Potential 4k Restoration Print of Star Wars: A New Hope Coming?

Debates have raged since the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney as to what the exact deal is with the distribution rights to the first Star Wars film. It has been reported that Fox holds those rights in perpetuity, but there seems to be occasional flare ups of buzz that perhaps some sort of deal was cut to allow for a shared distribution of some sort. But to this point we have seen nothing.



Well, we may not have any new insight into the specifics of the distribution, but Gareth Edwards did recently let an interest bit of information out in an interview with Little White Lies. Apparently Lucasfilm has recently completed a 4k restoration of the film.


From Little White Lies:


On day one, we were in Lucasfilm in San Francisco with Industrial Light and Magic and John Knowles, our supervisor, he said that they’ve got a brand new 4K restoration print of A New Hope – it had literally just been finished. He suggested we sit and watch it. Obviously, I was up for that.



Edwards didn’t get into any specifics about what version of A New Hope the restoration was. Having been edited and changed a number of times now, it is hard to speculate. Edwards also didn’t mention anything about an intended use for this print, but it stands to reason that if they went to the effort and expense to do a restoration that it will be used in some format in the future. Hopefully maybe next year just in time for the 40th Anniversary of the film’s original release. But if not, here’s hoping that we don’t have to wait too long to see it in all of its fully restored glory.



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52 thoughts on “Potential 4k Restoration Print of Star Wars: A New Hope Coming?

  • December 23, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Oh man … Guess I’m going to be buying these films yet again. From 8mm to Bluray, I have them all.

    • December 23, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      I know and agree! I still have the OT on the original CED videodiscs…even with a copy of ROTJ still sealed in plastic from the early 80’s. Give me a re-release of the entire OT in it’s original format on Bly-ray and you can please take my money!! 🙂

      • December 23, 2016 at 8:57 pm

        Re: “CED videodiscs”
        Gads….weren’t those those that awful kind’a cartridge disc system they brought out.
        Many people were fooled into buying them, thinking they were laserdiscs.

        Speaking of laserdiscs, I’ve still got the “Definitive Collection” SW print on laserdisc(s).

        Re: Bluray
        Yeah, they need to release New Hope (& rest of movies) on Bluray 4K UHD.
        I’ve avoided buying TFA, for now, as I’m waiting for 4K.
        Done with 1080p & want nearer to theatrical resolution (/color / etc). 😉

  • December 23, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Anyone know if the 3D conversion for the PT and OT is still on going?

    • December 23, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      Nobody knows outside of LFL and Disney. We DO know, the last time the comonay said anything about the project, that ILM was well into Empire at least.

    • December 24, 2016 at 1:31 am

      Doesn’t seem like it

  • December 23, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    I want this movie so badly to be re-released globally in theaters in may 2017! Or in any month of 2017.

  • December 23, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Re: 4K?
    Please, PLEASE release on Bluray 4K UHD. Hi-color, HDR, etc.
    Would be interesting to see what they do with audio & whether they’d re-do it to support the likes of Dolby Atmos.

    I’ve been holding off buying TFA, waiting on 4K bluray release.
    Tired of being lured into buying an inferior copy, only to have the better one released later.

  • December 23, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Is it meaning they will take off that horrible yellow lights (from lasers) in the first scene and while Vador and obi wan cross their blades ? Also they should redo sounds of lightsabers in a new hope. just like rotj and esb. sry if i offend someone ^^

    • December 23, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      triggered. 😉

    • December 23, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      I’m an oddball. Picky in very particular ways. I wouldn’t mind a total reboot of the OT. I wouldn’t mind a total graphical overhaul of the OT. However I absolutely hate the Special Editions and want the originals unaltered (they can be cleaned but no added bits). See what a strange fan I am! 😛

  • December 23, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    this is the version we are looking for.

    • December 25, 2016 at 1:22 am

      Well until the 8K version is announced…….:-)

  • December 23, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    I mean if you can do it, then do it. I’m sure there will be fans out there that would love to give it a watch. Personally, I find that these higher definitions of film almost make what I’m watching “too real” as if I am actually on set. So with respect to this film I’d probably take a pass on it because I think the higher res would result in that effect and I may not enjoy the film as much. I’ll give it a watch probably, but at the end of the day my go to will be the nitty gritty 1977 unaltered edition just like I saw it when I was in elementary school in the good ol’ 90s. Bring on the filthy.

  • December 23, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    If it’s a true restoration… I’ll be all over this. If it’s another special edition up jumped I’ll just ignore it.

    • December 24, 2016 at 12:16 am


  • December 23, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    does 4K mean also a normal blu-ray? I would love to see a restored Episode IV for the 40th anniversary edition!

    • December 24, 2016 at 2:02 am

      I’d like to see a BD struck from a master that at least can provide a decent BD. The current masters are flat out awful.

      • December 27, 2016 at 4:00 am

        They should have Adywan oversee the whole thing, lol.

    • December 27, 2016 at 4:01 am

      Hopefully. Normal Blu-ray players can’t play 4K Blu-rays, so I’m guessing Disney would want to maximize profits and release both.

      • December 28, 2016 at 1:04 am

        I know that, and that’s why I hope that.

  • December 23, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Please let them finally take this chance to keep everyone happy and release a 4K version of both the original unedited version AND the modified version. Ideally on one disc so you can choose between the two. (not sure how that works if the full version of both films needs to be on there, or if there is a more efficient way). 2 films wouldn’t fit on one one disc though.

    Disney seems to be listening to the fans (and now that George is no longer calling the shots) perhaps there’s a chance at the unedited coming out.

    This makes 100% sense if the 40th anniversary is coming up in 2017.

    Excited !

    • December 24, 2016 at 3:20 am

      I only request one change…… fix the matte boxes around the Tie Fighters during the falcon shootout. never saw em on VHS (or noticed) but when i got the DVDs….. they really stick out…..

    • December 24, 2016 at 7:13 am

      Exactly! Having the option would be the best of both worlds! Personally I’m so used to the good changes made in later releases that I have accepted most of the bad, but I know a lot of people would be VERY happy to get their hands on a 4K version of the original film. And in this case happy = money.

    • December 24, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      VIII could be worse than AOTC but if they do this then I think a lot of the fanbase will forgive them.

      • December 25, 2016 at 1:16 am

        Yeah. I think Disney really listens to the fans, and if they could follow through with both versions, it certainly would go a long way. I did read somewhere that Lucas said the original doesn’t really exist anymore. Not sure if that’s just talk, but if they can pull off an almost perfect Tarkin, then an original version for the fans should be a walk win the park.

        • January 12, 2017 at 11:31 am

          I think Fox still own it or rather home distribution rights. I know it’s pretty complicated.

  • December 24, 2016 at 12:36 am

    OMG the Special Editions are better.

      • December 24, 2016 at 5:10 pm

        omg i almost forgot this… Or maybe I erased it from my memory… just WTF

    • December 24, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      The first two maybe. ROTJ is an abomination.

    • December 25, 2016 at 3:00 am

      Wow I love this SWNN commenters. I was totally troll baiting with that comment and no one took me up on it. Really says something about the quality of the fans who comment here.

      • December 27, 2016 at 11:23 am

        I considered calling you out on such a blatantly obvious “fishing” comment. But thought I’d wait and see who took the bait….

        • December 27, 2016 at 7:06 pm

          Yeah I do like some of the changes in the special editions but Jabba’s Palace isn’t one of them. Plus the special editions suffer from terrible image quality in certain places.

  • December 24, 2016 at 1:12 am

    If they would just release Star Wars as the Special Edition minus the Han shoots first scene, the Jabba/Han scene, and the extended Tatooine scene, that would be great. The other changes and fix-ups are awesome.

    • December 24, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO was a fantastic addition to Jedi, I agree.

      • December 24, 2016 at 6:03 pm

        I hear your sarcasm! I was just referring to ANH, I should have been more specific, but this article was only about that one movie.

    • December 25, 2016 at 1:20 am

      Wouldn’t it be great if you could pick which extra scenes you wanted to see the movie with and the player just played those “chapters” on the the disc. Probably not even possible. But until it is it’ll just have to be the fast forward button or time to get a cup of coffee.

      • December 25, 2016 at 8:10 am

        That sounds like a really enjoyable way to watch a movie, thanks so much for the tip.

        • December 25, 2016 at 12:51 pm

          Well, if anyone reading this has any influence within Lucasfilm, then please take this tip to the next “4K Release” meeting 🙂

    • December 26, 2016 at 12:35 am

      ROTJ has the worst changes:. Jedi Rocks, Vader yelling Nooooo, and the single worse insulting change….Force Ghost Hayden.

  • December 24, 2016 at 2:37 am

    While they’re at it, rework the color so everything isn’t dark and magenta-tinted like the crappy Blu Ray coloring was.

    • December 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      So glad I held off on those. Though it was partly due to the new special defects. The features seem worth it though.

    • December 26, 2016 at 11:30 am

      It’s pretty clear that’s what they did with the damn masters at this point. God, they botched that transfer royally.

  • December 24, 2016 at 2:39 am

    when are they gonna release separate blue rays for each movie?

    • December 24, 2016 at 3:11 am

      Not sure I understand what you are asking, but they have done that already.

    • December 27, 2016 at 3:57 am

      They released separate steelbooks of all 6 original films, and Best Buy has their own steelbook as well.

    • December 27, 2016 at 5:21 pm

      Matter of fact, walmart has all the bluray steelbooks on sale for like $12.

  • December 24, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Off topic but I enjoyed the IMAX version of R1 and thought the 3D version was far better than TFA and the PT for that matter.

  • December 30, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Yes, a 4K original film restoration already exists. And yes, the biggest hurdle to seeing it in theaters in May 2017 is a legal one. But the hurdle might not be that big really… Here’s the Star Wars Restoration break down (of ANH) for those not really into this:

    1. There is a big fan movement around creating as-true-to-the-original-as-possible restoration. Much of their work is on-going.
    2. Harmy’s Desepcialized Edition is one of the most famous.
    3. Probably the current best version that people can readily find for ANH from the Despecialized work is 2.7 (Seriously, do yourself a favor, track down this copy and give it a watch… especially right after seeing Rogue One.)
    4. Mike Verta has already finished a complete 4K frame-by-frame restoration of ANH.
    5. You can see his work samples here: https://vimeo.com/channels/starwarslegacy
    6. Verta has worked in the film industry since the 90s and has connections at ILM. The print shown to Gareth Edwards could have very well been Verta’s work or a recent print based from it.
    7. Verta has screened the film privately both for family and friends as well as with the executives at Fox & Disney. (Search for “Verta” in this article to read up on it: http://moviemezzanine.com/the-fans-who-saved-star-wars/ )
    8. That Rogue One, Rebels, and several of the current novels all lead directly into ANH and are in theaters / being heavily marketed right before the 40th anniversary of Star Wars original release is no mistake.
    9. The biggest challenge for a May 2017 re-release of ANH (or a copy for sale in stores) is the legal status of the film’s distribution rights belonging to Twentieth Century Fox and not Disney: http://www.slashfilm.com/20th-century-fox-still-owns-rights-to-first-six-star-wars-films-making-original-box-set-difficult/
    10. HOWEVER, both companies (along with Lions Gate) are invested in Atom Tickets, another online ticket vendor similar to Fandango, that could make all of those legal headaches around ticket sales a non-issue: http://fortune.com/2016/02/02/atom-tickets/
    11. Much of what has made the press around Rogue One is how well it integrated the look and the feel of the Rebels and Empire in the 1977 film. Also, the digital work done around Leia, Tarkin, and others put all the pieces in play for marketing a re-release.

    What’s all this mean? I’d mark May 25th, 2017 on your calendar as a good day to see a Rogue One + A New Hope double feature in some pretty spectacular theaters.

    Re-releasing the film makes a lot of financial sense for both Disney and Fox, so much so that the differences are not an issue. Atom Tickets will play a strong role in this and grow, further making $$$ for the two.

    A complete box set or in-store copy of a 4K ANH is farther off, but based on ticket sales of a re-release the deal will get done between Fox and Disney. If they’re quick, 4K versions of both movies will make great Christmas gifts in 2017. Oh, and there will be another thing happening right around that time: Episode VIII.

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