The unaltered version of “Star Wars: A New Hope” has become one of those lost movie artifacts that are buried away deep in a vault for younger generations only to hear stories about.
But we’re getting a little closer to that lost artifact.
Yes, there was a time when the original “Star Wars” was without “A New Hope” tagged to it, or a scene of a walking Jabba the Hutt chatting with Han Solo.
George Lucas has refused to rerelease that version because he believes it was an unfinished work and, thanks to technology, he was able to tweak the movie to his specifications in the 1990s and the 2000s, adding digital effects and even unused footage.
But that still doesn’t sit well for some “Star Wars” fans, and a few of them did something about it.
Calling themselves Team Negative1, a group of fans released on the internet what is now widely considered by “Star Wars” die-hards the best high-definition version of the original 1977 version of the film.
The Silver Screen Edition, as it’s known, went up last month and has been circulating around the internet. It instantly became a hit on fan message boards.
In a new story about the restoration at Movie Mezzanine, the five anonymous fans that make up Team Negative1 say they spent four years and thousands of dollars to create the hi-def version. This included acquiring 35mm prints of the movie from eBay, even finding a low-fade print from Spain that cost $2,000.
The group spent years cleaning the dirt off every frame of the film prints they used, and then scanning their work digitally. After getting a positive reception online to the previews they put up of their efforts, in January they put up the movie, with plans to post a higher-quality version in the future.
According to one of the members of Team Negative1, who went by Mr. Black in the Mezzanine story, the goal is not to make an “official” 1977 release, but to show what the movie looked like in its original form.
“We’re trying to get that look and that aesthetic of that print,” he said.
Here’s a glimpse at the restoration:
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