when the 1st Widescreen version of "Star Wars"
was released by CBS/Fox in Japan
on a Standard Play CAV Laserdisc.
It was known simply as the "Special Collection".
Almost three more years would come to pass before this film would finally get a widescreen release on Laserdisc in the U.S.
Using the same print master as the previous editions
( as all the exact same print flaws are present),
the 2.35:1 image is shifted up on the screen
to make room for the subtitles below.
|Front Cover Art / Design .|
|Widescreen CAV version from Japan VS The Pan & Scan US release.|
The same print was used, however The Special Collection featured PCM Digital sound.
|Different end bumpers where utilized on these releases.|
to this day consider this the best available consumer
home video version of the film.
This disc was bought in an attempt to verify
if (?) this myth is indeed true.
Please keep in mind that there are many factors to consider.
so therefore it lacks both the video noise ( from the digital tape) & smear introduced by the DNR that was utilized in those release. That's not to say that this release lacks noise.
TRUTH be told - STRICTLY in terms of Image Quality -
Anyhow - here's the story the chart doesn't tell.
DISCLAIMER: All Images sourced from Laserdisc & DVD's
are copyright © 1977, 1985, 1986, 1993, 2006
Lucasfilm Ltd. Fair Use Law applies for review purposes
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107
Copyright Act 1976
No copyright infringement intended.
|I wonder what could possible come next ?|
that are present in the film itself - like dirt & scratches.
The one major flaw that really stands out
is all the glue lines in the negative between scenes.
There are many of them. Here is an example.
"noise" & additional
"artifacts" on disc
Here is the same frame from The Definitive Collection Disc.
|Based upon this image - TDC looks better right?|
|Noticed green colored "noise"|
|From The Definitive Collection|
The "noise" level was worse here on "The Definitive Collection" Disc !
As a matter of fact - notice how bad the upper left hand corner of the image looks.
Now- as everyone knows -
the scenes where the droids exit the excape pod &
part ways is really bad shape ( the film - that is.)
Not even going to review it here -
cause that scene could be an article by itself.
disc one ended.
it was filmed than any other release.
DISC 1 / Side 1 Chapter titles:
1. Opening: Star Destroyer & Blockade Runner
2. The Planet Tatooine; C3PO & R2
3. Luke Skywalker
Fade up from black to this image:
There seems to be a band of "green noise" right through the middle of the image.
Like previously stated - maybe this is just this used copy? -
The image may be beginning to break down due to the disc's age?
Who knows how / or under what type of storage conditions
the previous owner kept the disc? Then again -
maybe all of the copy's look this bad?
The scene where R2 gets shot by the Jawas on The Special Collection
Contains the bright day I remember.
|Unlike the changes in "The Special Edition" - this scene|
"occurs" when both Suns are still high in the sky -
as it is daytime, and not sun - er, suns set.
Side 2 ends here:
Han : "Those guys must really be desperate.
This could really save my neck.
Getback to the ship and get her ready".
DISC 1 Side 2 Chapter Titles:
1. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Knight
2. Death Star: Grand Moff Tarkin &
Lord Darth Vader
3. The Bar of Cantina ; Han Solo
Side 3 begins here:
|Ben: "You'll have to sell your speeder."|
Compare the above image to The Definitive Collection Version.
|The 2006 TDC Bonus DVD|
|The frames leading up to the end of disc|
looked better than those images at the end
Makes you wonder?
|DISC 2 Side 3 Chapter Titles|
1. The Bar of Cantina ; The Bounty Hunter
2. Millennium Falcan ; Jump to Hyperspace
3. Destroy of the Planet Alderaan
4. Monster Chess and Light Saber
5. Toward Death Star
|Han: "This is not going to work."|
and ends here:
|This frame NOT taken from the Special Collection LD.|
Scene was more meaning after viewing "Rogue One"
| DISC 2 Side 4: Chapter Titles
1. Rescue of Princess Leia
2. Obi-Wan Vs. Darth Vader
3. Escape : Battle against TIE Fighter
4. The Planet Yavin
Bet you the thought -
" then the Laserdisc Player being used must just suck"
has already crossed your mind by now - right?
Why else would these results look so poor?
Well, IF this was a CLV disc - ( One hour - extended play )
you may well have a point. However -
a modified Industrial Pioneer LD-V8000 is being used here-
and while it's CLV performance w/ motion smear IS indeed lacking -
it's picture quality w/ CAV Laserdisc is normally rock solid.
It certainly may not be THE Best LD player ever manufactured -
( heck - it's not even in the top five )
but if you bought this thing back in the early 90's -
you could have done a lot worse -
as there were only a handful of players at that time that could top it.
For now -
DISC #3 - Side 5 Starts here:
almost w/ a "Flash" of light, as for some unknown reason
the Death Star "glows" a little bit brighter on the 1st couple of frames
before it somewhat "settles" down a bit -
( again - THIS is the Brightest Release of all the Widescreen disc.)
Here is where things get interesting w/ DISC 3:
Starting @ about this point -
|Still not perfect - but looking better.|
The image just slowly continues to improve.
Then IT happens !
Before you know it - there it is:
The Star Wars That I Used to Know.
It doesn't even look like this image is from the same pressing.
One could only image what it must have felt like to have this back in 1986.
Further on into the disc - and all the green noise just about disappears
Click on IMAGE to ENLARGE.
(Chapter Marker / Frame Index Display turned on for reference)
Here is a frame from TDC.
Again - it's a little darker w/ slightly different color tint.
Than a funny thing happens towards the. THIS:
So again - for reference - I check the TDC.
|Some Green - but mostly blue.|
Then take a look at the regular SE "remastered " 2004 DVD
|Even more blue tint. |
Notice the matte painted soldiers of the far left & right have been replaced.
So - upon referencing the 1985 Pan & Scan Laserdisc -
( other than being cropped - this image should be absolutely identical )
|The 1985 Pan & Scan Standard Play (CAV) US release.|
which is the reason why the Widescreen version just stood out.
So it must be this disc itself - as the video itself it sourced from both
the same print and same master tape.
DISC 3 Side 5 Chapter Titles
1. Briefing about attack Death Star
2. Dog Fight
does the world's 1st Widescreen release of Star Wars on Home Video
really manage to still be the BEST version of Lucas's Original
Unaltered Masterpiece after 30 years ?
Hard to judge. The 1st 4 sides of the copy used in this review have
already starting to show signs of degrading and contained light rot -
either due to age or more likely than not- improper storage conditions.
So they get dismissed.
Disc 5 / Side three however makes a strong case.
Like the 1985 Pan & Scan release before it -
it's extremely bright - and contains many flaws in the print
(the way you remember it - before it was cleaned up and restored. )
IF (?) you still happen to be using either a CRT Projection TV and /or
a standard or HD conventional tube set just to playback these old Laserdisc -
( like an old school Sony Trinitron Flat tube) then
THIS may very well be THE disc for you.
|Mark Hamill & Carrie Fisher |
Star Wars Image sourced from 1985 Pan & Scan CAV Laserdisc
The brighter releases really work well with those darker monitors -
( as they were designed to do back in their day )
and they may (?) even do well when displayed on a small 42" Plasma.
On a modern flat screen LED HD digital panel however -
believe it or not - it was the somewhat hated
2004 Bonus DVD copy of the D-1 Mastertape
that was previously used to produced both the "Faces" Laserdisc
and "The Definitive Collection" Box set before that -
which really yielded the best overall picture performance.
The difference in sound quality, on the other hand -
is an altogether entirely different story.
About how these images were captured
(without getting technical.)
Unlike most DVD players today -
a Laserdisc player itself can adversely effect image quality.
While the best way to transfer the Laserdisc to video -
is just to import the signal directly to a computer -
currently we lack both the capture card &
the software needed in order to do so.
Besides, that's a lot of space on the hard drive to use.
Therefore a Pioneer Elite DVD Recorder
was utilized in order to capture the
frames displayed on this page.
plugged into an
and Tripp Lite
A Special Thank You to Kevin Kobos
@ The Good Squid in Japan for
The Star Wars "Special Collection" Laserdisc reviewed here.