The 2006 disc release was bonus material and hardly an acceptable way in which to view the unaltered versions.
I know what they were. And I know how useful they became on the way to this place becoming THIS PLACE and doing all the great things it did.
But what I was responding to was the notion that Lucas is at open war with his fans and that’s why he’s withholding the original cuts from us. It’s a take that looks at Star Wars in terms of an absentee, abusive father mistreating his children, and that’s kind of an unhealthy, presumptive, and unrealistic take on it. It also doesn’t line up with what we know about what came out and when it did. Not releasing the OT can’t be “punishment” for disliking the Prequels when the decision to vault the OT happened years before the Prequels even started production.
His reasons are weird and complicated, like he is. He’s a weird, introverted guy who isn’t easy to predict - it’s part of the reason he ended up being the success he is. So to ascribe very simplistic (and often sort of solipsistic, i.e. “he’s doing this TO ME! PERSONALLY!”) motives to him seems questionable. It’s the same as people who love to suggest the Special Editions only exist as a middle finger to Marcia Lucas. That’s sort of tasteless, honestly, to get that soap opera about the man’s personal life to that level as a means to express bitterness about not being able to buy a movie you’ve already bought 30 times.
It sucks we can’t just go to the store and buy a version of Star Wars that looks like it did when we watched it 30,000 times on VHS growing up. I absolutely agree with every historical, logic-grounded argument people at this site have lodged, made popular, and embedded in the public consciousness for the last 15 or so years, and I think a lot of other people agree with those arguments too. But this weird sort of neverending anger and bitterness towards Lucas also sucks.