May 14th, 2012. George Lucas is 68 years old today.
It seems he has been weakening on the original versions in the last couple of years, too.
"Lucas wasn't badmouthing the original releases (his usual M.O.), but that there would have to be a big restoration done to get a high def master....And he's also stopped calling the originals "workprints" instead referring to them as the "classic versions."
His reasoning at not releasing them at the same time was the time and expense of doing full restorations of the original materials was prohibitive and as such the "recent releases get priority over what we call 'the classic' version of things."
Episode II: Shroud of the Dark Side
“Back when we made Star Wars, we just couldn’t make Palpatine as evil as we intended. Now, thanks to the miracles of technology, it is finally possible. Finally, I’ve created the movies that I originally imagined.” -George Lucas on the 2007 Extra Extra Special HD-DVD Edition