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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 21, 2013.
The National Film Registry doesn't want the Special Editions, and neither do I.
Damn it we need a "drops the mic" emoji...
I'd love to see what the original VFX would look like with a bit of modern digital compositing, going right back to the VistaVision elements and doing them at 6K (as was done for the 65mm VFX in Blade Runner Final Cut). I think it'd hold up a heck of a lot better than people give it credit for, but doing such a thing would be a mammoth undertaking in terms of money and effort, and in commercial terms mightn't be as ultimately rewarding for the reasons you state.
In a strange way, releasing the movies as the originals in 2017 would almost be like 1997 all over again, in that you've had an entire generation get used to one version and now this other version - which is quite different at times - will be sprung on them. It could even cause its own controversy, with the younger fans thinking they've been gypped by these clunky old edits that are missing entire scenes (from their point of view).
IMO we'll definitely get something in 2017 to celebrate the 40th anniversary, but what form it'll take is anyone's guess.
Maybe a brief theatrical re-release of "Star Wars". Patrons will be patted down for recording devices before entry.
All right, everyone.
Let's review. This thread is simply about whether the OOT will ever make it to Blu-ray.
Let's stay on that topic and not try to steer into any arguments as to whether that is a proper thing to wish for (or whether or not they should ever have been changed in the first place). As many have stated, those arguments have been beaten to death here and other places.
On the same token, let's also not be making direct comments at other members or about other members. That is frowned upon here. If a reader here thinks someone else has broken a rule, please use the "report" button and let us moderators handle things. Easy as that.
Please...let us not let the topic-at-hand get derailed.
I haven't visited this thread in a while, and I haven't read all the bickering, but...to try to get this thread back on track...here is another possibility.
Notice that the re-releases announced for this fall are not new discs at all, just repackaging of what has already been available. Perhaps it is easier for Disney and Fox to agree on terms of reissuing stuff that Fox already released than partnering on an actual new release.
I have read somewhere (although I don't remember where, so I can't actually confirm this) that the distribution deal for Fox to distribute the films runs through 2020.
The first film is wholly owned by Fox, and will continue to be so, but everything other than that is a straight distribution deal. If the Disney purchase had not happened, then we have every reason to suspect that it would have been renewed indefinitely, but since Disney *did* buy Lucasfilm, the clock will run out on Fox's distribution and those rights will revert to Disney by default.
If the current deal expires in 2020 -- could it be that Disney will hold off on a re-release of the original cuts until the films are more fully in their control? Fox will always have the original, but certainly Fox's cut would be substantially less if Disney only has to cut them in on A New Hope and not on the other five films that were originally released by them.
Also...Disney bought out Paramount's rights to the previous Marvel titles, so that if you buy a new copy of Iron Man, Thor, or Captain America these days, it is distributed by Disney (although Paramount's logo is retained on the film itself.) If, in 2020, Fox loses the rights to the other five films anyway, it might be more possible that they could be willing to take a substantial check from Disney in order to relinquish rights to A New Hope as well. While A New Hope is of course a significant moneymaker for them, it might be less of a big deal to let it go if it is the only one they have the rights to anyway, in exchange for a significant check.
Lastly: isn't it kind of weird that the six-film box set being reissued in October is still going to be called "Star Wars: The Complete Saga" when it is no longer that? You'd think they would retitle the box to "Star Wars: Episodes I-VI" or "Star Wars: The Anakin Skywalker Saga" or something, because it is not "complete" anymore.
Let us all just face it. Human greed, being what it is, it's simply just a matter of time until Star Wars, in its original form, is made available, for anyone to buy.
As tempting as it is to think Disney would give Fox the big FU by not releasing any new editions (as in remastered movies or whatever) until the Fox distribution deal supposedly ends in 2020, they would be certifiably insane if they missed out on celebrating the 40th anniversary of the saga in 2017 just to spite Fox. Besides, Disney do indeed own LFL but the latter entity is still capable of making its own corporate decisions, and if they want to re-release the original trilogy in remastered form in a couple of years then that will fall under the aegis of Fox, whether Disney like it or not.
If there's one thing Disney excels at, it's re-selling its catalog titles over...and over...and over. Think Disney Vault. If there's money to be made, they'll get the deal done with Fox and then post-2020 figure out a way to repackage, include new, never-before-seen-extras, it and sell it to us again. Disney is the master at this.
Disney has also been able to keep Song of the South from us, so don't discount their ability and willingness to draw lines and keep behind them.
Given the racially sensitive nature of TSotS, I hardly think that a parallel can be drawn between that and Star Wars. If they released that, there could exist a backlash from some groups that would harm their brand and selling power. No such backlash exists with Star Wars.
It's a good thing Disney doesn't own Gone With The Wind.
It's also important to note that as part of the deal to sell Lucasfilm to Disney, George became one of their largest individual shareholders. So, even though he no longer holds the rights to the films, it is very possible that they will hold off releasing them in order to keep him happy. I honestly wonder if they may be released following his passing.
To clarify, I'm not suggesting anything here -- and certainly hopefully George Lucas dying is not something that will happen for many, many, many years -- but I'm just speculating that he might have it engineered so that the original releases can't come out while he's around to prevent it.
Robert Zemeckis recently said that the deal between him and Bob Gale and Universal gives them complete control over Back to the Future until they are both dead, so there won't be a sequel or reboot until after they pass on. Maybe this is a similar situation.
That's a good point, Herr Lip. We know for a fact that Lowry did a 4K restoration of the trilogy in 2012 (the info was put up on their website before being taken down, and the movie was included in their sizzle reels with clips that were not from the old 2004 transfers) so I think we will see a remastered release to commemorate the anniversary but they may still be the special editions. Perhaps they'll be marketed as 'Final Cuts' now that George has sold the business, it'd be great if he removed some of the goofiest and most contentious changes. And pigs might fly, or just hide behind reappearing/disappearing rocks.
That's very possible, but I still get the feeling that if Disney/Lucasfilm/Fox absolutely cannot release the original versions, that we would have heard that definitively by now. The fact that we haven't suggests to me that it is at least being discussed.
JakeLip's post makes me think of how many major news agencies have obituaries ready for when celebrities, dignitaries, political figures ready who are in their twilight years, so that as soon as their passing occurs the obit hits the news sites immediately.
Wonder if somewhere in Disney exists a folder marked: "For release after Mr. Lucas's passing: FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS TRILOGY IN 4K UHD."
We'll probably have 8K by the time Lucas carks it.
I said it here before, I think releases of the OT as single multi discs sets of each film with all the cuts included, Blade Runner style, would be commercialy wiser and sell like hotcakes.
I believe that at some point we'll see a new issuing of the original trilogy, as part of singles release of those three movies.
Given the way this was handled before, I could see a 2-disc idea, with the Lucas-approved SE's on the first disc and then a series of extras on the second disc - including the original theatrical version.
As I've said before, I would not expect anything more than a quick and basic 2K scan, which would likely show more of the problems and issues that led to the SE work in the first place, but it would at least be a step up from the non-anamorphic laserdisc masters thrown on the discs in 2006.
I never placed much stock in the rumors about the Reliance work, as the materials were quickly pulled off the website and Reliance never confirmed that any such work had been done. Given that the only people who were talking about it were Star Wars fansites (one of which caught the brief listing on the website before it was pulled down), and given that nothing has been announced about such work to this date, I find it more likely that what was seen was either a misprint or something that Lowry/Reliance had bid on but never completed. I believe we discussed that back when the listing went up, and nothing of substance ever came of it.
I had frankly expected that if we were going to see anything with the original theatrical versions, it would have been for new single releases this year in honor of the new movie. Instead, we got the digital release with the 2011 SE disc versions and a few new featurettes. Seems unlikely that we'll see anything else for some time. Last year, everyone thought there would be a big release of the original versions in 2015. People now seem to be resetting their thoughts to 2017. Not sure that Disney or Lucasfilm is contemplating that. I'm sure they'll release something in 2017, but I don't know that it will necessarily be the original versions. Might simply be new packaging with a new documentary about the life and times of George Lucas.
I'm a huge fan of the original theatrical versions, and I'll be happy to pick them up if and when they are ever released in high definition. I just haven't seen any indication that Disney or Lucasfilm are particularly motivated to do so.
If they did a set where it had the original theatrical and the special edition I would buy it. I would prefer the original theatrical releases on 1080p bluray min or even on UHD Blu-ray. But if they release the special edition on UHD only and no original theatrical no sale!