The Star Wars Holiday Special upconverted into 4K at 60FPS is even more surreal

Originally published at: The Star Wars Holiday Special upconverted into 4K at 60FPS is even more surreal | Boing Boing


is e̶v̶e̶n̶ ̶m̶o̶r̶e̶ ̶s̶u̶r̶r̶e̶a̶l̶

^even worse


There are some things you can’t unsee…

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Bea looks more fabulous. That’s something.

Even in the whole special is upconverted, I’m not gonna watch this again. I still have the occasional nightmare about fascist thugs breaking into my house, arresting at least one parent, and smashing my toys.


Weird that up-coverted 4K does a better job of capturing what it looked like in 1978 (yes, I saw it then!), even though the original broadcast was low-res interlaced NTSC 29.97 fps. That 60 fps interpolation does a fantastic job of creating the video look that is lost in all the existing bootlegs. I don’t think it’s a good idea to apply the frame rate interpolation to the animated segments, though - that’ll spoil the look.

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Fisher would later make a similar deal with George Lucas when he asked her to record a commentary track for a Star Wars DVD box set, specifically Fisher agreed to do it, for free, in return for a copy of the Holiday Special. Lucas begrudgingly agreed making Fisher the only known person, save for George Lucas himself, to own an official copy of the Star Wars Holiday Special. When once asked why she wanted a copy so badly, Fisher quipped that she liked to play it at house parties, when she wanted people to fuck off.




My TV upconverts everything including YouTube videos to 4k/120 in real time. Kinda retro to do it old school offline.

“Motion smoothing” - and thank the gods you can turn that off! I don’t actually have a TV, using a spare 24" monitor in our living room connected to a Roku more than meets our needs. After seeing that feature on most modern TVs has not encouraged me to change our setup. (I only recently learned it’s a setting on the TVs and not inherent quality to the videos themselves.)

Of course I was also amused to learn I’m not the only one who sees that video quality and immediately thinks of 80’s era soap opera camera work! I got through about 20 seconds of this video; I just can’t watch that.


I mean, there are segments of the Special that are pretty bad, but others that are fun, albeit goofy. Let’s be honest, in just about all long running franchises, there are several “WTF were they thinking?” moments. The Shadow had a short run in comics in the 60s where Archie Comics took away his signature hat and cloak, and gave him a super hero suit with cape. Jerry Seigal from Superman fame did some of the stories. I still picked them up, albeit in meh shape.

The response has been so great that Acosta plans to do the Boba Fett cartoon segment next.

The animated segment by Nelvana is a gem. I really enjoy their style of animation, even if it is a bit surreal. I do believe that was released on Disney + though. But maybe not in 4k 60fps?

The art style reminds me of this vintage story book I remember getting at the book fair at school. Anyone else have this? The illustrations were a little weird for my kid brain, but I ended up really liking them.

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The smashing of Lumpy’s toys was what got lil’ me the most worked up while watching this in 1978.


I had that book too! I thought it was a fun mystery, and while I had (and still have) a soft spot for Jawas and didn’t want them to be the bad guys there’s a great picture of one pointing at another that clearly says, “This was your bright idea!”

There’s a pretty good video adaptation of it.

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What if the afterlife is just a loop of robot Harvey Korman from the Holiday Special clicking his tongue in 4K at 60FPS for all eternity?

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This is doing much more than that process. Its not just adding in between frames but using AI to actually add detail and increase the resolution. It takes a long time and can’t be done “on the fly” like the TV filter you’re talking about.

I hope they get around to doing the whole special. This clip looks great. of course the animated segment was released in a higher resolution already on Disney+ so i don’t really understand the purpose of upscaling that. As someone said before adding a higher frame rate to animation isn’t really a great idea.

But yeah i also think the special is almost unbearable and I’m a big old school Star Wars nerd. I still force myself to watch it. The low resolution is part of what made it hard to watch, but the plot and acting is really the problem. Ha. Still I think this is amazing and really would like to see the whole thing done!

Me too! I distinctly remember the visceral reaction that I had to Lumpy trying to put the head back on his beloved stuffed bantha. I imagined that as my own teddy bear, and intensely empathized.

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I had the same reaction when I started seeing it. But it grew on me despite the artifacts, so much so that now 24/30fps looks horribly jerky. If you think about it, framerates less than what the eye can synthesize are themselves compression artifacts. It just happened to be so common that most people didn’t even notice it. Until 60/120fps.

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Yeah - you can turn all that off or adjust it to suit your tastes.

I’m super sensitive to different frame rates and find it very distracting when film/TV sources have that artificial glassy smoothness. It’s usually pretty obvious to tell the difference between native 60+fps content and something that was just algorithmically boosted. Cinema modes are usually pretty great though since they can de-judder 24fps while still looking like film. I tend leave those film modes on and turn everything else off.

Generally more expensive TVs have better video hardware so they will to a better job at these things.


I hate these upscales. Why? Because the upconversion process overshadows the prospect of someone spending time and money restoring the oriiginal film elements.

Last Christmas in 4K is detailed. Never want to give you up in 4K is merely scrubbed clean.