|Officially gone forever? The unaltered Classic Trilogy DVDs from 2006.|
With the recent release of THE COMPLETE SAGA on Blu-ray, still in pole position (or very near that) within the Top Ten charts of the world consumer home entertainment market, it's time to reflect on the disappointing fact that, for the time being, the original theatrical versions of the Classic Trilogy- 1977, 1980 and 1983- have been officially discontinued on DVD from the major seller sites like AMAZON and PLAY.COM with the prior 2006 release (where each film, disappointingly released in a non-anamorphic format, and scanned from the 1995 laserdisc releases, would be presented on a separate bonus feature disc alongside the SPECIAL EDITION versions), and there are apparently no plans to release new copies. How long this current situation will last is unknown, but I'm assuming it will be for the lengthy peak sales duration that the Blu-rays will need to generate income for LUCASFILM and FOX.
Now, more than ever, and especially with the recent controversies regarding the further changes made to the SPECIAL EDITION films on the Blu-rays (some enhancements great, others (you know which ones they are!) not so great), I think it's time that LUCASFILM finally caved in (and there is absolutely no shame in doing this!) and answered the heartfelt requests/pleas from fans, young and old, around the world to finally release the original unaltered Classic Trilogy films on Blu-ray once and for all (the chance to win back much tarnished fan appreciation and media support, and greatly increased sales, following years of disappointment with what has been released on DVD, was sadly blown this year by their not doing this with the new COMPLETE SAGA release).
There is still time to put this sad Classic Trilogy oversight right, and have a separate release for the beloved three films on Blu-ray in a few years time, if LUCASFILM start acting now. The transfers don't have to be anything fancy-just nice clean TECHNICOLOR presentations of the movies as we love and remember them from their original screenings, and with the original superb sound mix restored to the way it was (it doesn't need any flashy mucking about with or be put in new DOLBY techniques). TECHNICOLOR copies of the original films do still exist. Producer Gary Kurtz has a copy of the 1977 STAR WARS-he told me this a few years back, and also revealed he lent it to LUCASFILM when they were doing their SPECIAL EDITIONS restoration work for release in 1997-scenes from his copy were duplicated and used to fill in gaps where the original masters had deteriorated from age. Copies of EMPIRE and JEDI also apparently exists in private hands and their owners would surely be more than happy to work with LUCASFILM so that the best available prints are made available for transfer of the highest definition possible. The potential profits from the new release far outweigh the potential behind the scenes costs and time that needs to be spent by Lucas's restoration team/s...
So please, George Lucas and LUCASFILM, you've given us a good starter with THE COMPLETE SAGA box set, now go the distance that little bit more and give the fans who have loyally bought all the box sets- in all types of format since the eighties- what they really want: the Original Versions of the Classic Trilogy on Blu-ray-the unaltered and still magical three films we fell in love with all those years ago worldwide: which started the phenomenon into what it has become today!
STAR WARS AFICIONADO fully supports the recently launched SAVING STAR WARS website (Save Star Wars) in all its endeavours and beliefs to make sure people worldwide keep the spirited flames of the original and best versions of the Classic Trilogy burning brightly, and that an eventual release of those three films is achieved.
There's also a petition at the ORIGINALTRILOGY.COM website where you can show your support: Petition for the Theatrical Cuts of the Original Star Wars Trilogy On Blu-ray. Please spare five minutes to add your name to the list-don't let these iconic and important films disappear from both time and the minds of the next generation/s of STAR WARS fans!