The 2004 DVD was our first glimpse into the HD Branch. The “original” negative (actually the 97SE) was scanned at 1080p and had a new color grading put on it by ILM. After a new layer of effects and fixes, it was sent to Lowry for a month-long cleanup.
Overview of the major changes made from the 97SE:
- The landspeeder flyby entering Mos Eisley was redone again.
- Greedo Shoots First is modified to adjust how close together Han & Greedo fire.
- The 1997 Jabba scene was redone using an updated, more articulate, model used in the prequels.
- Most of the remaining lightsaber effects were redone.
- The Emperor hologram was redone using Ian McDiarmid.
- Mirrored Imperial officers have their rank insignia digitally moved to the correct side.
- The Rancor scene was recomposited to eliminate matte lines.
- Naboo was added to the Special Edition ending celebration.
- Sebastian Shaw as Ghost Anakin was replaced with Hayden Christensen.
- DVD (full screen & widescreen)
- HDTV (widescreen & 16:9)
- Digital Cinema Package (limited theatrical showings)