List of changes in Star Wars re-releases

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The following are partial lists of changes in Star Wars re-releases. The commercial success of Star Wars has given George Lucas the opportunity to alter his original trilogy, which is composed of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Many changes were motivated by George Lucas's desire to make the original films closer to his vision for them (although he directed only one of the films).

The new versions made heavy use of CGI technology and other new production techniques that emerged in the two decades after the original trilogy was produced. Other changes enhanced the cohesiveness of the films and eliminated continuity errors between the original trilogy and the three prequels (produced in the late 1990s and early 2000s). The changes are controversial, with opponents claiming that these changes detract from the character arc of the films and tend to be more distracting than expedient.

In a September 2004 CNN article, Lucas claimed that the original films were "25 to 30 percent" of what he intended. Despite this statement, the original films were massively popular and regarded as "groundbreaking", and many of his changes have met with lukewarm reception. Along with obvious changes to various scenes, the re-releases improved the visual and audio quality of the films.

Changes to Star Wars films after the theatrical release are not always limited to the original trilogy. In the release of The Phantom Menace DVD, two deleted portions were either partially or completely restored.

According to Lucasfilm, the 2004 Special Edition is the canonical version of the original trilogy, even though the original, unaltered theatrical editions were first released on DVD on September 12, 2006.


[edit] George Lucas on the special editions

There will only be one. And it won't be what I would call the "rough cut," it'll be the "final cut." The other one will be some sort of interesting artifact that people will look at and say, "There was an earlier draft of this." The same thing happens with plays and earlier drafts of books. In essence, films never get finished, they get abandoned. At some point, you're dragged off the picture kicking and screaming while somebody says, "Okay, it's done." That isn't really the way it should work. Occasionally, [you can] go back and get your cut of the video out there, which I did on both American Graffiti and THX 1138; that's the place where it will live forever. So what ends up being important in my mind is what the DVD version is going to look like, because that's what everybody is going to remember. The other versions will disappear. Even the 35 million tapes of Star Wars out there won't last more than 30 or 40 years. A hundred years from now, the only version of the movie that anyone will remember will be the DVD version [of the Special Edition], and you'll be able to project it on a 20' by 40' screen with perfect quality. I think it's the director's prerogative, not the studio's to go back and reinvent a movie.

"An Expanded Universe", American Cinematographer magazine, February 1997[1]

[edit] Re-releases

Here is a list of all re-releases.

[edit] VHS/Betamax/CED editions

These are pan and scan versions of the original theatrical releases of the original three films.

None of the original releases of Star Wars on VHS, Betamax, and RCA's CED contained the line uttered by C-3PO "The tractor beam is coupled to the main reactor in seven locations. A power loss at one of the terminals will allow the ship to leave." This line was not in the original Dolby Stereo mix, which was the soundtrack used on all early video releases. In 1985 Ben Burtt re-mixed the soundtrack and the line was heard for the first time on home video.

Due to technical and cost limitations, the CED editions of Star Wars are presented time-compressed (sped up by 3%) from its original 121-minute length to 118 minutes to fit one double-sided two-hour disc.

In the UK and throughout Europe, widescreen VHS versions of the original three films were released in 1991. An advert before the films explained how widescreen showed more of the picture. They were re-released in 1994 with different artwork and released a third time as THX versions in 1995.

The VHS reissue in 1995, which was the last available release of the Pre–Special Edition trilogy prior to the 2006 DVD release, utilized THX digital remastering to enhance the picture and sound quality on all three films.

[edit] Laserdisc editions

Due to technical limitations, most pan and scan versions of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back are presented time-compressed (sped up by 3%) from their respective 121- and 125-minute lengths to fit one double-sided 2-hour disc. Letterbox versions of the original theatrical releases of the original three films have also been released.

The initial 1989 North American widescreen release of Star Wars suffered from a shrinking aspect ratio. The master that was used was the Japanese subtitled Laserdisc, in which the image appeared higher in the screen to allow for subtitles. For the North American release, it was shifted down, and a black bar was put up to cover the unused parts. However, as the film progresses, the image creeps up on the screen moving underneath the top bar, causing the image to become increasingly wide. By the time the film reaches the Battle of Yavin scenes, the image has widened from 2.35:1 to 2.55:1. This problem was fixed in the 1992 re-issue of the disc. The original shrinking LD has the CBS/Fox logo on it, but the fixed edition has the newer "Fox Video" logo on the jacket. The C-3PO line about the tractor beam can be heard on this laserdisc.

In 1993, the Star Wars Trilogy: The Definitive Collection box set was released. This version featured the original trilogy on 9 CAV discs, widescreen transfers, THX remastering, audio commentary tracks, assorted bonus features, a copy of the hardcover book George Lucas: The Creative Impulse, and for Star Wars IV: A New Hope, a new surround sound audio mix created from elements of the 70 mm 6 track magnetic, 35 mm Dolby Stereo optical and 35 mm optical mono mixes.[2]

Initial versions of this box set were missing approximately 10 seconds from The Empire Strikes Back. Fox Video offered a replacement disc, and this mistake was corrected in later pressings.[3]

The final Laserdisc edition of the original trilogy was released in 1995, sourced from the 1993 masters.[4]

[edit] 1997 Special Editions (Theatrical, Laserdisc and VHS)

In 1997, Episodes IV, V, and VI were re-mastered and theatrically re-released as the "Special Editions". For the re-release, in addition to extensive clean-up and restoration work, Lucas also made a number of changes to the films in order to "finish the film the way it was meant to be" (as Lucas claimed in a September 2004 interview with the Associated Press).

Many of Lucas's changes for the Special Editions were cosmetic, generally adding special effects which were not originally possible. Other changes, however, are considered to have affected plot or character development. These changes, such as the change referred to by fans as "Han shot first", have proven to be controversial.[5][6]

[edit] 2004 DVD release

In 2004, in addition to an extremely extensive high-definition digital cleanup and restoration job by Lowry Digital Images, the original trilogy films were changed once again for their release on DVD on September 21, 2004. In these new versions of the films, a few changes which had been made for the 1997 Special Editions were removed and fresh changes were made to the films. With this release, Lucasfilm created a new high-definition master of the films, which will be used in future releases as well.

Two of the most notable of these new changes include new footage shot during the filming of Revenge of the Sith:

  • The first is that of Ian McDiarmid portraying Palpatine, which has been inserted into The Empire Strikes Back, replacing the original performance (voiced by actor Clive Revill and portrayed by an uncredited actress wearing a specially made mask, with chimpanzee eyes superimposed over her own) recorded for the film.
  • The other alteration was to a scene at the end of Episode VI, when the spirits of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Anakin Skywalker look upon the Rebels' celebration. Sebastian Shaw, the original actor who played Anakin in this scene, was replaced by new footage of Hayden Christensen, the actor who played Anakin in Episodes II and III. This act was confirmed by Lucasfilm itself in the featurette "Return of the Jedi: What has changed?", as seen on the official website to commemorate the 2006 DVD releases.

Although the vocals of Boba Fett were relatively minor to begin with, they were altered for the sake of consistency and continuity. The 2004 edition no longer has the original voice of Jason Wingreen but rather the voice of Temuera Morrison, as the prequel films fleshed out Boba as a clone of Jango Fett, portrayed by Morrison with his distinctive New Zealand accent.

In the DVD releases, the lightsaber blades were upgraded to look more like they do in the prequel trilogy, but they are still not quite near their quality. This is most evident in A New Hope, during Luke's training on the Falcon and Obi-Wan's fight with Vader.

[edit] 2005 re-release

In 2005, the 2004 Special Editions were again released on DVD; however, this time they were repackaged and sold as a three-disc set that did not include the bonus materials disc. This was done to provide a more affordable trilogy set. Labeled only as the "Star Wars Trilogy: Episode IV, V, VI" this set was also billed as a "Limited Edition". As of 2007, copies could still be found on many store shelves.

[edit] 2006 DVD release

On September 12, 2006, the original trilogy was re-released on DVD for a limited time (until December 31, 2006), though, as of April 2009, copies can still be found in stores. Each film (Episodes IV, V, and VI) is packaged as a two-disc set with the first disc presenting the 2004 Special Edition with remastered THX sound and video and the second disc containing the "original, unaltered theatrical release" of each film as bonus material.

These original editions are said to be presented as they were first shown theatrically. For example, Star Wars has the 1977 opening crawl (before "Episode IV: A New Hope" was added and other adjustments made for the April 10, 1981 re-issue). However, the video transfer is derived not from original masters, but from the 1993 Laserdisc transfer (aside from the original Episode IV opening scroll taken from a best available original 1977 print), meaning that the film's 2.35:1 Panavision format is letterboxed into a non-anamorphic 4:3 video frame (appearing that way even on widescreen televisions.)[7][8]

Also, instead of using the original sound mixes from the initial theatrical releases, the 'bonus' DVD presentations use the 1993 laserdisc remixes (presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo). However, the Spanish and French audio tracks on the Star Wars DVD appear to be based on the original theatrical mono sound mix for the film (originally the most widely-heard original theatrical sound mix in 1977, now a rarity), not the Definitive Collection version. Certain sound effects from the 1993 mix are missing (such as all of the "exploding glass" sounds when Luke and Han blast the various cameras and such in the Death Star's detention center), and certain sounds have been added (such as metallic clicks when R2-D2 and Chewbacca press buttons on the Millennium Falcon's holographic chessboard). Luke Skywalker also says "Blast it, Wedge, where are you?" during the final battle on the alternate language tracks, something he only said in the theatrical mono mix. In all other versions of the film, he says, "Blast it, Biggs, where are you?"

The French and Spanish audio tracks for The Empire Strikes Back 2006 DVD also feature a different sound mix (apparently based on the initial 70 mm mix from 1980) than the 1993 Definitive Collection mix. This alternate mix features additional sounds that were not heard on the 35 mm and subsequent home video versions, but which were later reincorporated into the 1997 and 2004 mixes. Such sounds include additional R2-D2 beeps when Yoda rummages through Luke's supplies, which are missing from prior mixes, and additional TIE fighter engine sounds in the establishing shot of Darth Vader's Star Destroyer (after Luke Skywalker beheads the illusory Vader on Dagobah), which are missing from the prior 35 mm/home video sound mixes.

This set was dubbed a "Limited Edition", with the original "unaltered" movies being included as a second "bonus disc", and the "default" movie was the 2004 edition. As of today, copies can still be found on most store shelves. The only extras included on the "Bonus Disc" were an Xbox demo of Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy and a trailer for the game. Each movie disc had identical bonus content.

A box set of the 2006 DVDs with new artwork was released on November 4, 2008.[9]

[edit] 2007 3-D edition

At a ShoWest convention in 2005, George Lucas demonstrated new technology and stated that he is planning to release all six films in a new 3-D film format, beginning with either A New Hope or The Phantom Menace in 2007. In January 2007,'s Questions & Answers section stated that Lucasfilm was busy with other upcoming media such as the Star Wars live-action TV series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and media related to the 30th anniversary of Star Wars.[10] Thus the release was postponed indefinitely.

[edit] High Definition edition

It has been widely rumored that Lucasfilm plans on re-releasing the 6-film saga in Blu-ray Disc format with many new features and changes; however, John Singh, spokesperson for Lucasfilm, has denied there are any plans. He was quoted as saying "Lucasfilm Ltd. has no plans to release any of the Star Wars movies on Blu-ray. Listings on or any other Web site are purely speculative and erroneous."[11]

[edit] Changes

Here is a partial list of the changes made to each of the original trilogy's films.

[edit] Pre-Special Edition

Although not as obvious as the 1997 Special Edition re-release of the original trilogy, there were still some alterations made between versions.

[edit] Star Wars

  • The line "Episode IV: A NEW HOPE" was added to the opening crawl from 1981 onward. The new opening crawl also capitalized the word 'Rebel' in 'rebel spies', which was not capitalized in the original 1977 opening crawl.
  • The film was initially released in 70mm 6-track audio; further work on the soundtrack continued for the wider 35 mm release with a 2-track Dolby Stereo (matrixed 4 channel) optical soundtrack. A mono mix was produced later for exhibition in cinemas with no Dolby Stereo support, which contains some changes from the stereo version. Most video releases until the Special Edition were based on the stereo mix.
  • Alternate takes of C-3PO's dialogue are used in the mono sound version.
  • The line "close the blast doors!" was added to the mono release.
  • C-3PO's tractor beam line was added to the mono version (this line was also included in the 1997 special edition and 2004 DVD versions).
  • The line "Blast it, Biggs, where are you?" from the original stereo sound version was changed to "Blast it, Wedge, where are you?" for the mono sound releases.
  • Beru Lars is voiced by a different actress in the mono version.
  • The 1985 VHS release features a digitally remastered sound mix supervised by Ben Burtt, which contains C-3PO's tractor beam line. Another remix was produced for the 1993 Definitive Collection Laserdisc, which removes the line again.

[edit] The Empire Strikes Back

The 70 mm version included a large number of changes from the 35 mm version that was more widely seen.

  • After the Probe droid lands and moves left, there is an optical wipe to the overhead shot of Luke on his Tauntaun.
  • After Luke wanders through the snow and falls face down, there is an optical wipe to Han instead of a straight cut.
  • The bacta tank scene starts on a close-up of Two-One-Bee and pans right to a close-up of Luke in the tank. It then cuts to FX-7 extending its arm to the tank. There is no cut to Leia, Han and Threepio observing.
  • In the snow battle scene, when Luke drops into the snow after throwing a charge into the Imperial walker, the AT-ST in the background has no atmospheric depth. It looks too close and small.
  • In the Emperor scene, the hologram of the Emperor is already present in the first shot—it does not "tune in" gradually.
  • The Imperial Fleet establishing shot, after the evil tree scene, has a different TIE fighter sound effect.
  • When Luke falls from Cloud City into the Millennium Falcon, the Falcon's radar dish is not added to the shot.
  • The telepathy between Luke and Vader during the "Hyperspace" cue has straight cuts instead of quick dissolves.
  • On Hoth, right after C-3PO tells R2 to "Switch off", R2 gives out a little "blurp".
  • When Luke finally collapses in the snow, he lets out a grunt as he lands on his face.
  • Han says "until I can get the shelter up" instead of "until I can get the shelter built."
  • Luke says an additional "Ben... Dagobah..." just before Han says, "and I thought they smelled bad on the outside."
  • When C-3PO tells Luke "It's so good to see you fully functional again", Luke replies, "Thanks, 3PO."
  • The line "Headquarters personnel report to Command Center" is repeated three times instead of two.
  • The lines "The first transport is away!" and later "Imperial troops have entered the base!..." over the Echo Base PA system are no longer voiced by Mark Hamill.
  • When R2 is being loaded into Luke's X-Wing, C-3PO says the word "and" before saying "do take good care of yourself."
  • Han's line "Transport, this is Solo. Better take off, I can't get to you. I'll get her out on the Falcon" is followed by, "Come on!"
  • In the asteroid field, after C-3PO says, "Oh, this is suicide", he says, "There's nowhere to go."
  • In the scene where R2-D2 is rejected by the bog beast, Luke says "You're lucky you don't taste very good", instead of "You were lucky to get out of there."
  • Yoda makes a frightened "AAHHH" sound just before Luke says, "Like we're being watched", and points his blaster at him.
  • Yoda says the word "Run" before "Yes. A Jedi's strength flows from the force." The following lines "But beware the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side of the force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight" are also much louder and clearer.
  • In Cloud City, after C-3PO says "That sounds like an R2 unit in there. I wonder if it..." he says "Hello?" only once instead of twice.
  • Before C-3PO gets shot, a different voice says "Who are you?"
  • While C-3PO is on Chewie's back when they enter the carbon freezing chamber, the line "Now remember, Chewbacca, you have a responsibility to me, so don't do anything foolish" is louder and heard more clearly.
  • During the duel, when Luke knocks Vader off the platform, Vader lets out an "ooooh!" instead of an "aaargh!"
  • Lando's line at the end, "Luke, we're ready for takeoff", is a different take.
  • In the final scene, there is no tracked music from "Yoda and the Force".

[edit] 1997 Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition

Special coverage on CNN in 1997 notes that Lucas spent $10 million to rework his original 1977 film, which was roughly what it cost to film it originally. Three million dollars of that was spent on the audio track for the special edition. Lucas also spent $2.5 million each on Episodes V and VI. All of the films have newer versions of the 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm production logos.

The following is a partial list of changes:

[edit] A New Hope

Greedo shoots first in the 1997 Special Edition of A New Hope.
  • Additional dewbacks and search teams are visible as the Stormtroopers look for the missing droids. An Imperial transport can be seen taking off in the background.
  • A shot of an evening Tatooine sky that pans down to show the opening of the scene in which R2-D2 is wandering through the hills before he is captured by Jawas.
  • A revised Jawa sandcrawler. The sunset progression has been enhanced, having the sky darkened, and at the end, adding stars to the newly darkened sky. The scene where R2-D2 is captured has been tinted red to resemble a sunset.
  • A new digital matte painting of the sandcrawler and extended sky were added when the Jawas are setting up shop in front of the Lars farm. Artificial zooming in is also present. More vaporators have been added, but they disappear in subsequent shots.
  • A new look at Ben Kenobi's hut.
  • Skeletal Remains of Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen were enhanced.
  • Mos Eisley is bigger and busier.
  • Dash Rendar's ship the "Outrider" can be seen taking off in the background when Luke's landspeeder enters the city.
  • The blur under the landspeeder (created by smearing petroleum jelly on the lens cover to obscure the view of under the landspeeder) is taken out.
  • A short pause of the camera features a Jawa being bucked from its Ronto mount.
  • New aliens are seen in the Cantina.
  • In Han’s last line to Greedo, "Yes, I’ll bet you have", the word "yes" is excised from the audio track, though Han’s mouth is still seen forming the word.
  • In the cantina, Greedo now fires first as Han dodges the shot; then Greedo is shot by Han.
  • A CGI version of Jabba the Hutt confronts Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon's launch bay, and new dialogue was recorded in the Huttese language.
  • A new scene in the Mos Eisley docks of the Falcon taking off.
  • The Death Star docking bay is revised to be more consistent with the one seen in Return of the Jedi, most notably in the overhead shot when the Millennium Falcon has landed.
  • The aforementioned line uttered by C-3PO, where he describes the tractor beam's power systems, is put back in. (It was deleted in the previous stereo sound versions.)
  • New superimposed shots of the Stormtroopers in the Death Star.
  • The flashes of blaster impacts on the Imperial officers were removed.
  • When Han Solo is chasing a squad of Stormtroopers on the Death Star, instead of running to a dead end with more Stormtroopers, he ends up at a hangar bay with seemingly hundreds of Stormtroopers and officers. Laser fire was increased in the next scene where Chewbacca approaches the corner.
  • "Close the blast doors!" is put back into the scene where Han and Chewbacca, pursued by Stormtroopers, jump through the doors as they close.
  • A scene between Luke Skywalker and Biggs Darklighter, just before the Battle of Yavin, has been inserted.
  • R2-D2 flying in the astromech droid port of Lukes' X-Wing starfighter now has more clearly blue markings - they appeared to be black in earlier editions.
  • New digital shots of the X-wings and Y-wings taking off from Yavin (in the original version, they just appeared as white flashes) and approaching the Death Star.
  • New, additional, and revised dog fighting and attack run scenes during the battle at the Death Star.
  • After Red Leader's unsuccessful trench run, the line "He's on your tail!" was added to the film.
  • When the proton torpedoes enter the exhaust port, a scorch mark where the previous shots hit is present. The scorch mark was present in the original theatrical release, but was removed during pan and scan cropping for the home video releases.[12]
  • The shot of the Rebel fighters flying away from the Death Star has been revised.
  • The Praxis effect shockwave (so named for a similar effect seen in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) was added to the destruction of the planet Alderaan and that of the Death Star.
  • The matte paintings (or cardboard cutouts) of the members of the assembly on the left and right sides of the Throne Room at the end of the film, when Luke, Han, and Chewie approach the throne, have been digitally replaced with real humans.
  • James Earl Jones is now credited.
  • 'Luke's Theme' is partially repeated in the ending credits music to make room for the Special Edition release credits.

[edit] The Empire Strikes Back

  • The opening battle sequence was cleaned up.
  • New scenes on Hoth with a redesigned wampa ice creature, including showing the full-body wampa screeching in agony following the loss of its limb. Two close-up shots of the original wampa mask are still noticeable.
  • When Luke Skywalker heads to the exit of the wampa's cave, his lightsaber's deactivation sound is heard, even though the blade does not retract.
  • The blaster bolts of the TIE fighters have been made more green.
  • A shot of Darth Vader's Star Destroyer has additional TIE fighters; one appears to follow a non-linear path.
  • The TIE fighter that collides with an asteroid and blows up has additional sparking added to it.
  • The Millennium Falcon casts a digitally created shadow on the asteroid. Though the surface seems to grow closer, the shadow remains the same size.
  • The scene where the Slave I follows the Falcon out of the Star Destroyer's floating garbage includes a newly created CG shot of it pursuing the Falcon.
  • At the entrance shot of Cloud City, the Cloud Car was replaced by a Tibanna refinery. (The Tibanna refinery is almost panned and scanned out of the full screen DVD version. The right side of the refinery can be seen briefly in the full screen DVD version if played on a PC.)
  • New and additional shots of Cloud City.
  • Several wall panels have been digitally replaced with windows to show more of Cloud City.
  • Luke's line, "You're lucky you don't taste very good", after R2-D2 is spit out by a Dagobah swamp slug, is changed back to the original "You were lucky to get out of there."
  • Lando Calrissian says "Attention" twice (instead of once) when he speaks on the Cloud City PA.
  • Shots of people listening to Lando on the PA ordering the evacuation of the city are added.
  • Luke screams as he jumps off the platform in Cloud City (the scream is actually lifted from the Emperor's death scream from Return of the Jedi)
  • Darth Vader's terse-but-forceful line, "Bring my shuttle", is changed to the more benignly-toned "Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival", a line originally recorded for A New Hope; a wide-angle CGI visual is added, showing Vader boarding his shuttle. This short added scene is spliced directly into the action surrounding Leia, Lando, and Chewie's attempt to rescue Luke as he dangles from a weather vane below Cloud City. The music track that has become known as "Rescue from Cloud City / Hyperspace" — a track that, in the film's original version, begins from the moment Vader cuts off Luke's hand and continues until Vader storms off of the bridge of the Executor after the Millennium Falcon escapes into hyperspace — is also now spliced, in a manner corresponding to the insertion of the short added scene. Specifically, for approximately 5 to 10 seconds, music originally played at the moment Vader informs Luke of his parentage (itself an earlier part of the "Rescue from Cloud City / Hyperspace" track) is incongruously inserted.
  • A new shot of Darth Vader's shuttle heading toward his star destroyer.
  • A digital hatch has been added to replace the white light that appears when Lando opens the outer hatch to rescue Luke.
  • A new scene with Darth Vader landing in the docking bay of his Star Destroyer is included, taken from an outtake from Return of the Jedi — like the footage of Vader boarding his shuttle, this short scene is similarly spliced directly into the action surrounding the Millennium Falcon's escape from Bespin, and the music accompanying the added footage (both a few short seconds of music taken from the very beginning of "Rescue from Cloud City / Hyperspace" and then a few seconds of the same music that was used during the shuttle-boarding footage insertion) likewise cuts incongruously into "Rescue from Cloud City / Hyperspace".
  • "The Imperial March" is partially repeated in the ending credits music to make room for the Special Edition release credits.

[edit] Return of the Jedi

  • A new Jabba's Palace Band musical number, 'Jedi Rocks' replaces 'Lapti Nek'. Some other footage is added from the extended music video of Lapti Nek. The female alien singer Sy Snootles is replaced with a new CGI version.
  • Additional scene of Oola in the Rancor pit. (Oola is played by Femi Taylor reprising her role fourteen years after the original films. Taylor was cast in the new scenes after her brother had been talking to a friend that was working on the special edition who had mentioned that they were working on scenes featuring the dance scene in Jabba's palace. Taylor's brother mentioned that she was in the original and was in better shape than she was when she shot the original scenes, as a result she was cast, with a number of shots of her new dance moves edited into the original footage with no noticeable difference in her body within the 15 years between the two shots.)
  • Boba Fett is briefly shown flirting with a dancer at Jabba's palace.
  • Additional scenes on Tatooine of a herd of Banthas before heading to the Pit of Carkoon.
  • The Sarlacc now has extra CG tentacles and CG beak at its center.
  • When shooting the sarlacc tentacle, Han says "It's all right, I can see a lot better now" rather than "It's all right, trust me".
  • CGI rope has been added around Han's ankles as he dangles from Jabba's skiff above the Sarlacc.
  • In the original version, a flight of four TIE fighters appear from behind the camera flying toward the Death Star and disappear a second before the scene changes to the Emperor's arrival. This is corrected and the fighters continue heading toward the Death Star.
  • As with the destruction of the first Death Star, the second has a more pronounced explosion.
  • At the end of the trilogy after the Empire is defeated, scenes of celebration on Endor, Bespin, Tatooine, Naboo and Coruscant are shown. The musical theme "Ewok Celebration" (often referred to as "Yub Nub") during this sequence has been replaced with an entirely new John Williams composition, "Victory Celebration".
  • During the end celebration, a brief shot of Luke hugging Wedge Antilles was inserted.
  • "Parade of the Ewoks" is partially repeated in the ending credits music to make room for the new Special Edition release credits.

[edit] Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace DVD Release

  • Sebulba's subtitles during his enraged talk with Anakin originally read, "You won't walk away from this one, Skywalker... you slave scum!". For the DVD, "Skywalker" was removed from the subtitle, since Sebulba does not actually say Anakin's last name in the scene.
  • Watto's celebratory cry of "Sebulba!" is removed.
  • The podracing sequence is extended. Such enhancements include a scene with Anakin facing off with Gasgano, Anakin losing one of his engines, only to recover it, and more.
  • The air taxi sequence is reincorporated.
  • Orn Free Taa's human aides are replaced by Twi'leks.

[edit] Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones DVD Release

  • Several speeders were removed from a shot during the Bounty Hunter pursuit scene.
  • New dialogue added to the scene where Anakin confesses to the Tusken slaughter.
  • After Padmé falls out of the gunship on Geonosis, a clone trooper asks if she is all right. Her alert response of "Yes" has been changed to a more realistically groggy "Uh-huh."
  • Anakin's mechanical hand now holds Padmé's hand during the closing wedding sequence (this was originally included in the DLP theatrical release of the film, but not in the 35 mm film version).
  • During their duel on Kamino, a shot of Jango Fett headbutting Obi-Wan is removed from the UK version of the DVD.
  • Jedi Coleman Trebor confronts Count Dooku on the lookout balcony during the battle of Geonosis. Trebor is instantly shot dead by Jango Fett. The following shot shows Jango twirling his blaster pistol before slotting it back into his holster. In the theatrical release, this was a solo shot of Jango, but the widescreen version of the DVD has Count Dooku in the foreground, smiling as Jango twirls his pistol.
  • Moments before Mace Windu decapitates Jango Fett, sparks and a slight puff of smoke from Jango's jetpack can be seen, signifying that his jetpack malfunctioned.

[edit] Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith DVD Release

  • Despite Lucasfilm's official statement that there were absolutely no changes made to the theatrical version of the film, the November 1, 2005 DVD release of Revenge of the Sith had one slight change from the theatrical cut. In the scene where a shot transitions to Darth Vader crawling up the lava bank, the original theatrical release used a wipe effect from (1) the shot of Obi-Wan and C3PO in the cockpit of Padmé's ship leaving Mustafar to (2) Vader's mechanical hand grasping at the volcanic soil, whereas the DVD instead uses a straight cut from (1) the Padmé's ship shot to (2) that of Vader.

[edit] Star Wars DVD Box Set

In 2004, a DVD box set was released, along with some changes that were made to establish a better connection between the old and new trilogies. The 2004 DVD box set also received John D. Lowry's digital restoration and visual enhancement treatment. The following is a partial list of changes:

[edit] A New Hope

In the 2004 DVD, Han Solo shoots at approximately the same time, but is still slightly slower by about 2 frames.
  • Before R2-D2 and C-3PO enter the escape pod near the beginning of the movie, a beeping sound is added when R2 pushes the switches to open the door to the escape pod.
  • When the Jawa Sandcrawler stops outside the Lars Homestead, C-3PO says "We've stopped" before telling R2-D2 to wake up.
  • The long shot of Luke's Landspeeder in the canyon (with the two Tusken Raiders taking aim) has been improved. Now, instead of being merely a moving white 'blob', the landspeeder is actually seen in minute detail.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi's scream to scare off the Sand People has been changed to a higher-pitched wail. The old version of Obi-Wan's scream in the original and 1997 versions sounded similar to a dewback. The new version of Obi-Wan's scream in the 2004 version sounds similar to a krayt dragon.
  • More debris has been digitally added to the scene at the destroyed Jawa sandcrawler.
  • A brief shot of Luke's landspeeder as it enters Mos Eisley carrying Luke, Ben Kenobi, and the droids has been redone. The pink tint is removed from the Mos Eisley entrance scene.
  • The 'Han vs Greedo' scene is redone again; this time Greedo and Han shoot at almost the exact same moment, but Greedo is still fractionally ahead. Han also dodges Greedo's shot more convincingly. Additionally, Han's original line of, "Yes, I'll bet you have" has been restored (the 1997 Special Edition removed the word 'yes').
  • An improved CGI version of Jabba the Hutt (based on his appearance in The Phantom Menace) now confronts Han Solo in the scene added to the 1997 re-release. Also, when Han steps on Jabba's body to get to the Falcon, Jabba winds up as if to punch him; in the 1997 Special Edition, he yelped in pain.
  • When the two stormtroopers exit the Millennium Falcon, one of them now says "There's no one here."
  • When the docking bay controller tries to contact TK-421, slightly audible static can be heard over the communicator.
  • The Matte painting in the detention block has been extended, making the corridor seem longer. The painting's perspective has been edited to make it appear more realistic.
  • The writing on the Death Star tractor beam control panel originally read 'POWER - TRACTOR BEAM 12 (SEC. N6)' and 'INOPERATIVE'. It has been changed from the Latin alphabet to the standard Star Wars (Aurebesh) alphabet. The word 'INOPERATIVE' is panned and scanned out of the full screen DVD version.
  • An audible bump has been added to the infamous gaffe where a screen-right stormtrooper bumps his head on the door-frame when the stormtrooper squadron breaks into the control room. This mistake was hinted at in Episode II, when Jango Fett - escaping from Obi-Wan on Kamino - bangs his helmet on the closing door of the Slave I.
  • Luke and Leia's echo when they are trapped in the Death Star chasm is now more convincing.
  • Despite the revised lightsaber blades, Luke's still appears out of thin air when activated instead of extending out of the hilt and in his training on the Millennium Falcon, the lightsaber blade is pale green instead of blue in one shot and it later appears to be plain white, as in previous versions.
  • During the lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Vader, Obi-Wan's lightsaber blade does not look like it is flickering out towards the end of the fight, like it does in previous versions, though it does show a noticeable shimmer of blue light.
  • John Williams' score has been flipped in the left and right rear channels and has been quieted or eliminated from some portions of the Battle of Yavin sequence.
  • The "He's on your tail!" line that was added for the 1997 Special Edition has been removed.
  • The code cylinders on Grand Moff Tarkin's uniform no longer move up and down between shots.
  • The shot of the Y-Wings descending to make the first attack run has been fixed. Originally, the two lead Y-Wings disappear when their leading edges touch the bottom of the screen, but the third one smoothly moves out of frame like it should. Now all three move smoothly out of frame.
  • The colors depicting the destruction of the planet Alderaan and the Death Star have been changed.
  • When the X-Wings are seen lifting off from the Rebel base before the Death Star battle, the red planet of Yavin is now visible in the upper right of the shot.

[edit] The Empire Strikes Back

  • In a scene where Darth Vader speaks to the Emperor via hologram, the Emperor is now portrayed by Ian McDiarmid (in the original film and the Special Edition, the Emperor was portrayed by an uncredited actress wearing a specially made mask with chimpanzee eyes superimposed over her own, with the voice dubbed in by Clive Revill.[13]) A few lines of new dialogue have been added to this scene as well, in which Palpatine informs Vader that their new enemy is the 'offspring' of Anakin Skywalker. McDiarmid actually filmed this scene during principal photography of Episode III.
  • The four lines spoken by Boba Fett are now in the voice of Temuera Morrison, the actor who played Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones. The voice was originally provided by Jason Wingreen.
  • Enhancements were made to the shots featuring Cloud City, with additional shots of the following day's landing at the city.
  • The pink tint is removed from the entrance scene of Cloud City, where the Cloud Car is replaced by the Tibanna refinery for the 1997 version.
  • In both the original and 1997 versions, during the scene in which Han is lowered into the carbon-freezing chamber, what was thought to be a wardrobe blooper has him wearing his blue vest during one shot. This was eventually discovered to be the result of coincidental shadowing and not a wardrobe blooper, since Han wears a jacket throughout the film, not a vest. In this release, the dark lighting has been digitally erased.
  • When Luke confronts Vader in the carbon-freezing chamber and ignites his lightsaber, the sound from the original release is overlapped in this scene by the sound produced by Luke's new lightsaber in Return of the Jedi.
  • During the film's lightsaber duel, when Vader jumps off the staircase, his lightsaber blade looks more orange than red, due to miscoloration from the film's restoration team.
  • The tracked scream of Luke Skywalker introduced in the 1997 re-release, which is heard during Luke's voluntary fall from the Cloud City platform after his duel with Vader, was removed. The track was actually the Emperor's death scream from Return of the Jedi.
  • In the original and 1997 versions, when Darth Vader asks if the Falcon's hyperdrive is deactivated, Admiral Piett's rank plaque and code cylinders are on the wrong side of his uniform (the plaque is supposed to be on the left side of his tunic, but it was on his right side). This is corrected and Piett has the correct rank placement on his uniform.

[edit] Return of the Jedi

  • The matte lines on the rancor have been further altered and the effect is now more realistic.
  • The dialogue spoken by Jabba the Hutt in the scene where he is discussing the price for Chewbacca that had the subtitles added in the 1997 Special Edition has the subtitles removed, making C-3PO's verbal translations in the scene relevant again.
  • In Anakin Skywalker's final scene, when he is not wearing his helmet, the eyebrows of actor Sebastian Shaw have been digitally removed, indicating what happened to Anakin's eyebrows when he got burned on Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith. His eyes have also been changed to blue and minor cosmetic alterations have been made to his face to more closely resemble the Anakin portrayed by Hayden Christensen in the prequel trilogy.
  • During the film's lightsaber duel, Vader's lightsaber blade at times looks more pink than red, once again due to miscoloration from the film's restoration team.
  • When Anakin, Yoda and Obi-Wan appear together in spirit form at the end of the movie, Sebastian Shaw is replaced by Hayden Christensen, showing a young Anakin with an old Yoda and Obi-Wan.
  • Another scene of celebration, this one on Naboo, is shown after the Empire is defeated. A Gungan, whom many fans assumed to be Jar Jar Binks, can be heard saying "Weesa free!" Nevertheless, Jar Jar is not listed in the Star Wars databank as appearing in Episode VI. The rumor of Jar Jar appearing in the film was officially debunked in an episode of The Force-Cast in which it was revealed that the unnamed Gungan was voiced by assistant sound designer Matthew Wood.
  • In the Coruscant celebration scene, the Galactic Senate and Jedi Temple have been added to the background. This indicates that the Jedi Temple was not destroyed during the Great Jedi Purge, thus carrying continuity with media released since Episode III, such as Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which depicts a post-purge Jedi Temple.

Note that in each of the three films, the ending credits have remained unchanged from the Special Edition releases in 1997. Thus, they do not reflect such changes as Ian McDiarmid's Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back or Hayden Christensen's Anakin in Return of the Jedi. The exception is that the format of the ending credits was changed to that of the prequel trilogy. In the case of pan-and-scan versions of the re-releases, the 2004 DVD releases were pan-and-scanned differently from the 1997 theatrical releases.

[edit] Bootleg versions, fan edits, etc.

In addition to official authorized releases, a black market exists for other versions. These include versions of the film that are no longer available, or versions of the original films in different file formats. "Theatre Rips" are the only source for comparing an actual original theater release of films to changes in recent releases (aside from personal memory). The majority of these are sourced from older releases of the "original" films, such as the pre-1997 VHS/Laserdisc releases.

Bootleg versions also include fan modified/edited versions. One of the most notorious of these was The Phantom Edit, a version of The Phantom Menace with certain elements removed, such as scenes of Jar Jar Binks that the editor deemed unnecessary. Bootleg versions of the infamous 1970s TV special The Star Wars Holiday Special remain the only source for consumers seeking it, as Lucasfilm has yet to release the special on any format.

[edit] Deleted scenes from Star Wars

This is a partial list of scenes that were not in a film version of the original trilogy or prequels. There are also changes made to deleted scenes as well in some cases. These are included in some home video versions, such as a specific DVD version. Some scenes deleted from the Original Editions of the original trilogy were modified and added back for later versions. For example, a scene where Han Solo talks to a human Jabba the Hutt was not included in the original theater, laser disc, or home video versions of Star Wars (Later renamed Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope), but was modified with CGI (Jabba the Hutt was replaced with a CGI version in the style of the Return of The Jedi Jabba.) and included in the 1997 Special Edition.

[edit] The Phantom Menace

  • When Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon first land on Naboo Obi-Wan is seen being chased by 2 droids on speeders. Qui-Gon destroys them by deflecting laser bolts with his saber, in the original script, directly following this Obi-Wan explains to Qui-Gon that the water fried his saber (thus explaining why Obi-Wan is wet and did not use his lightsaber to fight them himself) and Qui-Gon discusses the lesson learned. It is not known how much of this scene was actually filmed; however a still image of this discussion can be found online (external link removed).
  • Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Jar Jar escape their sub before it goes over a waterfall.
  • The dawn before the podrace.
  • Extended Podrace grid sequence, introducing nearly all of the racers. (Partially added into film on DVD)
  • Extended Lap 2 (Partially added into film on DVD)
    • Clieg Holdfast's racer crashes after Sebulba flashes his fire vents.
    • Jawas try to salvage parts of Teemto Pagalies' racer and are shot at by Tusken Raiders.
    • Ark "Bumpy" Roose pulls into the pit stop.
  • Anakin fights young Greedo.
  • Anakin says good-bye to Jira. Shortly afterwards, Qui-Gon and Anakin break into a run after Qui-Gon slices one of Darth Maul's probe droids which was following them.
  • The Coruscant Sky Taxi Ride (Added into film on DVD)
  • A monologue is shown between Darth Sidious and Darth Maul, revealing Darth Maul's voice for the first and only time.

[edit] Attack of the Clones

Note: Many of these scenes still appear in the novelization.

  • Padmé addresses the Senate an hour after the first attempt on her life.
  • Obi-Wan brings the toxic dart to the analysis droids in the Jedi Temple, who cannot identify it. He then decides to take it to his friend, Dexter.
  • Obi-Wan and Mace talk about the mystery of the missing data on Kamino and about Anakin being able to protect Padmé while Obi-Wan boards his Jedi starfighter. Some of the dialogue in this scene was used in the final cut of the film.
  • Extended arrival of Anakin and Padmé on Naboo.
  • On Naboo, Padmé introduces Anakin to her family.
  • Padmé shows Anakin her bedroom, which has holographic images of her humanitarian work.
  • Anakin and Padmé are brought before Count Dooku, requesting Obi-Wan's release. Dooku says he cannot do so unless Naboo joins the Confederacy, giving reasons for why he is forming the new government.
  • Padmé and Anakin are put on trial by Poggle the Lesser, who finds them guilty. (NOTE: after the scene where they go before Count Dooku was dropped, this scene did not make much sense and was dropped as well)
  • A group of Jedi led by Ki-Adi Mundi and Plo Koon attempt to take over the Droid Command Centre on Geonosis.
  • A shot of Jedi starfighters approaching Geonosis.
  • Additional scenes at the Battle of Geonosis. These include CIS Tank Droids running over clone troopers and clones on speeder bikes planting grenades on Homing Spiders.
  • Anakin cuts Count Dooku's shoulder and cape with a parry of his lightsaber, early on in their duel, after he saves the injured Obi-Wan from being killed by Dooku.
  • Dooku uses the force and grabs Obi-Wan's borrowed lightsaber from the floor in conjunction with his own during his lightsaber duel against Yoda, and now starts wielding two lightsabers simultaneously for a short time until he is suddenly disarmed by one of Yoda's parries in mid-battle and loses the use of Obi-Wan's lightsaber, and then once again resorts to his own again.

[edit] Revenge of the Sith

Note: Only select scenes appear in the Revenge of the Sith DVD.

  • The scene in which Bai Ling appears as Senator Bana Breemu.
  • The spirit of Qui-Gon Jinn tells Yoda about the secret of immortality and Yoda becomes his apprentice.
  • A group of senators including Mon Mothma meet to discuss the Chancellor's growing power. In the scene Bail Organa expresses fear that the Republic is becoming corrupt.
  • General Grievous kills Shaak Ti who was captured with the Chancellor. Obi-Wan and Anakin then cut through the floor and fall near a fuel line. (This scene appears in the video game.)
  • Shaak Ti is killed by Anakin in the Jedi Temple Attack.
  • On Kashyyyk, Yoda disguises himself as a mud monster, to escape from some clones.
  • Aayla Secura and Plo Koon's last lines are cut.
  • Lieutenant Commander Lorth Needa offers General Grievous an opportunity to surrender.
  • Padmé and the Loyalists present the Petition of the 2000 to Palpatine. He then assures the group he will discontinue his new reorganization once the war is over.
  • Additional scenes of the Separatist leaders pleading with Vader to spare their lives.
  • A scene where Obi-Wan meets with Padmé in her apartment to express his concern about Anakin.
  • During the Mustafar fight sequence, there was originally a scene when Obi-Wan and Vader are on the Separatist control room's table. Obi-Wan manages to disarm Vader of his lightsaber temporarily, which accounts for why Vader is seen choking Obi-Wan and trying to force him to cut himself with his own lightsaber in the theatrical version.
  • During the fight scene in the Senate chamber, Yoda manages to disarm the Emperor of his lightsaber, which explains why the Emperor is not seen wielding his lightsaber while he launches Senate pods at Yoda in the theatrical version.
  • Yoda's escape pod lands on Dagobah.

[edit] A New Hope

  • While Luke is working on a machine at the Lars homestead, he uses a set of binoculars to look up into the sky. Seeing two starships exchanging laser fire in space, he decides to go to tell his friends at Tosche Station. When he runs to his landspeeder, one of the moisture parolling droids malfunctions. Luke just rolls his eyes and continues to make his way to Anchorhead.
  • Luke visits his friends at Anchorhead. He tells his friends that he saw a space battle (between the Devastator and the blockade runner Tantive IV) with a set of binoculars; however, the battle is already over and his friends do not believe him. Camie snatches Luke's binoculars and looks up to the stars with them but misses the battle. His friends all head back into the station, leaving Luke outside looking up at the sky.
  • Biggs tells Luke he wants to defect to the Rebels. This and the preceding two scenes listed above can be viewed on the CD-ROM Star Wars: Behind the Magic.
  • Han and a mysterious woman are seen carousing and kissing in the Cantina before the meeting with Obi Wan and Luke. The intent was to give Han a ladies-man aura.
  • Darth Vader and Chief Bast discuss Grand Moff Tarkin and his ambitions (this scene was later redubbed and used in The Star Wars Holiday Special).
  • Grand Moff Tarkin, General Tagge, and General Motti view a schematic of the Death Star and discuss the threat the Rebel incursion aboard holds (the scene features one of the few wire-frame CGI effects created for the film).
  • After Tarkin destroys Alderaan, Princess Leia says: "And you call yourselves humans." (A similar line was included in the NPR radio play: "If there was any shred of humanity in you or these twisted creatures of yours, it's dead now.")
  • Extended dialogue for Obi-Wan during the duel. This and the preceding scene can be seen in the documentary Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy.
  • Han and Luke are seen congratulating each other after their successful fight against the TIE fighters while escaping the Death Star.

[edit] The Empire Strikes Back

  • A number of Wampas infiltrate the Rebel base and kill at least one tauntaun. An image exists of a medical droid inspecting a tauntaun carcass. The Wampa attack is mentioned and shown in the Marvel Comics adaptation of the movie.
  • While travelling through Echo Base's corridors, R2-D2 is attacked by a Wampa. He is rescued and the wampa is killed by Rebel troops.
  • General Veers is killed when a snowspeeder piloted by Derek "Hobbie" Klivian crashes into his AT-AT Walker cockpit. In Empire where Luke uses a grenade to destroy one of the AT-AT Walkers in the final film by throwing the grenade into its rear, its cockpit actually explodes rather than its rear.
  • While fleeing Imperial troops, Han suggests they take a shortcut through a room that has a sign on it. Leia tells him "that's where they keep those creatures" (the wampas, which have been confined to the room). They run off and C-3PO tears off the warning sign, hoping the troops will mistake it for another room. (Though never seen in any version of the film, shots of this scene were used in Television ads and trailers for the movie, also the door itself is visible in the movie.) Two Star Wars video games reference this room: Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, and the Star Wars: Trilogy arcade game.
  • Originally Luke's training on Dagobah was to include a montage sequences showing Luke's training and pace under master Yoda watchful eye, from an extended run across the swamps to various force ability exercises and using his Lightsaber against four seekers orbs (hovering Lightsaber training globes from Episode 4). Black and white pictures exist of Luke training with Yoda on his back while practicing with his Lightsaber (Mark Hamil's prop Lightsaber hilt and rod can be seen in this behind the scenes photo). A page outlining the montage sequences was seen in the Marvel comic book adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back.
  • In the carbon-freezing sequence, C-3PO's complete line would have been "I'm not ready to die on the back of a demented wookiee!" (the italicized words were deleted from all versions of the film, but were heard in their entirety on the Story of The Empire Strikes Back LP).

[edit] Return of the Jedi

  • Moff Jerjerrod and two Royal Guards refuse to let Darth Vader in to see the Emperor, so Vader uses his Force-chokehold on Jerjerrod, but does not kill him.
  • Just after Jabba tells Leia that she will learn to appreciate him he pulls her closer and makes her drink from his jug.
  • Right after Jabba's Sail Barge blows up, Luke, Han, Leia, Lando, and the droids go back to the Millennium Falcon and Luke's X-Wing (both of which are in the middle of a sand storm).
  • Darth Vader lands in the Death Star docking bay with Luke, taking him to the Emperor. This scene was reused in The Empire Strikes Back as Vader returns to the Executor. Although Luke cannot be seen, Moff Jerjerrod can be seen mouthing his lines from Return of the Jedi.
  • When Luke is hiding from Vader in the Throne Room, Luke offers Vader a chance to come and speak with him. Vader rejects the offer saying that he would not give him that kind of advantage. Luke throws his lightsaber to Vader and, after this, Vader realizes that he is protecting Leia from Vader. After Vader discovers his feeling, Luke uses the Force to take the lightsaber from Vader. Evidence of this still exists in the final scene. As Vader talks to Luke, he can be seen holding Luke's lightsaber.

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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