Gareth Edwards Says There Is a 4K Restoration of the Original ‘Star Wars’ Out There Somewhere
In this new age of ultra-hi-def-liquid-frame-3D-VR-cystal-lava-screen-immersion TVs that you and I can have in our own home theaters, the old classics just don’t look as good anymore. Movies that seemed like the height of technology back when televisions were still cube-shaped look jerky and unfocused now that we’re so used to seeing the highest-definition image possible, so 4K restorations are now on the rise. Gareth Edwards, director of Rogue One, says that Lucasfilm is in possession of a 4K version of the original Star Wars, but has no idea when the rest of us will get to see it.
Edwards sat down with Little White Lies to talk about his new Star Wars anthology film, and let slip that he’s seen the new restoration, and it was so good he forgot to take any notes.
On day one, we were in Lucasfilm in San Francisco with Industrial Light and Magic and John Knoll, our supervisor, he said that they’ve got a brand new 4K restoration print of A New Hope – it had literally just been finished. He suggested we sit and watch it. Obviously, I was up for that. Me, the writer, lots of the story people and John all sat down, we all had our little notepads, we were all ready for this. I’ll add that I’ve seen A New Hope hundreds of times. So I was sat there, ready to take notes and really delve under the surface of the film. You have the Fox fanfare, then scrolling text with ‘A long time ago…’, and then the main music begins. Next thing we knew it had ended, and we looked around to one another and just thought – shit, we didn’t take any notes. You can’t watch it without getting carried away. It’s really hard to get into an analytical filmmaker headspace with this film. It just turns you into a child.
The 1997 Special Edition Trilogy release and subsequent DVD releases afterward have added in and doctored with scenes — sometimes to their benefit, sometimes not. Need I mention A New Hope’s awkward CGI Jabba? But a 4K restoration sounds promising, especially if Lucasfilm chose to stick to what was only in the original film. And if Edwards’ endorsement is any clue, it’s really something special.
There hasn’t been any date or announcement about an official 4K release yet, but now that we know they have it, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out, mah bukees.