4K Theatrical Restoration of the True Original “Star Wars” possible for 2017

by on December 27, 2016

Stephan Jukic – December 27, 2016

When the first ever of the “Star Wars” films, “A New Hope” turns 40 in 2017, millions of dedicated fans of the immensely popular franchise might get a very unique treat in the form of a limited theater screening in beautifully restored form with theatrical 4K resolution of the first movie released in the series.

According to recent comments made by Rogue One director Gareth Edwards, a 4K restoration of Star Wars Episode IV “A New Hope” does indeed exist and now the only real question is whether or not the cleaned up and sharpened version of the movie will be hitting the big screen once again.

“Star Wars: A New Hope” was the movie that kicked off the entire Star Wars mega franchise with its surprising runaway success and tells the story of young Luke Skywalker’s introduction to the Rebel Alliance which is fighting the Empire for the liberation of the known Universe, though we’d guess that by this point in time nobody who hasn’t been living in a jungle cave doesn’t at least recognize the basic plot of the movie or its sequels and prequels. Starring the recently deceased Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Alec Guinness and a very young Harrison Ford in one of his first major motion picture appearances, “A New Hope” performed far better than was ever expected by its creator, George Lucas and has been re-released to theaters and disc media a number of times since its first arrival on the big screen, many times with new scenes and remastering work added in.

However, the new 4K version of the film will truly be something worth seeing with fresh eyes and new audiences, especially now that the entire “Star Wars” franchise is getting a further update with the latest and “final” episodes in the famous story arc.


The actual evidence of a 4K theatrical release consists mainly of an interview with the website Little White Lies in which “rogue One” director Edwards reveals that Lucasfilm special effects master John Knoll encouraged the director to watch a new 4K version of the original Star Wars at George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch. According to Edwards, “They’ve got a brand new 4K restoration print of A New Hope … it had literally just been finished,”.

And since the summer of 2017 is also when the 40th anniversary of the initial release of “A New Hope” rolls around, it’s not at all implausible to see a 4K theatrical release as a part of the celebration that we’ll see.

As for the question of which version of the movie will hit the big screen in 4K if the release rumor is true, that’s something that has also stirred up debates among fans of the franchise. Since its purest original release, there have been several remastered versions of the movie and the most widely known, “canonical” edition is widely considered to be the 2011 Blu-ray “Special Editions” version of “Star Wars” which comes with a few CGI additions that some viewers have found more than a little annoying. On the other hand, though it’s only complete dreamy speculation, we might even find ourselves seeing a full blown 4K big screen release of the now impressively hard to find true original version of the movie, exactly as it was released way back in 1977 but so much sharper, colorful and cleaner.

Then of course, we can also look forward to a 4K ultra HD Blu-ray release of “Star Wars”, possibly even with HDR remastering added in somehow.

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  • MrSatyre
    December 28, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Here that sound? That’s me not holding my breath. Lucas has repeatedly sworn that no one will ever see the original Star Wars again.


  • Mike S
    January 1, 2017 at 11:22 am

    It won’t be the original if it says “A New Hope” in the crawl.


  • JC
    January 2, 2017 at 11:08 am

    If they’re going to show a restored version of the original movie it will be called “Star Wars.” Simply “Star Wars.” The words “Episode IV” and “A New Hope” were not written or spoken anywhere at all in the spring and summer of 1977. Lord, I would love to see “Star Wars” again on the big screen as it was originally screened in 1977 before Lucas decided to “enhance” it.


  • James Smith
    January 11, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Man I wish that they’d release a 4K Blu-ray edition of the original theatrical version of Star Wars. But I guess you can wish in one hand and crap in the other and see which gets filled first.


  • Alex
    January 15, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Trust me you don’t want a 4K original without significant clean up and processing and digital world to remove the flaws of the film.

    I own the laserdisc version of the original and you can see matt lines all over the place – worst are black squares around the tie fighters, you literally can see where film was composited over film.

    Most people don’t realise just how much subtle restoration was done in the special editions.


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