« Stayin' Alive | Main | Texas Ranch House »


04 May 2006 — Unaltered Star Wars Trilogy Coming to DVD (10)

I don't know whether to be ecstatic or irate: Lucasfilm has announced that the original, undoctored Star Wars trilogy will be released on DVD this fall.

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. That means you'll be able to enjoy Star Wars as it first appeared in 1977, Empire in 1980, and Jedi in 1983. This release will only be available for a limited time: from September 12th to December 31st.

Now, obviously, on one level this makes my geek heart swell. These three films are a part of me. I've seen the original Star Wars more than any other film. (I must be nearing one hundred viewings by now.) I absolutely want to own these versions on DVD.


But what makes me angry is that I've already purchased the doctored trilogy, the version in which Greedo fires first, the version in which Young Anakin celebrates on the forest moon of Endor, the version in which George Lucas has flooded the screen with all sorts of little critters and geegaws. Why did I buy these bastardized editions? BECAUSE FANS WERE TOLD THE ORIGINAL VERSIONS WOULD NEVER BE RELEASED ON DVD.

For years, the studios have been milking stupid fans like me by first releasing one version of a film and then releasing a Deluxe Edition at a later date. This is asinine. To give Peter Jackson credit on his Lord of the Rings bastardizations, at least he was very clear from the beginning just how the DVD releases would occur, and he stayed true to his word.

I will be buying the new Star Wars DVDs. I don't like to admit it, but it's a fact. However, I'll also be selling all of the Star Wars DVDs I currently own: episodes I, II, IV, V, and VI.

More Star Wars rants and raves at foldedspace: I am a member of the Star Wars Generation, my review of Attack of the Clones, and my analysis of Why Star Wars Sucks.

On this day at foldedspace.org

2007Why I Won't See Spider-Man 3   In which this film looks awful.

2005Manly Talk at the Barber Shop   In which a trip to the barber shop is like a journey to another world.

2004Adaptation   In which I write a story that adapts a portion of a graphic novel, and wonder about the legalities of it all.

2003Small   In which I reuse an old photograph; my tripod breaks and I use Warren's; we lurk in alleyways, snatching photographs; I research photographers' rights.

2002Spider-Man   In which Mac, Kris, and I go see the new Spider-Man film and it's better than I expect.

2001Hypochondriac   In which sometimes I worry that I might be a hypochondriac.


Comments
On 04 May 2006 (09:17 AM), Lee said:

Doesn't Han fire first in the original edition and was later doctored so that he shot after Greebo? (was it Greebo?)


On 04 May 2006 (09:42 AM), Cat said:

YAY! YAYYYYYY!!! As someone who refused to buy the doctored movies, I admit to being fully gleeful about this. I hoped they'd come around eventually. I do think the "limited time" offer is bogus. Artificial scarcity is only good for resellers.


On 04 May 2006 (10:29 AM), Blogeois said:

You think you're pissed about this? Some of us bought the original trilogy on LASER DISC because we were told it would NEVER, EVER be released on DVD. Think how we feel.

At this point owning the Laser Disc version, the first doctored versions, the director's cut versions and probably soon, the upcoming versions, we ought to just go out and find them all on VHS, maybe BETA even, just to geekily say we have it in all formats save the original film in the can.

Yeah, count us suckers too.


On 04 May 2006 (11:26 AM), J.D. said:

Doesn't Han fire first in the original edition and was later doctored so that he shot after Greedo?

Ha ha ha! Silly me. I had it correct initially, but then on proofreading, I inexplicably changed it. I've fixed it now, though. Thanks, Lee!


On 04 May 2006 (12:36 PM), Rich R said:

I'm really glad a friend and I didn't waste the time and energy on making chaptered DVD's of the originals that he owns on laser disc!!

Now I can just buy the movies I want instead of the altered, "niced-up we wouldn't want anyone to get shot by a laser" re-released crap!


On 04 May 2006 (01:39 PM), Amanda said:

Ugh. Doesn't Lucas have enough money? Frightening.

But yes, I never purchased and never planned to purchase the bastardized versions so for an old schooler like me this is great news. I want to see the film the way I remember seeing it all those years on VHS.


On 04 May 2006 (09:59 PM), toast said:

I remember spending five minutes trying to pause the vhs tape at the point immediately before the death star explodes. Turns out the death star disappears and the explosion starts at a small point -- I lost a box of lemon heads.


On 05 May 2006 (09:27 PM), Nikchick said:

Sorry man, I understand where you're coming from. I decided that I was not going to buy (or even watch) the "doctored" trilogy. I just had zero interest. Hell, I didn't even see the last part of the new trilogy because I really did not enjoy the first two movies and I have no interest in seeing the third even if it is "better" as I doubt it could be "better" enough for me to actually enjoy it (or to make up for the two punches in the face I felt like I endured with the first two parts).

However, having not believed a word out of Lucas' money-grubbing mouth and having not bought the doctored DVDs, I feel like I may just be able to justify to myself buying the unaltered Han Shoots First movie. Maybe. :) If I'd bought the altered versions, I'd be angry!


On 05 May 2006 (10:04 PM), Lane said:

I have the original, unaltered on VHS. The altered original trilogy on VHS. The re-altered trilogy on DVD. I will have the unaltered trilogy on DVD.

Gods, I suck.


On 09 May 2006 (11:21 AM), Michael Rawdon said:

This is why I don't often buy DVD collections, because I figure sooner or later they'll come out with the one I actually want. :-)