The image quality isn't the real issue. Yes, with the information we have, it's basically going to be a Laserdisc port. Laserdisc -> DVD does look good, so it will obviously look better. I'm sure there will be more than a small boost in quality. They're not going to give the OT the same treatment they gave the 2004 release. But, that doesn't matter. I hope they leave it as alone as possible. Less of a temptation for Lucas to mess with it.
But none of this is really the point. I'm seriously considering boycotting these new releases as well, but not for picture quality or anything like that. Think of it this way:
Studios put a DVD box set on the market. Let's take the Alien Quadrilogy. It's out for about a year, it sells a bunch, then sits on shelves and the sales start going down, naturally. Then Fox puts out the exact same discs with the exact same content, only in individual releases. Nothing's different about them, they're just repackaged and you can buy Alien without buying Alien Resurrection. This is EXTREMELY common, if not the standard.
Lucas is doing the same thing here. This was planned from the very beginning. But, with Star Wars, you run into a problem.
First, there are VERY few people out there who are going to buy one of the original Star Wars trilogy without buying the other two. Even if you don't like Return of the Jedi that much, even the most causal of fans wants all three. So, everyone who wanted them has already purchased a box set.
Second, there are the people who didn't buy the box set in the first place because it doesn't contain the Original Theatrical Versions and certainly aren't going to buy the individual releases for the exact same reason.
So how do you get people who already own the films in their newest incarnation AND the people who won't go near it in the first place buy the new individual releases?
That's right, add the original versions as "bonus material."
Read the official press release closely:
"In response to overwhelming demand, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release attractively priced individual two-disc releases of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Each release includes the 2004 digitally remastered version of the movie and, as bonus material, the theatrical edition of the film."
It's no different from releasing a movie in a new edition with more extras after the bare bones has already been out a while. Only, this time, Lucas has one hell of a "bonus feature" that no Star Wars fan could resist. Short of making The Star Wars Holiday Special extra material, this is the holy grail of "bonus features."
It's still a victory for anti-cinematic revisionsim. The original films WILL be out there in the DVD format, that's a moderate success.
But, it's a very underhanded and sneaky "fuck you" to the very fans that made Lucas what he is today. It's the most brilliant way I've ever seen to get people to buy something they already have, whether it's the 2004 editions or bootleged Laserdisc DVD-Rs. Star Wars is Lucas' own private financial institution. The fans are his ATMs. This is just another trip to the bank.