Disney Reportedly Releasing Original Star Wars Films on Blu-ray - Update

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Disney Reportedly Releasing Original Star Wars Films on Blu-ray - Update

Darth Vader ESB 310x

Han shoots first again.

Update: Sometimes, even the intrepid Escapist Action News Team slips on a banana peel. Today's Star Wars report was based on a Comicbook.com post...that was published four months ago. In today's rather dense news cycle (Cuba, Russia, Peshawar aftermath, The Interview, Killzone lawsuit etc.) the old date did not register with me when I lined this up for The Escapist. I either skimmed over the publication date (stupid), or stared at it while something like this happened in my brain (even more stupid).

So while the details of the report still hold water, they are details from a Summer report. News? Yes. News worth reading four months later? Not really.

Apologies to any and all for the confusion, and for unnecessarily contributing to the Star Wars hype train. (Even though I am always on board the Star Wars hype train.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some dishes to do. -Devin Connors

Original Story: As if today's news about normalized relations with Cuba wasn't awesome enough, Comicbook.com just got a scoop that even Jabba couldn't pay to keep quiet. Due to the nature of the sources, and no confirmation from Disney, this is definitely still in rumor/report territory.

Disney is bringing the original, unaltered, definitely-not-the-Special Edition-versions of Star Wars Episode IV, V, and VI to Blu-ray next year. Just so there's no confusion: "The goal is to release A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of [the] Jedi in their complete, unaltered, original form without the redone special edition SFX."

Sources in the post confirmed that the project has been underway at Disney for quite some time, and the process has been both long and significant. Due to damage to original Star Wars negatives, the timetable for a Blu-ray conversion appears to be longer than normal.

There is no concrete release date, other than Disney wanting the trilogy out the door before Episode VII hits theaters in December 2015.

In order for such a Star Wars release to happen, Disney would have to overcome some pretty significant hurdles. 21st Century Fox currently owns the rights to home video distribution, which means the two Hollywood giants would have to agree to a sale of the rights to Disney, or some sort of revenue split. George Lucas might also have to be involved, given his role as the creator of the franchise (this bit is a tad more murky, given the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney).

But if Disney can pay its way through the red tape? We could all get the blu-ray films we desperately asked for long, long ago.

Source: Comicbook.com

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There are a lot of bad things about the special editions, and those were what I was really first exposed to when I was young so at the time I thought they were alright. Having said that, the ending song to Return of the Jedi special edition, is still better then Yub Nub. If there is one thing I can take away from anything, that was one of the few improvements.

At least they're doing something good. If they're able to get those out I they will probably be the last Star Wars thing I buy.

And there was much rejoicing.

Later, in the frozen land of Naydor, George Lucas was forced to eat all the unsold Special Edition Blue-Ray releases. And there was much rejoicing.

Only got to see the unaltered versions once (when I was about 8 years old). Loved them, got the remastered versions, and whilst it looked crisper, WHY DID THEY INSERT CGI JABBA AND CGI LIZARDS AND HAYDEN FREAKING CHRISTENSEN INTO THOSE FILMS?! Seriously, was really awful in some instances, especially when Han Solo walked over Jabba's tail *shudders*

I need this to be true so I can once again see the unaltered films in all their glory.

dragongit:
There are a lot of bad things about the special editions, and those were what I was really first exposed to when I was young so at the time I thought they were alright. Having said that, the ending song to Return of the Jedi special edition, is still better then Yub Nub. If there is one thing I can take away from anything, that was one of the few improvements.

Agreed, that not every tweak was for the worse. I don't mind a few added beasties in the background/foreground, or the extra shots of CG X-Wings. But the Greedo scene's more or less unforgivably stupid (not to mention it just looks off), so I can never really put up with watching that version of A New Hope.

Been a while since I rewatched the trilogy in either state, though, so I can't remember if any of the tampering in the other two were as ruinous - don't think so ('opening up' Cloud City was an improvement in Empire).

Regardless, I'd definitely prefer the best quality versions of the originals, so I hope this rumour's true. It's more or less an open goal for Disney if they go ahead with it; 'We're [probably] making SW films better than the prequels. AND we're giving you the originals on blu-ray. Yay us!'.

Shut up and take my credits!

Han shot first

Is it okay for me to start camping at the store for these versions now?

How to make money, by Disney. That's some good decision making right there.

I'm surprised it took this long. This is the most demanded video release of all time, a rallying call that has lasted generations at this point.

If it happens... they have my money.

But they do know that if they release the original versions, they won't be able to sell it to everyone again after that... right?

Shouldn't they have an intermediate 90% de-specialized edition with a few key scenes retaining special edition muckery, or the original special edition cut?

Ickabod:
Han shot first

nah. greedo never shot.

I am actually really looking forward to this. I never got to see the unaltered versions of the Original Trilogy.

Maybe I should look online.

Hmm most basement dwelling Star Wars Historians I know agree that THX version is probably the best version to release. Just my two cheeto dust covered cents.

Wow to comments about not seeing the originals. Am I that goddamn old?

Some of the changes were okay though, like the actor who plays Emperor Palpitine showing up in the hologram in ep 5, some of the shots that made the worlds feel more alive, like Bespin etc.

Still, couldn't pass up an opportunity to pick these up.

So without hunting down that laserdisc versions, I can finally own official optical media that doesn't have the sarlac tentacles that rip off Tremor's grabboids. Oh, and no Hayden Christensen forces are also a plus.

V TheSystem V:
Only got to see the unaltered versions once (when I was about 8 years old). Loved them, got the remastered versions, and whilst it looked crisper, WHY DID THEY INSERT CGI JABBA AND CGI LIZARDS AND HAYDEN FREAKING CHRISTENSEN INTO THOSE FILMS?! Seriously, was really awful in some instances, especially when Han Solo walked over Jabba's tail *shudders*

I need this to be true so I can once again see the unaltered films in all their glory.

The Jabba scene was filmed with the intention of using an animatronic ("It's me!" Fr-Freddy??) or stop motion puppet in the place of the stand-in actor, who was wearing a costume that made him look like a space fur trader. They only flubbed that one by having Han walk around Jabba. They knew he would be a giant slug from the script, but still went with Han circling him. That made them put the dumb "step on Jabba's tail" part in. Otherwise, that would be an alright scene to leave in every edition. CGI lizards, walkie talkies in place of blaster rifles, and such do need to be buried in bantha poodoo and never uncovered.

Is this because

a) They want more money?
b) They know Episode 7 is going to be bad?
c) They know Episode 7 is going to be good?

A pick and mix Star Wars edition

I'll take the special edition ending song to Return of the Jedi, full shots of the Wampa, CG shot of fighters taking off from Yavin, celebration scenes throughout the galaxy, empire strikes back emperor portrayed by Ian McDiarmid, CG Yoda in Phantom Menace

And I'll not take Greedo shooting first, no max reebo band in Return of the Jedi, no vader shouting NOOO in Return of the Jedi, no changed obi wan krayt dragon call, and no Hayden Christensen in Return of the Jedi

I'm glad they've finally done this, the way Lucas refused to release the originals almost had a weird Fahrenheit 451 erase this from history vibe to it.

That being said, I don't think all the changes Lucas tried to make were bad, and I kinda wish we could get a version that still has improved visuals but without the bullshit.

Good, fan despecialized versions can only go so far. About damn time.

It seems like such a no-brained way to make some cash off Star Wars. I don't know if Fox and Disney have beef like Fox and Marvel, but it seems like a great way for Fox to make free money too.

No more ghost Hayden Christensen at the end of Return of the Jedi? Yeah, I'm on board.

Oh, yeeeeeeeeees!

image

-Ezio-:

Ickabod:
Han shot first

nah. greedo never shot.

I bow to you sir.

Wait... Disney is actually handling the property correctly and understands what the fanbase wants?

I... is there a way to hug a company?

I mean, I reserve the right to end the hug with a thorough kneeing should the movies crap out but things are looking good there too.

Fantastic if true. I'd have the unaltered original trilogy and my stacks of EU books as my own special version of the SW universe. Make this happen, Disney!

Two words: "Despecialized Editiion". I honestly doubt that Disney is going to go to as much trouble as Harmy and his fellows did. So if you still want "the original" feel, that's probably still going to be the way to go.

The Yanks are normalizing relations with Cuba!? Noooooo! There goes Canada's best vacation destination. Though for the actual topic at hand all I can say it: image

This is such a mucky situation because there were a few things added that actually made improvements to the originals like the cgi shots of the sky city or seeing the Wampa. And the added CGI background scenes in the first movie like with the giant lizard things and Jawas.

But then there is the akward Han head twitching, horribly CGI'ed annoying Jabas Palace scene and correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Lucas even change the saloon music in New Hope?

I know this will get me burnt as a heretic but can we get the Special Editions from the 90s released. Those are the ones I saw as a kid so I never minded the changes but with those editions I don't have to suffer Hayden Christensen at the end of Jedi or Vader runing the Emperor death scene.

I would love to see this come out. I'm 21, so a lot of people my age have only seen the special editions, but I grew up with VHS tapes of the original un-tampered trilogy. It's been so long since I've seen them that way, and I would love to see them again.

My first reaction was bullshit, but the rumour addresses Fox's distribution. I'm skeptical about this, but it sort of makes sense that Disney would want to do this, esecially as part of a lead into Episode VII: SPACE HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND!

dragongit:
There are a lot of bad things about the special editions, and those were what I was really first exposed to when I was young so at the time I thought they were alright. Having said that, the ending song to Return of the Jedi special edition, is still better then Yub Nub. If there is one thing I can take away from anything, that was one of the few improvements.

Most of the changes weren't all that bad, in my opinion. A couple stand because they're dumb, but several of them stand out just because they, well....stand out. Taking 70s/early 80s special effects and layering 90s CGI on them kind of makes it even more of an effects vehicle. And honestly, Lucas didn't need more masturbation committed to film.

bdcjacko:
It seems like such a no-brained way to make some cash off Star Wars. I don't know if Fox and Disney have beef like Fox and Marvel, but it seems like a great way for Fox to make free money too.

Disney owning Marvel may mean that beef is an issue.

Gizmo1990:
I know this will get me burnt as a heretic but can we get the Special Editions from the 90s released. Those are the ones I saw as a kid so I never minded the changes but with those editions I don't have to suffer Hayden Christensen at the end of Jedi or Vader runing the Emperor death scene.

Pretty much this. Those were the ones I felt had the perfect balance of updated graphics while not messing (too much) with the originals, and they're the Star Wars films I saw in theatre. I do own these on VHS but of course that's not something that will last.

Optimal would of course be an edition with perhaps all three versions... original, Special Edition, and Prequelized. (Although should space be an issue, I could definitely do without the latter).

The article from Comicbook.com is from August. Check the header. It has also pretty much been debunked: http://badassdigest.com/2014/08/16/why-i-doubt-disney-is-releasing-the-unaltered-star-wars-ot-on-blu/ Disney doesn't own the rights to the original trilogy, Fox does. Why are you putting up news from 4 months ago? Have a feeling it's being confused with this news: http://comicbook.com/2014/12/16/marvel-announces-new-remastered-edition-of-original-star-wars-ad/

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