Sony Classical is reissuing three new collector’s sets of John Williams’ iconic Star Wars soundtracks in January, in vinyl, CD and high-definition download. They’ll be available January 8, 2016.
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…
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.
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.
It 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.
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.
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.
FiveThirtyEight takes on Star Wars. This is all from one survey, probably not well populated by hardcore fans. Take it as you will, but it’s pretty interesting.
The iconic 1983 making of documentary is now up on the official Star Wars Youtube account… In nine parts. But the good news is: We got the last one yesterday, so I can finally post it.
Bleeding Cool is claiming today that rumors are swirling about Disney maybe releasing the pre-Special Edition versions of A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.
I can certainly buy that Disney is interested in doing such a thing, maybe looking into it. But we also know the negatives are in bad shape, and there’s that whole thing with 20th Century Fox having distribution rights to all six through ’20 and ANH in perpetuity, and it would be expensive. Still, there is a demand, and it really harms no one.
What’s clearly ridiculous about this report is that they’d shuffle the prequels off the ‘Legends’ (with the EU) and redo them, which sounds like 100% pure speculation/wishful thinking from those who are seemling unable to just get over it, already. No, not everyone loves the prequels, but that’s a lot of effort to piss off the big part of your fanbase that does. And why redo movies that are already made, when you can make entirely new ones? (Ugh, Hollywood.)