Look, no contract is so powerful it can’t be broken with enough money and willpower.
And we STILL don’t know that there even IS a contract. Based on JJ’s comments, I’m actually inclined to believe more than ever that there is NOT. If there was, you would think he would have at least said something along the lines of “contractual reasons” or “legal reasons” are what is holding the release of the OUT back. Not that he doesn’t even understand why at all. Combined with what little we’ve heard from Kennedy and Hidalgo, I’m starting to believe this somehow really is as dumb as “ReSpEcTiNg GeOrGe’S vIsIoN,” even though they legally don’t have to and could easily release the OUT without incurring any financial penalties whatsoever. (Never mind that George himself seems to care less than ever, between releasing the GOUT and giving his blessing to the public screening of unaltered prints.)
You would think the one advantage of Star Wars being at the mercy of a giant corporation only concerned with profit would be that they would steamroll over nonsense like that and give the fans what they want if it could print money for them. But no, somehow they have managed to fail miserably even at this. Which is again why my last hope is that this is more on Lucasfilm (read: Kennedy) than it is on Disney, and that with new management at Lucasfilm (which now seems inevitable), we might have a chance at seeing it. If not, screw it, I’ll just count the days to 4K80.
But it is BEYOND pathetic that we even have to rely on fans to do all this work. When I joined this site years ago, I never imagined it would be 2020 and we STILL would not have official releases of the OUT. I thought it would be 2017 (40th anniversary) at the latest. Somehow, Disney has sunk far below my absolute lowest expectations and has actually managed to surpass George when it comes to Orwellian attempts to gaslight us and erase the films we all grew up on from existence.
Again, even George gave us the GOUT. And at other times he at least ACKNOWLEDGED the existence of the old cuts and gave us a reason (bad as it was) for denying them to us. Seems like most Disney/Lucasfilm employees nowadays are more than happy to pretend they never existed at all. We have always been at war with Eastasia, and Darth Vader has always screamed “NOOOOO!”