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Star Wars Fans Cry Foul Over Upcoming Trilogy Release

Posted on Friday, June 2nd, 2006 and updated on Friday, June 2nd, 2006 4:17 PM

Fans are venting their frustration at LucasFilm for releasing the theatrical versions of the first three Star Wars movies with a less-than-optimal treatment. Home Media Retailing features a story about the subject and interviews two well-known people in the DVD/Home Theater community:
Lucasfilm confirmed the versions of Star Wars: Episode IV, V and VI that will be released on DVD Sept. 12 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, will be from the laserdisc prints, which arenít in anamorphic widescreen. Fans are upset because that means the original versions will not be given an upgrade to account for the improvements in widescreen technology over the past 15 years, and there will be no digital restoration of the prints, said both Bill Hunt, editor of TheDigitalBits.com and Ron Epstein, who runs HomeTheaterForum.com.
I'm a big Star Wars fan; I have two versions of the first three movies on VHS, I have the DVD box set of the Special Editions that was released a few years ago, the DVD's of the latter three movies, plus an imported VideoCD of Episode I that was available before the DVD of that episode. Will I buy these latest releases? No. I don't need to spend another $90 to purchase the same movies over again, only to get the theatrical versions on DVD. The quality difference between letterboxed and anamorphic widescreen is noticeable if you have a large screen, so if I have a yearning to see the theatrical versions, I'll watch them on VHS on a small TV. I might be tempted if I didn't think that LucasFilm will be re-releasing these movies yet again when they finally embrace HD DVD and/or BluRay, but given their history, that's a very good possibility. I'm willing to take that gamble and save my $90 for high quality DVD releases.

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