Tag Archives: fans

Restoring Star Wars: One particular fan’s epic quest to undo George Lucas’s modifications

Updated December 14, 2015 07:12:31

Map: Czech Republic

Director George Lucas utilized particular effects to make controversial adjustments to his Star Wars series. Now 1 fan is trying to restore the originals.


“People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians.” — George Lucas, 1988

External Link: Sebastian Shaw, playing Anakin Skywalker, was digitally replaced with Hayden Christensen

A lengthy time ago

In 1988 George Lucas issued a statement to the US Congress rallying against film studios releasing altered classic films, and urging the preservation of the unaltered functions.

“Tomorrow, a lot more sophisticated technologies will be in a position to replace actors with ‘fresher faces’, or alter dialogue and change the movement of the actor’s lips to match,” he predicted, emphasising “our cultural history should not be permitted to be rewritten”.

Decades later fans are now attempting to preserve the cultural history of the Star Wars films, which Lucas blotted out with successive ‘Special Edition’ revisions.

Academy Award-winning practical effects were covered up with 1997-era personal computer graphics (CGI) that now appear sorely dated. Actors and voiceover perform have been replaced and story components changed, most famously the ‘Han Solo shot Greedo first’ debacle.

This would all be fine, says ‘Despecialised Edition’ project creator Petr ‘Harmy’ Harmaek, except for the reality that Lucas created it his mission not to make the classic versions of the films accessible once again in decent video high quality.

In a 2004 interview Lucas famously stated, “I am sorry you saw half a completed film and fell in adore with it. But I want it to be the way I want it to be.”

Harmy and other fans have been painstakingly restoring the original trilogy, frame by frame, as close as attainable to the version released in cinemas – but in high definition.

He has been sourcing and splicing footage together from 35mm film, a 1993 master released on DVD, HDTV broadcasts and the high-definition Special Edition Blu-Ray release, in order to generate a HD version of the films without having any traces of Lucas’s alterations.

External Hyperlink: A CGI ronto creature was added to the Particular Edition
External Hyperlink: Lightsabers have been colour corrected to get rid of the Blu-Ray edition’s magenta tone

A fan emerges

Petr 'Harmy' Harmaek sits in front of his Star Wars collectionInfographic: Star Wars Despecialised Edition creator Petr ‘Harmy’ Harmaek. (Supplied: Petr Harmaek)

Harmy, a 27-year-old former English teacher from the Czech Republic, seems an unlikely candidate to lead the charge to restore Star Wars.

He was not even born when audiences had been very first introduced to a Star Destroyer crawling across their cinema screens in 1977 and he has no background in film editing.

“I don’t forget seeing Star Wars on Tv when I was about five,” he says. “I have a distinct recollection of seeing the [Death Star] trench run on Television.

“Then later I got a copy of an old VHS of the original version of Star Wars which I watched so much as a kid that I completely wore it out.”

For the sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, he watched Lucas’s Unique Editions first and then later hunted down the originals.

“It took a lot of work to locate the original versions on VHS here in the Czech Republic,” Harmy says. “It was 1 of the greatest Star Wars moments for me when I ultimately got to watch it.

“Even though it also produced me pretty angry when I realised that some of the specific effects shots I was admiring so much had been in fact re-composited digitally [in the Unique Editions] and thus lost much of their historical value.”

External Link: The sensible effects have been provided a CGI makeover in the Special Edition

The last look Star Wars fans got at the original unaltered trilogy was in 2006 when old, un-restored masters also employed for the Laserdisc versions were once more utilised to make a limited run of companion DVDs for inclusion in a set with their Special Edition variants.

These editions also had their concerns: the frames had been not cleaned up, they have been primarily based off a master that was made with 1993 technologies rather than the most recent advances, and importantly, the DVDs had been not in high definition.

Until fans took charge, the original Star Wars trilogy had in no way been released in restored top quality without having Lucas’s changes.

“I wanted to be able to show individuals who have not noticed Star Wars but, like my tiny brother or my girlfriend, the original Oscar-winning version but I did not want to have to show it to them in undesirable top quality,” Harmy says.

External Link: The original chimpanzee eyed-Emperor was replaced with Ian McDiarmid
External Hyperlink: CGI windows were added to the Cloud City interior shots
External Hyperlink: Shots of the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit had been cropped

‘Cultural vandalism’

Lucas changed a myriad of things in his Special Editions: from adding in CGI characters and backgrounds to changing audio — like bounty hunter Boba Fett’s voice and producing Darth Vader scream “Nooooo!” in the course of Luke’s final confrontation with the Emperor.

The ghost of Anakin Skywalker, played by Sebastian Shaw, was expunged from the end of Return of the Jedi and replaced with Hayden Christensen.

Lucas even went so far as to make nuanced alterations like removing Anakin Skywalker’s eyebrows throughout the scene where his helmet is removed by Luke.

Plus there is the concern of regardless of whether Han Solo shot Greedo initial in the cantina on Tatooine (he did), and the inclusion of Jar Jar Binks’s race, the Gungans, at the end of the final film (“Weesa free of charge!” 1 of them cries).

External Link: Han shot 1st, but Lucas later created Greedo fire a bolt before Han in the Special Edition

“I have no dilemma with extended or director’s cuts of movies at all but only as extended as the original reduce is also available in comparable top quality,” Harmy says.

“Like Blade Runner, when you acquire that set on Blu-Ray, you get stunning HD transfers of all five current versions.

“The original visual effects in Star Wars have been completely groundbreaking at the time and trying to suppress the original versions is, in my opinion, an act of cultural vandalism.

“It really is an attempt to bury the perform of these artists who spent thousands of hours working all the Oscar-winning art that was altered or replaced in the Unique Editions.”

External Link: The Sarlacc pit gained a beak and much more tentacles

Restoring a legend

“At times some of the smallest adjustments were the most tough to undo,” says Harmy, who taught himself film editing expertise as he went.

Some shots have taken him an hour to restore, others hundreds of hours — it varies with the complexity of the scene.

One particular of the most tough scenes was in A New Hope exactly where a CGI droid from Lucas’s Special Edition moves by means of the background as Stormtroopers stroll along on the planet Tatooine.

“The tiny droid flies by means of the scene and I had to replace almost everything it covered up, but also make positive that every thing that is supposed to be in the foreground is there,” Harmy says.

“I would often find some new issue – some edge of some object would move wrong, or the background would warp, or the shadows on the ground were incorrect and there have been like 50 layers, so it was tough to find where the difficulty was. That 1 gave me a lot of headaches.

“If I had a 35mm HD supply for it, it possibly would have been a piece of cake, but this way it was super tough.”

The scene where a droid was removed from the backgroundInfographic: Star Wars Despecialized Edition author Harmy says this shot took him the longest to correct. (Supplied: Petr Harmaek)

Harmy utilized the restricted 2006 DVD release of the untouched trilogy, which was based on a 1993 master, to patch footage without the droid into a shot from the HD Blu-Ray release. He also had to generate custom layered “mattes” to make the patchwork scene seem seamless.

Aside from patching footage from a variety of sources, one of the key tasks was colour correction.

Lucas’s DVD and Blu-Ray releases did a poor job of maintaining the colour palette of the original films, and also introduced “glaring errors”, Harmy says.

In one particular scene on the Millennium Falcon Luke’s lightsaber is tinged green in the Blu-Ray release, but it must have been blue.

External Hyperlink: Luke’s lightsaber had a green tinge in the Special Edition, which was fixed in Despecialised

The complete trilogy on Blu-Ray also has a magenta tone that messes with the appear of the film, he says.

Harmy had to colour-appropriate every shot to how the original would have looked using a scan of a Technicolor print.

The Despecialised Edition project has been helped along by the operates of other Star Wars fans devoted to the identical lead to, who Harmy knows online as: Dark Jedi, YouToo, Pugo, Group Unfavorable 1, Belbucus, Hairy_Hen, CatBus and Laserschwert.

Fans have offered audio restorations, scanned 35mm film reels, upscaled footage and redone subtitle tracks.

Work required to be carried out cleaning up scanned film reels to eliminate visual artefacts like scratches and dirt, and some of the aged footage was severely pink-faded, requiring the original colour palette to be sourced elsewhere.

External Link: Magenta tones present in the Blu-Ray release have been corrected

Punch it

It has taken years to the restore the films to the point they are in Despecialised, but even now they are not ideal and likely will never ever be “complete”, Harmy says.

“Despecialised is not a accurate restoration, it is a mashup of different sources of varying good quality and it has often been meant to only be a placeholder until such time that a accurate restoration from 100 per cent genuine original sources becomes obtainable.”

Harmy has no plans to revisit his edition of A New Hope any time quickly and Empire Strikes Back has had its 2. release, leaving a redo of Return of the Jedi’s 1. version with greater tools and footage the next focus.

External Link: Anakin Skywalker’s eyebrows were removed in the Specific Edition

Harmy’s Despecialised Edition is properly identified among Star Wars fans on-line but it is only accessible to download as a legally questionable torrent.

So far, Lucas and new Star Wars franchise owners Disney have let Harmy be.

Given that the franchise was sold, Harmy hopes it now implies an official release of the original trilogy is attainable.

“[Disney] have the resources and I feel if they hit the appropriate nostalgia strings with the advertising, they stand to make massive profits from the release,” he says.

But for Harmy, the project is a hobby that has changed his career trajectory.

The former English teacher has now taken a job at Ultraflix, where he is functioning to prepare and restore films for Ultra-HD 4K streaming.

External Link: A hiding R2D2 was placed behind a CGI rock the robot could not manoeuvre itself behind
External Link: Jabba’s sail barge and passenger moving on deck were enhanced in the Specific Edition


Subjects: film-films, arts-and-entertainment, science-and-technology, computers-and-technologies, czech-republic

First posted December 14, 2015 06:57:55

Agen Sabung Ayam

Football Federation Australia permits banned fans to see proof

Posted December 10, 2015 01:14:04

A-League fans banned from stadiums will be capable to view evidence against them in Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) reviewed appeals policy, chief executive David Gallop has announced.

Following a lengthy and heated meeting with representatives from all ten active supporter groups on Wednesday night, Gallop announced a number of alterations to FFA’s unpopular banning policy.

Alternatively of a “ban” notice, fans will now be issued with an “intention to ban” notice and will be allowed to see the proof against them, a essential problem at the heart of fan discontent.

That involves the 198 folks already banned, if the evidence against them still exists.

If the ban is maintained, they will have an opportunity to see an independent panel at a later date.

Gallop described the meeting —which lasted practically 4 hours — as productive.

He appealed to football fans to return to the game.

“We have made significant progress tonight in dealing with the grievances of the active fan groups. We want to see the terraces complete again this weekend,” Gallop mentioned.


Topics: sport, soccer, a-league, sports-organisations, australia

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Brosque purpose sufficient to see Sydney FC previous Jets as fans stay away

Updated December 04, 2015 22:07:37

Alex Brosque celebrates his goal against the Jets Photo: Alex Brosque’s aim broke the deadlock after Sydney FC had missed a host of possibilities. (Getty Images: Marke Kolbe)
Connected Story: Banned football fans say they’re being denied organic justice by FFA
Map: Sydney 2000

Alex Brosque has ended Sydney FC’s aim drought and saved a frustrating night for Filip Holosko, steering the Sky Blues to a 1- win more than Newcastle.

The skipper netted his 50th A-League purpose on Friday evening via a sublime finish that deservingly put to bed 307 goalless minutes for the club that had not managed a win in 5 rounds.

After two dour stalemates, Sydney finally inserted some pep into their vaunted attack.

It was just as properly, given the stands were largely devoid of life.

The Sydney Football Stadium was not fairly a ghost town, but it was certainly quiet in the second match of a league-wide fan boycott in protest against Football Federation Australia.


Sydney FC 1- Jets
at SFS, December four, 2015
threeShots on target1
11Shots off target7
Sydney FC: 1 (Brosque 57′)

Newcastle Jets:

View full stats sheet

A season-low 9,155 attended and though they chanted admirably in the Western Stand, could not plug the deafening silence emanating from the empty region that typically homes The Cove, Sydney FC’s active fan group.

Sydney offset the lack of atmosphere by pressing well, increasing in intensity to preserve the Jets penned inside their third bar a couple of counter-attacking runs.

Rhyan Grant was maybe the most energetic as he battled on the appropriate flank with the rejuvenated David Carney, even though Andrew Hoole, producing his debut commence for Sydney against his old club, showed plenty of guarantee on the left wing.

But for all the Sky Blues’ improvement they nonetheless lacked the finishing touch – and no player felt the discomfort far more than marquee Holosko.

In the 17th minute, the Slovakian international botched a sitter at point-blank range, lacking venom in his method to a cutback from Hoole and angling his effort into the post.

Not ten minutes later he missed once again, shooting a metre wide as he struggled inside a sandwich of two Jets defenders in spite of a good ball from Milos Ninkovic.

Then, when Brosque played wide for Grant to chip promisingly inside, Holosko created his most decent connection yet with an on-target header.

If only it had not flown straight into goalkeeper Mark Birighitti’s arms.

Birighitti, the custodian with the most saves in the league, did not so significantly have to perform to extend his record as stand nonetheless and wait, as Holosko flicked yet another shot straight to him just ahead of the break.

Holosko’s evening would have been so significantly worse had Enver Alivodic not drilled over the post obtaining more than-stretched to reach a deflected cross from Milos Trifunovic.

But exactly where the Jets had their possibilities, such as a horrid miskick from young Braedyn Crowley and a too-higher header from Nick Cowburn, Brosque mastered his chance.

The captain, who been menacing all match in the striker role in place of the benched Shane Smeltz, took a blistering run down the field in the 57th minute and completed with a crisp left-foot strike.

Brosque’s evening had a bitter finish although, the veteran striker hit the deck clutching his hamstring and limped off the field.


External Hyperlink: A-League 2015-16 ladder

Topics: a-league, soccer, sport, sydney-2000, nsw, australia

1st posted December 04, 2015 21:35:15

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Victory fans stage walk-out protest over FFA treatment

Posted November 28, 2015 22:16:17

Melbourne Victory’s active supporter group has followed through on its threat to stroll out of the club’s A-League match against Adelaide United.

About 1,000 fans from the North Terrace left Docklands Stadium following half an hour to protest against what they see as heavy-handed remedy by Football Federation Australia (FFA) of banned fans.

The issue reached boiling point right after a list of 198 fans, banned from attending the A-League for anti-social behaviour, was detailed final Sunday in News Corp Australia newspapers.

Fan groups across the A-League have created their displeasure identified with what they see as a lack of help from the governing physique and a privacy breach.

Earlier, Victory’s fan group unveiled banners reading “198 Bans, Appeals” and later, “It is in your hands” – a clear message to FFA.

As they filed out, they had been greeted by warm applause from the Docklands Stadium crowd, demonstrating support for their lead to.

Victory went on to win the match two-1 soon after very first-half targets to Besart Berisha and Oliver Bozanic.

On Friday night, Melbourne City supporter group ‘Melburnians’ chose to vacate their position behind the aim to watch their club’s 5-1 belting of Perth Glory.

Before kick-off, they showed indicators reading “No Fans No Football” and “Terraces Not Terrorists”.

The latter is a reference to Sydney radio personality Alan Jones, who compared A-League fans to terrorists involved in the Paris attacks.

City fans also developed a “We Stand By the 198” banner just before security ripped it up and confiscated it.

Western Sydney supporter group Red and Black Bloc have pledged similar action to the North Terrace on Sunday when they play Central Coast.


Topics: a-league, soccer, sport, melbourne-3000, vic, australia

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Victory go top with 2-1 win over Adelaide as fans stage walk-out protest

Updated November 28, 2015 21:33:09

Melbourne Victory have gone prime of the A-League with a 2-1 win over Adelaide United at Docklands Stadium.

Besart Berisha and Oliver Bozanic got the ambitions in the very first half in a match which featured a walk-out from about 1,000 Victory fans more than the FFA’s remedy of 198 fans on its banned list.

Marcelo Carrusca slotted a objective in the dying stages but the Victory hung on to leapfrog Brisbane into first spot on the ladder.

Far more to come.

Subjects: a-league, soccer, sport, melbourne-3000, vic, australia

First posted November 28, 2015 21:31:21

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