Tag Archives: modifications

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

Labor proposes modifications to tackle union misconduct

Updated December 07, 2015 00:28:33

Federal Labor will today announce a suite of measures aimed at improving union governance, with tougher penalties for criminal offences and much more protections for whistleblowers on the cards.

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has uncovered misconduct in a number of unions, and is due to report by the end of the month.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told ABC’s Insider’s program on Sunday that he would be announcing the new standards.

“There has been some proof come out about the [Well being Solutions Union] and one particular or two other unions, which to my way of considering signifies we need to talk about improving governance,” he stated.

Labor’s strategy contains:

  • boosting powers for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to investigate breaches of the Fair Operate Act
  • doubling the maximum penalties for criminal offences
  • rising the size of the Fair Perform Commission, with $ 4.five million in additional funding
  • lowering the threshold at which election donations have to be declared from $ 13,000 to $ 1,000
  • giving union whistleblowers the identical protections that exist in the public sector.

Labor’s workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor stated the modifications would support stop rorting by dishonest officials.

“We want to see robust, effective and sincere unions representing working people in this nation and so if there are — and we know there are a handful of — [unions] that have carried out the wrong issue, we want to detect that early,” he stated.

In a joint statement from Mr Shorten, Mr O’Connor and Labor MP Mark Dreyfus, the Opposition also pledged to “assistance unions in their transition to a modern movement, which continues to advocate for nation changing reforms”.

The proposed changes would also see a mandatory rotation of auditors every five years and penalties of up to 12-month jail sentences for “auditors failing to do their job”.

Topics: unions, alp, government-and-politics, federal-government, corporate-governance, industrial-relations, australia

Very first posted December 07, 2015 00:23:59

Agen Sabung Ayam

Porter reaches out to Senate crossbench on family members tax modifications

Updated December 01, 2015 01:01:16

The Federal Government says it is willing to additional compromise with the Senate crossbench in order to pass the remainder of its planned alterations to family members tax advantages.

The Senate final night passed a bill to scrap Loved ones Tax Benefit (FTB) Portion B for couples, once their youngest kid turns 13.

The current age limit is 18 for these teenagers who finish higher school, and 16 for these who do not.

Labor supported the bill, but opposes the remainder of the Government’s strategy.

Nonetheless, Social Services Minister Christian Porter will reintroduce over $ 4 billion of other savings to Parliament on Wednesday, and is hunting to the crossbench for help.

“We’re in the art of the achievable right here,” Mr Porter told AM.

I’ve listened and engaged and attempted to function out what approaches we can modify items, and other factors we’ve got on our books to try and secure passage by means of the Senate

Social Solutions Minister Christian Porter

“I’d rather have a save compromised but actually have a prospect of passing by way of Parliament, which signifies we really get reforms to kid care, than be doctrinaire about it all and be unwilling to compromise, so compromise it is.”

The Government will drop about $ 70 million in savings by exempting grandparent and wonderful-grandparent carers, and single parents more than the age of 60 from modifications to FTB Component B.

Mr Porter stated those exemptions had been getting proposed following initial discussions with some senators.

“In my conversations with the crossbench, I’ve not put the heavy on and tried to get an answer ‘yes or no’ proper now,” Mr Porter told AM.

“But I’ve listened and engaged and tried to work out what techniques we can modify things, and other issues we’ve got on our books to try and secure passage via the Senate.”

Contact for other kinship carers to be integrated in revised legislation

The bulk of the proposed savings come from phasing out supplement payments to loved ones tax benefit recipients, which the Minister argued were no longer required.

“These payments have been meant to let folks to spend off debts that were becoming occasioned back in 2004 when we had been in huge surplus,” Mr Porter mentioned.

“Debts have stabilised and we are now paying income, in circumstances where we are in deficit, to families, to pay debts which, overwhelmingly, they no longer accrue.”

But Labor’s spokeswoman for communities and carers, Claire Moore, told the Senate that the further payments have been essential to low revenue families’ budgets.

“These amounts of cash truly make a actual difference in the survival budgets of men and women raising young children,” Senator Moore mentioned.

The Greens have also opposed the modifications, and have stated they will not be voting for the revised legislation.

Spokeswoman Rachel Siewert told the Senate that the Government must also exclude other loved ones-primarily based carers from the proposed changes.

“Even though I’m genuinely pleased that they’re lastly paying attention to grandparent carers — simply because for so extended they have ignored them — they now look to neglect there is kinship carers, foster carers, but in specific kinship carers,” she mentioned.

“Grandparent carers are really fewer in number than other kinship carers.”

Mr Porter told AM it had not been raised with him before, but he would contemplate Senator Siewert’s concerns.

“I’m not positive how many individuals identify as kinship carers, or indeed no matter whether there’s a great measure of formally identifying by way of the system. I am happy to look at any suggestion,” he said.

Topics: federal-government, government-and-politics, welfare, neighborhood-and-society, australia

Initial posted December 01, 2015 00:56:07

Agen Sabung Ayam