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Articles & info that highlight / call for a classic version release of the Original Trilogy

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 (Edited)

A thread to follow on from none’s awesome OriginalTrilogy.com in the Press thread - to list and highlight quality articles and information supporting the call for a official release of the unaltered theatrical version of the Original Trilogy films - on a modern digital format.

I know many of us may be aware / have already seen some of the links and pieces - yet I think it is worth doing for newcomers to the site, and also for younger fans who may be not be aware it has been 25 years (and counting) since the original theatrical version of the Original Trilogy had a dedicated release (on videotape and laserdisc).

 

Please add any articles, quality blogs or sites, sources of information to this thread. Hopefully it will grow into something worthwhile whilst chronicling many peoples’ wish to see these films have an official release - and our dissatisfaction in not being able to experience the classic theatrical version of the three award-winning and landmark films that underpin the entire Star Wars universe.
 

To start things off…

 

doubleofive’s ‘Star Wars Visual Comparisonswebsite : blog : twitter - covering all of the releases of the Special Editions…

 
Some related info:-

doubleofive’s Complete Comparison of Special Edition Visual Changes thread on the OT•com (which contains multiple sources of information on the continuing changes made to the Original Trilogy films with each passing ‘Special Edition’ release)

doubleofive’s Modern SE Revisionism thread on the OT•com

doubleofive’s Sources on the Special Edition thread on the OT•com

doubleofive’s “Disney+ Should Offer the Star Wars Original Cuts” thread on the OT•com re his awesome article on Wired

doubleofive’s ‘A Visual Guide to Changes, Fixes & Tweaks in the Disney 4K Version’ articles on The Digital Bits: SW : ESB : ROTJ

 
 

zombie84’s Saving Star Wars website…

 
“In 1997, George Lucas refilmed, re-edited and redid many scenes for the Star Wars trilogy in a “Special Edition.” Since then, Lucas has refused to have the original versions of the films be seen in high quality. All 35mm prints of the original versions have been recalled from circulation and confiscated, and the originals are no longer aired on television nor screened for special events. Lucas has stated that he would like the original versions to disappear, and that once the existing VHS and Laserdisc releases deteriorate he hopes no one will even remember the originals existed, except as “rough drafts” of the Special Editions. Not only is this robbing the world of a very important part of its cinematic and cultural heritage, but it is engaging in the re-writing of history. The original theatrical versions of these films deserve to be continued to be released and preserved in as high a quality as possible.”

 
 

zombie84’s (though re-hosted by none) The Secret History of Star Wars website (for the book of the same name)…

 
"From the cover: "Star Wars is one of the most important cultural phenomena of the Western world. The tale of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and the fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker has become modern myth, an epic tragedy of the corruption of a young man in love into darkness, the rise of evil, and the power of good triumphing in the end.

But it didn’t start out that way.

In this thorough account of one of cinema’s most lasting works, Michael Kaminski presents the true history of how Star Wars was written, from its beginnings as a science fiction fairy tale to its development over three decades into the epic we now know, chronicling the methods, techniques, thought processes, and struggles of its creator. For this unauthorized account, he has pored through over four hundred sources, from interviews to original scripts, to track how the most powerful modern epic in the world was created, expanded, and finalized into the tale an entire generation has grown up with."
 

Some related info:-

zombie84’s ‘The Secret History of Star Wars’ thread on the OT•com

The Secret History of Star Wars’ book on Amazon

The Secret History of Star Wars’ book on Barnes & Noble
 

50 Cent is just an imposter

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The Star Wars George Lucas Doesn’t Want You To See’:

The original 1977 version of the saga is nearly impossible to find, so these fans made their own.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/08/the-star-wars-george-lucas-doesnt-want-you-to-see/379184
 

A snippet from the linked article above…

“In 1978, Star Wars won seven Academy Awards. But if you want to watch that original version, the first of George Lucas’s soon to be seven-part saga, you’ll find it difficult. In fact, it’s actually impossible to buy an official copy of Star Wars as it was first released. Lucas doesn’t want you to see that version. Instead, he wants you to watch the continuously updated special editions—movies with added CGI, changed sound effects, and whole new scenes.”
 

50 Cent is just an imposter

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J.J. Abrams is calling for the original versions of ‘Star Wars’ to be released’ - from ‘Now This’:-

https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1204960815821946880 - a 4 minute interview with JJ Abrams (December '19)

 

Exclusive: J.J. Abrams Wants The Original Versions Of Star Wars Released(full article & interview):-

The “Star Wars” trilogy hasn’t been seen in its original form since 1997

https://nowthisnews.com/pop/jj-abrams-wants-the-original-versions-of-star-wars-released
 

a snippet from the linked article above:-

'The “Star Wars” trilogy hasn’t been seen in its original form since 1997 — and director J.J. Abrams is one of many who wants that changed.

“I guess it’s what George Lucas wanted, and that’s what he did, and so I respect that, although I also feel like there’s something about the original theatrical version that was, you know, for so many people […] the thing they loved as it was,” Abrams told NowThis in an exclusive interview. “And so, you know, it would be great to have that available for a mainstream audience.”

 
 

digitalfreaknyc’s ‘JJ mentions “despecialized” - OUT not coming’ OT•com thread on the subject.
 

50 Cent is just an imposter

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Dear Disney - A Plea for the Unaltered Original Star Wars Trilogy’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1a4yKJOzYU - at the HelloGreedo youtube channel. (2015 - 4 minutes long)
 

Dear Disney - A Plea for the Unaltered Original Star Wars Trilogy

 

HelloGreedo has similar feelings to many here on wanting an official release of the unaltered Original Star Wars trilogy…

 

 

A few of his other quality videos on the subject:-

 

JUST DO IT - Release the Original Cut of the Star Wars Trilogy’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0HKSSW8adM (2015 - 1 minute long)

 

RUMOR: Unaltered Star Wars Trilogy Being Release This Year - Here We Go Again’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WjAlJQm_H4 (2017 - 4 minutes long)

 

I’m Done With Unaltered Trilogy Rumors’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnEcXksaw8Q (2017 - 3 minutes long)

 

J.J. Abrams wants the Original Theatrical versions of Star Wars, too’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOHgaPQTTlc (2019 - 6 minutes long)

 

RUMOR - Disney Releasing the Original Cut of Star Wars’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKtkmeGp8iA (2015 - 4 minutes long)

 

OH MY GOD IT WAS CHANGED AGAIN - “Maclunkey” - Star Wars Changes’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wFNyaCGpvk (2019; re the 2019 SE Release / Disney+ changes - 7 minutes long)

 
 

Great idea for a thread, Vin 👍
 

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Why We Should Be Able to See Star Wars‘ Original Theatrical Cut’:-

https://411mania.com/movies/why-we-should-be-able-to-see-star-wars-original-theatrical-cut - 2019 article
 

a snippet, from the part of the article after talking about JJ wanting the original cuts of the OT released…
 

“I guess it’s what George Lucas wanted, and that’s what he did, and so I respect that, although I also feel like there’s something about the original theatrical version that was, you know, for so many people, the thing they loved as it was. And so, you know, it would be great to have that available for a mainstream audience.”

Absolutely. While Lucas used his right to “tweak” his movies, the viewer has the right to alter their opinion of the movie. For me, these Special Editions diminished my view of them. I’m a borderline Star Wars fan. I like the original trilogy enough, I don’t place it on a pedestal. Its achievement with audiences and critics speaks for itself. The prequels left me cold and I chalk it up to they weren’t made for me. And that’s OK. If someone else likes them, good for them. I don’t hold it against anyone who likes something I don’t. Take it in and enjoy.

As for these sequels, I’ve waited till they came out on a streaming service before seeing them and didn’t mind one bit. For the record, Solo and Rogue One were fun to me. But at this point, I can take the franchise or leave it. It’s fun to talk about but I’ll leave the judging to others more invested in the franchise.

Should we be able to get the original theatrical releases?

Absolutely. For millions, that’s their version of Star Wars that they fell in love with and made them fans."
 

No fate but what we make - apart from force dyads!

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’Star Wars on Blu-ray: George, don’t do that…’:-

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was a beloved film trilogy. Not any more, if Star Wars’ impending Blu-ray release has anything to do with it

https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2010/aug/19/star-wars-blu-ray-lucas - 2010 article
 

A snippet…

"This week, Lucas announced that the Star Wars saga would be coming to Blu-ray before the end of 2011. The piece of news missing from early announcements, unearthed during an interview he gave to the New York Times, was that the original trilogy would be presented in the special edition form that appeared on the 2004 DVD release, rather than the classic versions released between 1977 and 1983.

The 2004 special edition features all of 1997’s awkward edits – Greedo shooting first, Han stepping on Jabba’s tail – and adds even more egregious acts of self-mutilation. Most notably, Return of the Jedi replaces Sebastian Shaw as the spirit Anakin Skywalker with wooden imp Hayden Christensen, star of the prequels.

“In essence, films never get finished, they get abandoned,” Lucas told American Cinematographer magazine in 1997. “The other versions will disappear. A hundred years from now, the only version of the movie that anyone will remember will be [the Special Edition]. I think it’s the director’s prerogative … to go back and reinvent a movie.”

The DVD edition (in 2006), at least, featured bonus discs holding weak transfers of the original versions, even if they felt like poorly treated outcasts, added just to prolong their humiliation at their creator’s increasingly malevolent hands. The Blu-rays won’t even feature those.

Lucas says that’s because the process of remastering them for HD is prohibitively expensive. During his interview with the New York Times this week, he claimed that putting them on the Blu-ray would be “kind of an oxymoron because the quality of the original is not very good. When we did the transfer to digital, we only transferred really the upgraded version.”

Alexandre Philippe directed documentary feature ‘The People vs George Lucas’, which premiered at this year’s Edinburgh film festival. He believes Lucas has no intention of letting the films’ original versions exist. “We’ve heard all the excuses: they don’t represent George’s ‘original vision’; the negatives of the movies were permanently altered for the creation of the Special Editions; they can’t or won’t put in the time and resources needed to properly restore the films. Now, we’re told that releasing the originals is an oxymoron. As the reasons for not releasing the originals pile up, they simply don’t add up to anything coherent any more.”
 

No fate but what we make - apart from force dyads!

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 (Edited)

Here’s one from last December’s New York Times

’We Can’t See ‘Star Wars’ Anymore’

The cultural industry that the 1977 film spawned has ground its original charm and wonder out of existence.
 

“We literally can’t see “Star Wars” anymore: Its control-freakish creator won’t allow the original version of the film to be seen and has stubbornly maculated his own masterpiece, second-guessing correct editing decisions, restoring wisely deleted scenes and replacing his breakthrough special effects — historic artifacts in their own right — with ’90s vintage C.G.I., already more dated than the film’s original effects.”
 

EDIT:
As of now this article requires you to be subscriber to the NYT.

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 (Edited)

^ that is cracking article - nice one alexp120 😃

(I edited the link so it hopefully is able to be viewed without subscription - it is available in the UK at least)

 


 

’Why releasing the ‘Star Wars’ theatrical cuts is culturally important’:-

Experiencing the Star Wars Original Trilogy in its unaltered format has been a distant hope for most fans. Could it ever become reality?

https://www.hypable.com/unaltered-star-wars-original-trilogy - 2017 article
 

A snippet…
 

"And so, for as long as the Special Editions have existed, so too have the persistent rumors that the theatrical versions of the Original Trilogy would eventually be released. They wane in the years between significant milestones in the franchise’s lifespan, but become ever more abundant when an anniversary is on the horizon.

A major obstacle to the theatrical editions of Star Wars being released was that, while Disney owned the majority of the distribution rights, A New Hope still fell under the jurisdiction of Fox, in perpetuity, thanks to a deal secured by Alan Ladd Jr.

Laddie, as he was more commonly known, was largely the reason why the Star Wars movies ever made it to the big screen. A steadfast advocate for Lucas’ vision, he petitioned and fought the Fox executives over and over, and eventually secured a deal that would allow Star Wars to move forward at the studio.

That deal also sealed his eventual fate. Laddie signed over full control of all potential Star Wars sequels to Lucas. Only A New Hope fell under Fox’s purview, and Lucas eventually used that leverage to secure the merchandising rights for the franchise, putting into motion the fully self-funded Lucasfilm juggernaut.

Fox fired Laddie over that fumble, but he had at least guaranteed that the studio kept control over the original Star Wars movie.

Without full distribution rights to Star Wars, it was always going to be a pipe dream that Disney might be able to release the theatrical cuts. At least, not without Fox’s full cooperation.

But now, with a $52 billion deal signed on the dotted line, there are very few obstacles standing in Disney’s way."
 

and…

“With the potential of an official release of the theatrical editions of the Original Trilogy, at a level of quality that Star Wars truly deserves, perhaps it can finally take its rightful place as a documented part of American film history.”
 

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’From A Certain Point Of View’:-

https://contingentmagazine.org/2019/12/10/certain-point-of-view - 2019 article
 

A snippet…

"There are two key myths at the heart of the Star Wars saga: first that creator George Lucas came up with all the events of the saga, then split it apart into different films; the second is that the story was always intended to be about Anakin Skywalker’s downfall and redemption by his son Luke.

It’s true that Lucas struggled to pare down his complex scripts into the final draft that became 1977’s Star Wars. He had more ideas than he could use for a single film. At different points, Lucas claimed that the story would unfold over multiple film series (either 6, 9, or 12 films in total). But as much as aspects of this claim may be true from a certain point of view, there’s simply no one document or master plan that outlined everything that Star Wars would become.

The truth is more complicated than myth, and the quickest version of that truth is that Lucas built out the Star Wars saga through retroactive continuity, or “retconning.” Simply put, this means that Lucas fleshed out the backstory as he went, adding character histories and ideas that changed our understanding of the material. This is especially evident when examining the character of Darth Vader. Looking at textual evidence, A New Hope (the subtitle itself added for a 1981 theatrical re-release) rebuts the notion of the saga being Anakin Skywalker’s story. We now read into the first film—his training as Obi-Wan’s apprentice, what the Clone Wars were, how Emperor Palpatine took power—with ideas that have been put into our heads ex post facto. But in the original film, Darth Vader is more henchman than primary villain, sidelined in scenes by other Imperial officials."
 

and…

“Over nearly forty years, Lucas took Star Wars from crowd-pleasing whiz-bang fun to a full-blown family soap opera. When it comes to the story behind the story, perhaps Lucas reacted like many of us might, preferring to craft a tidy narrative in retrospect in order to make some sense of the chaos and stress he experienced while making the films. But in the process, Lucas rewrote our memories of what Star Wars is, at the same time obscuring where it came from and how it became such a cultural touchstone.”
 

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’Disney Can Now Release The Unaltered Star Wars (But They Probably Won’t)’:-

With the Disney/Fox deal now complete, Disney owns all of Star Wars, but they probably will not release the unaltered original trilogy on Blu-ray.

https://screenrant.com/star-wars-unaltered-disney-release - 2019 article
 

a snippet…

"Frankly, there was nothing stopping Lucasfilm from doing a theatrical cut Blu-ray set before, they just opted not to go in that direction. In the years following Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, there have been Star Wars Blu-ray re-releases (most notably the 2015 Steelbooks of the first six movies), and each one included the versions that first appeared on the 2011 saga collection.

Kathleen Kennedy has made a point to not touch Lucas’ films, and the latest re-edits are what’s considered official franchise canon. This may anger those who prefer Han shooting first and Sebastian Shaw’s Anakin Skywalker, but Kennedy’s made it pretty clear a restoration of the unaltered cuts is not a priority for her. At least the Despecialized Editions exist for those so inclined.

There remains an outside chance someone changes their mind and decides to move forward with a studio-sanctioned, HD re-release of the unaltered original trilogy (maybe with the Skywalker Saga ultimate box set after Episode IX comes out?).

This theoretical collection would certainly make a lot of money, and there’s nothing companies love more than padding the bottom line. But a case can be made that if this was ever going to happen, it probably would have transpired by now. After all, Star Wars’ 40th anniversary came and went without such a development."
 

50 Cent is just an imposter

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’The glass-half-full gift of the only official unaltered Star Wars Original Trilogy DVDs’:-

https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/star-wars-original-trilogy-unaltered-dvds - 2017 article

 

a snippet…

"The shock of holding physical evidence in your hands proving that George Lucas somehow greenlit a (pre-Disney ownership) modern medium release of a historical version of the epochal original Star Wars films that – by nearly all accounts – he had been attempting to obscure from posterity fades rather quickly upon first viewing of the discs themselves, which, among other issues, are rough and grainy.

The sad state of these coveted Star Wars DVD releases is attributed to the fact that the discs are direct transfers from 1993’s Star Wars Trilogy: The Definitive Collection LaserDisc release, which was notoriously riddled with scan lines and weak colors. Additionally, while the films are presented in a standard video 4:3 aspect ratio, they are without the benefit of anamorphic widescreen stretching, resulting in distracting, unusually imposing letterbox mattes (the so-called “black bars”).

This fact especially frustrated fans, since a better version of the unaltered Original Trilogy films was already available in the heavily heralded 1995 pre-Special Edition THX remastered versions (released on VHS in widescreen and fullscreen), which were the result of extensive efforts to visually rejuvenate the films on a frame-by-frame basis, along with enhanced sound quality, designed to accommodate the digital bells and whistles added in the Special Edition theatrical re-releases in 1997. Yet, like an evil genie – or, for Doctor Who fans, a magic haddock – the granted wish of this precious content contained the aforementioned cruel caveats, which felt like a vindictive slight to the purists who had mocked Lucas’s retroactive Star Wars releases…"
 

50 Cent is just an imposter

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oojason said:
Great idea for a thread, Vin 👍
 

I agree. 👍

Looking at this discussion, I’d forgotten some of these and would like to occasionally send links to some of them.

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You’re killing me, Smalls.

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’Why Hasn’t Disney Released The Original Unaltered Star Wars Films?’:-

Over the weekend Ant-Man director Peyton Reed took to Twitter to ask for something Star Wars fans have been pestering people about since George Lucas first re-released the original Star Wars trilogy with a bunch of changes. He wants Lucasfilm to release an unaltered version of the original film on Blu-ray.

https://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2017/09/why-hasnt-disney-released-the-original-unaltered-star-wars-films - 2017 article
 

a snippet…
 

'George Lucas notoriously considered each iteration of the Star Wars special editions as the definitive version of the film, with new changes popping up every time the trilogy was released on a new format. He insisted that the special editions were the films he had originally wanted to make, and in 2004 he even went so far as to say he wouldn’t re-release the unaltered versions on DVD.
 

George Lucas - “The special edition, that’s the one I wanted out there. The other movie, it’s on VHS, if anybody wants it. … I’m not going to spend the, we’re talking millions of dollars here, the money and the time to refurbish that, because to me, it doesn’t really exist anymore.”
 

He eventually relented and released the unaltered cuts on DVD for a limited time in 2006, bundled with the 2004 special editions. There are plenty of them available on sites like eBay if anyone wants them. The films didn’t arrive on Blu-ray until 2011, a single year before he sold the franchise to Disney, meaning the unaltered cuts never officially arrived in high definition.’

 
 

Also featured in the above article…

^ https://twitter.com/MrPeytonReed/status/911024440766582784
 

No fate but what we make - apart from force dyads!

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Star Wars: Why Disney Won’t Release the Original Theatrical Cuts’:-

Why Star Wars fans still want the original theatrical cuts and why Disney hasn’t released them yet…

https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/star-wars-why-disney-wont-release-the-original-theatrical-cuts - 2017 article
 

a snippet…
 

"It’s a strange time in the world of physical discs. Whilst companies such as Arrow and Criterion continue to invest time, money and care into beautiful, crafted, and collectable releases, there’s a growing feeling that the era of the physical disc is coming to an end. DVD and Blu-ray sales are falling, some titles by-pass disc altogether and go straight to streaming services. Furthermore, extra features are becoming less the norm and more a bit of a luxury. Then there’s the small matter of Ultra HD Blu-ray, a new disc format that’s making a little headway, but struggling to really breakthrough.

Yet if there’s a release that would give the physical disc industry a real shot in the arm, it’s the original Star Wars cuts. Those long-cherished theatrical releases from the 1970s and 1980s, that have only been released once on DVD – and then in a fairly shabby state (a transfer from laserdisc materials, rather than film negatives) – and instead been usurped by the Greedo-endorsed special editions. Never have they seen 1080p, yet alone 4K."
 

No fate but what we make - apart from force dyads!

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A load of ‘MacClunkey’: will George Lucas’s Star Wars tinkering never end?’:-

Lucas has apparently changed the famous Greedo scene in 1977’s Star Wars again, for its broadcast on Disney+. It’s yet another pointless edit by the director

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/nov/13/macclunkey-george-lucas-star-wars-disney-plus-greedo - 2019 article
 

a snippet…
 

“Who’s that cackling maniacally, the puppet master we all thought had long ago left the Star Wars scene, suddenly revealed to have been pulling strings in the background all along? It’s not Emperor Palpatine, seemingly restored to life in trailers for the forthcoming Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker despite being killed by Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi. It’s George Lucas, the saga creator whose departure from all things Star Wars seems to have been greatly exaggerated – especially if reports that he has yet again doctored the famous Greedo scene in 1977’s Star Wars turn out to be true.”
 

and…

"Disney’s mixed attitude to Lucas and Star Wars should also be questioned. If executives don’t trust the film-maker to get involved creatively in new episodes of the franchise – as Lucas has reported – why has he been given permission to vandalise his older work?

And if Disney doesn’t actually care about upsetting Lucas, why has it failed to deliver the official “de-specialised” version of the original trilogy that many fans would sell their limited edition 1983 Rancor toy (with movable mandible) to view just once before they pass off this mortal coil?

Had Disney+ debuted with the original films in their unaltered state, the service would instantly have become an essential subscription. Instead, we have the pretty middling The Mandalorian and yet another pointless edit to Solo’s first action scene. What a load of MacClunkey."
 

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5 Reasons Why Lucasfilm Needs To Release The Unaltered Theatrical Cut Of The Original Trilogy On Blu-Ray’:-

Hardly a month goes by where there isn’t a rumor making the rounds that an unaltered theatrical cut of the Original Trilogy is finally coming to Blu-ray before being quickly shot down by Disney and/or Lucasfilm. It’s a seemingly endless cycle of false hope and harsh reality.
 

All 5 links below are from the EpicStream website - a 5-part article, from 2017:-
 

  1. ‘To Withhold The Original Cut Is To Encourage Piracy And Enable Pettiness’

“Some might say it’s cheap to argue that by restricting access to something, you’re only encouraging people to obtain it illicitly, but tell that to the speakeasy operators and bathtub gin brewers of the Prohibition days. The simple fact is that many fans aren’t above resorting to legally dubious methods (i.e. piracy) if it’s the only way they can watch the unaltered cut of the Original Trilogy, especially considering the only reason it’s not widely available is because of George Lucas’ pettiness. Make no mistake; the man is a true visionary, but to deny fans access to something they cherished growing up just because it’s not the version you like, even though it’s the version you felt comfortable releasing in theaters in the first place, is the act of a petty individual.”
 

  1. ‘It’s Nice To Have Options’

“Just because fans want to be able to watch the unaltered theatrical cut of the original trilogy in crisp, clear 1080p (or even 4K) doesn’t mean that none of them want to see the versions with Lucas’ various revisions, as well. In fact, for every 100 fans that demand the theatrical cut, there’s probably 100 more that are perfectly happy with – or even prefer – the updated CGI, additional lines of dialogue, and Greedo shooting first (hey, to each his own). The point is, it’d be nice to have the option to watch the unaltered version of the trilogy for those that prefer it.”
 

  1. ‘Fans Yearn For The Versions They Saw In Theaters When They Were Young’

"Why are diehard Star Wars fans so hung up on getting an unaltered cut of the Original Trilogy on Blu-ray? It’s simple – they just want to be able to enjoy the versions of the films they saw in the theaters as children, but in a manner that capitalizes on the outstanding capabilities of modern technology. They want to scratch that nostalgic itch, and aside from worn out VHS copies and the 2006 bonus DVDs (poor laserdisc transfers that weren’t formatted for widescreen TVs), there’s no reasonable/legal way to do it. We live in a world where nearly every R-rated film can be purchased in either the theatrical or unrated cut; a world where you can purchase five different versions of Blade Runner on Blu-ray; a world where you can purchase either the theatrical or extended cut of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. That being said, it makes no sense that fans aren’t able to see the Original Trilogy of one of the most influential film franchises of all time in its original incarnation. "
 

  1. ‘It’s A Guaranteed Cash Cow’

“Do Disney and Lucasfilm not like money? It sure seems like they do, considering they’re moving all of their content to an exclusive streaming service in 2019. So why, then, are they seemingly not interested in offering something there’s already a massive demand for? In 2011, when Episodes I-VI were released on Blu-ray (sans the unaltered cut of the Original Trilogy), it sold more than one million units after only a week on the market, shattering records for the high-definition format and generating more than $84 million in worldwide sales. Obviously, those sales include purchases made by casual fans of the franchise, and while an unaltered cut of the Original Trilogy would appeal more so to hardcore fans, Disney/Lucasfilm could still generate a pretty massive payday.”
 

  1. ‘It Would Finally Silence Angry, Nostalgic Fans’

“As much as Star Wars purists are hard-pressed on getting a Blu-ray copy of the unaltered Original Trilogy, they’re also sick and tired of hearing other fans beg for it – perhaps just as much as the people who could care less which version of the films they watch. Before infighting destroys Star Wars fans like it nearly did to the Sith, to put an end to the in incessant pleas once and for all, Lucasfilm should bite the bullet and find a way to release the unaltered theatrical cut of the Original Trilogy on Blu-ray.”
 

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Will the original unaltered theatrical Star Wars Trilogy officially be released again’ - 2016 article:-

https://www.starwarsnewsnet.com/2016/09/will-the-original-unaltered-theatrical-star-wars-trilogy-officially-be-released-again.html
 

a snippet…
 

"If there’s one thing that some Star Wars fans want more than anything is the chance to see the unaltered versions of the original trilogy without the infamous Special Edition enhancements. Right now, the only versions available on home video is some form of these altered versions. With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on the horizon, could there be a glimmer of hope that we may see remastered the original theatrical versions some time in the future? Some hope that might be the case!

Last year, I had the honor of hanging with hundreds of wonderful fans for over 20 hours watching all seven Star Wars films for the AMC movie marathon. It was the first time I had seen ‘Star Wars’ on the big screen since the “Special Edition’ release back in 1997′. Before that, I had only seen ‘Star Wars’ (after Young Frankenstein played) on the big screen in 1978′ inside an old yellow Mustang at the now demolished 100 Twin Drive-In in Minnesota. Naturally, as with most Star Wars fans at various events, a few fans in the cinema gathered together to discuss “all things Star Wars”. Of course, the main topic on the table was “are we seeing the original theatrical versions of the Star Wars Trilogy tonight”. Soon, ‘Star Wars: A New Hope” began, and we found out the answer as we all watched the 2011 Blu-ray version play out on the big screen.

Don’t get me wrong, the AMC movie marathon event was a wonderful fan experience that I will never forget and talk about for years to come. However, it seemed like something was missing and an incredible missed opportunity was lost for a company that paid millions to screen it. Imagine the media attention that AMC could have had if they had shown the original versions over the 2011 Blu-ray’s. Did AMC even ask for the original version? Who knows…

Fast forward to last week, TNT television aired all six Star Wars films that included the original Star Wars trilogy. Once again, and opportunity for the original versions to be played on some sort of official medium was missed. The simple fact that TNT had paid out a reported 250 million dollars in order to play the Blu-ray version is something that is unreal, at least in my opinion.

So, the big question remains, will we ever see the original Star Wars Trilogy officially released again?"
 

50 Cent is just an imposter

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The Original Star Wars Trilogy Deserves An Unaltered Blu-Ray Release’:-

With HD fan edits of the unaltered Star Wars trilogy spreading online, Lucasfilm has another reason to put the theatrical cuts on an official Blu-ray.

https://screenrant.com/star-wars-trilogy-theatrical-version-blu-ray-discussion - a 2016 article
 

a snippet…
 

"Cinephiles are well aware that more often than not, there are multiple versions of the same film that exist. Extended editions, director’s cuts, and unrated takes are very prevalent in home media, offering fans another way to watch the movie, along with the one that many saw in theaters. This is all well and good, but bringing up the notion of an altered release is sure to draw the ire of Star Wars fans across the globe. They are, after all, a bunch defined by a frustrating history with so-called “special editions” of the films they love.

Ever since 1997, each release of the Star Wars trilogy has included their own set of changes, with George Lucas claiming that they were done so the movies matched his original vision. The existence of these new takes on the classic films isn’t that much of an issue, it’s the fact that they have exclusively replaced the theatrical editions and are the only ones available in high quality. In 2006, limited edition DVDs of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi included the initial version on a bonus disc, but they were poor laser disc transfers that were not formatted for widescreen televisions. To many viewers, this was not enough."
 

and…

"Outside of the nuisances of the various changes, there’s a far more important reason why the studio should move forward with this kind of release. The original Star Wars trilogy (especially the first film) is a touchstone of American pop culture. They completely changed and revitalized the film industry upon their debut and impacted millions of moviegoers across the globe. The work on display earned several accolades, including numerous Academy Awards. There’s an argument to be made that the version of Star Wars people watch on Blu-ray now is not the one that was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director, or won Best Visual Effects and Best Film Editing.

Both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back are so significant that they’ve been selected by the Library of Congress to be a part of the National Film Registry. Even there, there’s some controversy. Reportedly, when Star Wars was selected, Lucasfilm offered a print of the special edition of A New Hope. Congress rejected the submission, as the guidelines stipulate only the film as it was originally presented to the public should be accepted. This a far greater issue than it has any right to be. We live in a time where Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Blade Runner has five different cuts all available on Blu-ray. Consumers can purchase either the extended or theatrical editions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There’s no reasonable justification for withholding the theatrical versions of the first three Star Wars films, regardless of which one Lucas himself prefers. The fans just want to have the option.

There’s also a twist of irony here, since in 1988 none other than Lucas testified in front of Congress advocating the necessity of film preservation. In his speech, Lucas claimed that “People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians” and stressed that the original negatives of movies produced had to be maintained. Why he feels differently about the Star Wars trilogy being revised countless times is a mystery no one will fully solve (especially since Lucas did not direct The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), but some would say Lucas has become one of those “barbarians” he spoke against. If this is how Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, feels about film preservation, than there’s no better way to honor his beliefs than to release the theatrical cuts of the original trilogy."
 

50 Cent is just an imposter

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Anchorhead said:

oojason said:
Great idea for a thread, Vin 👍
 

I agree. 👍

Looking at this discussion, I’d forgotten some of these and would like to occasionally send links to some of them.

Thank you both 😃

I hope more members here chip in with some of their favorite articles and sources as well, and that this thread becomes a good place for some quality pieces and info.

50 Cent is just an imposter

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The search for the ‘Star Wars’ George Lucas doesn’t want you to see’:-

https://mashable.com/2015/12/17/star-wars-original-cut/?europe=true - a 2015 article
 

a snippet…
 

"Ah, Star Wars. Not the movie that’s launching like a nostalgia-boosted rocket this week ,or the prequel sequels that broke millions of hearts a decade ago, or even the face-lifted originals that the franchise’s creator unloaded on the public in the late 20th century.

No, I’m taking about the movie I saw as a teen 38 years ago. The epic film called simply Star Wars. It was singular and self-contained. It was raw and it was visceral. It has also, more or less, been hidden away for nearly four decades.

Ever since director George Lucas started messing with the original trio of films — Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi — fans have been fixated on the series’ unadulterated versions.

Lucas has either seized and destroyed or hidden away all copies of the original films in order to roll out modified versions that are ostensibly better than the originals. Owing to its age, the first film, which was released in 1977, has probably undergone more updates and spit polish than the rest.

There is, however, one place beyond the reach of Lucas’s twitchy, compulsively dissatisfied grasp: the Library of Congress.

As I read last year in the epic How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, by Mashable’s own Chris Taylor, the Library doesn’t just have a preserved 1977 negative of the film. That negative has been transformed into a glorious 4K file that anyone can view by appointment."
 

The rest of the article follows the writer’s journey to the Library of Congress to watch and experience the 1977 version of Star Wars… a compelling read.
 
 

No fate but what we make - apart from force dyads!

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We’re Still Waiting For the Unaltered Star Wars Trilogy’:-

Roadshow screenings of “Star Wars,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” are coming this summer, but they aren’t the versions we want - a 2016 article

https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-trilogy-is-getting-roadshow-screenings-but-not-the-versions-we-want-commentary
 

a snippet…
 

"On Tuesday, Alamo Drafthouse announced the “Return of the Trilogy” roadshow, which would bring theatrical screenings of the original “Star Wars” trilogy to 20 cities in the U.S. this August. They’ll be selling tickets starting May 4, also known on the Internet as “Star Wars” Day.

That’s great, right?

But there’s a catch. There’s always a catch with those old “Star Wars” movies. Drafthouse won’t be screening the un-messed-with versions of the trilogy. Instead, we’ll be getting the 1997 Special Edition versions.

Sure, it’s better than having to deal with the 2011 blu-ray versions, which is what has usually been screened on those rare occasions in the past few years when “Star Wars” hits the big screen again. Those were George Lucas‘ magnum opus of pointlessly changing things in the movies that made him a household name, throwing in all sorts of weird new jarring things. The Special Editions (1997), by comparison, were pretty benign, so I guess you could say that getting those for these roadshow screenings is better than nothing."

But that’s not really how I feel about it. If I’m going to venture out of my home and pay money to see a “Star Wars” movie on the big screen, it either better be something I haven’t seen before (hello, “Rogue One”), or it should be the real “Star Wars.” Not the Special Editions. Not the blu-ray versions. The ones that are the same as what showed in theaters in 1977, 1980 and 1983.

It’s not complicated. I want it and so does everybody else. Having “unaltered original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy” on your marquee is the kind of thing that gets people lined up around the block. Because that’s something many of us have never gotten on the big screen before."
 

and…

“I’m a fan, and I want what I want. I want those ugly old X-Wings and a version of Mos Eisley that isn’t crammed full of low-res CGI beasts. I want a Sarlaac without that weird beak, and Death Stars that explode without a ring of fire. I want snowspeeders and Imperial walker that are surrounded by matte lines. I want the real thing.”
 

No fate but what we make - apart from force dyads!

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 (Edited)

Opinion: Saving the Original, unaltered Classic Trilogy’:-

https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.com/2011/10/opinion-saving-original-unaltered.html - 2011 article
 

a snippet…
 

"With the recent release of THE COMPLETE SAGA on Blu-ray, still in pole position (or very near that) within the Top Ten charts of the world consumer home entertainment market, it’s time to reflect on the disappointing fact that, for the time being, the original theatrical versions of the Classic Trilogy- 1977, 1980 and 1983- have been officially discontinued on DVD from the major seller sites like AMAZON and PLAY with the prior 2006 release (where each film, disappointingly released in a non-anamorphic format, and scanned from the 1993 laserdisc releases, would be presented on a separate bonus feature disc alongside the SPECIAL EDITION versions), and there are apparently no plans to release new copies. How long this current situation will last is unknown, but I’m assuming it will be for the lengthy peak sales duration that the Blu-rays will need to generate income for LUCASFILM and FOX.

Now, more than ever, and especially with the recent controversies regarding the further changes made to the SPECIAL EDITION films on the Blu-rays (some enhancements great, others (you know which ones they are!) not so great), I think it’s time that LUCASFILM finally caved in (and there is absolutely no shame in doing this!) and answered the heartfelt requests/pleas from fans, young and old, around the world to finally release the original unaltered Classic Trilogy films on Blu-ray once and for all (the chance to win back much tarnished fan appreciation and media support, and greatly increased sales, following years of disappointment with what has been released on DVD, was sadly blown this year by their not doing this with the new COMPLETE SAGA release).

There is still time to put this sad Classic Trilogy oversight right, and have a separate release for the beloved three films on Blu-ray in a few years time, if LUCASFILM start acting now. The transfers don’t have to be anything fancy-just nice clean TECHNICOLOR presentations of the movies as we love and remember them from their original screenings, and with the original superb sound mix restored to the way it was (it doesn’t need any flashy mucking about with or be put in new DOLBY techniques). TECHNICOLOR copies of the original films do still exist. Producer Gary Kurtz has a copy of the 1977 STAR WARS-he told me this a few years back, and also revealed he lent it to LUCASFILM when they were doing their SPECIAL EDITIONS restoration work for release in 1997-scenes from his copy were duplicated and used to fill in gaps where the original masters had deteriorated from age. Copies of EMPIRE and JEDI also apparently exists in private hands and their owners would surely be more than happy to work with LUCASFILM so that the best available prints are made available for transfer of the highest definition possible. The potential profits from the new release far outweigh the potential behind the scenes costs and time that needs to be spent by Lucas’s restoration team/s…

So please, George Lucas and LUCASFILM, you’ve given us a good starter with THE COMPLETE SAGA box set, now go the distance that little bit more and give the fans who have loyally bought all the box sets- in all types of format since the eighties- what they really want: the Original Versions of the Classic Trilogy on Blu-ray-the unaltered and still magical three films we fell in love with all those years ago worldwide: which started the phenomenon into what it has become today!"
 

No fate but what we make - apart from force dyads!

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 (Edited)

George Lucas Wants Desperately To Preserve Old Movies… Unless They’re His; So Fans Are Trying To Do It Instead’:-

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140828/15160128354/george-lucas-wants-desperately-to-preserve-old-movies-unless-theyre-his-so-fans-are-trying-to-do-it-instead.shtml - 2014 article
 

a snippet…
 

"Kevin Carson points us to a fascinating story in The Atlantic about fans trying to recreate the “original” version of Star Wars ("Episode IV – A New Hope for the folks who feel like being pedantic) from 1977. As various fans have pointed out repeatedly (mainly each time Lucas went back and “edited” Star Wars again), back in 1988 Lucas spoke to Congress about the importance of preserving original versions of movies, and avoiding the constant attempts to update and modernize them in ways that might erase the original versions.

Key quote (by George Lucas):-

"Today, engineers with their computers can add color to black-and-white movies, change the soundtrack, speed up the pace, and add or subtract material to the philosophical tastes of the copyright holder. Tomorrow, more advanced technology will be able to replace actors with “fresher faces,” or alter dialogue and change the movement of the actor’s lips to match. It will soon be possible to create a new “original” negative with whatever changes or alterations the copyright holder of the moment desires. The copyright holders, so far, have not been completely diligent in preserving the original negatives of films they control. In order to reconstruct old negatives, many archivists have had to go to Eastern bloc countries where American films have been better preserved.

In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be “replaced” by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten."
 

and…

“While Lucas’ changes and updates to his film bother some, I’ve never been that concerned about those attempts to re-imagine his own work, but it does seem particularly silly to try to block people from even having the choice to view the original. It’s great that fans are putting in so much effort to reconstruct it by themselves, but it seems like Lucas could just speed that whole process along by making the original available.”
 

No fate but what we make - apart from force dyads!

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 (Edited)

OK, so the original Star Wars trilogy probably isn’t coming back’:-

The odds of seeing restorations of the classic trilogy this year are low. They’re very, very low.

http://www.forcematerial.com/home/2017/2/24/ok-so-the-original-star-wars-trilogy-probably-isnt-coming-back - 2017 article
 

a snippet…
 

"Sadly, Pablo Hidalgo has come along to rip out our fluttering hearts and show them to us before we died.

Hidalgo, a key member of Lucasfilm’s vaunted Story Group, would almost certainly know if there were any plans underway to re-release the original cuts of the films, and judging by his response to the rumour, it doesn’t sound like it’s on the agenda:-
 

Celebrating 20 years of that unaltered re-release rumor.

— Beloved By Reddit (@pablohidalgo) February 23, 2017

 
Hidalgo’s trademark snark has gone over about as well as you’d imagine, although he does sympathise with the fans who want to see the original films (“I prefer my ‘70s movies to look like ‘70s movies”, he told one fan).

Ultimately, though, it’s not up to him, and Hidalgo seemed to confirm the widely held belief that, somehow, the original cuts can only be released with vengeful god George Lucas’ permission, despite the fact that Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney for a casual $4 billion in 2012.
 

@Shatterhand1701 As far as I know, there’s only one person who could make this happen and he hasn’t seemed > all that interested.

— Beloved By Reddit (@pablohidalgo) February 23, 2017

 
Meanwhile, the folks at The Digital Bits conferred with sources at Disney and 20th Century Fox, the two studios that would need to come to an agreement to make the re-release happen (despite the sale of Lucasfilm, Fox owns the distribution rights to the first Star Wars film in perpetuity).

They report that, while the elements needed to reconstruct the original ’77 cut of the first film have been preserved, no such reconstruction work has been done to date.
 

Still, we can hope, right?

Restorations are built on hope…"
 

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Could Disney finally give us the remastered, unedited Star Wars we want?’:-

A rumored sale of Fox assets to Disney adds a new wrinkle to our 2014 analysis. a 2017 article.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/11/could-disney-finally-give-us-the-remastered-unedited-star-wars-we-want
 

a snippet…
 

"Disney is doing all kinds of things with the Star Wars universe now that it has purchased the franchise away from George Lucas. In addition to the three sequel films, there will be “at least three” spin-off movies, which will likely be origin stories for some of the supporting cast of Star Wars characters. The House of Mouse is pouring a tremendous amount of time and money into Star Wars, and Disney could be the new arbiter of the Holy Grail of Star Wars requests: a remastered release of the unedited, non-special-edition original trilogy.

Unadulterated, “pure” versions of the original Star Wars films are difficult to come by. Except for one sad, low-resolution release on DVD in 2006 (which we’ll discuss in a moment), the films have only been available in their modified “Special Edition” forms since 1997, when George Lucas re-released the films to theaters with a series of changes. Some of those changes aren’t bad at all—the fancy new attack on the Death Star in Episode IV is perfectly cromulent—but others are absolutely terrible. In Return of the Jedi, Jabba’s palace gains an asinine CGI-filled song-and-dance interlude. Dialogue is butchered in Empire Strikes Back. And in the first movie, perhaps most famously, Han no longer shoots first."

 

The article is definitely worth taking the time to deep dive into - it may be from 2017 - though many of the well-crafted and researched points made in it… still stand today.
 

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