In a new interview with Little White Lies, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards casually reveals that Disney recently completed work on a 4K restoration of Star Wars: A New Hope.
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.
Of course a 4K restoration of A New Hope is worth getting excited about … assuming, of course, that we’re talking about the original version of the film. If we’re talking about the special edition, which arrived back in 1997 and famously presented audiences with this eye-meltingly awful sequence …
… then that 4K restoration of Star Wars: A New Hope is cordially invited to stay right where it is, behind locked doors and far away from screens of any size.
Edwards doesn’t elaborate on which version it is or what Disney’s plans may be for the restoration. One would assume they’d want to put such a thing in theaters, but – as The Playlist points out – that’s easier said than done: Fox still retains the distribution rights to A New Hope. If Disney wants to do something with their fancy new version of the film (and they probably do, because why else would you bother?), they’ll need to play some amount of ball with Fox.
But again: before we worry about any of that, I’d like to know which version of the film we’re talking about. That’ll really determine how excited I’d be about a 4K version of A New Hope landing in theaters, and I suspect that’ll be the case for many of you, too.