There was a particular magic to 1977's Star Wars that propelled it to legendary pop culture status. It introduced a rustic spacefaring galaxy of heroes and villains, handcrafted through the innovation of visual effects artists, sound designers, and costume designers, all with limited resources. The craftsmanship that went into creating this fantastical world was so universally beloved that Star Wars won technical awards across the board, and the Library of Congress selected the film in its first year of establishing the National Film Registry, a limited archive of films deemed culturally and historically significant. But the National Film Registry has never received Star Wars. George Lucas refused to submit the original film, instead offering his "Special Edition," an altered version of the film with new edits, visual effects, coloring, sound design, sound mixing - in other words, a completely different film. Enter a dedicated group of fans, centered around a man known as Harmy. Together they use a combination of original theatrical prints, the special edition Blu Rays, and modern visual effects technology to restore and "despecialize" the films back to their original form.
This is the version of A New Hope we watched for Episode 4 of Star Wars Rewatch, where our conversation on the cultural significance of Harmy's Despecialized runs from the beginning of the podcast to 36:50. From there we return to form and discuss the plot, character archetypes, politics, droid rights, and weird Lucasisms you've come to expect from this podcast.
Official Harmy's Despecialized Introductory Guide
Harmy's Star Wars: Despecialized Edition - History & Sources Documentary (extended version)
Star Wars SC 38 Reimagined (FXitinPost YouTube)
Star Wars Rewatch is co-hosted by William Suitt, Rebekah Markillie, Cam Call, and Travis Lien, who also produces and mixes the show.
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