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A waaaay too long explanation: The Fans Who Saved Star Wars

Project 4k77 (Original Trilogy in 4k)

If you want to see the original trilogy, as it appeared in theaters in the 70s and 80s... maybe you can.

It turns out that 35mm film is 4K, more or less - which is why so many of the Blu-Ray releases of films from the 60s and 70s look a lot better than you would have expected - especially compared to movies in the 2000s which were not shot on real film and can't be rescanned in 4k.

  • 4K scans of salvaged 35mm Film Reels from Movie Theater
  • 4k77 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
    • Complete, but possible better scans will be found - v1.0, v1.2, v1.4, v1.6, v2.1
    • Lots of variation to choose from - noise reduction, color grading, etc
    • v1.0 DNR
  • 4k80 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    • Incomplete, all known film reels are in real bad shape
  • 4k83 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
    • Miraculously, a single reel in near pristine condition has been scanned

There are also some Disney+ (D+) Despecialized Editions that mix 4k77 footage.

Harmy's Despecialized Edition

If you want basically the Blu-Ray version, but without the extra scenes or CGI, this may get you good enough:

Silver Screen Edition

Rather than "de-specializing", the SSE (Silver Screen Edition) is... kinda like a low-res 4k77.


The v1.0 release announcement:

You'd want v1.6 if you could find it. The announcement:

Support your Local Restorationist

These guys are the ones to thank:

By AJ ONeal

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