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Unaltered Star Wars Trilogy to Debut on DVD in September, then Disappear

Posted on Thursday, May 4th, 2006. Last Updated on Thursday, May 4th, 2006 11:46 AM by Scott Jentsch

This September marks the long-awaited DVD release of the original theatrical incarnations of the classic Star Wars trilogy. In response to overwhelming demand, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release attractively priced individual two-disc releases of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Each release includes the 2004 digitally remastered version of the movie and, as bonus material, the theatrical edition of the film. That means you'll be able to enjoy Star Wars as it first appeared in 1977, Empire in 1980, and Jedi in 1983. (Yes, this means that we will finally be able to watch Han shoot first on DVD) This release will only be available for a limited time: from September 12th to December 31st. International release will follow on or about the same day. Each original theatrical version will feature Dolby 2.0 Surround sound, close-captioning, and subtitles in English, French and Spanish for their U.S. release. International sound and subtitling vary by territory.
"Over the years, a truly countless number of fans have told us that they would love to see and own the original version that they remember experiencing in theaters," said Jim Ward, President of LucasArts and Senior Vice President of Lucasfilm Ltd. "We returned to the Lucasfilm Archives to search exhaustively for source material that could be presented on DVD. This is something that we're very excited to be able to give to fans in response to their continuing enthusiasm for Star Wars. Topping it off with a new interactive adventure makes September 12 a red-letter day for Star Wars fans."
The above doesn't detail what other extras might be available, if any. Personally, I would appreciate hearing from George Lucas about his decision process of changing some of the scenes from the original to the Special Editions, and maybe some comparisons of scenes between the two. As much of a proponent as he is about education and the art of filmmaking, I think it would be a virtual film school session on how to improve on a released work using current technology that was originally unavailable. Maybe that'll be on the third release on DVD, soon to be followed by the movie-only special editions on HD-DVD and BluRay, which will be followed by the high-def version of this upcoming release, and then the monster box set of all six movies with a few extras thrown in, etc., etc. Source: Starwars.com Press Release, thanks to The Digital Bits


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