I hate to say this, as today we should be celebrating and retiring this site, but it seems the battle for a quality release of the original Star Wars on DVD has just begun.
Because these brand new DVDs will be using ancient video masters. Here’s Jim Ward, of Lucasfilms, comment: “The original films’ video quality will not match up to that of the restored versions. ‘It is state of the art, as of 1993, and that’s not as good as state of the art 2006,’ Ward says.” That quote can be found in this article from USA Today.
This confirms that they are using the old video masters used for the Laser Discs and VHS tapes, last released more than 10 years ago. Basically, every disc that every fan at this site has ever made is as good as the product Lucasfilm will be releasing. These will be the official Lucasfilm “bootleg” editions, or maybe the “Infernal Creative Decision” edition.
I could curse. I could scream. But I’m going to take the high road. I’m going to inform everyone I know not to be suckered into buying these discs. I’m going to urge you all to do that too. I don’t even think anyone should own them. Lucasfilm should not be rewarded for this amateur and sloppy decision. Lucasfilm doesn’t respect our wishes, so lets not support them. I’m not advocating piracy and I don’t think anyone should offer an alternate disc to prospective buyers. Education is the key here. Demonstrate what is going on with this release. Show that instead of investing and preserving a classic, Lucasfilm are instead resorting to the lowest common denominator in order to make a fast buck. Explain that these are being dumped off in a quick firesale, just before high definition home video becomes commonplace.
Well at least the reversed surround channels have been addressed.