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Star Wars: a brief history of the original trilogy on video
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Gary Seven

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^^ I have this set. The set was indeed issued with some authoring errors on one disc as I remember. Back then we relied on Wide Screen Review for up to date info on home media and Fox did issue a corrected disc for the badly authored one. I managed to get it. I still have to copy over my set to DVD. Just did True Lies and The Abyss.
 

Dave Moritz

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Have been a big Star Wars fan since I was a kid and still am a big Star Wars fan. I would not have been against the SE versions if Lucas had just allowed us to have the original theatricals as well. But Lucas turned dictator on us and made the SE the only version available moving forward and pissed me off saying the following, "I am sorry you fell in love with the incomplete version!" In other words to bad if you do not like it but your stuck with the SE versions! Maybe we will get lucky and Disney will see $$$ and give us the original theatrical versions even if it pisses off George Lucas. I know it is a long shot but I still hope that will happen in my lifetime.

Star Wars_f.jpg
 

Martin Dew

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Have been a big Star Wars fan since I was a kid and still am a big Star Wars fan. I would not have been against the SE versions if Lucas had just allowed us to have the original theatricals as well. But Lucas turned dictator on us and made the SE the only version available moving forward and pissed me off saying the following, "I am sorry you fell in love with the incomplete version!" In other words to bad if you do not like it but your stuck with the SE versions! Maybe we will get lucky and Disney will see $$$ and give us the original theatrical versions even if it pisses off George Lucas. I know it is a long shot but I still hope that will happen in my lifetime.

View attachment 66223
Great pic, Dave, thanks. In Bob Iger's autobiography he explains how difficult it was for GWL to let go - Disney went ahead with decisions on the new movies that he was apparently very upset about. I suspect Disney will eventually release the theatrical versions.
 

Dave Moritz

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Great pic, Dave, thanks. In Bob Iger's autobiography he explains how difficult it was for GWL to let go - Disney went ahead with decisions on the new movies that he was apparently very upset about. I suspect Disney will eventually release the theatrical versions.
Thank you Martin for the kind words.

From the interview I have seen Lucas was under the impression Disney would use his scripts for the new movies. Disney was not under the impression they where obligated to use the scripts from Lucas. So when Lucas found out they where not using his scripts and was doing there own take he was not very happy and supposedly felt betrayed. I personally chalk that up to karma from making the SE the only versions available moving forward after the DVD releases. But I am looking forward to the 4K UHD Blu-ray set that is set to come out and will be happy to buy it even though the original trilogy will be the SE versions. And if Lucas wanted it all done his way IMHO he should have never sold the company.
 
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Robert Harris

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In the deep, dark recesses of my mind, I seem to recall the original VHS release being rental only. Might this be correct?
 
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Worth

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In the deep, dark recesses of my mind, I seem to recall the original VHS release being rental only. Might this be correct?
Yes, the original release in 1982 was rental only, with a serial number on the box and the tape itself, until it was re-released in 1985, I think. And prior to that were the super-8 digest versions.
 
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Lord Dalek

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My first Star Wars viewing experience was the late 80s trifold box where Fox instead of pan and scanning simply left the anamorphic image unsqueezed. This is probably the reason I'm not nearly as keen on the "GOUT" as many are.
 

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JJ Abrams was asked about whether the original versions could be released in his press events this year - I believe he said that they could not based on complicated things at the studio. I would love to see decent Blu-rays of the original cuts but this sounds like it is unlikely.
 

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I love George Lucas, but he failed to appreciate that when you sell a thing, you don’t control it anymore. And I’m not sure that he truly objected to them not using his outline. I think the objection was more that each prior SW film before TFA brought something new to the table and TFA, enormously well-executed as it was, didn’t bring anything new. For a guy who spent half his career living in the world while avoiding telling the same story twice, that must’ve been disappointing.

I don’t think George necessarily grew tired of Star Wars or filmmaking. I think he grew tired of the unhealthy and nearly unprecedented level of vitriol being thrown his way every time he did something. And that vitriol has continued long after he’s left the franchise. People feel strangely entitled about Star Wars in a way that just boggles the mind. “Fans” sent Lucas death threats for revising the original trilogy. Most people just choose not to buy a thing they don’t like. But Star Wars “Fans” are special. “Fans” bullied Jake Lloyd when he returned to school after shooting Phantom Menace and that bullying, which started when he was in single digits, pretty much wrecked his life. “Fans” nearly drove Ahmet Best to commit suicide. “Fans” have felt justified in stealing and bootlegging and disseminating copies of stolen 35mm prints because their desire to have a copy of something that wasn’t theirs somehow carried more weight than copyright law and prohibitions against stealing. And after George sold the company, “Fans” harassed Kelly Marie Tran to the point where she didn’t feel safe being online anymore. This is not normal behavior, but it seems to go mostly unchecked in Star Wars fandom. I think it’s that factor, more than any other, that led George to sell. I think he loves his creation and wanted to see it thrive and grow but just didn’t want to go through that merry-go-round again where people would be out to get him no matter what he did. Because when it comes to Star Wars, it’s not enough to take it or leave it, nope, it’s about punishing people for seeing different things in it than you did.
 

Martin Dew

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Yes, the original release in 1982 was rental only, with a serial number on the box and the tape itself, until it was re-released in 1985, I think. And prior to that were the super-8 digest versions.
Yes, Robert, in the early 80s I remember that 'rental-only' VHS tapes could also be purchased in the UK for about £100 and they usually came in sturdier, larger plastic cases before the mass-produced retail versions were released some weeks or months later. I worked in a video rental store in 1983 and remember being told that for-rental copies were recorded on tape at a slower rate to ensure more robust image quality and less prone to wear from multiple viewings. Whether there was any truth in that, I don't know!

Nick, you're also correct that there were Super 8 digests released by NY-based Ken Films: 200ft B/W Silent, 200ft Colour/Sound (8 minutes) and 400ft Colour Sound (17 minutes). Derann Film Services in the UK also produced full-length scope/stereo prints of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (all original theatrical releases).
 
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I don’t think George necessarily grew tired of Star Wars or filmmaking. I think he grew tired of the unhealthy and nearly unprecedented level of vitriol being thrown his way every time he did something. And that vitriol has continued long after he’s left the franchise. People feel strangely entitled about Star Wars in a way that just boggles the mind. “Fans” sent Lucas death threats for revising the original trilogy. Most people just choose not to buy a thing they don’t like. But Star Wars “Fans” are special. “Fans” bullied Jake Lloyd when he returned to school after shooting Phantom Menace and that bullying, which started when he was in single digits, pretty much wrecked his life. “Fans” nearly drove Ahmet Best to commit suicide. “Fans” have felt justified in stealing and bootlegging and disseminating copies of stolen 35mm prints because their desire to have a copy of something that wasn’t theirs somehow carried more weight than copyright law and prohibitions against stealing. And after George sold the company, “Fans” harassed Kelly Marie Tran to the point where she didn’t feel safe being online anymore. This is not normal behavior, but it seems to go mostly unchecked in Star Wars fandom. I think it’s that factor, more than any other, that led George to sell. I think he loves his creation and wanted to see it thrive and grow but just didn’t want to go through that merry-go-round again where people would be out to get him no matter what he did. Because when it comes to Star Wars, it’s not enough to take it or leave it, nope, it’s about punishing people for seeing different things in it than you did.
After 22 years of near non-stop whining, I think the fans have worn me out. People here are perfectly OK but Twitter is full of whiny people crying because they didn't like The Rise Of Skywalker. To avoid spoilers, I muted every Star Wars topic on Twitter a few days ago and now that I've seen the movie, I unmuted everything. Reading the melodramatic overreactions from some people has made me want to mute everything again.
 

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After 22 years of near non-stop whining, I think the fans have worn me out. People here are perfectly OK but Twitter is full of whiny people crying because they didn't like The Rise Of Skywalker. To avoid spoilers, I muted every Star Wars topic on Twitter a few days ago and now that I've seen the movie, I unmuted everything. Reading the melodramatic overreactions from some people has made me want to mute everything again.
At least they'll have Baby Yoda.
 

DVBRD

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Ah, yes, the "Faces" box set. I know plenty of SW fans that refuse to part with them. They probably had the best cover art of any home video release of anything Star Wars, which is probably another good reason to keep them.



Plus they had those Leonard Maltin interviews with George Lucas.

 

Gary Seven

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In the deep, dark recesses of my mind, I seem to recall the original VHS release being rental only. Might this be correct?
In the early 80's before Blockbuster and their ilk, Warner and other major studio rented their movies to mom and pop stores, who in turn rented to consumers. As I recall back then rentals were pretty expensive, upwards to 10 bucks.
 

skylark68

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This is the first version I had:



Later on I picked up the widescreen (silver trim) special edition box set. About 15 years ago my father in law gave me his laserdisc player along with the original release laserdiscs of the first three films. One day i'd like to pick up that Definitive collection on laserdisc.