Tag Archives: empire strikes back

TNT nabs Star Wars basic cable rights


TNT and TBS will be the new basic cable home of the Star Wars franchise, per The Wrap. TNT will begin airing the first two trilogies later this month, beginning with The Phantom Menace on Tuesday, September 20. They’ll debut one film a night and finish up with a six-movie marathon on Sunday, September 25.

The multi-year licensing agreement also includes The Force Awakens (currently running on the premium channel Starz) and Rogue One. They’ll join the lineup in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Variety’s “industry sources” estimate the deal is worth “at least $250 million” for at least 10 films, with the rights for The Force Awakens and the upcoming movies in the range of $35-$40 million each. The deal runs through “at least” 2022. USA Network – which held the Star Wars basic cable rights back in the ’90s – and FX Networks were also in contention for the deal.

The original trilogy is coming back to theaters (some theaters) in August


The original trilogy will be back on the big screen in a limited number of locations this August. The Alamo Drafthouse chain is sponsoring back-to-back showings of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi throughout the U.S. (And before you can ask: They will be the Special Editions.) The initial list of dates includes 16 venues, but it’s suppose to come to “more than 20 cities.”

Tickets will go on sale at ReturnOfTheTrilogy.com on May 4.

Rumor: Disney shopping Star Wars films to basic cable again


Variety reports that Disney began pitching the free TV rights – technically basic cable – on the Star Wars films last week, for all three trilogies. The asking price on is claimed to be “high” – even for the “vintage” titles. Movie rights are worth less and less to networks these days, but Star Wars seems to be an exception.

Spike TV held the Star Wars rights through 2014, paying $65-$70 million for six years and six films. The Indiana Jones films went for about $25M each in 2008.

Cable outlets who have met or are meeting with Disney include Turner, FX Networks, Viacom, NBCUniversal (which owns SyFy, which aired A New Hope when it first launched as the Sci-Fi Channel and USA Network, who had the rights to the original trilogy in the 90s,) A+E Networks and AMC Networks.

Variety cites speculation that the pitches to outside networks may be Disney’s way of seeing “what the market will bear” – aka covering their ass – before settling the rights on one of their own networks. (I’ve been expecting the films will indeed show up on Freeform.)

The Force Awakens will debut on Starz next year as the last film under the channel’s deal with Disney. TFA likely won’t show up on basic cable until 2018, while Episode VIII and IX will go to Netflix first under Disney’s current deal with the streaming service.

Report: John Landis says original trilogy theatrical cuts are coming (and guess who told him?)


Per Empire magazine, producer/director John Landis said at a Q&A tonight that Disney will be (eventually) re-releasing theatrical cuts of the original trilogy. It’s an evergreen rumor that pops up regularly, but this variation has a little bit of oomph behind it – Landis apparently heard about it from George Lucas.


Now, whether it actually pans out this time will be another matter…

Star Wars Blu-rays to be rereleased as commemorative steelbooks


The first six Star Wars movies are getting yet another Blu-ray makeover. The limited edition commemorative steelbooks look neat, but it doesn’t seem like they’ll have any new content. The ‘Complete Saga’ collection is also getting a facelift for re-release.

The steelbooks will be available for preorder on August 7 for a November 10 release, and the Complete Saga collection of all six films (so far) will drop on October 13.

The real lesson of The Empire Strikes Back


May is the month of Star Wars birthdays, of course, and Wednesday was the 35th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back. Entertainment Weekly’s Darren Franich took the opportunity to write the lesson nobody learned from Empire Strikes Back – that the small and personal is what makes the film succeed, not the dark and twisty.

The digital releases are live, and most of them do feature something new…

LucasfilmThe U.S. can now get the Star Wars films in digital formats, and while Han doesn’t shoot first, there is one noticeable change… A new Lucasfilm fanfare replaces the 20th Century Fox one on all the movies save A New Hope. (Which, as we all know, Fox has distribution rights to in perpetuity.) Is this what we can expect on The Force Awakens? Almost certainly.

Star Wars movies are coming to Digital HD Friday

Lucasfilm broke the news we were expecting with a commercial during tonight’s big college basketball game: All six of the existing films will be available “globally” in Digital HD this Friday, April 10.

Vendors being name-dropped in the media include iTunes, Google Play, VUDU, Amazon, Xbox Video, and the Playstation Store.

Yes, the original trilogy will be the most recent Blu-ray editions, because if they ever do release pre-SE versions, they will not play coy about it.

Mark Hamill makes surprise appearance at ESB live read

Last night’s The Empire Strikes Back live-read had a few final casting surprises – but the big one is surely Mark Hamill as Obi-wan and the Emperor (and Boba Fett, apparently.) UPDATE: Buzzfeed has more pictures, and /Film has a lengthy recap.

Hamill wasn’t the only surprise last night – the final episode of The Colbert Report featured a lot of guest stars – including brief appearances by George Lucas and J.J. Abrams.