It’s that lack of availability that makes me want to spread the word about fan preservations as much as I can to my friends and family. This weekend, my family will be watching the Despecialized trilogy for the first time. None of them have even seen the unaltered versions since they were in the theater, and I’m very excited to make those available to them again. I would be very happy to see some official release at some point, but after all this time, I’ve resigned myself to the reality that fan restorations will always be our only decent option.
It seems so counterproductive not to restore and release them. Doing that would be hugely profitable and produce a lot of fan goodwill towards Lucasfilm. But it seems that George was firm in his demands, and I doubt Disney has any interest in releasing a “non-canon” version of the trilogy alongside their current version.