Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope: Custom Special Edition

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9.9
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9.9(9)
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10.0(9)
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9.8(9)
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9.6(9)
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(Updated: November 20, 2019)
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Well, color me impressed: after HAL9000's tour-de-force on the Prequels (they are my go-to versions), he gets closer to my ideal of A New Hope than any other version I've seen.

It's always a treat to see an edit that's a labor of love, especially when it's a film you yourself love too.

There are lots of big-picture improvements to be found here: the color looks soooo much better than the blu-ray, Han shoots first, the weakest Special Edition CGI creatures are gone, and more. HAL9000 achieves this result while standing on the shoulders of giants, and combines their efforts to create a whole that is even better than their parts.

But what speaks most to the love invested in this edit are small details. The Cantina Band that is subtly heard outside the cantina. Luke calling Wedge instead of Biggs. The dual language track to give viewers their choice of Obi-Wan's line "Your father wanted..." or "I wanted...".

Does this replace all other versions for me? No, but it is at the top of the list.

Update: After comparing the audio on different systems (good stereo, pc, and headphones) and in Audacity, I notice the soundstage is flatter than the original blu-ray. Perhaps an imperfect setting at rendering?

P.S. For anyone who wants the subtitles to match Obi-Wan saying "Your father..." instead of "I...", PM me for the updated .srt file.
Owner's reply November 24, 2019

Thanks for the review and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it.
The reason you notice a different flavor with the audio from the BluRay is because I used the DTS theater audio from the 1997 Special Edition as my primary source. While this choice would be fair to question, it is not due to a fault with encoding.

L
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(Updated: March 31, 2024)
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Having seen the despec and the blu ray versions, i would put the custom ses above them all. As far as star wars ot goes this are the visually best you can find.

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Yes
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Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Moving on in our re-watch of the Skywalker saga. (Just for fun, this time we're doing 1-4-7, 2-5-8, 3-6-9.)

The audio/video quality is of course top-notch. By HAL's own admission in the description, this isn't a completely new, revelatory take on the material, but an amalgam of several other edits. (Surprisingly, it sounds like Adywan wasn't one of the sources - which is fine, just unexpected.) The most noticeable thing here is the use of the mono mix for several moments. (It isn't mentioned in the list of changes, but I thought that sound like Aunt Beru's original actress, too.)

If you're looking for a subtle, straightforward edit of ANH that lets you watch it without all the stuff you don't like, but you want to just relax and watch the movie without thinking too hard about what might be changed, then this edit will make (switch to General Grevious voice) a finnne addition to your collection!

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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(Updated: June 05, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Great work as usual. I"m really ok with all the changes you've made.

Visual and audio quality is excellent, and french subtitles are more than appreciated. My go-to version now, for marathons and rewatch. My favorite edit out of the three i've watched.

Thanks for this definitive version of a classic movie.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This edit finds the perfect balance between the Despecialized edit and Adywan's Revisited. While I also enjoy those edits, Hal's edits of the OT feel like what Lucas should have gone for back in '97. I had to look through the list of changes to determine all of the differences in this edit, but I mean that as the highest possible compliment because everything was seamlessly integrated. The video source is truly a game-changer, both in video quality and color accuracy. I agree with every compliment mentioned in lapis-molari's review, so read that too!

No need to break down my score as I have in other reviews - 10s all around.

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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