The 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.
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.
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.
Jason Reitman’s live reading of The Empire Strikes Back has their Han and Leia in Ellen Page and Jessica Alba. Reitman says on Page:
“In casting Han, the most important thing is: Who has the most interesting, ironic approach to life? And when I think of that, I think of Ellen Page. She’s a small human being who has the energy to fill Madison Square Garden.”
The Empire live-read, which also features Aaron Paul as Luke, takes place tonight at the Ace Hotel Theater in Los Angeles – and it’s already sold out.
Director Jason Reitman is staging a live-read of The Empire Strikes Back tomorrow night in Los Angeles. The line-up includes Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker, J.K. Simmons as Darth Vader, Stephen Merchant as C-3PO, Dennis Haysbert as Lando Calrissian and Kevin Pollak as Yoda.
But who’ll be playing Han and Leia? Hoping for some surprises…
Gary Kurtz blasts Star Wars myths. Chris Taylor highlights what the A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back producer told him about some of the mythology that’s sprung up around the production of the saga. Taylor’s book, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, will be out Tuesday.
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.
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.
The Empire Strikes Back has been voted greatest movie of all time in a new poll from Empire magazine. The original Star Wars clocks in at #6, Return of the Jedi is #120 and Revenge of the Sith is #224.