This seems to be burying the lede a bit, friends. Rogue One director Gareth Edwards:
On day one, we were in Lucasfilm in San Francisco with Industrial Light and Magic and John Knowles, 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. Obviously, I was up for that. Me, the writer, lots of the story people and John all sat down, we all had our little notepads, we were all ready for this. I’ll add that I’ve seen A New Hope hundreds of times. So I was sat there, ready to take notes and really delve under the surface of the film. You have the Fox fanfare, then scrolling text with ‘A long time ago…’, and then the main music begins. Next thing we knew it had ended, and we looked around to one another and just thought – shit, we didn’t take any notes. You can’t watch it without getting carried away. It’s really hard to get into an analytical filmmaker headspace with this film. It just turns you into a child.
(H/T: GeekTyrant) The big question, of course, is whether this restoration print is of the original, or the 1995 so-called ‘Special Edition.’ I think – bearing in mind that I am not even remotely expert in this field – that it’s the original. 4K restoration involves conversion from celluloid to digital, and the 1997 version was digitally remastered to begin with. We also know that the oft-repeated assertions that there is no viable original film to work with is, well, nonsense on stilts. If you believe that Ars Technica article – and it sounds right – the major obstacle to seeing a proper re-release of the original is much more due to 20th Century Fox having the rights to the two trilogies (and Star Wars [A New Hope] forever) and being unwilling to make any deal with Disney that doesn’t involve obscene gobs of money.
But since there apparently supposedly has been a remastered print since 2014… I dunno, folks. It’s maybe the real version. And next year is the 40th anniversary of the original movie. And Disney and 20th Century Fox both really, really want our money. So keep watching the skies…