Well finally bought the Blurays (9 disc book) and watched "A New Hope" last night considering this movie was the oldest and wanted to see the changes made. I will say first off that I am like a kid again while watching this Bluray. I have owned the Laserdisc, VHS, DVD and now Bluray version and have to say that finally George has given this movie the much needed updated to sound and picture that has been lacking for almost 35 years now. I had just watched the Laserdisc version last week after ordering this so I could have a good frame of reference to how I recall seeing this in the theater as a nine year old. When I was nine this movie was my life, I lived all things Star Wars, had the toys and movie cards (still do btw) and my local theater had the movie playing for 58 straight weeks and I saw it 57 of those weeks in the theater, It was my usual Saturday afternoon ritual because I was such a fan. So feel I have a pretty good reference on giving this review.
I will first say that the Audio update that George has done is finally first rate. I mean this audio blew away the DVD THX version I own by leaps and bounds. This movie has tons of explosions and they were always kind of dull thumps and no real bass, but the Bluray changed all of that. Just deep loud and rump shaking bass with some big explosions (destruction of Alderan and Death Star) almost every blast point from laser guns had great quick thump to it and the surround sound was finally first rate. After the destruction of the Death Star (sorry no spoiler alert you all should now this by now) the shock wave that follows after the destruction is loud and present in the rear back channels. This bluray has 6.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (why not 7.1 don't know but that sixth channel gets alot of use in this 35 year old movie) This movie will really show what can be done (properly) to audio when time and care are taken to get everything right. I was really really impressed with the audio, so much so that I kept mentioning to it my GF who could really see the smile on my face everytime she looked at me. I give the audio 4.5/5
Picture quality, Finally Lord have mercy has the all the video problems with all the versions of this movie been tackled, especially the imperfections with the matte screening of all the spaceships when they flew on screen and you could obviously see light gray "boxing" that would occur against the blackness of space, speaking of which all the stars are finally razer sharp and not that dull bulb effect, detail in very precise and you get alot more depth and immersive while watching this. There is still some grain in the film during the Tattoine scenes but overall everything is fantastic. I don't approve of all the changes made to Star Wars with the digital add ons, But I do approve of about 80% of them and did like the brief but few new scenes that were put in to give the movie a more in depth storyline. Overall I am a kid again watching this movie for the first time and can't give kudos to George enough for finally getting this version right. PQ 4/5
If your hesistant about buying this movie again. Don't be this is by far the best version ever that this expert on this particular movie that I have seen. A must buy for any Star Wars fan. Next up "The Empire Strikes Back"