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.
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.
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.)
Star feud. Carrie Fisher and William Shatner are at it again: He gets choked, literally, but all’s well that ends well.
Rumors. Ali Arikan says that there are rumblings that Episode VII will begin filming on April 22.
Original original trilogy. Jeremy Conrad at Furious Fanboys has four reasons we won’t be seeing the original trilogy theatrical cuts released anytime soon. Long story short: A complete restoration would be super expensive and the rights issues with 20th Century Fox.
There may not have been big Star Wars movie news at the D23 Expo, but Pablo Hidalgo did drop some interesting hints regarding some other upcoming projects.
As Slashfilm points out, Pablo hinted that the Jedi legacy “casts a long shadow” and “you will feel that presence” on Rebels, and that (as the rumors claim) the Orange Harvest bounty may make it to Disneyland first.
He also said that there’s more Clone Wars bonus footage than we think, and “they’re close to pushing it out,” and “thinking out of the box” about distribution. We may not have seen the last of Detours, either. And for those who are particularly old school:
Lucasfilm is releasing the unaltered Original Trilogy on DVD this September. They’ll only be available for a limited time, but they will be available. StarWarsShop even has Han shot first t-shirts for the occasion.
I’m in shock. How about you?
Media coverage: USAToday / MTV / Zap2it / E!Online / Mercury News / MSNBC.