Tag Archives: original trilogy

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.

Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2 for decades, has died


Kenny Baker, the actor who played Artoo, has died at the age of 81. The 3 foot, 8 inch actor was the man inside the droid for the original and prequel trilogies. He also played Paploo the Ewok in Return of the Jedi, and appeared in Time Bandits and Flash Gordon

Baker has been ill for some time. “It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless. He had a very long and fulfilled life,” his niece, Abigail Shield, told the Guardian. “He brought lots of happiness to people and we’ll be celebrating the fact that he was well loved throughout the world. We’re all very proud of what he achieved in his lifetime.”

Peter Mayhew posted “a final farewell to my little friend with the giant heart” on Chewbacca.com on Monday.

“Goodbye #KennyBaker,” Mark Hamill tweeted. “A lifelong loyal friend-I loved his optimism & determination. He WAS the droid I was looking for!” Fellow actors Ewan McGregor and Warwick Davis also posted remembrances on Twitter.

George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy spoke about Baker on StarWars.com. Lucas calls him “a real gentleman” and “an incredible trooper,” while Kennedy says “There is no Star Wars without R2-D2, and Kenny defined who R2-D2 was and is. He will be greatly missed.”

Under the cut, tweets remembering Baker. Continue reading

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.

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…

Han does not shoot first in the Star Wars digital release


No, Han does not shoot first on the digital version of A New Hope. The word from Australia, where it’s already Friday and the digital releases are live, is that the Greedo scene is exactly the same as the one on the Blu-ray. And, to be fair, anything else would have been a big shock, given that ‘Han shot first’ would have been spun into a Lucasfilm talking point by now if it had been the case.

Devin Faraci at Badass Digest, with whom today’s report originated, admitted that he was wrong, but does maintain that there is a high definition version of the pre-Special Edition scene in play somewhere… So don’t expect the rumors of restored ‘original’ prints to die down any time soon.

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.

Another rumor points towards a new unaltered original trilogy release on Blu-ray

rumors-swirl-sw-ootIt never takes much to set off rumors about a new release of the pre-Special Edition versions of the original trilogy, but today it’s apparently Comicbook.com‘s turn. They have “two independent reliable sources” who say that Blu-ray versions of the unaltered original trilogy are in the works, and though the timeline of such a release is unsure due to the amount of work required, the plan is to have them out before Episode VII.

Late last month, a picture of Skywalker Sound folks apparently working on Return of the Jedi also fueled the ever-present hopes, while Bleeding Cool tweaked the rumor mill in May.

Versions of the pre-Special Edition films were available in a a limited edition 2006 DVD re-release, but they were straight rips from the old laserdisc versions.

Although plenty of folks get up in arms over this (on both sides!) I find it hard to deny that there actually is a demand for the unaltered versions of the film, if no other reason than the otherwise unremarkable news of the last Blu-ray release being our #1 most popular and searched-for post of 2013.

And while Disney would need to give up some cash to 20th Century Fox for this to happen (which, again, they did just last year) I’m sure the publicity benefits (and merchandise sales) would more than make up for it.

But, per always: It’s just a rumor, for now.

Leland Chee clears up the Star Wars timeline

Earlier this month, Lucasfilm’s Leland Chee tweeted out a timeline of the Star Wars movies and TV shows.

This was originally mistaken for the in-universe dating system as well, but Chee clarified that Lucasfilm will still continue to use A New Hope (or rather, the Battle of Yavin) as year 0, the BBY/ABY dating system we’re all resigned used to. So the timeline stands at so:

  • The Phantom Menace is 10 years before Attack of the Clones, 32 years before A New Hope.

  • Attack of the Clones is 10 years after TPM, 22 years before ANH.

  • The Clone Wars span 3 years, from 22 to 19 before ANH. (Chee has previously tweeted the cartoon’s internal timeline order.)

  • Revenge of the Sith – the beginning of the Empire, the birth of Luke and Leia – is set 13 years after TPM, 19 years before ANH.

  • The prequel trilogy spans 13 years.

  • Rebels – the only open-ended item on this list – begins 27 years after TPM, 14 years after ROTS and 5 years before ANH.

  • A New Hope begins 32 years after TPM, 19 years after ROTS.

  • The Empire Strikes Back begins 3 years after ANH. Luke, Leia and the Empire are 22.

  • Return of the Jedi begins a year after ESB, 36 years after TPM.

  • The original trilogy spans only 4 years.

Much of this we already knew – or assumed – but it’s good to have everything nailed down for our new era.

I’ve never been much a fan of the BBY/ABY dating system, as from an in-universe perspective it makes no sense. Why some random battle? Yes, it put the Rebellion on the map and made them a real threat, but as Year 0? Before the Legends hammer fell I’d have argued for ROTJ as 0, but in our current environment the best case is probably for ROTS and the founding of the Empire.

Of course, from the outside, it makes perfect sense: ANH is what actually began this whole thing. And, after all, the western world’s dating system is based on the birth of a religious figure, so maybe it’s just silly to argue the point re: fiction at all. (Okay, it’s totally silly to argue about fictional dates, which is why I’m not actually arguing.)

In any case, BBY/ABY is well established, so this does make us have to do slightly less math. (I always root for ‘less math,’ thus my previous desire to use ROTJ as 0.)

To throw another wrench in the gears, per Star Wars Underworld:

It’s also worth noting that the Star Wars Rebels Visual Guide detailed that the planet Lothal, which will be a principal location in the series, has it’s own calendar. The Invasion of Naboo is at 3245 LY (Lothal Year), the Battle of Geonosis at 3255 LY, and so on. It appears even individual planets will have their own calendars now.

So that’s going to be fun – but a very handy way to explain inaccuracies. (Would Luke and Leia ever realize they shared a birthdate if they each primarily thought of their own in Alderaan and Tatooine dates?) As for the sequel trilogy, the number we’ve heard so far is about 30 years after Return of the Jedi – which would make it 66 years after TPM, 53 years after ROTS and 34 years after ANH. But until Lucasfilm and Chee are ready to reveal the exacts – which could actually be 31, 32, 33 or even 35 years – we’ll stick with the approximation.