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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Remastered, why?

They're remastering Star Trek episodes now? I did not know that. I'm dreadfully behind on the times.

You know, I've never understood the whole "Let's take old things and try to shove in new effects!" thing. Like the DVD release of the Five Doctors. You know, a whirling triangle that captures each incarnation of the Doctor is still going to look pretty stupid whirling about and translucent as it does two-dimensional and black.

And don't get me started on Star Wars. I actually liked the prequels mostly* but I'm still incongruously annoyed at Han-suddenly-not-shooting-first or Hayden-Christiansen-at-the-end-of-Jedi changes. I'm one of those sorts of fans.

*(though I was always rather annoyed that Owen Lars was suddenly Anakin's step-brother, because Obi-Wan might be a liar, but he really didn't have a reason to claim Owen was HIS brother during ROTJ darnit. It made the antagonism between Owen and Obi-Wan much more interesting, but I digress),

I dunno, I don't really have anything against creators refining their vision after the fact, but it effects like that never fit. There's just something off visually, no matter how much they try to blend the new and old images together. It's almost never an improvement.

Well, except maybe that time the DS9 cast ended up in the Tribble episode of the Original Series. That was awesome.

Really, I'm just one of those geeks that is against anything that changes from what I like, and I admit it. But really, that kind of thing does tend to look silly. I'll have to see if I can catch an episode and see for myself.


  • At April 06, 2008 7:33 AM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    Wait, Uncle Owen was Obi-Wan's brother? I must have missed that entirely...

    But yeah the DS9 Tribbles episode was great. Also any remastered Trek HAS to be better than the bizarre ass piece of garbage that g4 was airing...

  • At April 06, 2008 7:38 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    He was! It was somewhere in RotJ that ghost!Obi-Wan said it. I don't know if they took it out of the redone movies, but I know it still exists in novelization form.

    It's not a terribly important change, sure, but I thought it was neat. :-) And if you think about it, if you're going to hide a kid from his father, wouldn't it make more sense to hide it with YOUR brother who the father would have no way of knowing about, rather than HIS brother, who's you don't know from Adam anyway?


    You're probably right, I've certainly not seen the remastered Trek for myself. I still think it sounds silly though. It's going to take a lot more than remastered effects to make old school Trek not ridiculous, so why bother? Embrace the cheese!

  • At April 06, 2008 8:41 AM, Blogger Kevin said…

    I think it was ONLY in the novelization, actuallly - OBi-Wan goes on at some length about stuff that wasn't in the movies - and was completely contradicted by the prequels. I'm not sure if that was in the original script, or the novel writer just added it, but I'm pretty sure it was never in the movie...

  • At April 06, 2008 9:38 AM, Blogger Tom Bondurant said…

    According to Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays, "Owen is Obi-Wan's brother" was discussed in story meetings. It might well have been in an earlier draft of the script, and might even have been filmed, but I'm pretty sure too it's never been in any final cut of the movie.

    For what it's worth, I think the Star Trek Remastered episodes are, by and large, pretty faithfully done. does a good job of keeping up with them, with before-and-after shots and highlight reels.

    The remastering was done so the episodes would be ready for HDTV, and the first season's worth is out on DVD, but it's pretty pricey.

  • At April 06, 2008 9:45 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Heh, well, since it's been a very long time since I've seen my taped copy of the movie, I'll admit, my mind may well be splicing the book and the movie together.

    I still think the idea makes far more sense than what made it into the prequels, either way. :-)

    I was fairly impressed by the remastering as seen in the comparative shots, but I'm still not convinced it'll work right on screen. If nothing else, because the rest of the show is so...sixties.

    But then, like I said, I'm one of those that resists any type of change. :-)

  • At April 06, 2008 11:09 AM, Blogger Your Obedient Serpent said…

    Speaking as an old-skool Trek fan who pretty much memorized the TOS canon back in the '70s, the remastered episodes are excellent.

    The people doing the effects are obviously hard-core TOS fans. They're dedicated to maintaining the visual style of the original show -- just crisper and cleaner. It's SEAMLESS: I can pick out the new stuff because, you know, memorized every episode. There are some things that they obviously couldn't DO in the '60s, but none of it looks out of place.

    The space scenes are wonderful. They're having a lot of fun letting the Enterprise move and maneuver in ways that it never could on a static rig. They do it all without changing the pacing or the flow of the original episode.

    They also throw in some fun Easter Eggs here and there. In "Arena", for example, there's a point where the Gorn blinks.

    Basically, what they've done is given us the Star Trek that us old Trekkies have always seen in our heads.

  • At April 06, 2008 1:35 PM, Blogger Ami Angelwings said…

    Yus! I remember the Obi-Wan claiming Owen as HIS brother too! >.>;; It made a lot more sense to me.

    As far as I know tho, the Star Trek remastering doesn't do nething with the actual plot tho. All it does is redo the effects. :o Still, I personally have NEVER had a problem with crappy effects in old shows. XD I didn't even think there needed to be an explanation as to why the Klingons looked different in the past, just cuz, I ttlly understand that OBV in the 60s special FX would be worse than now, and I dunno why it needs to be redone. xD

    From what I've seen tho the changes to ToS is nothing like the changes to the Star Wars movies :)

  • At April 06, 2008 1:37 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Hah! SOMEONE else remembers! I really wish I had the version of Return of the Jedi I'd taped off the television when I was about 13 or so (so...circa 1996?) because I really do swear I can remember Alec Guinness specifically saying "I left you with MY brother."

    Oh well, at least if I'm delusional, I'm not the only one! :-)

  • At April 06, 2008 2:34 PM, Blogger Ami Angelwings said…

    Yup! You're not crazy! There was a lot of stuff that was in the novelization too that was cut out of the movie version but they still filmed it :O

    It's one thing to just leave those cuts on the floor, it's another tho to do Lucas' "rewriting history to fit my new vision" thing which is maddening xD

  • At April 07, 2008 12:00 AM, Blogger originalslugboy said…


    That's were it came from (he jumps in like he's been discussing this the whole time)- movies on tv in the 80s very often were edited to be longer than the theater running times! (I think it had something to do with making the night more of an event) So you would often get scenes there that never never never appeared in the theaters or on home video (this was long before the idea of including deleted scenes on a DVD). Very often, things that were never intended to be part of the final narrative would make it to the television cut.

    I thought I was going crazy there when Ami confirmed...

    As for the other thing... "remastering" is just supposed to mean "cleaning up prints because they've been sitting on film for 45 years". I can totally get behind that.

    But I get very sad in my little heart when special effects get rebuilt, even when done well. I see the special effects as like another character in a show or movie, so every time I see this done, it's like you've replaced William Shatner with Adam West, or Nimoy with Rod Serling, or Walter Koenig with Jon Lennon. A possibly equivalent choice, but it's just not the same. For a particularly egregious example, see the recent(ish) re-release of ET... it just doesn't feel the same.

  • At April 07, 2008 12:01 AM, Blogger originalslugboy said…

    Good lord. Wordy and rambling much, me?

  • At April 07, 2008 1:04 AM, Blogger originalslugboy said…

    ...and, weirdly, when I put down the computer and turned on the tv, this exact remastered episode of Star Trek was on.

    It is very pretty, and I have to agree, doesn't look out of place at all.

    I thin I still stick by my statements earler, though.

    I'm going to stop blogjacking and go to bed.

  • At April 07, 2008 1:41 AM, Blogger Ami Angelwings said…

    I thought I was going crazy there when Ami confirmed...

    When Ami says it's true, it means it's true. *nods sagely*


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