Star Wars Blu-ray: behind the scenes

Lucasfilm take us on a tour of the most-anticipated Blu-ray ever

The heart of the Original Trilogy's effects very much remain however, and these were down to eight times Oscar winner and a legend in the special effects field Dennis Muren, who spoke to TechRadar about his time on Star Wars in one of Lucasfilm's preview cinemas.

Star wars blu ray

MUREN MOMENT: The genius of VFX speaks to TechRadar

"The idea of special effects is now common [but] the Star Wars movies were an original look as they had space battles – the camera angles and stuff were based on real dogfights," said Muren to TechRadar.

"Nobody had seen what Star Wars was doing, the look of it and that worked for the time."

It is this originality which Muren believes is missing from a lot of special-effects movies at the moment.

"I don't mind if CG isn't quite working as long as it is original," he explained.

"The thing I don't like is imitation and I see so much of that going on.

"People don't have the time to think as it is hard to come up with the budgets so you lose imagination and that's not good."

star wars blu ray

ORIGINAL LOOK: The effects of Star Wars were one of a kind

As original as Star Wars' effects were, however, Lucas did decide to tinker with the movies back for the special edition DVD releases of the movies, and it is this version of the movies that has been given the picture upgrade for the Blu-ray.

While this will (still) annoy true die-hard fans, Muren wasn't against the changes made to the movies.

"When it comes to the stuff I worked on and you can see some of the fakeness, I don't really have a problem with that, I don't mind if stuff like that shows up.

"When George was doing some re-dos on the original Star Wars, though, I was all in favour for that as we had run out of time anyway.

starwars bluray

Star WARS BLU-S: The Blu-ray of Star Wars is the best transfer yet

"I wanted to re-do around 30 to 40 shots and at some point I think it is okay, but to go back and try and continuously update a film to fit in with the latest technology I don't really know what to think about that..

"If it means getting rid of the garbage mattes that really messed up the original VHS of Star Wars then that's fine.

"When they came out everybody thought that was how it looked in the cinema when they were first released but it wasn't. That was because the transfer wasn't done quite right.

"I am all for changing things to get it back to how it looked originally in the cinema. As long as the original version is always available, beyond that then you can do what you want."

star wars blu ray

DIGITAL YODA: Now CGI in Episode I as well

With this in mind, we quizzed Muren on the upcoming 3D versions of Star Wars, which will begin to hit cinemas in early 2012.

"The only reason the 3D versions are coming out is because it is the future. I love 3D when it is done right but I don't think people are doing it right. For me it is way too cautious.

"If there is a way in the future to do a hologram version [of Star Wars] and the fans want it then it should be done. You don't just want to stop making movies and keep releasing old ones, though.

"These releases should be seen as a supplementary thing."

As we leave Lucasfilm, passing a life-size model of Boba Fett, and say goodbye to Javva The Hutt coffee stand, we can't help thinking that the Blu-ray release of Star Wars isn't the end of the movies in the home; this is a franchise that will continue to live on and, as Muren said, will be transformed for each upcoming new technology.


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JAVVA THE HUTT: Best coffee this side of the Galaxy

From what we have seen, Lucasfilm has done a fantastic job bringing Star Wars to Blu-ray, creating a package that from an audiovisual point of view future proofs the movies but in the extras also celebrates its past. From what we have seen, it's the Star Wars release you have been waiting for… at least until the holographic versions come out.

Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray UK release date is 12 September, courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.

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