This week I found out there is a fan-made "despecialized" edition of the original Star Wars movies. This was a pretty big deal to me, because I remember seeing the special editions when they came out in the late 90s and thinking Lucas had rogered his movies. It even seemed like some of the scenes had an odd blueish tint — strange for a kabillion-dollar rejigger. But at least we still had the originals, right?
As it turns out, the original cuts are quite hard to find, especially if you care about things like the quality of the transfer. Fans hounded Lucas until he finally caved and released the original cuts on DVD in 2006, but in a massive "fuck you" to fans he released them in about the worst quality he could get away with. I bought those up because I figured that was the best I'd ever get.
It was about 3AM when I found out about the "despecialized" editions, so I don't think I knew how to process the information yet. Some obsessive anorak (I salute you, noble anorak) has taken the blu-ray releases, regraded the colors, and spliced in elements from non-special sources. Can you imagine? I haven't watched them yet, but from the clips I've seen the work they've done is tremendous.
I'm not trying to start a "who shot first" debate, but if you're the kind of person who cares about that I figured you might like to investigate the despecialized editions for yourself and report back.
Han shot first, we all know it.