There’s a story going round that George Lucas has, once again, been making digital nips and tucks to his Star Wars saga. It started with Bill Hunt at the brilliant Digital Bits, who attended a preview session with the discs and, in his most impressively comprehensive report, said:
Once again, George has apparently added a few new “surprises” into these films. I don’t know what they are and didn’t get to see any of them on Friday, but I was assured that there will be “new things to notice” when we watch the films. I think we can safely assume that one of them will be the new all-digital Yoda in Episode I.
When I was at Big Screen a week and a half ago, I got to sit down with ILM’s John Goodson and Bill George. While it’s possible that they were mistaken and not properly briefed, both Goodson and George told me that, actually, no new material had created for the Blu-ray incarnations of the films.
I specifically asked precisely this, and they specifically told me that, no, George had not been making more changes of this fashion. I asked clearly, and they gave me a clear – and apparently definitive – answer.
Messrs. Goodman and George acknowledged the work done to the soundtrack, the reframing and the colour correction, and even the recompositing of effects, but according to these guys, the Blu-ray versions will simply be polished, perfected transfers of what wasn’t done quite right on the 2004 DVDs.
Just in case, however, I’ve dropped a line to a few appropriate people and I’ll see if we can’t get an official statement. Always good where possible.
I’ve got lots more on the Star Wars Blu-ray sets coming in the next couple of weeks, including lots from the conversations I had with Star Wars alums at Big Screen, and also my impressions of the Blu-ray sound and image. Spoiler: from what I’ve seen so far, they’ve really gotten it right.