Review Detail

Star Wars - Episode IV:  2004 Special Edition Revisited
July 23, 2012    
Overall rating 

I’ll clarify this from the get-go:

I’m not a big Star Wars fan. I haven’t even seen all the prequels, and my “first trilogy” DVD box set (the editions that include the original cuts) is yet to be opened.

So, why did I watch this particular FE (and make it my first comment here)? Word of mouth, of course, and the fact that it got promoted in “a totally new Star Wars experience” terms (read: “curiosity”). So, how did I like it?

For starters: it’s the same old experience. It’s ANH and feels like ANH. Which is, of course, a good thing for all the fans worldwide. What I consider fatal flaws within the movie and the saga would not only be really hard to fix in a fan edit, but would result in a totally different thing that fans would no doubt hate. But let me say that this feels like ANH much more than the 1997 SE did.

And, as per Adywan’s work itself, the word is… WOW! This is way more professional than lots of “real” movies out there. As I’m not as familiar with the source material to notice most of the changes, having watched ANH no more than four times (three the original, one the ’97), I had to double-check to try to find the stitches all the time. Unsuccessfully. This is seamless! It’s an injustice Adywan is not working as a film editor for a living (in case he isn’t, of course). Fans of the saga may spot little things they would prefer to be done other way, as it’s usually the case with the “fanboy” genre, but it’s all fine with me.

However, since I don’t favor CGIed up revisionism, this has not become my favorite ANH. The good old, analogic, model-ridden 1977 original still comes on top. Yet this comes second, and it’s far superior to the official Lucasfilm tinkering.

As such, seen not as great SW but as great craftsmanship, I rate this:

Video: 10/10
Audio: 10/10
DVD menu/extras: 10/10
Improvement: 5/10 over the 1977, 10/10 over the 1997 SE
Overall: 10/10

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