14 June, 2024

TMNT Volume 2 and 3 Bookshelf

Here is a list of shelf-friendly collected editions of stories from the Volume 2 and Volume 3 eras of Mirage Studios’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (well Image Comics in the case of Volume 3).

Compared to Volume 1, there are less options available, but the bulk of the stories have been collected, albeit mostly in a different form to their original release.

Books are ordered based on the Volume 2 and 3 Story List. Only TMNT collected editions are detailed here, but this is followed by a brief summary of other releases. Finally there is a list of what hasn’t been collected.

Like the Story List, any non-canon stories that were written to be part of the main Mirage continuity (so Volume 3) are listed in blue and any colour stories are indicated by “(colour)” after their name.

* - indicates reprinted story differs notably from the original version in some way. Details are provided in the notes.

All books were also released digitally unless indicated otherwise.

The Mirage Years:
1993 - 1995

IDW Publishing (Hardcover), 2025
ISBN: 979-8887242743

Not yet released, but listed as containing (Vol. 2) #1-13

Potentially featuring the original colouring and may not be released digitally, but TBC.

More Details to follow.

Classics Vol. 8

IDW Publishing (Softcover), 2014
ISBN: 1613779613


Memories of the Future (colour) *
(Vol. 2 #1)

Winds of Change / Evolution (colour) *
(Vol. 2 #2-3)

Intruders / Death Race (colour) *
(Vol. 2) #4-5

- All issues are recoloured rather than using the original colours.

Classics Vol. 9

IDW Publishing (Softcover), 2015
ISBN: 1631401107


Killer on the Loose / Confrontations / Face Off / Victory? (colour) *
(Vol. 2) #6-9 

- All issues are recoloured rather than using the original colours.

Classics Vol. 10

IDW Publishing (Softcover), 2015
ISBN: 1631402845


Descending into D.A.R.P.A. / The Rescue / The Escape/ The Final Battle (colour) *
(Vol. 2) #10-13 

- All issues are recoloured rather than using the original colours.


Image Comics (Softcover), 1996
ISBN: 1887279369

Heavy Metal (Hardcover, Softcover), 2008
Hardcover ISBN: 0981489506
Softcover ISBN: 1932413991

IDW-Topshelf (Hardcover), 2018
ISBN: 1603094320


Bodycount (colour)
Bodycount #1-4

- Only the IDW-Topshelf version was released digitally.

- The Heavy Metal and IDW-Topshelf versions change all the white page borders to black.

- The Heavy Metal release has a printing error: the thirty-sixth story page is replaced with a duplicate of the thirty-ninth.

- All releases include a seven-page bonus “A Look Back” by Kevin Eastman, providing background information on the story as well as small images including sketches, layouts and inked pages.
  • The Heavy Metal edition removes the 1996 date from the final page sign-off, but is otherwise the same as the original Image presentation of the bonus material.
  • The IDW-Topshelf edition has a different layout style for the bonus, but uses the same images and text, until the final page which replaces the 1996 text with a 2018 written piece, similar in tone and including additional thanks.

- The IDW-Topshelf release was also available with a (convention exclusive) Black and White cover.

Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles

    Image Comics (Softcover), 1997
               ISBN: 1887279563


(Vol. 3) #1-5  *

- This book has not been released digitally.

- This reprinting of the first Volume 3 arc features an extra story page between the second and third issues.

- Includes an introduction from Eric Larson, with comments from members of the Image creative team as well as (Mirage CEO) Gary Richardson, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

Urban Legends 
- Volume One

    IDW Publishing (Softcover), 2019
                ISBN: 1684050197


(Vol. 3) #1-5 (colour) *
(Vol. 3) #6-8 (colour) *
(Vol. 3) #9 (colour) 
(Vol. 3) #10-11 (colour) 
(Vol. 3) #12-#13 (colour) 

- Issues are listed here as Volume 3 for simplicity, but these are the Urban Legends versions that colourise the issues.

- The #1-5 arc lacks the extra page that was added in the Image trade paperback.

- With this volume only printing up to #13, the arc from #12-16 is split across volumes.

- "Volume One" is absent from the cover of this release, but is used in the indicia.

Urban Legends 
- Volume Two

    IDW Publishing (Softcover), 2021
                ISBN: 1684057302


(Vol. 3) #14-16 (colour) *
(Vol. 3) #17-18 (colour) *
(Vol. 3) #19-23 (colour) 
Urban Legends #24-26 (colour)

- Issues are listed here as Volume 3 for simplicity, but these are the Urban Legends versions, so (Vol. 3) #14-23 are now colourised.

- With each volume printing thirteen issues, the arc from #12-16 is split across volumes.

Non-Turtles reprints of interest

Much like TMNT there have been numerous collected editions of Usagi Yojimbo and Savage Dragon and these reprints have included stories the Turtles guest starred in. Whilst this summary doesn’t aim to be comprehensive, here are some options for the crososvers of the Volume 2 era:

Shades of Green which originally appeared in Usagi Yojimbo (Vol. 2) #1-3 was included in Usagi Yojimbo – Volume 8: Shades of Death and also The Usagi Yojimbo Saga – Book 1. Both of these ditch the colour of the original issues and present the story in black and white. Both books have also received a digital release.

There are also multiple options for the Savage Dragon crossovers, though it should be noted that only the Savage Dragon issue for each is included and not the Mirage one-shots. This means the conclusion is missing from the first crossover and the opening part is absent from the second.

For the first crossover The Savage Dragon #2 was included in Savage Dragon - Volume 2: A Force to Be Reckoned With, Savage Dragon Archives - Volume 1 (also released digitally) and Savage Dragon: Ultimate Collection – Vol. 1. The Archives release is in black and white.

For the second crossover The Savage Dragon #22 was included in Savage Dragon - Volume 6: Gang War and Savage Dragon Archives - Volume 2 (also released digitally). The Archives release is in black and white.
The issue is also listed for the forthcoming Savage Dragon: Ultimate Collection – Vol. 3.

The Savage Dragon #22
was slightly expanded for the collected edition release, with the addition of two extra (single image) pages towards the end. As it is the first issue in the collection, the Kindle preview for Archives – Volume 2 allows the full issue (including the extra pages) to be read.

Not Collected
Although much of it differs from the original presentation in some way, the bulk of the stories from the Volume 2 and 3 eras are available in book form.

As mentioned, the Mirage halves of the Savage Dragon crossovers (The Savage Dragon/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/The Savage Dragon #1) have not been collected.

Sticking with crossovers, Dreamstone from Creed/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 has not been collected either.

Finally Galahad from Big Bang Comics (Image series) #10 also lacks a shelf-friendly book release.

24 May, 2024

TMNT Story List: Volume 2 and 3 Eras (1993 – 1999)

Here is a list of stories from the second and third volumes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a handful of other stories that appeared elsewhere during these runs and a conclusion that came much later.

Compared to the Volume 1 era, it is more straightforward thanks to out of continuity tales not being included in the main titles. Also, even with combining Volumes 2 and 3, there’s a lot less stories than during Volume 1.

Mirage Studios launched the colour Volume 2 not long after Volume 1 concluded. Colour had been an occasional thing during the Volume 1 era, but now everything was in colour. Following this short-lived volume, Mirage handed the Turtles over to Image Comics and it was they who produced the third volume, which now returned to black and white.

Later declared non-canon (like most material produced by non-Mirage creators) and with the next era making no reference to it, Volume 3 is often thought of as something separate to the Mirage comics. However, it was very much written as a continuation of the previous volumes and consequently the Image run is included here, listed in blue like the non-canon guest issues on the Volume 1 list.

Note: A handful of non-Turtle stories where they popped in for a cameo for a few panels have not been included.

Stories are listed in order of release (ish) as well as details of where and when they first appeared. Any stories that originally appeared in colour are indicated by “(colour)” after their name.

For a guide to shelf-friendly collected editions where these stories can be read, see:

TMNT Volume 2 and 3 Bookshelf

Additional notes can be found at the end of the list.

Volume 2 (1993 – 1995)

Shades of Green (colour)
Usagi Yojimbo (Vol. 2) #1-3
March – July 1993

The Savage Dragon/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (colour)
The Savage Dragon #2, The Savage Dragon/TMNT #1
July 1993, September 1993

Memories of the Future (colour)
(Vol. 2) #1
October 1993

Winds of Change / Evolution (colour)
(Vol. 2) #2-3
December 1993, February 1994

Intruders / Death Race (colour)
(Vol. 2) #4-5
April 1994, June 1994

Killer on the Loose / Confrontations / Face Off / Victory? (colour)
(Vol. 2) #6-9
August – December 1994

Descending into D.A.R.P.A. / The Rescue / The Escape/ The Final Battle (colour)
(Vol. 2) #10-13
August – October 1995

Bodycount (colour)
Bodycount #1-4
March – July 1996

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/The Savage Dragon (colour)
TMNT/The Savage Dragon #1, The Savage Dragon #22 [+ 2 extra pages in TPB]
August – September 1995

Volume 3 (1996 – 1999)

Dream Stone (colour)
Creed/TMNT #1
May 1996

(Vol. 3) #1-5 [+ extra page in TPB]
June – December 1996

(Vol. 3) #6-8
January – April 1997

Galahad (16 pages)
Big Bang Comics (Image series) #10
May 1997

(Vol. 3) #9
May 1997

(Vol. 3) #10-11
July 1997, October 1997

(Vol. 3) #12-16
December 1997 – July 1998

(Vol. 3) #17-18
September – October 1998

(Vol. 3) #19-23
January – October 1999

Urban Legends #24-26 (colour)
July – August 2020


Overlap with Volume 1 era
As Volume 1 was coming to an end with ‘City at War’, a few other stories were released. The first two were included on the Volume 1 list and the second two are included here listed under Volume 2. What went where was based on whether the stories were originally in black and white or colour.

Savage Dragon Crossovers
These two crossovers consist of an issue of The Savage Dragon (published by Image Comics) and a Mirage-produced one-shot. Three of the four issues lack a story title (the first one-shot is titled ‘Enter the Savage Dragon!’) so the titles used here are based on the covers of the one-shots.
When The Savage Dragon #22 was reprinted in Trade Paperback it included two extra story pages (more information on the Book Shelf page).

Story Titles
(Vol. 2) #2-13 were printed without titles. The titles used here are the ones listed on the Mirage website. The entirety of Volume 3 (and later Urban Legends) was also printed without titles and in the absence of alternatives, arcs are simply listed by their issue numbers.

Listed as the Image-published Bodycount #1-4 for simplicity, it should be noted that this story started as Casey Jones & Raphael at Mirage. Only one issue was released (in October 1994) and the story remained unfinished until the Image release.
Bodycount issues split the story differently to how Casey Jones & Raphael planned to, so whilst the bulk of Bodycount #1 originally appeared in Casey Jones & Raphael #1 there’s some additional pages too.
Placement on the list is based on the release date of Casey Jones & Raphael #1, bumped to after Volume 2 as the final two arcs (which the issue was published between) fit together well.

Similar to the Volume 1 guest issues, this story (published by Lightning Comics) is non-canon, but non-contradictory and thus included on the list.

Vol. 3 #1-5
When Image Comics collected this arc for Trade Paperback release it included an extra story page (between #2 and #3). This page has yet to appear elsewhere.

Page count noted due to being longer than a short story, but not quite the length of a full issue. The issue that this story appeared in was released after (Vol. 3) #9 according to that issue’s letter page. PREVIEWS disagrees with that, putting the Volume 3 issue’s “in shops” date as three weeks after the Big Bang Comics one. In any case ‘Galahad’ is placed before (Vol. 3) #9 as the story features the character’s first meeting with the Turtles and the Volume 3 story features the second.

Urban Legends #24-26
Beginning in May 2018, IDW Publishing began a colourised release of Volume 3 entitled Urban Legends. Following the original twenty-three issues, three new issues from the original creative team were released, providing a conclusion to the series.
This was not the first time Volume 3 had received a conclusion. In 2011 and 2012, a fan produced (with original creator input) (Vol. 3) #24-25 was released. See <link... at some point>

21 May, 2024

TMNT Story List: Volume 1 Era (1984 – 1993)

Here is a list of stories from Mirage Studios’ first volume of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as various shorts, one-shots and other stories that appeared elsewhere during this run.

It’s not as straightforward as it sounds.

Volume 1 ran for sixty two issues, but a number of those were non-canon guest issues. The first guest issue was #16, soon followed by #18. Following the canon ‘Return to New York’ (#19-21) what became known as the “Guest Era” began and apart from #27 and #28, Volume 1 became a series of guest stories until a return to canon with #45.

Whilst some guest creators took the opportunity to provide their own very different spin on the Turtles, others wrote their issues to fit with the canon issues that had come before. Additionally, Turtle Soup (both the initial one-shot and the later mini-series) features a mix of stories. Some are canon, some are clearly their own thing and some are non-canon, but can fit.

Some are a more obvious fit than others, but for this list all non-canon stories that appear to be set in the main Mirage continuity (or do nothing to obviously contradict it) have been included, listed in blue to differentiate them from the canon stories.

Stories are listed in order of release (ish) as well as details of where and when they first appeared. Some months saw multiple new stories and in the absence of exact release dates, decisions had to be made on ordering. Typically Mirage-published stories are placed ahead of those published by other companies and main title stories are placed ahead of other things. Other times things are just ordered by what feels right.

Short stories are indicated by “(short)” after their name and stories that originally appeared in colour are indicated with “(colour)”.

For a guide to shelf-friendly collected editions where these stories can be read, see:

TMNT Volume 1 Bookshelf: Mirage Studios, First Publishing and Heavy Metal link coming soon

TMNT Volume 1 Bookshelf: IDW Publishing link coming soon

Additional notes can be found at the end of the list.

Volume 1 (1984 - 1993)

The Turtles' Origin is Told
(Vol. 1) #1
May 1984

TMNT VS the Mousers
(Vol. 1) #2
October 1984

The Great Chase
(Vol. 1) #3
March 1985

Me, Myself and I
Raphael #1
April 1985

[Turtles in Space]
(Vol. 1) #4, Fugitoid #1, (Vol. 1) #5-7
June 1985 – May 1986

Don't Judge a Book... (short)
TMNT & Other Strangeness role-playing game
November 1985

The Christmas Aliens
Michaelangelo #1
December 1985

Kirby and the Warp Crystal
Donatello #1
February 1986

You Had to be There (short) (colour)
(Vol. 1) #7 (1st print)
May 1986

D'Ants Fever (short) (colour)
Grimjack #26
May 1986

New York Ninja (short)
TMNT Adventures! role-playing game supplement
June 1986

Team-up with Cerebus the Aardvark
(Vol. 1) #8
July 1986

The Passing
(Vol. 1) #9
September 1986

New Comic Day! (short) (colour)
TMNT: Book I trade paperback
November 1986

Night Life (short) (colour)
TMNT: Book I trade paperback
November 1986

Technofear!!! (short)
Gobbledygook (Vol. 2) #1
December 1986

Crazy Man (short)
Gobbledygook (Vol. 2) #1
December 1986

What Goes Around... ...Comes Around! / Silent Partner
Leonardo #1, (Vol. 1) #10
December 1986, April 1987

True Stories
(Vol. 1) #11
June 1987

Terror by Transmat! (short)
TMNT Guide to the Universe role-playing game supplement
May 1987

The Survival Game (short)
(Vol. 1) #4 (2nd print)
May 1987

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Original Vol. 1 Series Treasury Edition
trade paperback
December 2007

(Vol. 1) #12
September 1987

Turtle Dreams (short)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 1) #1
September 1987

Turtle Soup and Rabbit Stew (short)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 1) #1
September 1987

The Howl (short)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 1) #1
September 1987

Apparition (short)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 1) #1
September 1987

The Road Trip (short) (colour)
Anything Goes! #5
October 1987

Fun With Guns (short)
Raphael #1 (2nd print)
November 1987

Ghouls Night Out (short)
(Vol. 1) #5 (2nd print)
November 1987

The Lesson: A Tale of the Triceraton Marines (short)
November 1987

49th Street Stompers (short) (colour)
TMNT: Book III trade paperback
December 1987

The People's Choice
(Vol. 1) #13
February 1988

The Unmentionables
(Vol. 1) #14
May 1988

It's a Gas (short)
(Vol. 1) #6 (2nd print)
May 1988

Dome Doom
(Vol. 1) #15
August 1988

The Crossing (short)
Usagi Yojimbo (Vol. 1) #10
August 1988

Choices (short)
The Puma Blues #20
September 1988

(Vol. 1) #17
November 1988

Not One Word! (short)
(Vol. 1) #1 (5th print)
November 1988

Complete Carnage an' Radical (short)
(Vol. 1) #3 (2nd print)
November 1988

King For a Day (16 pages)
The Collected Gizmo trade paperback
December 1988

Return to New York
(Vol. 1) #19-21
March – May 1989

Gizmo and the Fugitoid
Gizmo and the Fugitoid #1-2
June – July 1989

The River
(Vol. 1) #24-26
August – October 1989

Dreams of Stone
(Vol. 1) #27
November 1989

Casey Jones, Private Eye (short)
Mirage Mini Comics
November 1989

[untitled Nobody story] (short)
The Collected Tales of the TMNT trade paperback
December 1989

Bottoming Out (short)
Shell Shock trade paperback
December 1989

The Treaty (short)
Shell Shock trade paperback
December 1989

Junk Man (short)
Shell Shock trade paperback
December 1989

O-Deed (short)
Shell Shock trade paperback
December 1989

Meanwhile… 1,000,000 BC (short)
Shell Shock trade paperback
December 1989

Sons of the Silent Age
(Vol. 1) #28
February 1990

Men of Shadow
(Vol. 1) #29
March 1990

Sky Highway
(Vol. 1) #30
April 1990

Turtles Take Time (colour)
(Vol. 1) #33
June 1990

A Christmas Carol (13 pages)
Michaelangelo Christmas Special
December 1990

Donatello: The Ring (short) (colour)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 2) #1
November 1991

Twilight of the Ring
(Vol. 1) #37
June 1991

original Graphic Novel
September 1991

Turtles Attack!!! (shorts) (colour)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 2) #1-4
November 1991 – February 1992

The Purpose of Fear (short) (colour)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 2) #1
November 1991

The Name is Lucindra (short) (colour)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 2) #1
November 1991

Juliet's Revenge
(Vol. 1) #42
December 1991

Raphael: Snapper (short) (colour)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 2) #2
December 1991

Halls of Lost Legends
(Vol. 1) #43
January 1992

Sweat, Sweat, Sweet Renet (short) (colour)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 2) #3
January 1992

The Ring of Death (short) (colour)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 2) #3
January 1992

Crack in a Hard Heart (short) (colour)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 2) #3
January 1992

The Violent Underground
(Vol. 1) #44
February 1992

Fifteen Years Later... (short) (colour)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 2) #4
February 1992

Thoughts on Paper (short) (colour)
Turtle Soup (Vol. 2) #4
February 1992

Muscle & Faith
Flying Color Comics website
May – July 2000

Leatherhead, Too
(Vol. 1) #45
March 1992

(Vol. 1) #46-47
April – May 1992

Shades of Gray
(Vol. 1) #48-49
June – July 1992

City at War
(Vol. 1) #50-62
August 1992 – August 1993

North By Downeast (colour)
Casey Jones #1-2
May 1994, July 1994

Old Times (short)
Plastron Café #1
December 1992


Story Titles
Early stories (specifically (Vol. 1) #1-8, #12 and Fugitoid #1) were printed without titles. 
In instances where a suitable alternative is unavailable, the titles (possibly intended as merely a description) that were later used on the Mirage website have been used.

Turtles in Space
The comics never used this title, but it was used when the arc was adapted for the 2003 TV show. The Fugitoid issue (often skipped when the arc is reprinted) consists of five chapters. Though listed as Fugitoid #1 for simplicity, it should be noted that chapters 1-4 first appeared in Gobbledygook (Vol. 1) #1-2 in early 1984.

You Had to be There
Reprints of issues would sometimes include a short story as an incentive to buy again. ‘You Had to be There’ is unusual in that it was only included as an insert in the first printing of the issue.

True Stories
Although a number of stories were published between (Vol. 1) #10 and this issue, this is placed here due to it following on directly from the previous story.

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Original Vol. 1 Series Treasury Edition
Tales (Vol. 1) was a 7 issue series. The stories were:

#1 ‘A Tale of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ May 1987
#2 ‘Nobody's Fool!’ July 1987
#3 ‘All Hallow's Thieves’ October 1987
#4 ‘I, Monster’ January 1988
#5 ‘Complete Carnage and Radical’* May 1988
#6 ‘Leatherhead’ August 1988
#7 ‘The Return of Savanti Romero!’ April 1989

* Not to be confused with the similarly named ‘Complete Carnage an' Radical’ short from (Vol. 1) #3 (2nd print).

This 2007 trade paperback release featured redone frontispieces that act as a framing sequence, a new story (‘Spinal Tapped’) and a new epilogue. Its placement on this list is based on the original release date of the first issue.

The Lesson: A Tale of the Triceraton Marines/King for a Day/Gizmo and the Fugitoid
Although they feature characters from previous stories, none of the Turtles themselves appear in this trio of stories.

King for a Day/A Christmas Carol
The page count for these two stories has been noted as they are longer than a typical short, but shorter than a full-blown adventure.

untitled Nobody story
This untitled story was a bonus in the first trade paperback release of Tales (Vol. 1). It was not included in 2007’s Treasury Edition.

Donatello: The Ring
Although released after ‘Twilight of the Ring’, this short story leads into it, so has been placed before it on this list.

The Purpose of Fear/ The Ring of Death
As mentioned in the intro, this list includes any of the guest non-canon stories that fit in the main Mirage continuity. These two stories are borderline inclusions, being rather simple tales, with Leonardo seeming too young in the first one and the second having a goofy tone.

Fifteen Years Later...
In this short the (briefly glimpsed) Turtles wear the different coloured bandannas that were introduced with the Playmates toyline. This could just be considered a colouring error as the story otherwise fits just fine.

Muscle & Faith
Advertised during the guest era, this story went unreleased until 2000 when it was published on the Flying Color Comics website. Released in twelve weekly instalments, it is placed here at the end of the guest era.

North By Downeast
Listed here as the colour Casey Jones #1-2 for simplicity. This was initially a six-part black and white story published in Plastron Café - and it’s placement on the list is based on the release date of Plastron Café #1 (December 1992). However the title ended with #4, leaving the story unfinished until the colourised release. The full black and white version has never been released.

Overlap with Volume 2 era
During the release of ‘City at War’ a few other stories were released. The first two are included on this list and the second two are included with Volume 2. What went where was based on whether the stories were originally in black and white (partially in the case of North By Downeast) or colour.

11 January, 2017

Another New Hope: A simple guide to the different versions of the first Star Wars film

Many people know that there are multiple versions of George Lucas’ first Star Wars movie, but how many are there and how different are they? Well…there’s lots. Dive into the OriginalTrilogy.com forums and you will find pictures of slight end credit variations. Then there are home video releases which are a different experience to a theatrical one due to technical limitations as well as the fact they may be pan-and-scan editions. Laserdisc releases may be time-compressed and PAL region releases have PAL speedup. There’s even a narrated logo. One release may be identical to another but with slight colour variations or a different level of noise reduction applied. There can be changes in subtitle placement and font, plus there have been releases with technical errors. Factor in foreign-language dubs and there’s been a lot of different versions over the years.

Maybe one day I’ll work it out. The more likely scenario is that the posters on OriginalTrilogy.com will and I’ll stick up a link saying “hey look at this”. In any case, it seems likely that anyone asking how many versions are there of the first Star Wars film is not expecting these variations to be included in the tally. This guide then ignores things like that, focusing on just the English language releases and not counting home video releases as a new version of the film unless they did add something.

This is not a full list of every alteration ever made, but it should provide a guide to how each version differs from the others and when certain changes were made (and reverted in some cases).

1977 Stereo Theatrical  Releases

There were a couple of stereo options for Star Wars’ initial USA theatrical release. Two-track stereo was available on 35mm prints whilst 70mm prints boasted a six-track Dolby stereo mix. Whilst there may be different emphasis on certain effects, greater bass and dynamic range in the six-track, content-wise the mixes sound the same (no alternate dialogue here). The six-track was created first and then the two-track was derived from it.

In J.W. Rinzler’s The Making of Star Wars book, sound designer Ben Burtt says that whilst they were not completely happy with the mix there was no time to make changes, commenting “they were all too afraid to mess with it, ‘cause the deadline was so close-the whole system with the Dolby was kind of an experiment, and they didn’t want me to tamper with it.”

1977 Mono Theatrical Release

The monaural mix arrived a little later for the film’s general release and the extra time was used to make some changes. Ben Burtt (again in The Making of Star Wars) says “George, [editor] Paul Hirsch, and I and everyone in the crew sat down and made a list of the things we didn’t like in the stereo mix. Then we tried to achieve every one of those things on the mono”. Lucas himself adds “We were locked in this little room, but it was important because monaural was what most people were going to hear”.

Changes in the audio include alternate/additional sound effects and a different voice for Aunt Beru. There was some changed/additional dialogue too:

- When searching for the droids in Mos Eisley, a Stormtrooper says “All right, check that side of the street. It’s secure. Move on to the next one”. Previously the line was “All right, check this side of the street. The door’s locked? Move on to the next one”.

- As Artoo is making the location of the tractor beam control appear on a monitor, there’s an additional line from Threepio: “The tractor beam is coupled to the main reactor in seven locations. A power loss at one of the terminals will allow the ship to leave”.

- There’s the addition of a "Governor Tarkin" before the Grand Moff is informed “we have an emergency alert in detention block AA-twenty-three”.

- When Han and Chewie are running from some Stormtroopers, before the blast doors close (and cause a trooper to shout “Open the blast doors! Open the blast doors!”) one of them (in retrospect, a twonk) issues an instruction to “close the blast doors!”.

- During the Death Star battle Luke says “Blast it! Wedge, where are you?”. Previously he said “Blast it! Biggs, where are you?”.

Some of these changes could also be heard in The Story of Star Wars (an abridged audio version of the story) and the script included with 1979’s The Art of Star Wars book uses the mono mix’s altered dialogue.

1981 Theatrical Re-releases

Something else the script with The Art of Star Wars included was a new longer title, numbering the film “Episode IV: A New Hope”. When The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980 it was identified on-screen as “Episode V”.

Star Wars received a theatrical re-release the following year and its opening crawl was updated to include the episode number and title.

Aside from the new episode number/title (and a slightly reformatted opening crawl) these re-releases were the same as before. The stereo version was used for initial home video releases (VHS, Betamax, CED, Laserdisc, VHD) and whilst the mono mix has never appeared on home video, it was used for some TV broadcasts of the film.

1985 Home Video 

Although not a major update, a new audio mix was produced for home video in 1985. Despite the alterations and additions that had been made for the mono mix, the content of the 1985 mix was similar to the stereo version. Some reports mention improved stereo effects, but the only noticeable difference over the previous stereo version is that it includes Threepio’s tractor beam line from the mono mix.

It first appeared in the USA on VHS and would be used for the various VHS and Laserdisc releases until 1993. Other places may have got the audio mix later; it appears it didn’t turn up in the UK until 1991.

1993 Definitive Edition
New decade, new sound mix. Produced for the Definitive Collection LaserDisc set, Threepio’s tractor beam line has been taken out again. Said to be a downmix of the six-track version, dialogue-wise this is identical to the first stereo mixes. There are however a number of additional sound effects added to the mix. Some of these previously featured in the mono mix, but others are new.

This edition of the film would be used for VHS and LaserDisc releases until the arrival of the Special Edition, with the 1995 release being promoted as the “last chance to own the original version of Star Wars”.

1997 Special Edition
Previous alterations to the film could easily have gone unnoticed, but that would not be the case with 1997’s  Special Edition. Back in theatres (along with its two sequels) for the twentieth anniversary, this updated version featured additional scenes and new special effects. Audio-wise it should be noted that Threepio’s tractor beam line returned as did “close the blast doors!” from the mono mix. There was also an additional “He’s on your tail” during the Death Star battle.

The big changes, however, were visual. There’s a new scene with Jabba the Hutt and Han, whilst later on Luke now has a brief conversation with Biggs before the Death Star battle.

There are additional shots in the film such as in Mos Eisley and of recently arrived on Tatooine Stormtroopers searching for the droids, whilst other shots have CGI additions and some effects work has been redone. There are far too  many changes to detail in a guide that’s trying to be brief, but a few examples are shown below:
Of course, this is also the version of the film that altered “The Greedo Scene” to make the bounty hunter fire a shot at Han. Additional tweaks to this confrontation would be made in subsequent versions of the film as detailed here.

The Special Edition received a home video release on VHS, LaserDisc and Video CD.

2004 DVD
Although the format arrived in the 1990s, the Star Wars Trilogy would not be released on DVD until 2004. People expected the Special Editions, but that would not be the case as the films had received further updates for this boxset release.

As far as the first film is concerned there are a few small visual updates such as these:

A bigger update was Jabba the Hutt, whose CG model was redone to make him look closer to his appearance in Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace.

This version of the film features an odd colouring error during Luke’s training aboard the Millennium Falcon. At one point his Lightsaber appears very green.

There were some audio changes too with the “He’s on your tail” line that had been added to the Special Edition removed. There was a new Krayt Dragon sound effect for when Obi-Wan scares off the Sand People and a couple of dialogue additions as well:

- Aboard the Sandcrawler Threepio announces “We’ve stopped” before his “Wake up! Wake up!” line to Artoo.

- On the Death Star, after searching the Millennium Falcon, a Stormtrooper says “There’s no one here”.

Another notable audio change was the music as the rebels start their attack on the Death Star which is now buried deep beneath the sound effects. It seemed like an error but Lucasfilm issued a statement to various websites insisting “any changes that you hear on the all-new Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX tracks on the Star Wars Trilogy DVD set are deliberate creative decisions. We can confirm that there are no technical glitches as has been reported.”

2006 “Original Theatrical Version” DVD
The 2004 editions of the films were released again in 2006 and whilst a boxset was available from some retailers, this was the first time the original trilogy films were available to buy individually on DVD. As an incentive for people to repurchase the films, each of them came with a “Bonus Disc” featuring the original theatrical version of the film.

Sort of.

These theatrical versions were created from the masters used for 1993’s Definitive Collection Laserdisc set, which in the case of A New Hope contains some changes. However, this wasn’t a simple DVD release of the 1993 version either as the original version of the opening crawl was restored (making its first appearance on home video).  So whilst there isn’t actually anything new here, adding the 1977 crawl to the 1993 edition created a new version of the film.

After these individual releases of the three films disappeared from shops they were repackaged in a slimline Star Wars Trilogy boxset that was released in 2008.

2011 Blu-Ray
Released on Blu-Ray, “Star Wars: The Complete Saga” packaged Episodes I-VI together for the first time (although separate trilogy sets were also available) and George Lucas took this opportunity to make some more alterations to the films.

For Episode IV a couple of changes fixed problems with the 2004 edition of the film. The music as the rebels start their attack on the Death Star was restored to prominence and the shot with Luke’s very green lightsaber was changed to make the blade blue.

Additional changes were made too, such as colouring the lid of Threepio and Artoo’s escape pod grey in most shots on Tatooine (having been blue in all previous versions of the film) and there was extra cover added to the spot where Artoo hides from the Tusken Raiders.

A shot during the Millennium Falcon’s battle with the TIE Fighters was also updated. All previous versions of the film had a portion of the image missing, although this was not particularly noticeable against the black of space. It was finally fixed for this release.

On the audio side of things, Obi-Wan’s Krayt Dragon call was changed again, sounding quite different to both the 1977 and 2004 versions. A line of Aunt Beru’s was slightly changed to “Luke, tell your Uncle that if he gets a translator to be sure it speaks Bocce”, having previously lacked the “your” part of  “tell your Uncle”.

This version of the film has been rereleased a few times on Blu-Ray and has also been released on DVD and Digital.

2019 4K Home Video

George Lucas would sell Lucasfilm to the Walt Disney Company in 2012, but prior to that further work was done to A New Hope for future 4K home video releases. This, however, would not be seen until 2019 when Disney launched their streaming service Disney+.

It featured a number of small visual tweaks, including an alternate fix to the TIE Fighter shot with some of the image missing. This time the image is shifted right, with the left part of the shot extended.

More noticeably, the Greedo scene now features an untranslated line of dialogue from Greedo (and a brief shot of him) right before his shootout with Han and the two now fire at the same time.

This version of the film was also released on Digital, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and DVD.

Please note that images are used to illustrate when changes were made and are not necessarily sourced from the indicated version; it’s not like I have a 1977 print lying around. Although home video release formats have been noted (where applicable) for the different versions, I have not included Derran’s Super 8 release as without owning a copy it is unclear which audio mix it used.

Last Updated: 20/4/20 -  added additional formats for 2019 edition.

05 December, 2016

Super Mario Land remake (Wii U Super Mario Maker)

I booted up Super Mario Maker on my Wii U the other day and found myself baffled by the fact I never got around to finishing my Super Mario Land remake. It’s something I started quite soon after Mario Maker came out; my initial version of level 1-1 (which is still online) has an upload date of 15/9/15. Originally I was just going to remake the first level, but then I thought of doing 1-3 as well and if I was doing that I might as well do 1-2 and I had an idea for 2-3, so why not do the first two worlds…

People seemed to like them and eventually I decided I might as well remake the whole game. I put them out fairly regularly and by the time I got to 4-2 (in November, 2015) checkpoints had been added in an update, so I updated all the previous levels with checkpoints and started on the final level. By which I mean I picked a template, saved the file… and then forgot about it for over a year.

Well I’ve finished it now, so here is a list of the Course ID codes for all the levels. Clicking the code will take you to the relevant page on the Super Mario Maker bookmark site if you’d rather do that than enter the codes manually.