The way I see it, there are two versions of Star Wars worth preserving for history’s sake: the '77/'80/'83 and the '97 editions, the only two that saw their premiers on the big screen. As far as I am concerned, the '04 DVD and '11 Blu-Ray cuts are insignificant from a preservation point of view.
If new Lucasfilm lead by Disney wanted to put out their own edition based on the '04/'11 as some kind of “Definitive Edition,” like the Bladerunner “Final Cut,” why not? It would be better than anything we’ve had since the original releases (they would be bone-headed, for instance, to keep Greedo shooting or Vader’s Noooooo!). If they’re doing a new 4k transfer for such purposes, however, there is no excuse not to release the theatrical version alongside, and from a business perspective, it would be quite stupid to pass up the opportunity for an expensive boxset that would fly off the shelves.
I don’t think they (morally) have the right to tinker with the trilogy. I think that the 2011 should be the final Special Edition, as these were the last ones that George worked on, and are essentially his definitive version. I don’t think we’ll ever see an official release of the 97/04 cuts again, and I doubt we’ll get a new master for the 2011. I think they’ll do a 4K restoration of the OUT and release it in a pack with left over 2011 discs.
I’m just trying to explain this weird-a** video. Perhaps it’s some kind of working cut of the 2011 before they swapped the audio tracks, and a desk jockey at Lucasfilm pulled the clip from an HDD w/out realizing it?
Possibly. Too bad we can’t see when this clip was uploaded.
Anyways, I do think Disney will put out the theatrical cuts eventually.
They threw out Lucas’s version of EP7, they kept him a million miles away from the set, and they wouldn’t even let him give a few ideas. I really don’t think Disney cares about the mans opinion anymore, because THEY own Star Wars now, not him.
Plus, Lucas has said some pretty nasty stuff about Disney, so their relationship isn’t too great.
I honestly think George doesn’t give a shit about Star Wars anymore. I highly doubt he wrote “Keep the theatrical cuts away” in the contract with Disney.
This is my take.