Tag Archives: return of the jedi

Rumor: Disney shopping Star Wars films to basic cable again

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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?)

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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.

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

Star Wars Blu-rays to be rereleased as commemorative steelbooks

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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.

Video: Mark Hamill and James Arnold Taylor chat backstage at Celebration Anaheim


Backstage at Celebration, Mark Hamill chats with James Arnold Taylor about Star Wars and shared some family photos from the Return of the Jedi set. (The Force Awakens stuff starts at 7:20. #Beardwatch!)

A bunch of other Celebration videos have gone up over the past few days as well, most pulls from the livestream, including interviews with Billy Dee Williams, Ray Park, Joel Aron, Doug Chiang and Christian Alzmann, among others. And then there’s con highlights that played during the Closing Ceremonies…

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.

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.