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Star Wars: A New Hope – A Visual Guide to Changes, Fixes, and Tweaks in the Disney+ 4K Version

December 4, 2019 - 3:39 pm   |   by

Our old friend Drew Stewart—who is a longtime Digital Bits reader—is the webmaster for Star Wars Revisited and also curates the Star Wars Visual Comparisons blog.

He’s been working diligently to create a kind of visual guide to all the changes found in the new Disney+ 4K version of Star Wars: A New Hope.

Drew’s created a set of comparison images showing all of these updates and alterations—nearly 40 of them in all—and he’s kindly allowed us to compile them here in a 7-page gallery on The Digital Bits for all of you to see.

We definitely think that Star Wars fans will find this gallery both interesting and useful, not just to compare the new Disney+ 4K version to past Blu-ray and DVD releases, but also as a baseline in the event that further changes appear in the future. [Read on here...]

With all of this in mind, here’s a look at the differences that Drew has spotted thus far...

Fox Logo

A new Fox logo without the “News Corp” banner was created.

 

Lucasfilm Logo

The Disney-era LFL logo has replaced the 1990s-00s one (even though its timing doesn’t really work with the Fanfare).

 

Alt Preface

The preface was recreated in 1997, replaced with the Attack of the Clones preface in 2004, and now is back to the 1997 recreation.

 

Escape Pod

This shot was recomposited in 2004 and again for the 4K.

 

Sky Replacement

The sky and sand were replaced in 2004, and now the original sand is back and the sky is changed again.

 

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Redone Clouds

Clouds were added to the wide shot of the sunset in 2004 to match the close up. This was recreated in the 4K.

 

Redone Clouds (All)

Same as before, but shows how the clouds weren’t there in 1997.

 

Sunset (All)

The mountain not visible in the wide shot of the sunset was removed in 2004 and again for the 4K.

 

Ghost Luke

For some reason a faded Luke is visible in the doorway of this shot starting in 1997. He was removed for the 4K.

 

Fly Gone

A fly that landed on the lens on set was finally removed for the 4K.

 

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R2 Rock

The rocks in front of R2 that were added for the 2011 Blu-ray were redone for the 4K final.

 

R2 Rock

The rocks in front of R2 that were added for the 2011 Blu-ray were redone for the 4K final.

 

R2 Rock

The rocks in front of R2 that were added for the 2011 Blu-ray were redone for the 4K final. The shadow on R2 wasn’t rendered for the Blu-ray.

 

Landspeeder

The landspeeder entering Mos Eisley was redone in 1997, then redone in 2004, then redone for the 4K, where the speeder is slightly shifted to the right.

 

Greedo Shot

Here’s the new close-up shot of Greedo (top) that’s been inserted before Han fires his blaster.

 

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Jabba

An example of (what I assume to be) the upscaled 2004 Jabba.

 

Flash

When this shot was redone by Pacific Title in 1997, they made the light reflecting off of the ceiling strut into part of the blaster hit. This was not corrected for the 4K.

 

Laser Color

This shot was redone by Pacific Title in 1997, but the bolt lost color in 2004. It retains its color for the 4K.

 

Vader Cutout

The weird 2D images pasted onto Vader in this shot in 2004 was recreated for the 4K.

 

Detention Extension

Example of the newly redone detention hallway extension.

 

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Garbage Chute Bars

An animation for the trash compactor grate was added to the 2004 version and recreated for the 4K.

 

Dianoga

The new Dianoga eye and blink added in 2004 was redone for the 4K.

 

Tractor Beam Aurebesh

The replacement Aurebesh lettering done in 2004 was redone for the 4K with slightly different angles and spacing.

 

New Flash

Example of the redone lightsaber flashes.

 

Purple Saber

Redoing the lightsabers in 2004 made Ben’s lightsaber purple in this shot. Redoing them again for the 4K allowed them to avoid this mistake.

 

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New Saber

The missing lightsaber effects were partly fixed in 2004, then completely fixed in the 4K.

 

Lighstaber

Vader’s lightsaber, fixed in 2004, was redone in the 4K.

 

Flash Frames

This strange instance of new flash frames being inserted to perhaps cover up the tiny Vader lightsaber in the original (instead of rendering a new blade) was redone in the 4K.

 

Blaster Fix

The original shot accidentally showed part of the film with the soundtrack on it. It was fixed for the Blu-ray in 2011 by extending the right side of the frame, leaving the TIE where it was in frame. The 4K version extends the left side of the frame, moving the TIE into center frame.

 

Missing Y-Wing

A frame of missing Y-Wings was corrected in both 2004 and the 4K.

 

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Missing Y-Wing

A frame of missing Y-Wings was corrected in 2004 but not in the 4K.

 

Y-Wing Explosion

Example of frame damage (on the bottom Y-Wing engine) that was fixed in 2004 but not in the 4K.

 

Yavin Text

The replacement Aurebesh lettering done in 2004 was redone for the 4K.

 

Missing TIE

A frame of a missing TIE Fighter was corrected in both 2004 and the 4K.

 

So those are all the changes, fixes, and tweaks spotted so far. If Drew finds more, we’ll add them here.

Meanwhile, our thanks to Drew Stewart for all his hard work! Check out his similar guides to The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi here on The Digital Bits as well.

You can find Drew online on his Star Wars Revisited and Star Wars Visual Comparisons sites, and also here and here on Twitter.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the guide to A New Hope 4K!

As always, stay tuned....

- Bill Hunt

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)