The Battle of Yavin, more commonly known as the Death Star Battle from the original 1977 cinema classic Star Wars: A New Hope, has been remastered in 4K. Director George Lucas famously “upgraded” his landmark trilogy in 1997, but many fans of the original theatrical release bemoaned the added CGI effects and restored deleted scenes that made their way into these remastered “special edition” versions.
Fortunately for die-hard Star Wars originalists, numerous fan-reedits of the original three films that meticulously removed Lucas’ 1997 CGI additions, known as “de-specialized” editions, have periodically appeared online, much to Lucas’ dismay.
Now, a YouTuber known as Prometheus of Videos has taken the time to upgrade the famous Death Star battle all the way to 4K, offering viewers over 12 minutes of Ultra HD Star Wars glory.
Watching the new video, it is impressive to see the effort put in by this YouTuber, as well as the high-level visual quality of a print that can be made from a film shot over 45 years ago. Of course, as was Lucas’ stated intention, the re-edit special editions of the late 1990’s did add some cleaner, less dated visual effects as well as other editorial touches that did little to change the narrative structure of this particular scene, while legitimately upgrading the visual aspect to a more modern look.
To see the differences, another 2016 YouTube video shows a side-by-side comparison of the same battle as shown in both the 1997 Lucas special edition and the de-specialized edition. A quick watch of that video shows how little was really changed in this part of the film, as opposed to, say, a previously deleted scene with Han Solo that was revived by Lucas in 1997 to include the swashbuckling smuggler stepping on the tail of a comically reactive Jabba the Hut. (Please make that scene go away, George. Seriously.)
Of course, that side-by-side doesn’t include the latest upgrade to 4K, but it does at least show what was removed or changed by Lucas.
Either way, watching the newly remastered 4K Battle of Yavin is enjoyable all on its own. So, if you weren’t lucky enough to see the original in the theater back in 1977 six times like yours truly did (a brag I haven’t been able to use in like four decades, so forgive me) this may be just about as close as you get to experiencing what it was to sit in total awe, somehow fully aware even at age eight that you were watching history unfold right before you. At least, the history of a galaxy far, far away, anyway.
Follow and connect with author Christopher Plain on Twitter:@plain_fiction