Another Update on the Star Wars Collection Blu-Ray



The release date is now so close I can almost taste it, and following last week’s revelations surrounding the specifics of the Blu-ray extras, we now have a little more detail as to what we will be getting when the collection arrives on shelves next month.

So, here’s a handy list of stuff we now know, thanks to TheDigitalBits and StarWars.com:

  1. The image size has been increased
According to TheDigitalBits, the original DVDs of the Prequel Trilogy used a reduced frame size thanks to the limitations of technology at the time, and that has now been addressed, as the images below indicate. The first is of the DVD image, and the second of the new Blu-ray: the size difference may not be huge, but it is definitely noticeable.



2. The image quality of the Prequels will naturally be bettered thanks to improvements in the technology of transferring from the source. This will also hopefully deal with the offputting and unnecessary edge-enhancement and colour issues that blemished the previous Episode I DVD presentation.

3. The Original Trilogy transfer will improve on the 2004 DVD releases.
And in fact, there have been a number of small visual fixes that will deal with infamous glitches from previous releases. Crucially, the transfer was meticulously worked on, by a number of different parties to ensure as much was fixed as possible:

“It went through three phases of QC (quality control) processes,” describes Diane Caliva, Production Manager for Media Operations at ILM. “In addition to Lucasfilm reviewing, there were outside companies hired as well. The first was Blu-focus/THX QCing our masters. Then it went through Deluxe and their QC process. And at last was the emulation phase, by the Deluxe team . We would get ‘kickback notes’, and then Dorne and our team we would assess the shots, and go in and clean up the files.”

4. The Original Trilogy theatrical cuts won’t be included.


Sucks, right?
5. Light-sabers will be the right colour again.


One gripe that surfaces again and again is that in earlier releases, the light-sabers on screen had been dimmed, which robbed them of their white-hot cores and generally made them look a little bit piss-poor. This, mercifully, has been fixed:

“We’re trying to get back to the intention of the original film experience,” says Dorne Huebler, an Associate Visual Effects Supervisor at ILM. “That’s really what’s going on with the lightsabers. You want that hot white core, and it was just right for film, but on video, that was dampened.”

And here’s the perfect example of what Huebler is talking about, first up is the DVD, followed by the fixed version on the new blu-ray:





6. Yoda will be replaced.



Okay, so not entirely, but the original puppet will definitely be replaced with a CGI version, presumably for added “realism”. Here’s a clip of the new addition to the Star Wars family:

So there we have it, all exciting stuff, and based on what those lucky enough to see footage so far have said, the blu-ray release looks likely to be the fitting tribute and celebration that the two trilogies deserve.

Will you be buying?