Sunday, August 15, 2010

Planned STAR WARS Blu-Ray Release; But Which Versions?

At Star Wars Celebration V this weekend George Lucas announced that the entire STAR WARS saga is being prepped for Blu-Ray, and expected to be released for the end of 2011.

The set will feature documentaries, vintage behind-the-scenes moments, interviews, retrospectives and never-before-seen footage from the Lucasfilm archives. Among this never-before-seen footage will be a scene deleted from RETURN OF THE JEDI that shows Luke Skywalker building his new lightsaber prior to his arrival at Jabba's Palace. This scene was revealed at Celebration V:

But the question that will be asked by the legions of fans who have spent the past 33 years dedicated to the franchise is this: which versions of A NEW HOPE, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI will be in this set? According to an article on the New York Times website the outlook isn't good:
Mr. Lucas said the versions of the first three films ... included in the Blu-ray boxed set will be the special-edition releases that were shown theatrically in 1997 and digitally restored for a 2004 standard-definition DVD boxed set.
This is a disturbing, but not unforeseen, revelation that will surely sour many who hoped to finally have the original versions in a high-def format. Perhaps there is hope that the originals will be released as an "extra feature", much like they were on the single-disc DVD releases of the original trilogy. For now though, hold close to your weathering VHS copies and Laserdiscs. The fate of the original STAR WARS trilogy is difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.


Midnight on Twitter and Facebook