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Could the original, unaltered STAR WARS be on its way to Blu-ray?

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#1 of 1670 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 21 2013 - 03:25 AM

se-comp2.jpg

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Interesting comment made by our friend, Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits on his Facebook page....

 

Something else discussed among industry friends at the Con this year: the likelihood of original unaltered Star Wars trilogy finally being released on disc in high quality now that Disney is driving the Falcon. Concensus is it's quite likely leading up to new films.

 

Interesting prospect.  Now that we are done with the Batman rumor, perhaps we can discuss this one and hope that it comes to fruition.


 

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#2 of 1670 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted July 21 2013 - 04:04 AM

That would, of course, be great and satisfy a lot of people. It would also be a good place to include newly discovered gag reels from the first film. 

 

We were done with Batman?  ;)



#3 of 1670 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted July 21 2013 - 05:06 AM

I'm quite happy with my VHS versions of the original trilogy. :lol:


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#4 of 1670 OFFLINE   Keith Cobby

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Posted July 21 2013 - 05:10 AM

I have never owned Star Wars on home video and am still holding out - but weakening! My young son enjoys Star Wars Lego and wants to see the films.



#5 of 1670 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted July 21 2013 - 05:34 AM

I think the real question is can Disney release the originals? If they can, I'm 100% sure they will. When the Disney sale first happened, I figured that George Lucas would have made sure that the deal specified that the SEs would be the only thing that Disney could release but I've softened in that view a little bit.

 

I've always thought that the reason they used the laserdisc transfers for the OT DVDs was because Lucas didn't want to spend his money on 'incomplete' versions of the movies (and since it's his money, I can't fault him for doing what he wants with it). However, if it would be on Disney's dime, maybe Lucas couldn't care less if the originals come out. Or maybe it's totally out of his hands and Disney can do whatever they want. If that's the case, I can't think of a reason why they wouldn't release them.



#6 of 1670 OFFLINE   Ignatius

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Posted July 21 2013 - 05:39 AM

It would be silly of Disney not to. It'll get most Star Wars fans to double-dip and garner sales from the few hold-outs like myself who refuse to buy any release that doesn't include the original version.

 

On top of that it'll be nice to know that the films have been restored and preserved in some fashion.



#7 of 1670 OFFLINE   Ejanss

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Posted July 21 2013 - 06:24 AM

It would be silly of Disney not to. It'll get most Star Wars fans to double-dip and garner sales from the few hold-outs like myself who refuse to buy any release that doesn't include the original version.

 

"Disney WOULD!" "Disney SHOULD!"  "Disney COULD!"

Here's a thought:  How about if Disney CAN"T?

(No, really, is that the whole defense for the rumor, that "Somebody big and new owns it now, so maybe we can ask them!"?)

 

I know this theory has been brought up many, many times.  But let's think logically...Forensically, if you will.  Let's profile some rather odd behavior on George Lucas's part over the last five or ten years:

-  Responding to pressure to release the UOT, he releases the Limited Edition DVD's, mastered from the old 80's laserdisks...80's, as in made before 1997.  Fans ask why he could be so "stingy" as to release upgraded LD sources, and they don't believe him when he says they were "the best sources still available".  (They think he's just holding out, or greedy, so he can release the real one later.)

- Later on, Lucas becomes rather disgruntled with the fans.  He calls them hard to satisfy, as they keep, quote, "asking for something he can't give them anymore".

- Finally, after years of stonewalling the fan questions, Lucas settles the arguments by petulantly stating "They're MY movies, not yours, and it's the director who has the final say on the edits!"  The SE's will stay because he said so, that's why.

 

Now...I consider myself a fairly good judge of human nature, and not overly suspicious or given to wild conspiracy theories.

I just find it amusing, that's all, that there is one line even the angriest, most disgruntled Lucas-hating fan will ever cross:

They complain about his "ruining" the saga with the prequels.  They complain about his redubbing and reinserting SFX into the Special Editions.  They call him "incompetent" and "gone looney", and all such hyperbolic terms.

But the minute...the MINUTE...you raise the idea of "What if 'looney, incompetent, film-mangling' George really was 'stupid enough to' permanently destroy the unaltered originals?", watch the loyalty come out:  "He wouldn't do that!  He's an artist and a genius!  He knows the value of these!  He's too smart to compromise his vision, he's never do anything so stupid as that!  He's got so much money and technology, he's sure to have them in an air-conditioned underground bunker at Skywalker Ranch, preserved in perpetuity until the time his greedy remarketing decides to release them again...Maybe in time for Episode VII!"

 

(They NEVER cross that line.  Something always stops them.  They just can't do it.)


Edited by Ejanss, July 21 2013 - 01:43 PM.


#8 of 1670 OFFLINE   uVSthem

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Posted July 21 2013 - 06:33 AM

Can Disney release the Christimas Special?



#9 of 1670 OFFLINE   Powell&Pressburger

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Posted July 21 2013 - 06:36 AM

Yeah, over the years things have been brought up such as Lucas says the original negatives etc are gone when he created the 1997 Special Edition versions. Honestly, I've always called B.S. to this. The reasoning some of your friends in the business are Spielberg, Scorsese, Ford Coppola etc all of whom preach film preservation / restoration and you honestly destroy your own negatives to the biggest cash cow movie franchise in history? B.S.! Personally I would love to see the original theatrical cuts and the 1997 S.E. cuts both released on BLU. If Disney has the rights to be able to release these versions they will for sure. It almost makes sense. They make this deal to own the films and be ale to make more films. It makes sense business wise that a good way to make sure to make good money from yet another BLU release for the original films would be to release the original cuts and possibly the 97 S.E. Otherwise just another re-issue of what we have now isn't going to break sales records even if the release is released before a new feature is shown theatrically. Yeah they can release 3D versions but Disney is smart and I bet they have something planned.

Edited by Powell&Pressburger, July 21 2013 - 06:50 AM.

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#10 of 1670 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 21 2013 - 06:40 AM

Yeah, over the years things have been brought up such as Lucas ays the original negatives etc are gone when he created the 1997 Special Edition versions. Honestly, I've always called B.S. to this. 

 

I think it is B.S.

 

I also have heard through reliable sources that there is existing source

material, in excellent condition, from which a new transfer can be 

struck.


 

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#11 of 1670 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted July 21 2013 - 06:57 AM

Yes, I'm sure it will happen.

There will most likely be a new Blu-Ray release of the OT unaltered. 3 reasons I think this:

1) Drum up more interest in a blitz-like marketing campaign(emphasis on the original trilogy and and the stars of those films).

 

2) Give consumers the ultimate reason to re-buy it on Blu-Ray.

 

3) Make a ton of money for Disney.  Would a  re-release on Blu really sell through the rafters without the unaltered OT?

 

I have always thought it would not be a question of if, but rather when we would see the original trilogy the way it was originally shown in theaters. 

Lucas has always said he would never release it. Success!  He never did, the weight of Star Wars is now off of his shoulders.  Now that Disney owns it they should have been given the golden ticket to please fans and get them excited once again for Star Wars.


Edited by Bryan^H, July 21 2013 - 06:57 AM.

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#12 of 1670 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted July 21 2013 - 06:59 AM

 

 

I also have heard through reliable sources that there is existing source

material, in excellent condition, from which a new transfer can be 

struck.

:)


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#13 of 1670 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted July 21 2013 - 07:05 AM

There is no way Disney paid 4 BILLION dollars for Lucasifilm, only to allow GL to retain any control over the property whatsoever.

 

It's been reported that Fox has rights to Episode IV forever and V/VI until 2020, but that is limited to distribution. They get a piece of whatever Disney does with those films and that is it. Their control does not extend to anything related to content. Frankly, given the money that's been spent up to now, it wouldn't surprise me if Disney bought out Fox's interests as well. 


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#14 of 1670 ONLINE   Dave H

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Posted July 21 2013 - 07:16 AM

I just hope if this is done, it's done properly with the actual original color timing and state-of-the-art film scanning of the source elements.

 

Disney does have a good track record in restoring its classics although there has been some controvery at times.



#15 of 1670 OFFLINE   ROclockCK

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Posted July 21 2013 - 07:19 AM

I think it is B.S.

 

I also have heard through reliable sources that there is existing source

material, in excellent condition, from which a new transfer can be 

struck.

 

But I thought Fox still held the video rights to the original trilogy? At least for several more years? Wasn't this deal with Disney strictly for new sequels and adaptations...basically anything going forward??

 

Even if this fan-generated rumour turns out to be true, I'm still having a difficult time picturing Disney and Fox working together on the restoration, re-mastering, and re-release of three legacy cuts which the Filmmaker adamantly doesn't want anyone to see in that form anymore!

 

Confused. :wacko:



#16 of 1670 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted July 21 2013 - 07:33 AM

The problem I see is Fox completely owns Episode IV, so some sort of deal may have to be struck (if there hasn't been one already).

#17 of 1670 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted July 21 2013 - 07:37 AM

But I thought Fox still held the video rights to the original trilogy? At least for several more years? Wasn't this deal with Disney strictly for new sequels and adaptations...basically anything going forward?

Fox only owns Episode IV at this point and I think they lose the video rights to the rest in two years.

#18 of 1670 ONLINE   Dave H

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Posted July 21 2013 - 07:49 AM

I'm not sure any of us really know what the situation is with rights in regard to Episode IV.



#19 of 1670 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted July 21 2013 - 07:57 AM

There is no way Disney paid 4 BILLION dollars for Lucasifilm, only to allow GL to retain any control over the property whatsoever. 

If (and that is the keyword) keeping the originals out of circulation was a stipulation for George Lucas, Disney would be absolute fools to walk away from the deal simply because of that. It's easily worth $4 billion just to get the merchandising rights and the ability to make new movies. Yes, they'd be losing out on a potential stream of revenue by not getting to release the originals but that amount is nothing compared to what they'll be making from toys, new movies, TV shows, cartoon series, video sales, video games, marketing tie-ins, etc. for decades to come.

 

Once again, I'm not saying that Disney doesn't have the rights to release the originals but it certainly would not be a deal breaker for them.


Edited by TravisR, July 21 2013 - 07:59 AM.


#20 of 1670 OFFLINE   Tom M

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Posted July 21 2013 - 08:42 AM

I think it is B.S.

 

I also have heard through reliable sources that there is existing source

material, in excellent condition, from which a new transfer can be 

struck.

 

Gee, could that reliable source be George Lucas? Who has said, many times, that archival 35mm interpositives are in the Lucasfilm Vaults? Something confirmed by RIck McCallum, and Ron Howard, who actually asked to see them?

 

GL has stated that the 35mm elements need "a lot of work". My guess is that work may very well be ongoing or already done.

 

Also, the original negatives WERE re-conformed (not destroyed) to the 1997 SEs. Any Blus made from those would BE the 1997 SEs. GL himself admitted to that.

 

I suspect if they are coming, we won't see them untill the new movies comes out on video. Or, possibly, not untill 2017 which is the 40th anniversary.







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