QuoteThis is nothing but a fable! Some people representing Lucasfilm (including Lucas himself, if I'm not terribly mistaken) have stated that the original theatrical versions of the Trilogy are "gone", "no longer exist" or some other line of crap. It's not true. Rick McCallum said in the SE featurettes (from the '97 or '98 versions) that "George didn't like some of the shots, blah blah blah... so we've REDONE those... we have DIGITALLY RECOMBINED THOSE SHOTS, blah blah blah." McCallum's sentiments are completely consistent with digital remastering the trilogy, since you'd (obviously) have to digitize the original negatives and footage before you could set about cleaning up the prints, recombining special effects and so forth.
Originally posted by: nrg_2000
well..mine one has got full shot of obi wan, luke and darth on each covers and at the bottom part has got a widescreen picture shot. so GL claims this original WS do not exist anymore? how could that be? i saw in the interview in SEs, he said the old film stocks are ruined or something?
So not only do the original versions still exist, but they're digitized now, they're no longer subject to the ravages of age & time, look better than they ever have and, in short, aren't going anywhere. (unfortunately, "anywhere" probably includes all of our grubby hands)
I speculate that after the Trilogy was digitally remastered (and possibly after the FX footage was digitally recombined), these remastered films served as the basis for the THX-certified 'Faces' rerelease from the early 90's ("final time the Trilogy will be issued in it's unaltered form").
Hope this helps!
Incidentally, I do not have access to the 'Faces' trilogy or the original VHS releases from the 1980's. If one (or some) of you wouldn't mind comparing effects shots (matte lines, etc) between the two versions to either confirm or deny my suspicions, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!