Industrial Light & Magic: Star Wars Blu-ray reveals things never meant to be seen
Star Wars: The Complete Saga arrives on Blu-ray in the UK on 12 September, and two of the special effects team who worked across the movies have told Pocket-lint that, thanks to the Full HD transfers, we should expect to see things that wouldn't have shown up on previous versions. And that includes bloopers and mistakes.
Demonstrating some of the footage at Empire's Big Screen festival in the O2 Arena in London (which runs until 14 August), visual effects supervisor Bill George and digital artist John Goodson showed us how an AT-AT Walker topples onto its side during the Battle of Hoth in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. Somebody (Ed Hirsh) was sat under the table and poked at the underside of one of its feet with a stick.
If you look very closely at the new transfer, you can just see the tip of the stick appear.
Goodson believes that this is just one tiny secret that may now be unveiled: "You’re going to see a lot of interesting things in this," he said. "It’s going to reveal a lot of things that were never intended to be seen."
And, he also states that it is mainly the original trilogy that will be affected by the new, cleaner format, as Episodes II and III were shot digitally: "The first three films were done on film, so they were never seen like this before. We’ve never seen them at this resolution, so you’re going to see things that you’ve never seen before.
"We were watching footage the other day of the Walker sequence [in Empire Strikes Back] and we both keyed on the same thing at the same moment - which is when one of the Walkers is being hit by laser fire, and you see [marks] appearing on it. I don’t think that either one of us have ever noticed that before."
The ILM duo also revealed that some work was needed before the original trilogy was fit for Blu-ray, although fans will be happy that was confined to improving the picture quality, rather than fiddling with the films themselves: "The interesting thing about Star Wars and the Star Wars series of films is that they’ve been restored two or three times in the past decade, and so they were in pretty good shape to begin with," said Bill George.
"I do know that they went in and made some colour corrections on the lightsabers, because they were getting a little bit funky. But I don’t think they went in and did any pantyline removal, or anything like that."
What do you think of the prospect of Star Wars on Blu-ray? Are you looking forward to it? Let us know in the comments below...