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

It was an eye-watering 42 years ago that what would become the most successful film franchise of all time entered public consciousness. Star Wars, now commonly referred to as Episode IV: A New Hope – to fit in with an ever-burgeoning series of feature-length installments to flesh out a corresponding expanding universe – would not only change our cinema-going habits, but arguably shift our perception of how film itself, as an art form, was defined. If Jaws, back in July of 1976, set the benchmark for numbers of cinemagoers lining up round the block on hot summer afternoons, then the release of George Lucas’ galactic romp Star Wars on 25th May, 1977 was about to blow the shark out of the water, and go on to amass a cool $775m in worldwide box office receipts in the process.

The summer blockbuster had been born, but if you had somehow missed this gigantic event at your local picture house, then you would have plenty of opportunities in the ensuing years to see the film or one of its sequels at home. It would be hard to find anyone now who has not had at least one Star Wars videotape or shiny disc cross their doorstep and, as we will see, it could have arrived in any one of a myriad of forms and formats.

We thought it might be worth sifting through the key releases of the original trilogy of Star Wars films (Episodes IV – VI) on VHS, Laser Disc, DVD and Blu-ray, but it should be noted that the same film versions and transfers were repackaged several times during the intervening years between those major releases.

A brief history

Star Wars on video first hit store shelves in May of 1982 on NTSC and PAL VHS, Betamax, Laser Disc and CED Video Disc. Released by CBS/Fox, it was followed by The Empire Strikes Back (November 1984) and Return of the Jedi (February 1986) in the same four formats, and all with two-channel stereo sound. After various VHS and Laser Disc box and sleeve art changes (including ‘Special Widescreen’ versions in 1989 and 1992), it wasn’t until the release of the striking Star Wars Trilogy: The Definitive Collection (pictured below) on NTSC CAV Laser Disc in 1993, that fans could get a taste of a skillfully remastered rendition of the first three films. Housed in a handsome black box, with a brochure and copy of the hardback book The Creative Impulse, the nine widescreen discs included a seemingly endless list of bonus materials. Some perceptive fans complain of missing shots and interrupted conversations in these versions.

Individual CLV (long play) widescreen versions of this same set of remasters appeared with new artwork in 1995, and were available on both NTSC and PAL. Like The Definitive Collection, this release included Dolby Surround 4-channel audio, THX Digital Mastering, but not Dolby Digital 5.1 just yet. With attractively designed, yet pared-down, sleeve artwork known as the ‘Faces Set’, these reissues only included bonus materials in the form of a GWL interview with Leonard Maltin. By August 1997, and following its corresponding theatrical release, the restored and controversially re-edited Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition made its way onto VHS and Laser Disc as separate titles, but in optional widescreen or pan-and-scan boxsets. The Laser Discs were the first versions of the original trilogy to include the 5.1 Dolby Digital AC-3 codec.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace arrived on VHS in April 2000, while the original Special Edition trilogy was repackaged in the same year on VHS and Laser Disc to include the new episode numbering (IVVI) and subtitles. These boxsets and individual titles would comprise the last releases of the original trilogy on both formats. Episode I, II and III appeared on DVD with comprehensive bonus features, Dolby 5.1 Surround Ex (including extra matrixed rear wall audio channel), in 2001, 2002 and 2005, respectively, while THX Digitally Mastered versions of The Special Edition (IV, V and VI) were released for the first time as a boxset on DVD in 2004, and included a separately packaged bonus disc.

Perhaps one of the most interesting rereleases for fans today is the 2006 Star Wars Trilogy Limited Edition individual DVDs (and not including GWL’s Special Edition new footage and changes). These amounted to the first time anyone could buy the first three films unaltered from their original theatrical releases on DVD, but drawn from the 1993 Laser Disc masters. These versions were included as a second bonus disc to complement the first Special Edition platter in each package. The defining gold trim on the box art is the key indicator if you’re thinking of hunting around on the internet for copies. The last time the unaltered trilogy was available on DVD was inside the 2008 Star Wars Trilogy and Star Wars Prequel Trilogy boxsets. Despite muted promises in recent years from Lucasfilm and Disney, there is still no sign yet of these non-Special Edition versions appearing on Blu-ray.

Most keen collectors will doubtless have a copy of the 2011 The Complete Saga Blu-ray 6-film collection, presented in 6.1 DTS Surround (with bonus materials), and as individual prequel trilogy or original trilogy boxsets (minus bonus materials). The Complete Saga was repackaged in 2015 as a boxset and as individual steelbook issues. So that seems to be it until we finally get the long-awaited original trilogy on 4K UHD Blu-ray, and we’ll have to see whether that includes the sought-after first theatrical edits or non-Special Edition versions.

The fan controversy

Lucasfilm was never immune to criticism over the years that fans felt they were being duped into parting with ever more of their hard-earned cash for ever more versions of the films, both in the cinema and at home. But the company always contested that it was providing more of what the fans wanted. If they didn’t release more versions, they surmised, then the fans would accuse them of holding back.

The other bugbear for fans was the apparent ever-moving goalposts of what constituted a ‘finished’ Star Wars film. Lucas said of the Special Edition, ‘There will only be one (version of the films). And it won’t be what I would call a “rough cut”, it’ll be the “final cut”.’ To be fair, GWL had always asserted that a book or a play has earlier drafts and that there’s no reason why a film cannot continue to evolve over time. There are a large number of reported subtle and not-so-subtle audio, CGI and narrative changes to the Star Wars canon, spanning 35mm and 70mm film prints, DVD releases, and even IMAX presentations. But perhaps to the greatest chagrin of most fans was the sequence in Episode I: A New Hope where Greedo fires a pre-emptive shot at Han Solo in the Special Edition version of the Mos Eisley Cantina scene.

So clearly the saga continues, both on- and off-screen, and there are countless blogs on the internet where you can find the scribbles of angry fans voicing disapproval. One thing’s for sure, though: when AV journos and experts suggest that home cinema was “invented” for Star Wars, who could really argue with them?

If any of you see any major releases of the original trilogy omitted here, please add your comments below. Furthermore, if you have additional pictures of box artwork from any of the releases, it would be good to see them added to the thread.

Published by

Martin Dew

editor

71 Comments

  1. ^^ 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.

  2. 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

  3. Dave Moritz

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Robert Harris

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Worth

    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 be purchased in the UK for about £100 and they usually came in sturdier, larger plastic cases before the 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).

  10. Josh Steinberg

    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.

  11. TravisR

    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.

  12. 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.

    [​IMG]

    Plus they had those Leonard Maltin interviews with George Lucas.

  13. My first purchase of Star Wars was back in the 1990's signing up for the Columbia House laserdisc club and picking the Star Wars letterboxed lasers as my free ones. Still have them along with the two laserdisc box sets.

  14. Robert Harris

    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.

  15. This is the first version I had:

    [​IMG]

    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.

  16. skylark68

    This is the first version I had:

    [​IMG]

    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.

    One day I'll be selling it. 🙂

  17. Worth

    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.

    My family got our first VHS player in 1983, and I remember Circuit City showing off the format with "Star Wars"!

    The notion that I could watch big movies at home anytime I wanted blew my teenage mind! 😀

  18. skylark68

    This is the first version I had:

    [​IMG]

    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.

    I still have that set, along with the first widescreen laserdisc releases, which I actually think looked better than the subsequent remastered set – they weren't DNRd and the colour looked closer to what I remember theatrical prints looking like.

  19. DVBRD

    At least they'll have Baby Yoda.

    I wrote this to a friend as a joke but it actually kinda works:

    This has been the public reaction to Star Wars in my lifetime:

    1983: Ewoks ruined Star Wars!
    1997: Greedo ruined Star Wars!
    1999: Jar-Jar ruined Star Wars!
    2002: Hayden Christensen ruined Star Wars!
    2005: George Lucas ruined Star Wars!
    2012: Disney ruined Star Wars!
    2015: J.J. Abrams ruined Star Wars!
    2017: Rian Johnson ruined Star Wars!
    2018: Kathleen Kennedy ruined Star Wars!
    2019: BABY YODA! OMG SO CUTE!

  20. Jonathan Perregaux

    Before any home video format (or Cable TV) I had to make due with this audio LP to get my Star Wars fix…
    [​IMG]

    In spring 1978, I got a Super8 reel with like 10 minutes of :"Star Wars". Back before cable and VHS, that was as good as it got!

  21. Lord Dalek

    In glorious black and white and no sound to boot.

    I'm 99% sure my Super8 was in color – and I know it had audio. We actually rented a sound projector once to watch it that way!

    Wish I still had it – probably worth $$$ now!

  22. GOUT Star Wars never got a 5,1 remix (it did get a 2.0 surround remix for the Definitive Edition though). I guess when the Faces releases came out, Lucasfilm wasn't interested in remastering the 4.1 six-tracks since they were already onto the Special Editions and those were just a stopgap reissue.

  23. Colin Jacobson

    I'm 99% sure my Super8 was in color – and I know it had audio. We actually rented a sound projector once to watch it that way!

    Wish I still had it – probably worth $$$ now!

    Actually it's only worth about $10 – 15 on eBay and that's with original box! They come up quite often, but most are printed on Eastman Kodak and are color-faded. The full length scope feature from Derann Films fetches $1,500+.

  24. DVBRD

    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.

    [​IMG]

    Plus they had those Leonard Maltin interviews with George Lucas.

    The Faces VHS box, that was letterboxed, was the first time I saw the THX trailers on VHS or Laserdisc outside of seeing them in a theater. Those were the days. As much as I love 4KUHD I miss seeing that stuff before a movie at home.

  25. Martin Dew

    Actually it's only worth about $10 – 15 on eBay and that's with original box! They come up quite often, but most are printed on Eastman Kodak and are color-faded. The full length scope feature from Derann Films fetches $1,500+.

    Okay – now I'm less upset I no longer have the Super8 reel! 😀

  26. Josh Steinberg

    1983: Ewoks ruined Star Wars!
    1997: Greedo ruined Star Wars!
    1999: Jar-Jar ruined Star Wars!
    2002: Hayden Christensen ruined Star Wars!
    2005: George Lucas ruined Star Wars!
    2012: Disney ruined Star Wars!
    2015: J.J. Abrams ruined Star Wars!
    2017: Rian Johnson ruined Star Wars!
    2018: Kathleen Kennedy ruined Star Wars!
    2019: BABY YODA! OMG SO CUTE!

    Brilliant. I'm totally stealing this!

  27. I remember paying $70 for Empire when it first came out on vhs. And yes, the Ewoks did ruin ROTJ and it was Jar-Jar AND Jake Lloyd that ruined The Phantom Menace. That being said, I do like the Prequels.

  28. I bought the first set of the original trilogy on VHS, which came with three “beautiful lithographs suitable for framing” which sat sideways on the shelf above the tapes until they were thrown out after the tapes were donated.

  29. Bob_S.

    I remember paying $70 for Empire when it first came out on vhs.

    The original "Star Wars", "ESB" and "ROTJ" widescreen LDs were $70 each.

    I used to join the Columbia House LD club, get those 3 as my "free" initial choices, and then trade 'em in for store credit at Tower.

    I funded years of LD purchases that way! :cheers:

  30. Colin Jacobson

    The original "Star Wars", "ESB" and "ROTJ" widescreen LDs were $70 each.

    I used to join the Columbia House LD club, get those 3 as my "free" initial choices, and then trade 'em in for store credit at Tower.

    I funded years of LD purchases that way! :cheers:

    Anybody still wonder why Tower Records went belly up?

  31. TJPC

    Anybody still wonder why Tower Records went belly up?

    Yes – it's because I traded in laserdiscs.

    Brand-new laserdiscs that they then put on the shelves and sold.

    Brand-new laserdiscs that I didn't misrepresent – I let them know the deal. They were fine with the exchange even though they knew no one bought the LDs at Tower.

    But if ya wanna scapegoat me, party on Garth!

  32. TJPC

    A big historic chain here in Canada was Eatons department stores. There policy always was to accept all items for returns. It is often cited as a reason it went bankrupt.

    From what I understand, Nordstorm used to accept nearly anything as an exchange.

    You could bring a half-chewed piece of gum and get store credit!

    Apparently they modified that a while back, but they're still supposed to be pretty liberal with returns.

    I never "tested" their system so I have no idea!

  33. I find it interesting the JJ Abrams supposedly attempted to get Lucasfilm to release the untouched theatrical but they declined. While JJ Abrams might not have the pull to make that happen I am sure since Disney owns Lucasfilm that Disney could direct them to release it! Especially since Lucas doesn't own the company the question should be is there anything in the contract that keeps Disney from releasing the theatrical of the original trilogy? You would think that a handshake deal would not be much if Disney decided to release it since they are the legal owners of the content now. Moving on I am very much enjoying the new Mandalorian show on Disney + and can not wait to see where the story goes and how baby yoda ties in with it all. Am also looking forward to seeing the new Star Wars within the next week.

  34. Dave Moritz

    since Disney owns Lucasfilm that Disney could direct them to release it!

    Disney could release it. But they probably don't think the amount of money that such a release would generate is worth going against Lucas' wishes. I know that it is difficult for us to understand because almost everyone here would buy the originals in a heartbeat, but the reality is that the special editions have now been "the" editions for longer than the originals were before they were changed. Film buffs like us want them, but the general public probably doesn't care. Physical media sales were declining even before Disney put all of the movies on their streaming service in 4K for $7.99 a month. I really don't think the theatrical cuts would be as much of a draw to the average Joe Star Wars fan as we think they are based on our preferences around here. Of course, they should release them for the sake of film history, but I don't really think Disney sees that as a priority.

  35. Josh Steinberg

    I wrote this to a friend as a joke but it actually kinda works:

    This has been the public reaction to Star Wars in my lifetime:

    1983: Ewoks ruined Star Wars!
    1997: Greedo ruined Star Wars!
    1999: Jar-Jar ruined Star Wars!
    2002: Hayden Christensen ruined Star Wars!
    2005: George Lucas ruined Star Wars!
    2012: Disney ruined Star Wars!
    2015: J.J. Abrams ruined Star Wars!
    2017: Rian Johnson ruined Star Wars!
    2018: Kathleen Kennedy ruined Star Wars!
    2019: BABY YODA! OMG SO CUTE!

    Don't forget 1980: The muppet ruined Star Wars!

  36. Jonathan Perregaux

    Before any home video format (or Cable TV) I had to make due with this audio LP to get my Star Wars fix…
    [​IMG]

    I still have this one, empire and Jedi story lps.
    This is how I experienced the films for the most part in the 1980s. I did see empire and Jedi in the theater too. We rented them in vhs but I didn’t buy them until the early 90s. I still have a copy of the thx faces vhs releases. I have the dvd box and the blu ray set from 2012.

    I have watched the original films on Disney+ in 4K recently and I have never seen them look better. I’m hoping the pricing drops a bit on the UHd Blu Ray set coming in March. I’d like to buy the UHd box set but may just settle with the UHd individuals of the original films.

  37. Jake Lipson

    Disney could release it. But they probably don't think the amount of money that such a release would generate is worth going against Lucas' wishes. I know that it is difficult for us to understand because almost everyone here would buy the originals in a heartbeat, but the reality is that the special editions have now been "the" editions for longer than the originals were before they were changed. Film buffs like us want them, but the general public probably doesn't care. Physical media sales were declining even before Disney put all of the movies on their streaming service in 4K for $7.99 a month. I really don't think the theatrical cuts would be as much of a draw to the average Joe Star Wars fan as we think they are based on our preferences around here. Of course, they should release them for the sake of film history, but I don't really think Disney sees that as a priority.

    I agree. I also imagine that their unofficial stance is “pretty good recreations (if not even better than what Disney would put out officially, we all know something would get screwed up) of GOUT are not hard to obtain.”

  38. Lord Dalek

    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.

    I remember those and when I was a kid wondering “why does everyone look so skinny”

  39. Osato

    I still have this one, empire and Jedi story lps.
    This is how I experienced the films for the most part in the 1980s. I did see empire and Jedi in the theater too. We rented them in vhs but I didn’t buy them until the early 90s. I still have a copy of the thx faces vhs releases. I have the dvd box and the blu ray set from 2012.

    I have watched the original films on Disney+ in 4K recently and I have never seen them look better. I’m hoping the pricing drops a bit on the UHd Blu Ray set coming in March. I’d like to buy the UHd box set but may just settle with the UHd individuals of the original films.

    I saw the original trilogy on Disney + also. They looked Excellent ! The 4K UHD releases are coming in March 2020 ? I did not hear any release news yet. I just Love and want the Original 3 films 1977-1983 They are the Best.

  40. Josh Steinberg

    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.

    Thanks, much wisdom in your post. Steadies the force.

    I do think that not making the original versions of the first trilogy available is petty and unfair to customers. I have the "definitive" LD set and the many other LD's of the films and have chosen not to buy the modified films until now. I am however giving up and buying the new 4K set, who knows if we will ever see the originals on Blu-ray or 4K.

    There really is not that much difference compared to many other films that have been completely changed by new versions.

  41. Not able to see the new movie yet but in about two weeks I will see it even if it is at a theater that is just ok. I would love to go to the Disney theater El Capitan on Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood. Still have the last two movies in the storyline to watch before going to see the movie after the next paycheck.

  42. rsmithjr

    Hmm. For most people, if they see something 3 times, they liked it.

    There was one guy interviewed in that one doc, The People vs. George Lucas, who went to see Phantom Menace a few more times after he first saw it, hoping that the next time he saw it, he would actually like it.

    Yep, the SW fanbase are that passionate.

  43. Dave Moritz

    Not able to see the new movie yet but in about two weeks I will see it even if it is at a theater that is just ok. I would love to go to the Disney theater El Capitan on Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood. Still have the last two movies in the storyline to watch before going to see the movie after the next paycheck.

    If you're going to see it in LA, I recommend the Village in Westwood. It's a THX Ultimate Cinema certified theater with Atmos. A friend of mine saw it at the El Cap and didn't like the presentation.

    https://regencymovies.com/main.php?theaterId=27

  44. Dave Moritz

    Not able to see the new movie yet but in about two weeks I will see it even if it is at a theater that is just ok. I would love to go to the Disney theater El Capitan on Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood. Still have the last two movies in the storyline to watch before going to see the movie after the next paycheck.

    If you're going to see it in LA, I recommend the Village in Westwood. It's a THX Ultimate Cinema certified theater with Atmos. A friend of mine saw it at the El Cap and didn't like the presentation.

    https://regencymovies.com/main.php?theaterId=27

  45. Colin Jacobson

    The original "Star Wars", "ESB" and "ROTJ" widescreen LDs were $70 each.

    I used to join the Columbia House LD club, get those 3 as my "free" initial choices, and then trade 'em in for store credit at Tower.

    I funded years of LD purchases that way! :cheers:

    Yes I did the same thing as you to get those faces Laserdiscs- I paid less than $10 for all 3.
    I still have those, and it wasn’t too long ago that I watched the first 2. Will have to fire up my laserdisc player again in the near future to watch Jedi. BTW, what are the differences between the original and altered versions of Empire Strikes Back? Thanks for any responses.

  46. Jeffrey D

    Thanks for the link. I went through the comparisons in Empire, and then looked at the comparisons in A New Hope. I’m going to assume Lucas didn’t alter the narrative or create new scenes from existing deleted scenes in Empire like he did in A New Hope.

    George is altering the film. Pray he doesn't alter it any further! 😀

  47. I currently have the following:

    • The Faces Widescreen VHS box;
    • The SE Widescreen VHS box;
    • The SE DVDs, which I hemmed and hawed over for a few years before finally caving; and
    • The 6-film BD set, comprising 9 discs

    When I was a kid around 1978-79 or so, my parents bought a Super8 projector at Sears, which came with the Ken Films Star Wars "selected scenes" reel. I think it was the 8 minute reel, as it only contained the scene wher Obi-Wan gives Luke his father's lightsabre and the escape from the Death Star. I was already hooked at this point.

    I would love to own a copy of the original films as they appeared in 1977, 1980 and 1983, but even in the "original versions" there are discrepancies. Stereo vs. mono, 35 vs. 70mm, etc. It's hard to know which is the "original version". I was a member of originaltrilogy.com for years but finally just lost interest, because it was making me lose interest in Star Wars generally. I'm in a much happier place re: the franchise now.

  48. Stephen_J_H

    When I was a kid around 1978-79 or so, my parents bought a Super8 projector at Sears, which came with the Ken Films Star Wars "selected scenes" reel. I think it was the 8 minute reel, as it only contained the scene wher Obi-Wan gives Luke his father's lightsabre and the escape from the Death Star.

    Ha – I had that same Super8 reel! It was awesome to watch some of "Star Wars" at home, even though we didn't have a sound projector!

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