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There should be a proper release of the 1977 Star Wars at this point — Page 2

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I still think they will never be released again. Lucas considered them garbage versions and rough drafts he wanted people to forget about in time. Most people don’t even realize the films were changed and how many versions of the Special Edition there are. The films have been out there in an altered state for more than half the lifetime of the original film. The only reason there won’t be a fifth version of the Special Edition is Disney taking Star Wars off of Lucas hands.

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I seriously doubt George cares one way or the other anymore.

As for a potential botch job, I’d gladly take a grainy transfer even if it had less fine detail than the DNR’d 2019 version.

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Lucas won. He has essentially rewritten history. Most don’t even know about the changes and of those who do know, not all of them care. I’m thankful for the fan preservation efforts for my own use, but the other part of the effort was to preserve an essential piece of cultural history for the future. I think the only way that happens to a significant enough extent is an official release similar to Blade Runner: Final Cut, and I don’t see that happening. I’d like to know people could easily revisit what was. I just wish someone would straightforward ask about it. The silence is deafening.

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On a long enough timeline, the unaltered versions get restored by Disney simply because they run out of ways to keep repackaging and reselling the same movies again and again without including them.

At this point there’s no logical financial reason why they haven’t done it yet, other than to keep milking these releases as much as possible (the deleted scenes should’ve been among the bonus features on the 2004 dvd but they saved them for the blu-ray, the 2011 blu-ray should’ve been remastered in 4k but they saved that for the uhd, etc).

Like, they’re honestly going to tell me that they thought the Maclunkey version in hdr would sell like mad but there just wouldn’t be enough interest in the OOT to make it worth their while?

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Fang Zei said:

On a long enough timeline, the unaltered versions get restored by Disney simply because they run out of ways to keep repackaging and reselling the same movies again and again without including them.

Agreed. I doubt Disney would release them out of the goodness of their hearts (although they’d market it as such), but rather because they’ve just about killed the golden goose.

As noted, the 50th anniversary is probably the soonest we can realistically hope for a formal release, but even then I doubt they’d spend much time on properly restoring it.

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Isn’t Mickey Mouse supposed to enter public domain soon? Will Disney ever let that happen? Will Disney have to release the unaltered OT to keep it out of public domain? I don’t know about copyright laws, not that they matter. Disney can probably get whatever extensions they want passed.

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Disney frequently enjoys keeping movies they own locked away, and they’re certainly not in the business of releasing old versions of anything.

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Mocata said:

Disney frequently enjoys keeping movies they own locked away, and they’re certainly not in the business of releasing old versions of anything.

The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is The Muppet Christmas Carol. Jeffrey Katzenberg made the executive decision to remove “The Love is Gone” from the theatrical release because he thought it would be too sad, but it was reinstated for the home video release. When it came time to release the dvd, widescreen and fullscreen versions were both included on the same disc, but only the 4:3 version had the deleted song. Apparently they’d lost the original negative for the deleted footage, so the only known source for the longer version of that scene was whatever film element they’d used for the 4:3 transfer, assuming that wasn’t simply the old fullscreen laserdisc master dumped to dvd. It’s kinda like the GOUT in reverse.

When it came time to remaster the movie for 4k and hdr for Disney+, the o-neg for the song was still nowhere to be found, so the version that went up on the service was once again the theatrical cut just as it had been on the blu-ray and the anamorphic dvd transfer. But it just so happens that the missing pieces of o-neg were finally found just a couple months ago, leading fans of the movie to speculate whether Disney will offer that version for streaming at some point in the future.

This actually brings me to something I was going to bring up earlier. We live in a post-#ReleaseTheSnyderCut world now, where something that no reasonable person thought would ever happen is now being financed to the tune of $70 million. The studios are all looking for ways to make money on the cheap with their business disrupted due to the current unpleasantness, and an OOT restoration would cost a small fraction of what AT&T is spending to finish the Snyder Cut.

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Disney just released a censored version of Lilo & Stitch. There’s nothing reasonable about them.

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Fang Zei said:

This actually brings me to something I was going to bring up earlier. We live in a post-#ReleaseTheSnyderCut world now, where something that no reasonable person thought would ever happen is now being financed to the tune of $70 million. The studios are all looking for ways to make money on the cheap with their business disrupted due to the current unpleasantness, and an OOT restoration would cost a small fraction of what AT&T is spending to finish the Snyder Cut.

Bingo. Nothing is impossible. #ReleaseTheOriginalTrilogy

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Fang Zei said:

We live in a post-#ReleaseTheSnyderCut world now, where something that no reasonable person thought would ever happen is now being financed to the tune of $70 million. The studios are all looking for ways to make money on the cheap with their business disrupted due to the current unpleasantness, and an OOT restoration would cost a small fraction of what AT&T is spending to finish the Snyder Cut.

My final input is Disney may be evil, heartless and fake-woke, but they aren’t stupid. They saw value in buying Marvel, Star Wars, and 20th Century Fox with huge aspirations in mind and these now look like genius moves. They’ve also lobbied to Congress to prevent Mickey Mouse from hitting the public domain. They didn’t gain their corporate power and influence by dumb luck.

When/if Star Wars hits the public domain many years from now, as far as I know, it means anyone can put Darth Vader into their movies or merchandise. The studio will keep the negatives, sources, and distribution rights, but it’s possible creating fan projects would no longer be piracy.

In short, they’ll release the theatrical cuts when they deem it best for business.