It’s hard to imagine what the original 35mm print of 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope would look like in HD. We can only imagine a film version where there is no ropey CGI, no pointless Jabba the Hutt scene, and no way that Hans Solo, being the badass that he was, wouldn’t shoot first. If that sounds like a version worth seeing, then a group known as Team Negative 1 has you covered.
The group made up of diehard Star Wars fans put their hard-earned money and countless hours into restoring the 1977 35 mm version of the film. And then illegally put it on the internet for all to see.
It’s currently unknown how the group got their hands on the film, which was originally thought to be lost to the sands of time, but their version is for fans who want to enjoy the purest version of the film with its original pops, scratches, and color issues.
The creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, caught a lot of slack when he altered the film from its original audio and changed minor details here and there.
The 1997 special edition was anything but special as the entire transfer from 33m made the movie unbearable for true fans to sit through. With poor image quality and CGI coming out of every orifice, it was too much unnecessary change to a film that never needed it.
Lucas, on the other hand, would beg to differ. At the time, Lucas said it would take too much time and money to do what Team Negative 1 just did. “The special edition, that’s the one I wanted out there. … I’m not going to spend the—we’re talking millions of dollars here, the money and the time to refurbish that because to me, it doesn’t really exist anymore. It’s like this is the movie I wanted it to be, and I’m sorry you saw half a completed film and fell in love with it,” Lucas said in a 2004 interview.
Team Negative 1 understands that this version may not be for the younger crowd who have only ever experienced blockbuster CGI films, but they know the older crowd will appreciate the grain in the film and the imperfections.
“We know that anyone under 30 kind of prefers the clean, sharp, detailed look,” Team Negative 1 told Movie Mezzanine. “Then the older crowd, the retro crowd, is like, ‘give me the grain and give me the matte boxes and give me a little weave in the picture.’ It’s kind of like CD vs. vinyl.”
We can only hope the group somehow gets their hands on the other two films in the original trilogy. It may not happen, but a boy can dream, can’t he? Check out a clip of the restored version below.