To much fan fair, an HD quality version of the original cut of Star Wars: A New Hope will soon be released to the public. Star War aficionados have been pining for just such a release for years. Fans have stuck through edit after atrocious edit from the original creator and director George Lucas and remained fans through thick and thin.
With Lucas moving away from the franchise we’re finally getting what we’ve always wanted – A New Hope as a full Blu Ray quality cinematic experience.
Unaltered versions of the film were thought to only exist in the basements of some fortunate fans who had held onto theirs over the years. Lucas had said he would not release a version of A New Hope, yet we are now getting so much closer to the year of 1977 and the aesthetic of that original print.
A group of fans calling themselves Team Negative1, “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.”
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. (H/T Business Insider)
Team Negative One’s Star Wars Before / After Comparison
The beginning and end of each reel is always rougher than the middle, here is the beginning of Reel 2, before and after.