Man, I really hope so! This May will be the 40th anniversary of the theatrical release of “Star Wars”, or as most call it now, “A New Hope”. Rumors have been circulating that we may finally get the unaltered version of The Original Star Wars Trilogy with an announcement possibly coming at this year’s Star Wars Celebration.
According to MakingStarWars.Net:
Every time there is a rainy day, a slow news week, or a Star Wars drought, a rumor starts to go around that the un-altered version of the Star Wars Trilogy will be re-released. I generally have it as a policy that we don’t run those rumors because they are generally wrong. However, over the last month the evidence and tips have been piling up that the unaltered original trilogy will be re-released this year for the 40th anniversary in various formats. Several sources have let us know it was coming and it appears to actually be on the way this time.
We will share the details of the re-release when they become more concrete on our end. At this time, we firmly believe the unaltered original edits of the 1977, 1980, and 1983 cuts of the original Star Wars Trilogy will officially be re-released soon.
I will be pretty surprised if this rumor doesn’t pan out. But remember, it is a rumor.
I have been following MakingStarWars.net for a while and these guys are usually right on the money when it comes to Star Wars news. They are a very reliable source. Like Jason Ward said, they dont normally publish rumors when it comes to the unaltered Original Trilogy. For Jason to be hearing it from multiple reliable sources, something is definitely in play.
Most people know that although Disney owns Star Wars, the one thing they do not own is “Star Wars: A New Hope”. Fox owns that, and it will take a ridiculous amount of money for them to ever sell it back to Disney. But there is no reason that Disney and Fox can’t work together on releasing the unaltered Original Trilogy, especially if it means that both sides will profit from it.
Another problem that Disney has faced since acquiring Lucasfilm is that George Lucas loves the changes that he made to The Original Trilogy and to him that is the definitive edition. Disney and Lucas have always had a great relationship with each other and that is one of the reasons why Lucas sold his empire to Disney and not Fox. But lately, their relationship has kind of chilled. Shortly after “The Force Awakens” opened, Lucas spoke with Charlie Rose, and he made it clear how he felt about his relationship with Disney at the time:
“They looked at the stories, and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans.’ They decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing. … They weren’t that keen to have me involved anyway — but if I get in there, I’m just going to cause trouble, because they’re not going to do what I want them to do. And I don’t have the control to do that anymore, and all I would do is muck everything up. And so I said, ‘OK, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.’”
Airing dirty laundry is one thing, but then he said the following and he may have burned his bridges with Disney:
“I sold them to the white slavers that takes these things, and…,”
Lucas never got to finish that sentence because he probably realized he was being too candid with Rose. I believe at the time that Lucas thought what he had said was off the record and that it would not air.
Disney does respect the father of Star Wars but I also feel that they realize now that Lucas is going to say whatever he wants to say. Lucas loves everything he has done and still doesn’t understand the hate that some people have for the changes he made with The Special Editions and also the hate that some people have for The Prequels. Disney is on the side of the Star Wars fans and Disney wants to give the fans what they want and it doesn’t hurt that they make a little money from it too.
Here are some of the questionable changes made in The “Star Wars” Special Editions:
“Who shot first?”
This needs to be restored once and for all because plain and simple, Han shot first. Regardless of what Lucas says, or wants you to think, at this point Han is on the edge of good and bad. He is a scoundrel, as Princess Leia once called him, and he makes most of his money from illegal cargo transports. Lucas made the change because he felt that Han was a hero and it was a bad message to children to have Han just kill someone without being provoked. First off, it just looks like a mess and it was poorly executed. Although after constant fiddling with this scene, it looks a lot better in it’s current form. But we want Han to have a dark side, so that his redemption at the end means more to us.
“Who is that young guy next to Obi-Wan?”
Most people when they talk of why they do not like the Special Editions, almost always “Han not shooting first” comes up first. But to me, this…this change is totally unacceptable. Removing original actor Sebastian Shaw and replacing him with Hayden Christensen makes absolutely no sense other than George wanted to tie the Original Trilogy to The Prequels. When Vader dies at the end of “Return Of The Jedi”, he has to be around 60, so his Force Ghost should look similar to how he was when he died. Why change him to a young Hayden Christensen? Why is Obi Wan old then? Why not make him the Ewan McGregor version? Because it doesn’t make sense.
“Is this Jabba The Hutt or Pizza The Hutt (He’s Delicious)?”
What is this? OK, it is supposed to be Jabba but this scene was so unnecessary. Even though they have made Jabba look better with each additional change throughout the years, I don’t want to see it….ever, if it is possible.
“Finally! A good thing!”
OK, not all of the changes are bad. Changing the hologram of the Emperor in “The Empire Strikes Back” to look more like Emperor Palpetine from “Return Of The Jedi” was a fantastic change. But if it means I have to see this monkey looking Emperor, but we get rid of Greedo shooting first, Darth Vader screaming “Noooooo”, and not seeing an angry looking Hayden Christensen Force Ghost, I’ll be the first one to buy a bunch of bananas and enjoy Star Wars as it was meant to be.
I love The Godfather movies, but the story ends for me when Part II is over. I also love the Alien series and that series ends for me before the start of Alien3. If you love the complete Star Wars Saga, including The Prequels, that is great. But I like to think of Star Wars without The Prequels, where the guy inside the Darth Vader costume is not a spoiled, arrogant and ungrateful brat.
I hope Disney and FOX will make everyone happy and give everyone a choice as to which version they want to see.