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Could New STAR WARS Be Accompanied by Non Special Edition Classic STAR WARS?

Could we see the original versions of the original trilogy alongside the release of Episode VII?!

Bleeding Cool seems to think so, in a post from yesterday which suggests that Disney and Lucasfilm are considering just that. According the May 15th story, Disney is set to re-release A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi minus the redone special effects and new scenes added to the 2004 Special Editions.

The post goes on to say that the trilogy would be available on both home video (DVD, Blu-ray) and via On Demand services. The latter would, to my mind, be a first – I can’t recall either the trilogy or the prequels being available with a streaming option since their release, even after Fox dropped the complete saga on DVD back in 2011.

There are some potential hiccups: Fox still retains the right to distribute the Star Wars films, meaning Disney might have to part with some money to make the release happen. Additionally, would this be the kind of thing that might go back in the proverbial “Disney Vault” (i.e. would it be a limited-time release which would then go on moratorium for years after)?

Fans have been pleading for a hi-def release of the original trilogy since the Special Editions hit shelves nearly a decade ago. And who can blame them? The new effects and awkwardly inserted effects never really jibed with the practical and somewhat rough-hewn quality of the movies many of us saw on release.

I might be lacking perspective, though. At this point, are untouched versions of the original trilogy a big deal to you?

[Source: Bleeding Cool]

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31 comments

  • Cool! Let’s hope 20th would reissue the original trilogy on Blu-ray and DVD before May 2020 (when 20th keeps the original “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” and cedes rights for the rest of the film series to Disney) to include both the special edition versions and the newly-restored-and/or-recreated unaltered original theatrical versions.

  • You can find the laserdisc versions. They were in hi-def before BluRay. The original New Hope and Empire are friggin awesome.
    Also my cousin had a BetaMax version of The New Hope. It was given to my uncle by someone at Fox (my uncle’s company sold them high end video equipment). We probably watched it a million times. That was one the best things about my childhood. 

  • Why would they need to be untouched? Didn’t they remaster them all for the last VHS release? Why not use those masters. I never understood the rationale of Lucas saying, “Well if you want the remastered (or HD) versions, you HAVE to have the Special Editions, because those are now the way they should’ve been made in the first place.” Then after fan backlash, they released the non-SE versions, “… But since you all wanted the originals, we’ll give them to you, but you’ll get the grainy transfer from the untouched 1977 reels.” That’s like someone putting their finger in your face and saying, “I’m not touching you.” C’mon man!

    • Great minds think alike!! I made the exact same analogy just the other day. 
      My take was painting earrings, lipstick, and maybe a neck tattoo on the original canvas because she looked too “old fashioned”.
      Disney would earn SOOOOO many cool points if they released the originals on Blu-ray. I think I’d buy two of them just to keep one set wrapped up. 
      Please, PLEASE let this rumor be true!!

  • My god, Yes. I’ve got the Un-Lucas-fucked-with on DVD, but the transfer is shoddy. I would love to have a clean transfer without all the superfluous additions. 

  • Did no one get the special edition original trilogy DVDs with both versions of the films?  Those are the ones I own.  The original theatrical version is on one disc the updated special effects one on the second disc.  It came out before the bluray explosion so they weren’t on bluray.

    • I didn’t get those. I couldn’t afford them at the time and now they’re hard to find. But the Original Theatrical versions were off the Laserdiscs from the late 80′s and from what I hear the transfer to DVD wasn’t very good quality. Those versions were also before the digitally remastered versions came out in 94.

  • Yes, it’s the only way I’d buy them now.  I’ve refused to buy the last 3 special editions that came out (each one with more and more changes).  I just want the movies I remember and loved.

  • God I hope this is true!  It’s so damn hard to track down the only dvd versions of the original theatrical release – mine is actually missing Empire Strikes Back :(  It’s not fun trying to watch VHS on a modern tv either…..

  • I’m confused.. The article says it wont have the 2004 effects in it, but it was the 1997 ones that people got weird about. It was the 1997 version that added the “greedo shot first” scene. So will it just be the 1997 version of the movies, or will it be the original unaltered movies?

    • the 2004 versions added even more, i.e. Hayden Christensen’s head on Anakin’s ghost in the end of ROTJ. Since I saw that, I haven’t been able to stomach watching it again.

  • i have the 2004 box set where you can pick in the menu to have the effects or not. SCREW THE EFFECTS I WANT HUMAN JABBA (slugg jabba was added for the original screening, we will never see human jabba…)

  • I downloaded the “Harmys Despecialized Editions” recently. They’re really well done and available for free on torrent sites. If you don’t want to wait for Disney to get it done, Google the Harmys Despecialized Editions.

  • considering how easy it is to get a despeciliazed edition now, I dont know if putting out an official version would be that big of a deal.  That being said, if it does come out, I will be first in line for that BluRay. 

  • I dunno…I would love to see the OT on blu-ray sans “Special Edition” adds, but at the same time, I’d like to see them cleaned up, because the Complete Saga looks FANTASTIC on blu-ray.  I’m sure getting both would be a big ask, so I’m torn.