^ Beautifully put 😃
Luxury apartment for rent (or awesome fort) 😉
‘The most authentic UNALTERED THEATRICAL cut of Star Wars is here … and it’s in 4K | PROJECT 4K77’:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwnMWS1iFTE - at the HelloGreedo youtube channel. (5 minutes long)
“97% of project 4K77 is from a single, original 1977 35mm Technicolor release print so if it goes from blurry to sharp, grainy to not grainy, bright to dark, that’s because it also did that in 1977. Color correction was a single correction per reel – the optical audio track was used to white balance the image, and the contrast adjusted to ensure that there was no clipping of the highlights or crushing of the blacks, so if the color changes from shot to shot, or it goes from very dark inside to very bright outside, that’s how it is on the print. Film has a greater contrast range than home video, and of course was graded for viewing, reflected off of a giant silver screen.” - Read more at https://www.thestarwarstrilogy.com/project-4k77
Finally, but more important, rightfully…
“We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all players speak out.”:
‘NFL condemns racism, apologizes for not listening to players’ earlier protests about racial injustice’:
Review copies of the Blu-ray boxset containing another re-working of the space saga were unavailable a week before release. What are these versions hiding? - a 2011 article
a snippet the whole article…
"Last year I pointed out that there’s a certain hypocrisy in Star Wars creator George Lucas’s penchant for tinkering with his beloved Star Wars series. Lucas, after all, testified before Congress to stop the “colourisation” of black-and-white movies. Does he genuinely believe that the Star Wars trilogy – the first Star Wars trilogy, produced at a time when it was impossible to make an Ewok blink – are inferior? That’s the message he seems to be sending us – that his “vision” for the trilogy was so much greater than what could be achieved at the time.
The new Star Wars Blu-ray boxset (released in the UK this week and the US tomorrow) includes several changes to the original films, including a scene where Darth Vader has the sudden urge to speak as he throws the Emperor down an exhaust shaft. Not all of the changes revealed in the box set (which contains the entire saga, including the prequel trilogy) have been negatively received. Footage of a CGI Yoda (replacing the puppet version in The Phantom Menace) has been welcomed. The change is acceptable, fans argue, because the puppet looked absolutely terrible. But then, in a movie awash with CGI spectacle, a puppet Yoda was always going to look out of place.
Which leads me to wonder if we judge special effects against the context of when the film is released, rather than what we expect of films today. The Star Wars movies pioneered all sorts of visual trickery, so surely our loyalty isn’t swayed by the arrival of movies with more dazzling effects? Lucas’s films don’t struggle to compete with the bombast of Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean. Lucas might argue that it’s because of his changes, but it could also be that Star Wars is simply a well-met marriage of story and spectacle.
Of course, Lucas isn’t alone in tinkering with his films after they’re released. Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg do it, as do other contemporaries such as Ridley Scott and James Cameron. Their efforts to recut their films are greeted with both positive and negative reactions, but never with the fervour that greets an announcement about changes to Star Wars. That’s because, by and large, other recut editions don’t tend to supersede their originals. The Apocalypse Now Blu-ray set includes both the “Redux” edition and the original theatrical presentation. The release of Blade Runner’s “Ultimate Collection” Blu-ray features as many as four different versions of that film to compare and contrast.
Lucas has made one concession to beleaguered fans since the Special Editions were released in 1997. A limited-edition run of DVDs in 2006 issued the 2004 sweep of changes on one disc, and included a low-resolution, poorly transferred version of the theatrical originals on a second. He had previously claimed the original negatives were destroyed in the production of the Special Editions.
New fans continue to be swept up in the world of Star Wars, and while some older fans may complain, most will happily line up when the Blu-ray goes on sale. Still, Lucas’s disregard for a significant portion of our cultural heritage is more important than our own memories of seeing Star Wars in its original form. Lucas has the money, the means and the materials to restore and re-release the original Star Wars trilogy in its theatrical form. As the man in charge of those materials, he has a responsibility to do so."
^ 2011 article for the-then coming blu ray release.
"Many would argue that the original “Star Wars” films were masterpieces when they were first released (the prequels not so much). However George Lucas just can’t stop futzing around with his creations.
The billionaire filmmaker’s latest change can be seen in the upcoming Blu-ray release of the original trilogy. In the battle between Luke Skywalker and the Emperor in “Return of the Jedi,” Lucas has given Darth Vader a new bit of dialogue.
Originally, Darth Vader just stood and watched the Emperor electrocute Luke with lightning bolts before coming to his son’s rescue. Not anymore. Now, right before Darth Vader comes out of his daze, lifts up the Emperor, and tosses him to his death, the Dark Lord of the Sith yells a helpless “Noooo!”
If you’re having having flashbacks to the awkward moment in “Revenge of the Sith” when the newly created Darth Vader screams “Noooo!” after the Emperor lies to him about Padme’s death (awesome parody here), you’re not alone. “Star Wars” fans far and wide have voiced their displeasure. Among the disappointed is filmmaker Simon Pegg, who wrote on Twitter that he “always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice.” Pegg then goes on to use salty language to bring home his point.
Commenters at Entertainment Weekly are equally displeased. One person writes, “WHY? WHY? WHY? Mr Lucas — do you have sooo much time on your hands that all you want to do is to simply keep tinkering with the movies? Leave them alone and go fishing!” Another jokingly posts, “Oh, now I get it. Vader threw the Emperor down the shaft because he was saying “NOOOOO….” to what the Emperor was doing to his kid. And here I always thought it was just a big ol’ bear hug that went wrong…”
Still, for all the outrage, Lucas has been unapologetic about his desire to alter his movies, probably because he truly believes he’s improving them. In the past, he’s made Han Solo shoot Greedo first, added Hayden Christensen to the end of “Return of the Jedi,” and given Jabba the Hutt an ill-advised cameo in “A New Hope.” None of thoes changes have gone over well with the fans who have made him a billionaire. Perhaps one day he’ll digitally remove Jar Jar Binks from “The Phantom Menace.” Would anyone complain about that? Anyone?"
‘Journal of the American Academy of Religion’, Volume 80, Issue 3, September 2012, Pages 775–786, https://doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfs037 - published in 2012
"Fans are not passive receptacles of the messages of manufacturers to the extent that they interact with the products and interpret them in personal ways that have significance for them.
Again, it may seem like a stretch to view such parodies as “religiously” motivated, but it is clear that the fans are very attached to the narratives, and do want to appropriate them in certain ways rather than others. This has been seen in the battles between Star Wars fans and George Lucas regarding the “original” trilogy of films. In 1999, George Lucas released a “special edition” of the original three films (Episodes IV, V, VI) that included scenes shot in the 1970s and 1980s but deleted from the original theatrical releases, as well as digital alterations and additions to the films.
Many fans took issue with the changes, as these altered the “canon” with which they were familiar.3 One change in particular that elicited a great deal of controversy involved the encounter between Han Solo and the bounty hunter Greedo in the bar in Mos Eisley. In the original, Han shoots Greedo under the table before Greedo can fire; in the 1997 version, a digitally enhanced scene shows Greedo shoot first, with Han shooting second, although the result is the same (namely, Han kills Greedo).
Fans insisted that this preemptive action shows Han’s willingness to do whatever it takes to survive, and that the change “dilutes and compromises Han’s rebellious and ruthless nature” (“Han Shot First” 2012). In addition, it was regarded as ludicrous that a bounty hunter could miss someone from three feet away. On the other hand, Lucas defended the change as recently as February 2012, in fact claiming that it had always been the case that Greedo shot first, and Han was simply responding to defend himself:
“Well, it’s not a religious event. I hate to tell people that. It’s a movie, just a movie. The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.” - source: IndieWire article
(Vin Edit: the above claim by George Lucas was debunked by doubleofive, in his article here - https://twitter.com/StarWarsVisComp/status/1168554173136166913)
"What is interesting is not only that Lucas defends the change—he denies that there was any change, as what “really” happened was not fully visible in the original film. For someone who claims that “it’s just a movie,” this seems an oddly realistic defense of the alteration, as if to claim that there is some reality “out there” to which the film refers. His dismissive comment (“it’s a movie, just a movie”) also appears ironic in light of the fact that he has made a great deal of money from people who obviously regard it as much more than just a movie; otherwise, they would not care as much, nor would they have created the popular success of the films from which Lucas benefits. Also worth noting is his comment, “it’s not a religious event.” In fact, from the fan point of view, this alteration in the “canon” may well be a religious event, and a heretical one at that.
The attempts of fans to defend the original version of the original films are also found in the battle to have a decent print of these films available. As late as 2004, Lucas insisted that his revisions to the original (which continued, as he tinkered with successive DVD releases) were his prerogative as the filmmaker. In fact, he claimed that the originals were “unfinished” works, and now with more time, money, and technology, he was able to “finish the film the way it was meant to be when I was originally doing it” (Lucas 2004). In essence, the rereleases were the originals, in his view, as they better expressed the original intent of the auteur.
Fans, however, believed that the text as received by them in their original theatrical experience was the original film, as it was seen by them at that time. In their view, the film belonged not to Lucas, but to the viewers. Lucas refused to release the original version of the films in 2004, but a fan outcry resulted in the 2006 release on DVD of these. However, it then turned out that this version was made from a vastly inferior source, so that the visual quality was poor; specifically, the remastering was done from a 1993 Laserdisc rather than a thirty-five millimeter original.
The web site savestarwars.com claims that:
“Lucas deliberately wanted the original versions to be presented in an inferior format so that they would not have to compete with the Special Editions. First, while bootlegs were sourced from Laserdiscs, to outcompete them all one would have to do is make an official transfer from the Laserdisc master—the result would be just a bit better than the bootlegs, which would be enough to put them out of commission. In other words, the least amount of quality possible to still have this as the “best available version.” A high quality new transfer is unwanted because it also makes the Special Edition not look as good, so all you have to do is pull that 1993 master tape out of a dust bin in the Lucasfilm archives and you’ve accomplished your mission of not letting people really enjoy watching the originals; they look rough, crude, the way Lucas wants us to think they look.” - _source: SaveStarWars.com ‘Get Gout’ article
“It is also worth noting that even while Lucas defends the films as his own products and hence implies his right to revise them as he sees fit, he has not attempted to squash the right of the fans to create their own films. He even seems to applaud their bravado at times, as when he was seen wearing a “Han Shot First” T-shirt (Hollis 2012) (Figure 2). Fan videos, meanwhile, have multiplied, many of them critical of Lucas and the changes he has made, but in this way still expressing an appreciation for the work of the “original” Lucas who created the films they grew to love.”
The Star Wars Insider celebrates the 40th anniversary with… 2017 OT•com thread, by digitalfreaknyc, also highlights another example of modern Special Edition revisionism taking place…
This is awesome - great work Rodney-2187!
Firstly, I have to state I am a massive admirer of this site, both the cause and goal that it achieved with the petition - as part of the fan pressure - which led to the release of the 2006 GOUT dvds. And the evolution of the site into some of the best Original Trilogy preservation projects available to us mere mortals…
From the early VHS and laserdisc captures I see on here in the older parts of the forums, to the 2004 SE & 2006 GOUT DVD improvement projects, to the painstaking reconstruction by Harmy for his Despecialized Edits - based on the 2011 blu rays, puggo’s ‘Grande’ 16mm project (puntastic!), poita’s ongoing and amazing 35mm OT projects, the SSE and 4K projects by many of the good people both on here and also at TheStarWarsTrilogy.com, the educational and quality aspects of Mike Verta’s SW Legacy, and countless other projects.
On top of that… the various Fan Edits too; not just OT-based projects - but for all aspects of Star Wars. From Zion’s, Editroid’s & SKot’s Holiday Specials, adywan’s Revisited Edits, Hal 9000’s Prequel Edits, smudger’s Clone Wars, ADM’s 6-film Edit Saga, MagnoliaFan’s Eps 1 & 2 Edits and his pre-ANH VHS project.
All the way through to Sequel Edits, and newer projects by poppasketti, DigMod, NeverarGreat, Cameron Samurai, IlFanEditore and a whole list of people I’ve probably offended by omitting here (Sorry!)
The sheer talent and dedication, the ideas and problem-solving, that takes places in many of these threads is something to behold, respect and admire.
I love all of the projects I’ve seen on here - and especially the preservations of the Original Trilogy - where they be from those previously mentioned VHS, laserdisc and dvd projects - through to Harmy’s superb Despecialized or reel-based 4K projects recently available - and those projects still to come!
They are all fantastic and we are so fortunate to have them, all of them, thanks to the magnificent efforts of the people on this resolute and fantastic site - as well as other similar sites too.
What the fans have achieved and accomplished here is nothing short of remarkable…
as the thread title states, I still yearn for that elusive, eagerly awaited, much anticipated, often rumored, (waiting for Godot!) official release of the unaltered theatrical version for the Original Trilogy…
Why on earth do we do it to ourselves? 😉
• Maybe it is the kid in us?
Wanting what we have been told we can’t have, maybe it is because we have had that precious, worn-in and much-loved thing taken away - and replaced with another newer, yet less kosher, shinier replacement… that just quite isn’t the same as the old original one?
• Or maybe the Rebel still alive in us (just)?
Thumbing our noses at ’George the creator’ in all of this, who has took it upon himself to decide that these award-winning films which stood unaltered (near enough) for 20 years - and made what they were by many talented and dedicated people around him - can longer be seen… as he solely adjudged them to be not the ‘right’ version or ‘vision’ (this, despite George not even directing two of the 3 OT films - and speaking how the films belong to the directors - not the studios (cough)…
• Maybe it is this place itself?
This hive of creativity, will, and rebellion - us wanting to see it succeed once again as it did in pressuring Lucasfilm into the 2006 GOUT DVD release (along with fan pressure from others, of course). To see it be victor again and this time with a quality release on a modern format with the love, dedication and respect these films so deserve.
Or the kindness of people like Rikter in helping people acquire these projects, and the old PIF systems before torrents, Mega and Rapidshare etc. People helping each other out with technical issues, queries and advice, giving up precious time and efforts and working towards improving techniques - for better and continually improving versions of projects; maybe it is these efforts that continue to amaze - all given for free.
And not be cheated with a release of the quality that we, the fans, were ‘rewarded’ with back in 2006 on the back of our successful fan pressure on Lucasfilm… a substandard and obsolete transfer meant for a laserdisc release 13 years prior - with DNR problems and other quality audio/video issues.
• Maybe it is the old claims & acknowledgments from Lucasfilm… (now no longer being acknowledged)?
That broken promise of what we were initially informed of in 2006 on the official Star Wars website - in the PR release by then Lucasfilm Vice President by Jim Ward:-
“That overwhelming demand” mentioned - which nobody from Lucasfilm (or now Disney) wants to talk about - and willfully ignores…
“Over the years a truly countless number of fans have told us they would love to see and own the original version that they remember experiencing in the theaters” - see above re Lucasfilm and Disney, see above…
“We returned to the Lucasfilm archives to search exhaustively for source material that could be presented on DVD” - re that obsolete and 13 year old transfer for a laserdisc release we ended up receiving instead 😉 Some ‘search’…
(click on ‘expand’ below to see a screenshot image of the Star Wars website announcement of the 2006 GOUT DVD release)
• Maybe it is wanting to share that same experience we all had… with family, loved ones, and the new younger generation?
We’re all getting older (dammit!) - yet one of the more important things I’ve learnt as I’ve ‘grown up’ is to share those special memories or experiences with others; with your loved ones, family, friends the next generation, as it were… which is increasingly difficult to do when it comes to sharing your favourite Star Wars moments - given most are likely to be from the Original Trilogy - and there so are many different versions available - apart from the ones we grew up with and would like to share, watch again and experience with people important to us…
And no, the '97, '04, '11 or ‘19 Special Editions don’t cut it - they aren’t ours, they aren’t the ones’ we grew up with and fell in love with, they didn’t stand for 20 years before being altered to freely test new technology for forthcoming projects - or formed the basis for all of the Star Wars Universe since.
• Maybe it comes down to what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’, the lies, conflicting reasons, and retcons?
The importance of chronicling film history and preserving it - ironic consider George Lucas is an advocate of preserving films - just not his own…
The fogging of the differing versions in official sources - inferring to younger fans and those who don’t better and believe some of the footage from the films were from 40 years ago - again… not in changes from 2019, or in '11, or '04, or in '97.
The conflicting and often nonsensical reasons given by George as to why we cannot have a release of the OOT - continually disproved over time… much like many of his statements of his plans for the films, the reasons why he made the changes to the films, and also his attempts to re-write history.
Though maybe it is something else altogether?
Anyway, that’s enough of my opinion and rambling on…
Does anyone still feel the same, or along similar lines? Do you still pine for that unlikely official OOT release?
Are the reasons why you do akin to the reasons listed above - or something different altogether for you?
It’d be awesome to read others’ views and discuss that here with like-minded members of the community - as well as with those offer think differently, or with those who are content with the fan preservations - and talk about that too…
MTFBW us all.
(Feel free to ignore this thread if you haven’t much interest in it - there are many, many other absorbing threads and projects on this great place to discuss and post in! Though I hope the subject is still one of passion to members on here? That we are still the spark that will light the fire that will restore the
Republic OOT? Many thanks to ooj for some of the history and links included above.)
https://www.redsharknews.com/business/item/3176-star-wars-the-remarkable-quest-to-restore-the-original-film (date unknown - 2014?)
"Let me start at the beginning for the uninitiated. George Lucas’ popular space opera has actually been a source of controversy to its fans and they have not been the happiest folks around, despite having the ability to watch the films as much as they like and having brilliant replica lightsabers available to buy.
Lucas started the process of restoring and updating his much loved space saga at great expense in the mid-nineties (it is estimated to have cost about $15 million to complete the project - $10 million of which was just on the first film) and released them in 1997 for the 20th Anniversary of the original release. These reworked films were dubbed ‘The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition’ and fans have been reeling ever since. There are technically three special editions that exist for home release, with new fan agitating changes and alterations. These are the 1997 original release, the 2004 first DVD and the 2011 Blu-Ray (I could go into greater detail about the differences between these and the various VHS and laserdisc releases, but there would be a risk of a severe intergalactic headache).
George Lucas and his team have produced version after version, alterations after alterations and new editions after new editions of the original Star Wars trilogy. Many have these changes have driven fans bonkers and sent them crying artistic and historical blasphemy. The changes were numerous; some were subtle (lighting and colour palate alterations, retimed sequences), but some were glaring and stuck out like a computer generated sore thumb (extra aliens and creatures filling the foreground and background, updated spaceship sequences and the controversial ‘Han shot first’ debacle). There is a CGI sequence here, a replaced audio there and even blinking Ewoks (not as an adjective before a noun, they actually do blink in the Blu-Ray releases). The reasons for the various alterations have been numerous, from ‘artistic reasons’ to Lucas being unsatisfied with certain special effect sequences that were troublesome to create in the 70’s and 80’s. Even a deleted scene from the first Star Wars movie involving the villainous crime lord Jabba the Hut that was abandoned for budget, logistical and technological reasons was restored, completed and added to the new cut.
For decades, fans have been craving the holy grail of Star Wars home releases – the original, unaltered editions of the original Star Wars trilogy as it was shown in theatres, special effect warts and all, as they originally experienced it. Petitions, forums, documentaries and websites have been created purely for that dream. Unfortunately, Lucas has been adamant about not releasing or even considering such a product. In a 2004 interview he stated, “It’s like this is the movie I wanted it to be and I’m sorry if you saw half a completed film and fell in love with it, but I want it to be the way I want it to be.” His reluctance to release such a version has sparked debates on artist vs. audience ownership and even a refusal by Lucas to submit the Oscar-winning original to National Film Registry for preservation.
Some fans got tired of the Lucas Empire not adhering to such demands, and so the fan community of originaltrilogy.com started working on a version of its very own…"
^ from ‘Episode Nothing: Star Wars in the 1970’s’
http://episodenothing.blogspot.com/2017/12/will-original-unaltered-1977-star-wars.html - 2017 article
"With Christmas upon us, there is one gift that legions of first generation fans want but seem destined never to get. The original, unaltered, 1977 cut of Star Wars on Blu-ray or DVD.
Today, we consider whether we’ll ever see Star Wars the way first generation fans remember it – and what form the ideal Blu-ray would take.
Star Wars before it was Episode IV: A New Hope. What happened to those rumours about a Blu-ray of the 1977 cut?
Star Wars Celebration (2017) in Orange County, California, this year, pulled out the stops to celebrate 40 years of the franchise. George Lucas was back, and he was on stage presiding over the festivities as though he hadn’t sold his company to Disney four years previously.
Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford were there too, while John Williams conducted a moving rendition of ‘Princess Leia’s Theme’ in tribute to Carrie Fisher, followed by other pieces from the original trilogy’s soundtracks.
It was all great fun. But there was no sign of the announcement that some sources had suggested was imminent. There was no news about a release of the original, unaltered Star Wars, the way the world saw it in 1977.
Ironically, if Star Wars had been a flop, or a moderate success, we’d almost certainly have seen a definitive home video release by now. Much lesser movies are available in gorgeous HD transfers with copious extra features. But the enormous success of Star Wars gave Lucas the power to tinker with his work, without giving us a copy of the original.
Why Star Wars should be preserved (and why the film critics should back the fans:-
In the US, the National Film Preservation Board has the job of choosing up to 25 films a year which should be preserved because they are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
It’s natural that, in 1989, Star Wars was picked. After all, its harshest critics couldn’t deny that it’s culturally significant.
And yet, the film was not preserved.
As the excellent website Saving Star Wars explains, Lucasfilm stonewalled about handing a print of the film to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry – and then offered a copy of the 1997 Special Edition. That offer was declined, because the registry is there to preserve the original versions of movies.
The Library of Congress does have 35mm prints of the original Star Wars trilogy which were deposited for copyright purposes, but the public can’t see them.
This has upset a lot of die hard fans, but there should have been more of an outcry in the wider film-loving world than there has been. Star Wars had as much impact on the world as any movie ever has, yet we might never see a good quality release of it, in its original form.
I believe that every film should remain available in the form that audiences first saw it. Whether we’re talking about Metropolis or Blade Runner, we should always have that original theatrical version preserved.
Even if someone discovered Orson Welles’ original edit of The Magnificent Ambersons, as it was before the studio butchered it (and that, sadly, is almost certain not to happen), I’d want the released version kept for the sake of posterity.
I can’t help thinking that “serious” film critics would be angrier about this if the film in question was anything but Star Wars. But many blame Star Wars for every dim-witted blockbuster that came after it, and so they don’t much care which versions of it survive."
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.
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
"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."
"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."
"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?"
https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/star-wars-original-trilogy-unaltered-dvds - 2017 article
"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…"
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
"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."
https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1204960815821946880 - a 4 minute interview with JJ Abrams (December '19)
The “Star Wars” trilogy hasn’t been seen in its original form since 1997
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.
The original 1977 version of the saga is nearly impossible to find, so these fans made their own.
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.”
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…
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
“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.”
"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
‘Star Wars: The High Republic see revised release dates’:-
The highly-anticipated publishing initiative will kick off in January 2021 following recent world events
Awesome alternative, ooj 😃
Some of the arcade machines available to buy… wow, they look great but are very overpriced (depending on the quality of components used for the controls and stuff).
'Star Wars: Comedian Paul Scheer Details His “After Darth” Talk Show That Disney Scrapped’:
Paul goes on to infer the show will likely never see the light of day, though there were 8 episodes filmed…
A snippet from the article:
“We got to create whatever we wanted and the cool thing was, because Disney was behind it, we got to use all the things that you could never use in life,” the comedian admitted. “Like, we could have the full Darth Vader costumes, full recreation of the Millennium Falcon, using the sound effects, using the video footage. We got to really create something that was very much in canon of Star Wars. Which, you know, is so rare to use music and video clips and stuff like that, and we got access to all of it, and then, like I said, it never aired. But there are eight episodes of it.”
He continued, “Maybe it’s for the best, I don’t know. All I’ll say is, for as much as I enjoyed it, I would imagine it would also make people incredibly upset. It definitely was not taking Star Wars seriously, at all.”
Sounds kinda fun - a lighthearted Star Wars ‘talk show’? Why the hell not? 😃 And kind of a shame that it won’t happen.
Fun and Star Wars are two things in short supply in the fandom for a few years now.
Where negatviity, monetised hate and toxicity is all the rage (pun inteneded) 😉