|03.17.17||Internet|| This was the "despecialized edition" found on the Internet. I figure that I own VHS, DVD, and Bluray copies of this film... no one will mind that I also now have a fan-made version that stitches the original cut back together through various source materials to let me see what was originally released in 1977... but in HD resolution. The results are frankly glorious. With the current state of Star Wars as a brand and Disney owning the rights and what's going on with CG these days... you forget that everything started with this one film full of optical effects and crazy costumes and wonderfully-designed sets and matte paintings. The editing is a little rough, some of the effects stutter and whatnot but by and large the film does more than hold up for its age: it validates the super hard work and innovation that went on 40 years ago to make this movie. And reading the end credits... practically every name on that reel went on to storied and accomplished careers.|
And, seen in the context of this marathon re-watch, the ways in which the film is different from the "previous" three are all good. The script doesn't treat me like an idiot, the effects are grungy and feel worn in like they exist, the characters are vibrant and iconic, and the pacing is pretty tight. Yes, i couldn't help but wonder why Obi Wan didn't recognize R2D2 or why Darth Vader didn't feel any connection to Leia but you know, these problems are not THIS movie's fault. THIS movie is great.
And incidentally, I believe this will be the version that I watch for here on out. These nerds did a fantastic job of restoring and matching different materials to keep it presentable by today's technical standards. I can't wait to watch the next two.