Gareth Edwards says Lucasfilm has completed a 4K restoration of Star Wars

Star Wars: A New Hope 4K restoration

When Gareth Edwards got the job to direct ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, he naturally used it as an excuse to sit back and re-watch the original trilogy, particularly A NEW HOPE, while taking a lot of helpful notes. In a recent interview with Little White Lies, Edwards says that it was around this time that Industrial Light and Magic's John Knoll came calling and offered to let Edwards and his team watch a brand-new 4K restoration of A NEW HOPE. Pardon?

On day one, we were in Lucasfilm in San Francisco with Industrial Light and Magic and John [Knoll), 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. Me, the writer, lots of the story people and John all sat down, we all had our little notepads, we were all ready for this. I’ll add that I’ve seen A New Hope hundreds of times. So I was sat there, ready to take notes and really delve under the surface of the film. You have the Fox fanfare, then scrolling text with ‘A long time ago…’, and then the main music begins. Next thing we knew it had ended, and we looked around to one another and just thought – shit, we didn’t take any notes. You can’t watch it without getting carried away. It’s really hard to get into an analytical filmmaker headspace with this film. It just turns you into a child.

This is certainly exciting news, but it remains to be seen whether this 4K restoration is of the original theatrical version of the film or the "special edition" which George Lucas has been continuously tinkering with since 1997. I'd guess that it's the latter, but I suppose we can always hold out hope. There's also the question of when we might see this restoration as Disney doesn't have distribution rights for A NEW HOPE. When Disney purchased Lucasfilm several years ago for a cool $4 billion they gained the ownership rights to all six STAR WARS movies, but, due to a previous deal with Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox would retain the full distribution rights to A NEW HOPE in perpetuity. As next year will be the fortieth anniversary of A NEW HOPE, it would certainly make sense for Disney and Fox to play ball and release the film either theatrically or on home-media sometime next year. Fingers crossed.

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY is currently playing in theaters, so make sure to read reviews from our own Chris Bumbray and Eric Walkuski.



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