Since Blu-ray first came to market a few years ago, people have clamoring for the Star Wars films to be released in the format. George Lucas, creator of the series, and head of Lucasfilm Ltd., has said numerous times that he wanted to wait until he was sure the format had some life to it before he released anything. Although some question just how big Blu-ray will get, apparently Mr. Lucas has decided it has gone far enough to warrant a release.
With Star Wars Celebration V happening this weekend in Orlando, FL, apparently Mr. Lucas decided to finally announce that all six films in his saga will come to the Blu-Ray format in the fall of 2011. Speaking to The New York Times, Mr. Lucas told the newspaper, “We’ve been wanting to do it as soon as we possibly could, but we just wanted to do it when enough people would be able to buy it and see it.”
Now, the bad news: The presentations of the original trilogy (Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi) will be the 1997 Special Editions. This means we will see Greedo shot first, Jabba will talk with Han outside the Millennium Falcon and a host of other annoying changes. Speaking again to the newspaper, Mr. Lucas addressed why we wouldn’t see the original 1970’s and 1980’s versions by saying, “[it’s] kind of an oxymoron because the quality of the original is not very good.” He went on to add, “You have to go through and do a whole restoration on it, and you have to do that digitally. It’s a very, very expensive process to do it. So when we did the transfer to digital, we only transferred really the upgraded version.”
Speaking as a lifelong, die-hard Star Wars fan who stopped counting how many times he has watched A New Hope at 485 times (yes, you read that correctly … I’m somewhere over 600 now), I don’t care if the quality is lower, I just want the original trilogy in their unaltered glory. I want lightsabers that sometimes lose their coloring, I want questionable effects shots and most of all I want Han to shoot Greedo first the way it was meant to be!
There is also no word if you can buy the films separately or if they will only be sold as a boxed set. For those of us who would like to forget the prequel trilogy, let us hope it is the former.
What say you? Will you be picking up the Star Wars films on Blu-ray?