Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition - Behind the Scenes (1997)

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DISCLAIMER: I DON'T OWN ANY OF THIS MATERIAL! ALL FOOTAGE BELONGS TO LUCASFILM AND FOX NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED THIS WAS UPLOADED SIMPLY FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND FAIR USE ONLY Since Rogue One is about to come out next week, I thought it'd be cool to show you guys an extremely rare behind the scenes look at the Star Wars trilogy's special edition re-release back in 1997. And yes, I will agree with all of you that George Lucas pretty much ruined the originality of the first three films, adding silly CGI (i.e. Jabba in A New Hope, and that horrendous dance number in Return of the Jedi), but on some things he was kinda right about, some needed to be updated. In case you haven't known but when he directed the first film, he was under a lot of stress, and almost couldn't complete the film in time for it's release. Either way, try and enjoy this behind the scenes look at the films.

This was all very exciting back in 1997. Little did we know it would be the only version going forward. And that's the problem.
Aidan Farren-Hart
15:04 - It's sad that CG Jabba took a whole year to make, and he just ended up looking.... well, a bit crap.
That CGI Jabba looked so off.
Wojti 2000
I like Special Editions.
Those mechanical practical effects are way more impressive than any of George's computers could ever be.
Jake Cooke
Of course Rick McCallum produced these, too. "Every frame is so dense" I don't like any of the Special Editions, but I wish that (along with the original theatrical cuts) they were ALL released in HD, for the sake of film preservation. Yeah, these '97 cuts suck, and the DVDs were worse, and the Blu Ray is awful, but all versions are equally important to film history, and deserve to be put out there with clear distinction for the consumer.
Kori Jenkins
No, a musical number was not and would never be funny in the middle of a Star Wars film.
Goodbye, Carrie fisher.
some of the scenes were definantly improved, but some of the changes were absolutely useless and cringy (good god, that 1997 CGI Jabba, total nightmare fuel)
Justin Fencsak
This is how millenials first saw star wars.
Poe Ghost
I may despise the changes made to these films, but goddamn if this ain't some fascinating shit to watch.
TIBOR Purzsas
They didn't realise at the time how terrible the dancing/singing sequence was ! They were quite proud of it actually ! I never understood , that the layman sees how bad something comes out , yet the creators don't
Grego The Dago
Everyone’s hoping of course that Disney is going to release the original trilogy as was released in the 70s and 80s. Fans WANT it! I don’t want the Special Edition. It was cool to go to movie theaters and see the changes that were made. It was like a novelty but I don’t want to only be able to watch those for the rest of my life. I WANT to see the compromises I WANT to see the ingenuity of limitations and the way they got around them in the 70s and 80s. Those movies are classics and won Academy Awards for special-effects and sound and to take them and all of that Genius and hard work and just erase it is a sin.
The Special Editions...I couldn't care any less. I understand George Lucas's original vision for the original trilogy not fully realized because of the limited amount of time and technology. Besides, all of these are minor changes, the story is still the same and that's all I care about.
Andy Wenner
funny how whenever there's something good, George says "I did" but when describing something he didn't like, he says "they couldn't"
Ballowax 92
I love the "Empire Strike Empire Strikes Back" special edition. But George screwed up to much when "restoring" ep4 and ep6
_Vulcanic _
I'm so happy he didn't make the new Wampa cgi
Tyler Brown
I miss these behind the scenes. Whether the changes were needed or not I grew up with the special editions and watching the behind the scenes before the movie started was what wanted me to be a film maker
1997 Mark Hamill looks so much closer to 1977 Mark Hamill than to 2017 Mark Hamill, even though it is the exact same time span xD
Just horrific.
Bravo Sierra
I watched these clips so many times as a child. When I was 8 I got the Special Edition Trillogy on VHS. This beginning part of the tape became so worn out and grainy it looked like a herd of buffalo in a snowstorm!
when will the unedited original trilogy films be available?
You know I'm willing to bet these Special Editions wouldn't nearly be as hated if George had just released the original theatrical editions for people to compare them against. But for whatever reason he didn't and only allowed these versions available. You know other film makers like James Cameron and Ridley Scott have done their own special editions of their own movies like Aliens and Blade Runner, but the original theatrical version is still made available regardless. For whatever I see Lucas loyalists defend the Special Editions with the excuse of: ''Well they were Lucas's films so he could decide what to do with them''. This isn't a very strong argument to make. Okay they were Lucas's films but that doesn't mean therefore he was incapable of making bad decisions for said films. By that logic if Leonardo Da Vinci had one day decided he was no longer satisfied with his original Mona Lisa and decided to destroy or hide the original painting from the public eye to create a new Mona Lisa that wasn't nearly as good would this be acceptable? You certainly wouldn't see anyone trying to add in CGI monkeys and Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz or CGI in films like the Dark Crystal or Labyrinth. Hell when Spielberg made that special edition of ET, and the public reacted negatively towards it, he re-released the original version and apologised for his mistake. People for years had voiced their disdain for the new editions of the classic trilogy but Lucas rubbed off their criticisms regardless. Lucas clearly has no understanding of the phrase: ''if it ain't broke don't fix it''.
Richard Willette
the added cgi makes these average movies really spectacular. I just wish George had put Jar Jar into the original trilogy
Dark Zhiro
Take off your nostalgia glasses, guys.
Grand Moff Tarkin
12 The Force Awakens fans dislike this.
Zoltán Varga
Thank You Mr Lucas!
Absolutely useless additions. Totally unneeded. Adds nothing to the story. The sight lines with Jabba are all off and the scene is redundant. We already got alap the information with Greedo
_Vulcanic _
George Lucas's main problem with the last Jedi: yoda isn't cgi
Corey Fisler
I like star wars trilogy special edition!
George Suarez
I really enjoyed the digitally remastered Star Wars special edition!!! George Lucas did an amazing job giving the old movies new life again, this is truly Star Wars!!! George
Tomás Orellana
The only valid changes are in the A New Hope. AND maybe The Empire Strikes Back snow monster. The Return of the Jedi changes are awful (Sarlaac it's an exception). A slight preview on how bad the prequels would be.
Rico Savage
U guys should listen to George he said the version you old people liked, he hated. I watched the original cut and was like wtf, this looks terrible thank God he changed them, btw I'm born in the 90s prequel Star Wars is the best
Broderick Productions
Wow, Im surprised this comment section isnt filled with George Lucas death threats because I this is the only thing people hate more than the prequels.
General Grievous
"Actually better than the original at least." BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
I think if the major changes had stopped here, there wouldn't be nearly as much animosity as there has been to Lucus now a days.
Rick McCallum is a hack
gecko 1979
When I was a kid Princess Leia was my hero. Harrison and Tony Daniels were wankers and still are...
Frank Smith
It's really annoying hearing all these people enabling Lucas and giving lip service to him in his bullshit in this video. "I went back to finish the original movies." That's not the way it works...they WERE finished, and in many ways he made them worse by altering them. Can a painter walk into a museum and alter a work that's been hanging there? You put it out, it's out there, that's it. Sure, if he wanted to go back and release alternate versions, why not? But to prevent the continued availability of the originals, as if they never existed? And even more annoying is the whole revisionist attitude...this is not that different from wannabe dictators like Trump claiming they never said something when there's video of them saying's all very 1984. Granted, dictators actually hurt people's lives with their lies, and in Lucas' case it's just entertainment, but it still comes from the same "it's true because I'm saying it now" mentality, and I find it very unsettling. Kind of like Lucas now claiming he never had plans for 9 films, or saying he had never planned to call the third movie "Revenge of the Jedi" before thinking better of it...those are recorded facts, why try to go back and lie and say "I never said that" after the fact? Lucas created some great art with the original trilogy, and nothing will ever change that, but I also have no sympathy with him complaining about all the shit he's gotten for those horrible prequels and all the changes he made to the originals...he deserves every bit of hate and criticism he gets.
80% of the additional effects were not needed, especially the Jabba the hut. They didn't even need that extra scene. Totally pointless.
Dragon lair
oh God the song in the palace is awful and that was supposed to be in the original cut
That's the reason why I don't like George Lucas!!! You can't take a old movie and retouch it only because you watched Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park and you said we can do these now!! So take the same CGI team who worked on T2, Jurassic Park and Jumanji and add some CGI creatures lol.I will give you some exemple if Steven Spielberg take E.T. and change the mopet to 3D ful CGI E.T. and release the movie again what gonna be hapend??
The Chrome Knight
CGI Jabba looks even worse than the CGI in the prequels
Jim Koral
Mark, Harrison and Carrie look great in these clips. The sequels should have been made between 1997 and 2003. As it is, they all looked too old and tired in Force Awakens and Last Jedi.
Benjamin Coutts
Thanks for this. I have the original cuts and all the DVD's but I remember this VHS version. I loved it at the time but the original is the best.
Javier Carrillo
Besides the 1997 CGI Jabba, I love the changes, they do not affect the story, come on!
Franz Chavez
Where is this sourced from? The VHS included in the Special Edition Box set Long box or the laserdisc?
Wreck-It Rolfe
The CGI in Jurassic Park looks better, and that was released nearly 5 years before.
The only real improvement that the Special Edition did was John Williams' new score of the end victory at the end of Return of the Jedi I say
Bobby Beretta
Am I just not seeing what he's seeing (around 9:01ish)?
Mirror rorriM
Its like if Led Zeppelin went back and messed with Zeppelin I & II with today's protools and "fixed" areas and auto tuned Plant. I Just want the originals George, please.
Well those CG effects dated fast!
I don't care much about most special edition cg. Keep em or leave em. I dont mind. BUT I will definitely point out that many scenes on the death star attack don't look like CG from the late 90s at all. They look quite model like. And it's just the simple truth that some original shots didn't look as nice and at times continuity between the visual look of the ties and xwings was shifting. Oh same applies to the Escape from Tatooine scene. The Millenium Falcon even at that close distance doesnt feel like 97s CG at all. And looked quite model like.
marco thommen
I do not HATE the special edition, however, the effects form '77 made Star Wars that huge hit!
Colin Wilkie
Loved Star Wars, then came the dark days. Then come Disney. Why couldn't Disney make a movie, out of one off the thousands of books, that were written. Instead off making a movie, about a New Hope, but just with a few changers.
Fly Beep
When the special editions came out I didn't mind most of the changes. It was nice to see anything extra Star Wars. People need to know there was nothing else but these movies and things didn't change at all so anything new was welcomed. The only thing as a kid I dindn't enjoy were the singing part that were changed, the finale ewoks song I like that as a kid. Dind't enjoy the new song. The space shots were a huge improvement in the special editions.
This is the best documentary about the making of the Special Editions. George explains very well the need to improve the certain scenes he changed.
Joshua Pritchett
I enjoyed the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition and the modern technology is pretty good for those films.
Channel ICUP
One thing you have to remember is the children who will be watching these films back to back with the prequels, I think it's brought the films closer together in terms of special fx, scope and story (Bobba Fett's voice and the Hayden force ghost).
1:26 ...  Okay......somebody explain this to me........... The original celluloid film deteriorated badly. It faded and turned blue. But the film that was used to film how Star Wars was being made (1:55)  survived without any apparent damage. No fading or fuzzyness or anything. And that was a "wet" celluloid film, too......... You'd think that Lucas Film had the sense and money to store their precious film properly, but neglected to do so. So how did this happen? How did the film turn out so faded ?
Half-Life Scientist
3:19 For those of you who don't know, Miguel Ferrer played Bob Norton in Robocop and Albert Rosenfield in Twin Peaks. He died in January of 2017.
Anthony PC
20:42 ok that's great, except you can Still see through left edge of the cockpit... lol
"look at how young they are" in the 20th anniversary.
John Cribbs IV
Wow just 20 years back the original Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition (1977,1980,1983,1997,2004) was in theaters once again just like the Prequel Trilogy (1999,2002,2005) 2 years back was Star Wars Episode 7-The Force Awakens (2015) sadly Carrie Fisher and Kenny Baker final performances they're dead now this year Star Wars Episode 8-The Last Jedi (2017) better not be a sad disappointment than Episode 7 no offense to the YouTubers diehard Star Wars fans worldwide and nationwide I'm one of them since 1983 nearly 35 years back too interesting for you YouTubers huh I hopefully hope Star Wars Episode 9-?? won't be too disappointing for the huge huge Star Wars diehard fans including myself thanks have a nice great day be safe peace, life, love, respect, understanding, and God bless you my friends.✌️🙏👍😀👌❤️
Jesus Villasenor
Lucas haters are the biggest losers. If it weren’t for Lucas, these idiots wouldn’t have a life. Try replicating what this man created. Lucas made these films the way HE wanted not the way the studio executives wanted like so many filmmakers do today.
James Carmichael
Lucas and co pretty much say that this was done to "release them again." It's hard to really fully accept that this was a pure artistic endeavour when you consider how marketed and lucrative Star Wars is. I mean the fans have reproduced version of the original theatrical cut and they don't have the budgets of these large corporations. I understand why they did it, but I don't understand why they don't give consumers the option like so many other people do.
Zakil Hussein
I really think George’s need to “perfect” his films is pathological. If he did it once I guess it’s fine, but to keep doing it, something must be wrong In the head
Pukka Asiaford
Isaac Wale
I only have the remastering s but I've seen clips of the originals
Paul Weaver
It is great that both versions are available today - for originals and special edition lovers
Chris Torres
Oh wow they look better than the original *Sarcasm*
Tom T
I have a special place in my heart for the Special Editions. I was a kid when they were in theatres and it was really exciting for me to be able to see the Star Wars films on the big screen. I grew up watching the VHS tapes and catching the movies on TV so seeing them in theatres was a big deal, special effects additions and all. Speaking of the new added stuff, I enjoyed that at the time. Looking at them now, yes a lot of it is glaringly out of place. However, I think some of the improvements are good ones and do enhance aspects of the films. I'm glad the Special Editions exist so long as the untouched originals are available to everyone as well.
The computer cg additions make me want to puke.
Jochanan Berohart
I would like the new content but hat the bad CGI Elements like Jabba!
Patrick Kiani
We could have had a real sw sequel in 97.They werent mummys jet .Instead we got cgi jabba and jar jar binks.Thank u george.I mean thats what the fans want kid darth vader and natalie portman.
Special Editions rock. The haters hate them because their precious Han Solo fetish was ruined. :{J
George Lucas is like a little kid he want everything in one movie you can't go back and retouch a movie just because they get the new CGI technologie! What hapend if you get the 1st iPhone and put the last iOS inside!!! A movie is like a "oeuvre d'art" so you can't retouch it again!!!!
Rick McCalum. Why did you ruin this all
Project Redfoot
12:00 he startsbtalking about beasts of burden & they cut to a little dude riding a dinosaur. Now, tell me, in a galaxy where they have anti-gravity vehicles that are seemingly fuel efficient, *WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO RIDE A DINOSAUR? It's not even carrying anything!* Must cost a fortune to feed that thing, especially on a *desert planet*
gamers in a container
In 1977, a far superior movie came out that you’re not allowed to see.
ṖauḶee ḂlueṢtreet
Isn't it amazing that even though people see how these movie sets were made in a studio....are also the same people who believe we went to the moon in 1969.... *O.o*
The Nerd Dojo
And there are actually people who want George back, nah I’m good.
Fucking shite.
Imperial guard
The MCU is a movie franchise, but you don't see them go back and change their already made movies. If they didn't have respect for film like Lucas they would have cgi Terrence Howard out from Iron Man 1 and replace him with Don Cheadle already.
That is one SAD looking Jabba at 15:35.
Ethan Moore
I grew up with the Special Editions so I have nostalgia bias, but most of the differences (as least for the 1997 versions) don't bother me or I consider genuine upgrades. The only things that really annoy me are Greedo shooting first and the redundant Jabba scene - otherwise I overall prefer the '97 SE as my go-to for marathoning. The problem with the Special Editions isn't their existence, it's the fact that the original versions aren't available, and haven't been properly restored and preserved. If it was the same situation as Blade Runner where every cut is available in high quality, there would be far less controversy I think. That and even the '97 versions aren't available outside of LaserDisc, VHS and fan restorations. The additional DVD and Blu-ray changes are far more pointless and nitpicky in my opinion, to say nothing of the hidious color grade and shitty sound mix.
Michael Scott
Since everyone is throwing their two cents in, here's mine. The Special Editions, specifically the releases between 97 and 2004 are the best versions of the films available. The Originals basically don't exist outside of private collections and the despecialized edition is a pain in the ass to get a hold of. All the changes made here are minor and usually content neutral or additive. New, short scenes such as the Jabba in New Hope. Or special effects fixes like the wampa or the death star explosion. I find the blu-ray changes far more disturbing. Huge changes to the coloration of scenes, sound changes, and that dumb "noooooo" when vader saves Luke in Jedi all of which totally change the emotional tones of the scenes the changes were applied to. Something a few CGI Dewbacks or digitally added windows in Cloud city don't.
Johnny Ringo
The only changes that I feel are necessary are the appearance of Palpatine in Episode 5, and as well as Bobas voice being Temura Morrison. Then there’s also the technical ones like the sound quality and fixing some of the lightsabers looks like making Vader’s blade red and not white in a new hope. I like the touch of putting windows in cloud city and giving us a few extra shots.
Evan Stanek
I appreciated getting to see these in the theater.
Beau Ferret
Oh Lucas. After all those years of re-mastering the original trilogy, didn't you ever feel sorry for that snow-creature whose arm was sliced off? I know that Mark Hamill hated that scene.
Polly Ann
There's a very bright, very zany star in the sky tonight. That's Carrie! 😢LOL
Evan Stanek
George saw it clearly, his comments right before 29:00 were prophetic.
Hiatt Grey
Is it bad to say that I grew up watching the Special Editions and not watched the original versions at all?
Atle Kristiansen
I have always wondered why Jabba didn't kill Han then and there for stepping on his tail. Ok, he owes Jabba a great deal, which would be considered lost if Han died. Still, Jabba should at least have given Han some threatening warning to watch himself. What is the answer, Rick McCallum?
How’d you get the quality to work this good?
AndrewTheManWho’sMostWanted !!!
George if you wanted to go back and redo your seems like at the Masai sleep use actual sets okay no CGI
It's absolutely wrong Not to have the Original Films Available !!!
The Awperator
honestly, i don't like the additions to the film in special additions, but only because they look like the should not be there. Really, if they were done better and if the technology was better, they would probably be good as georges motives are relevant. He thinks on another level than us all
Ugh...looking back...this was not a good idea.