Fan-restoration of Star Wars Episode IV ("Project 4K77") Nears Release

Fans of vintage films, rejoice, for a new dawn riseth: the paintstaking work of remastering - in 4K - the theatrical release of Star Wars draws to a close. Weighing in at 21 terabytes of raw image data, each frame has been lovingingly scanned and restored. Multiple 35mm sources were used, making this the best way to re-experience the space opera classic.

4K77 replaces the Silver Screen Edition (viewable in downsampled form here) and the De-Specialized fan-restoration projects.

Ahead of the release of 4K77, the team has posted a (pre-final!) restored trailer:


Before he sold everything else to Disney, George Lucas should have released the first movie into the public domain.

It’s about time for some fan sequels where Vader is not Luke’s father, Leia is an only child, and the Force is not mediated by microscopic parasites that you only learn about in the upper levels of Scientology.


While I am certainly a fan of any restoration works for any media (if you think about it, we lose more media every minute from ephemeral works, poor archival formats, and obsolescence now than probably any time in the past), I have an issue with the idea that everything that heppened since 1977 is shit.

It’s just not true. Large parts of the digital remaster weren’t about who shot first or other things fans love to rag on, but compensation for technical limitations faced by the original team in creating the effects for Star Wars. While preserving the original version as an archival project is important, I take issue with the suggestion that it is the best version.

I’m sure any of those original engineers would tell you that they would have loved to have removed some of the artifacts and other aberrations that were present in the final, theatrical film, but that the technology, budget, or time didn’t exist to do so.

I do reiterate, however, that I’m glad to see this project nearing completion and hope that their efforts will allow future generations access to the original nexus of what will probably be known by then as the largest sci-fi property of our time. :slight_smile:


I’d agree with that. If they’d left alone Han Shot First, the Sand People Scare-Away Howl, and so on, and just made it look less 1970s-on-a-budget, that would have been fine.


well, at least The Last Jedi took care of this part.


With Disney’s acquisition of Fox, they could do their own 1977 remaster, if they so chose.

I’m ambivalent about the chances of this actually occurring.

On the one hand, it would probably sell a lot of copies among the faithful, and make Disney a lot of money.

On the other, Lucas’s control of the movie and the release of a final version which supersedes everything previous is a very Disney attitude. Like how Disney likes to throw their movies into “the Vault” for years at a time between re-releases.

I don’t know. I’d put the odds of it happening as being higher after the Fox acquisition, but still not very likely. However, something of a disregard for the odds is a characteristic which is common among Star Wars fans, so…


this is the first i’ve heard of this. the Harmy (De-Specialized) editions are still my favorite, but this is also super intriguing. any idea where i can find out more about it?



that’s pretty on-the-nose. Re-editing to make Han seem more heroic and less mercenary is analogous to axing the “Auntie” servants in Fantasia or pretending Song of the South doesn’t exist anymore. Why would they do a re-release that makes one of their flagship characters look bad? Their history is of doing the exact opposite.

We have Harmy’s Despecialized editions and now this new one, so it’s a moot point anyway, to me. Let Disney do Disney and fans can still have their archival edition independent of them.


I wish there was this much community around restoring better sci-fi movies of the 70s. Star Wars was okay enough, but I struggle to understand how it has so much fandom compared to Solaris, Phase IV, Zardoz, Demon Seed, Colossus - even Lucas’ own THX1138 (which also screams for a de-specialized release, although I didn’t find George’s tweaks too egregious)

It’s a nice effort, but mostly it just gets me thinking that there are many movies which IMO would benefit more from restoration efforts. The 1970’s I think were something of a golden age for sci-fi cinema.


Star Wars '77 won 6 Oscars, including Best Visual Effects and Best Film Editing, and it’s about time we had a version that presented those aspects as they were when they won.


Except, there is no “Episode IV.”

It’s called “Star Wars.”


PREACH IT :sparkles:


Where there’s a Whill, there’s a way


There should be a special edition of Star Wars where Han shoots first, but Greedo has been digitally replaced with Jar-Jar.


I’m imagining a Better Call Saul postscript to the prequels. After flunking out of resort-planet law school, Jar-Jar hits the spaceways doing odder and odder jobs, falling in and out with a series of lower and lower people. The denoument comes when Jar-Jar, after a few decades, washes up with the Hutt organization.

Ever playing the big man while his compatriots snigger behind his back, he makes a last ditch attempt to fit into this confusing world as a debt collector slash “bounty hunted”.

Han was a man of mercy after all.