Why Finding the Original 1977 ‘Star Wars’ Verges on the Impossible

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  • #27297
    ZLoth
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    From Inverse:

    Why Finding the Original 1977 ‘Star Wars’ Verges on the Impossible
    A short time ago in a galaxy very, very near to here, I set out on a mission to find a movie classic.

    IT’S A SCENE ETCHED INTO EVERY STAR WARS FAN’S MIND. THE ROGUISH ANTI-HERO HAN SOLO SITS ALONE AT BARE TABLE IN THE MOS EISLEY CANTINA. AN ALIEN BOUNTY HUNTER PULLS UP A CHAIR TO CONFRONT HIM. AFTER SOME TENSE CHIT-CHAT, THE AMPHIBIAN-LOOKING BARFLY PULLS A GUN AND FIRES A LASER BLAST INCHES FROM SOLO’S HEAD. WITHOUT BATTING AN EYE, HAN FIRES A RETURN BLAST UNDER THE TABLE, KILLING THE BOUNTY HUNTER AND SAUNTERING AWAY FROM THE GRISLY YET PG-RATED SCENE. EVERYBODY’S SEEN IT. EXCEPT NOT.

    That impromptu shootout in the first Star Wars is but one of the sequences that diverges from what audiences saw when the movie was originally released in 1977, and it’s perhaps the most infamous of writer/director George Lucas’s endless tinkering with his beloved space saga. This means that a whole generation of supposedly passionate fans have been living a lie. The galaxy far, far away that fans like me fell in love with is a different film entirely.

    I confess that I love Star Wars far too much. It’s a cultural artifact that permeates my whole being. I couldn’t count how many Star Wars birthdays I’ve had, how many toys I’ve bought, and how many home video editions of the original trilogy I owned. I’ve even made some of my best friends by challenging them to exceedingly nerdy Star Wars trivia (Q: What was the number of the garbage compactor that nearly killed Han, Luke, and Leia in the first movie? A: If you don’t know it, we aren’t best friends.)

    And yet I’ve never seen the original version of Star Wars — a crime that should be punishable by freezing me in Carbonite and shipping me off to an uncertain fate with Boba Fett. But in 2015, it requires nothing shy of an actual quest if you want to find Lucas’s 1977 original, the ur-Star Wars from which the subsequent multi-multi-billion-dollar cultural empire sprang. Lucas has ensured the “original” is a tampered-with version he now sells riven with edits and festooned with computerized effects. To see his original vision, one must dig.

    FULL ARTICLE HERE


    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by ZLoth.
    #27300
    ubikuberalles
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    I couldn’t do laserdiscs because no sane person has a laserdisc player these days.

    Woof. I know a couple people who take umbrage with that statement. A red flag that the author is a hipster douche who thinks the only tech worth using is the newest. No consideration that the older tech has a lot of hidden gems worth hunting ofr.

    #27301
    ZLoth
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    It depends on the technology. I do scoff at those who still collect VHS/BetaMax tapes because of the low resolution and high shelf real estate cost.

    But laserdiscs? No. They were really expensive at the time causing the format to be a niche format, but they also incorporated features that were later part of DVDs and BluRays, including a secondary audio track that was used for commentary. While there was the issue of “disc rot”, that’s more related to the manufacture of the discs rather than technology itself.

    And while DVD is technically an “obsolete” format, it is still a viable format. There are some titles which have been released at the DVD level that haven’t been remastered and re-released at BluRay, never mind 4K.

    Records, in my mind, are an “obsolete” format, but there are audiophiles who love them. So be it. I prefer CDs, but in the age of Bluetooth and streaming media, car makers are no longer including the five pounds of delicate mechanics, preferring to use that five pounds elsewhere.

    Then again, we are on a board where we are talking about arcade games that are at least 30 years old.


    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925

    #27308
    ubikuberalles
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    Specking of car audio: My current car has a 6-CD player that can read MP3 files. Early on I created a bunch (more than a dozen) CDs jammed with MP3 files and I use those in my car. I was able to put 12-15 albums on each CD giving me nearly 100 albums (or about 1000 songs) always available on the CD player (plus more CDs in the glove compartment). The car also had an audio jack so I could insert an MP3 player. Currently, the only portable MP3 players I have are from 9-10 years ago and they hold less than 2GB of content, which is less than 6 CDs (about 4GB). They also did not have Bluetooth which meant I couldn’t use the car controls to select songs and had to use the tiny buttons and tiny LCD to select and play songs. Too much distraction for driving so I stopped using them in my car. I tried playing songs via my phone and the Amazon music player but I quickly ate up my bandwidth within a couple days.

    I plan to get a new car in the next year or so and I have no clear idea on what my audio options will be. I am hoping there will be an option where I can insert a jump drive filled with MP3 songs and the on-board MP3 player can play those songs. The more likely scenario is streaming apps on the car. Or maybe I could buy an mp3 player with bluetooth controls. The streaming part I am not keen on since I’m not willing to pay a subscription for a service I would only use a little (I mostly only listen to the car radio when I commute to/from work. That’s only 40 minutes per day).

    Anyway, that is only tangentially related to this topic. Go original theatrical version of Star Wars! (And it’s called “Star Wars”! not “A New Hope”! Blech).

    #27309
    ubikuberalles
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    I do scoff at those who still collect VHS/BetaMax tapes because of the low resolution and high shelf real estate cost.

    I somewhat disagree. I agree that it is silly to own a VHS tape of a progrm or movie that is readily available on DVD/Blu-Ray. However:

    There are some titles which have been released at the DVD level that haven’t been remastered and re-released at BluRay, never mind 4K

    There are even more VHS titles that are not available on the more modern, digital formats. The main reason is cost. The licenses and residuals to actors and other fees on the VCR tapes only applied to the VCR tapes. That means the IP owners have to re-negotiate everything and the cost is likely more than what they would earn from issuing the DVD, Blu-Ray or even streaming.The only way you’ll hear the original songs played on WKRP in Cincinnati is a bootleg of a recording from the original broadcast (as far as I can tell, it was never released on VHS).

    In my experience, there will always be titles from an older media that will never exist in the newer media. That not only goes for video but music and books as well.

    #27310
    ZLoth
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    There are Bluetooth receivers for Aux inputs available. There is also a download feature available for Amazon music…. and Plex.

    As for purchasing a new car, hold off for at least the year. Because of the silicon shortage, car prices are much higher than they should. If I was purchasing a new car, I would make sure that Android Audio was available, and the same with you for CarPlay. When I was hunting for a new car in 2014, I made sure it had Bluetooth integration.


    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by ZLoth.
    #27312
    ubikuberalles
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    Thanks, but what I really need for my current car is a MP3 player with Bluetooth. According to the user manual, my car can pair up to 7 devices. I’m not sure how it handles connecting to both my phone and MP3 at the same time. Does the phone override it? (the phone overrides the radio and CD so I think the answer is yes). The only way to find out is try it.

    I tend to get my new cars in late December because I was told by one of my department managers (who bought and sold cars as a side business or hobby) that car sales people are more likely to sell a car at a discount at the end of the month and especially at the end of the year as they are trying meet their quotas. Buying a new car for me does not seem likely at the end of this year, unless I get some unexpected extra money. The most likely scenario is December of 2022. Hopefully the prices will go down by then.

    Another tip my manager gave me was to buy any previous year cars they may still have in stock. Buying a new 2021 car, for example, instead of the 2022 model. Dealers are anxious to get rid of those older cars because they don’t want to incur the cost of shipping them back to the factory. I haven’t done that yet because the older models are already gone in December. I’m thinking the sweet spot for this tactic is probably August-October as the dealer needs room for the newest models.

    #27314
    ZLoth
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    Yeah, wait until next year on the car purchase. Because…. 2020+1.


    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925

    #27331
    ubikuberalles
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    Yeah, wait until next year on the car purchase. Because…. 2020+1.

    10-4 on that. On Friday I brought my car to the dealer to have its oil changed. The service rep mentioned that he felt sorry for the sales folks at the dealership since they had nothing to sell. Normally the dealership has 115 plus cars on the lot. This past weekend they had 8. I then went to the waiting area which is also the display area. Normally it is filled with different models of Mazda cars. Last Friday it was empty. I looked outside and I could see six of the eight cars in the main lot. They were all the same model (CX-3 maybe? I didn’t look closely).

    I was thinking of getting another stick for my next car but that is going to be difficult. The only non-sports car they have with a manual transmission is a Mazda 3 – same as my current car. The 2022 Mazda 3 didn’t appeal to me. The engine is about the same as mine and none of the packages offered were attractive to me. Also, do I want a repeat of the same model? Doubtful. If I stick with a manual then I would either go with a Toyota or Honda (the service for Subaru is lousy in ABQ and multiple people warned me off them).

    I am now thinking of getting a Hybrid vehicle. It’s the only option if I want to phase out of all-gas cars since I want a car I can use for road trips. The infrastructure of electric vehicles is still iffy. I’m sure I could get from point A to point B cross country with an all-electric but only if I install the right App on my phone, do some advanced research before the trip, be willing to stay at the station for more than 20-30 minutes, and be willing to veer off my main route to get to an electric station. UGH. No thanks. I’m a “drive as far as I can on a tank of gas and spend only long enough there to gas up, potty break and maybe grab food” Occasionally I’ll stop at a rest area for a potty break but, in both cases, I’m there less than 15 minutes. (the longest leg I drove without stopping was 400 some miles from ABQ to somewhere in Oklahoma. I did it to see if I could. That was stressful and I’ll not do that again). I’d like to continue with Mazda, due to the excellent service I’ve gotten from them in the past 12 years. However, they’ve just started selling a hybrid – the MX-30 – so that is pretty limited. I may go with Toyota (except I am not getting a Prius) or a Honda.

    In summary, meh. Until next year. In the meantime I am thinking of repainting my current car as the paint is rotting off (I call it paint cancer) and I’m beginning to be embarrassed by it (the paint rot has been going on for two years at least so I am slow to being embarrassed).

    By the way, I have the original Star Wars trilogy on VCR tape, prespecial edition. Watched the whole trilogy earlier this summer. Still says “Episode IV” in the beginning of the first movie (I’m not calling it “A New Hope” – stupid name) but that’s been true since the 1981 theatrical re-release. Maybe I should rip it to DVD (if possible since the tape may have anti-pirate encoding).

    #27334
    Earl
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    I hate to be that guy, but… is it really that hard to find? I think the real determiner of difficulty here is… what rocks are you willing to look under? Because I found it pretty easily.

    Star Wars scroll


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