Feb-04
Looks loke ole Thom accidently used some avian Rogaine.
 

Gold Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth,...

Post Number: 1475
Registered: May-05
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Looks loke ole Thom accidently used some avian Rogaine.
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LOL

Good one mate!
 

Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 927
Registered: Feb-04
Since we're off-topic here...
I just love Flash Gordon's spaceship.

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Those were the days.

 

Gold Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth,...

Post Number: 1531
Registered: May-05
Lucas what a crock lets send him to dagobah, where he can remain for the rest of his natural life, giving us a crocked Star Wars, DVD this September is a crime!

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