I agree with those who have said the letter should focus less on the impact the films had on viewers during their original runs, and more on the legacy of the films themselves. Those award winning elements, such as the sound and visual effects, have been tampered with or erased. Crucial parts of American cinematic history have been replaced with more modern technologies with no acknowledgement of what came before (not to mention, I saw a great post somewhere that pointed out how the CGI used to replace the practical effects has dated far worse than the original effects did). And I do think citing Lucas’ words about preserving films is important here.
How about something like this? Rough, but at least an idea…
"Dear Lucasfilm and Disney,
In March, 1988, a visionary film director stood before the United States Congress with a plea. This man had overseen the creation of a series of films that in just five short years, had become legendary installments in American cinematic history. He had seen his vision fulfilled, had made his fortune, and could have used his influence in many ways, yet he chose to use that power before Congress to speak on the importance of preserving the history his own trilogy had become a part of.
“Today, engineers with their computers can add color to black-and-white movies, change the soundtrack, speed up the pace, and add or subtract material to the philosophical tastes of the copyright holder,” this director claimed. “It will soon be possible to create a new ‘original’ negative with whatever changes or alterations the copyright holder of the moment desires. The copyright holders, so far, have not been completely diligent in preserving the original negatives of films they control.” His name was George Lucas, and his own contribution to the legacy of American cinema was known as the Star Wars trilogy.
Despite Lucas’ words, that legendary trilogy has indeed been altered in our own modern day, with the original versions of those films unavailable for purchase, and unrecognized by the very studio that produced them. Digital effects from the late 1990’s, that grow weaker in appearance with every passing year, have replaced the Academy Award winning practical effects that thrilled audiences worldwide from 1977 to 1983 (and still could today). The experiences that were had in theaters during those original theatrical releases inspired generations of people, sparked the imaginations of children who would go on to become today’s great filmmakers, and provided a true sense of wonder and escapism from whatever troubles plagued those who sought refuge for a couple glorious hours in a galaxy far, far away.
We fans of the original, unaltered Star Wars trilogy (affectionately called the “OUT” for short) do not expect, or necessarily want, the digitally enhanced “Special Edition” versions of the trilogy to be removed from official canon, as the ever expanding Star Wars universe depends on elements found in those versions, and vice-versa. What we do want, however, is for the “OUT” to receive a proper and thorough restoration to the highest standards possible with today’s technology. Furthermore, we would like this restoration to be released to honor such important entries in the great chronology of developments in American cinema, and to rekindle the tremendous amounts of nostalgia that would come with such a release for so many who would gladly purchase it.
To forever pretend that the only available versions of the Star Wars trilogy are the only worthy representations of the films’ contributions to film making history, with their digital enhancements, is a true injustice to the groundbreaking innovations made in 1977, 1980, and 1983. We hope that you realize this, and right this creative wrong by acknowledging and honoring these legendary parts of American culture.
Thank you, and with much respect,
The members of OriginalTrilogy.com, and Star Wars fans worldwide"