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Found this on the digital bits web site.



9/17/03


You know, it seems like we go through this about once a year. But, at the risk of inducing lots of eye rolling out there, here we go again. We've heard from a number of industry sources we trust (and who have proven their reliability in the past) in the last few weeks. They're reporting that Lucasfilm is seriously considering releasing the Star Wars Trilogy on DVD late next year. In fact, our information indicates that some work is already under way toward a 4th Qtr, 2004 release. Word is that Lucasfilm is pleased with the format of The Adventures of Indiana Jones: The Complete DVD Movie Collection they're releasing on 10/21 in conjunction with Paramount - so pleased, in fact, that they're planning to use the same format to release the classic Star Wars films. This would presumably mean a 4-disc set, with a disc for each film and a fourth disc of special edition materials for all three films. It would certainly make sense. First, it would be a great way to get a buzz going into early 2005, when the final film, Episode III, is set to arrive in theaters. Also, Lucasfilm has said in the past that there aren't a lot of behind-the-scenes materials available for the original films, so having a single bonus disc of extras (as opposed to three) would make life easier for them.


Interestingly, as we were working to learn more about this from our sources, we received an e-mail from a Bits reader about a DVD column on the BBC's film site (slide down the page to near the bottom). It seems that Channel.com (sort of a U.K. version of Columbia House, run by Universal) listed the original Star Wars Trilogy as coming to DVD in 2004 in their latest brochure to members.


Of course, we've certainly heard similar reports many times in the past, so we encourage you to take this information with a large dose of salt. Only time will tell if this is... FINALLY... the real deal. At the recent DVD conference in L.A., I spoke with Lucasfilm's Jim Ward, who predictably wouldn't discuss the DVD release plan for the original Star Wars films, other than to say that they WOULD be released on DVD at some point. He did, however, say that Episode III was being well documented for DVD, and he once again noted that the original theatrical versions of these films no longer exist - the new SEs are George's ultimate vision for these films.


Frankly, we're really looking forward to these films being released on DVD... if only so we don't have to keep reporting on them here! In any case, THIS is the extent of what we know, so please don't bombard us with a lot of questions. You know as much as we do at this point. When we learn more, we'll post it here.


Stay tuned...
 

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I'd actually be surprised if Lucas did NOT release the DVDs before Episode III came out, as it would be a great way to rejuvinate interest in the series, and perhaps forgive him for those last two debacles of movies that he put out. We might all say, "oh yeah, Star Wars USED to be good, maybe there's A New Hope for Episode III." :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BBYRNE
....and he once again noted that the original theatrical versions of these films no longer exist....
Give me a break! How can they think that anyone would believe that there are no copies of the original theatrical releases? That is just ridiculous.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by RLReady
Give me a break! How can they think that anyone would believe that there are no copies of the original theatrical releases? That is just ridiculous.
you are right!!! lucasfilm made in 1993 a big restoration on the original negatives for the thx laserdisc and those restored reels where used for the special edition in 1997. lucasfilm keeps every single piece they ever done and george lucas isn't that idiot to dump those ;)
 

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Quote:
and he once again noted that the original theatrical versions of these films no longer exist - the new SEs are George's ultimate vision for these films
I think that was meant to be taken metaphorically not physically. That is the original film hasn't necessarily been destroyed but it will nevre again be released.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BenDERmac
you are right!!! lucasfilm made in 1993 a big restoration on the original negatives for the thx laserdisc and those restored reels where used for the special edition in 1997. lucasfilm keeps every single piece they ever done and george lucas isn't that idiot to dump those ;)
Technically, Lucas is actually telling the truth in this case (sort of). The 1995 THX remasters of the original trilogy were not a film restoration; they were a video restoration only. For the 1997 Special Editions, he did in fact permanently alter the original film negatives.


So, the original trilogy no longer exists in that sense. However, that is not to say that the Lucasfilm archives haven't been storing high quality interpositives, internegatives, and/or other dupe prints struck before the actual negatives were changed.
 

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I would be really surprised if you don't get all three versions of each film on dvd. (origininal, SE, and new and improved SEs that he has been hinting at) If Lucas reall didn't keep the necessary clips to put the original back together, it would just be proof that he is mentally unstable. (I have suspected it for years, but this would be unrefutable evidence) If the real versions of these films don't exist, then the Academy should demand the Oscars back that each film won; the "SE's" did not win any awards.


This entire thing stinks of Disney-style marketing. "Not available anymore, sorry." When the dvd comes out, it will be "BY POPULAR DEMAND, INCLUDES ORIGINAL VERSION!!!"


There are parts of the original star wars SE that I actually like, AS AN OPTION, but not at the expense of the real thing. (without greedo shooting first, it really wasnt bad)


I already own two sets of the THX laserdiscs for the original trilogy (had the SE lds too, but sold them). If Lucas never releases the originals, I guess I don't have to buy them. Lucky me!


It really is a shame to see the creative genius of a generation become so arrogant that he destroys everything he created, but that might be what we have here.


Walt O
 

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"Technically, Lucas is actually telling the truth in this case (sort of). The 1995 THX remasters of the original trilogy were not a film restoration; they were a video restoration only. For the 1997 Special Editions, he did in fact permanently alter the original film negatives. "


I don't understand why he would need to alter the original negatives...why not just scan it into the computer and then add other elements to it? Are you suggesting he physically cut and pasted negatives?


Walt O
 

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"I'd actually be surprised if Lucas did NOT release the DVDs before Episode III came out, as it would be a great way to rejuvinate interest in the series"


I agree. I would imagine that for starters, Lucasfilm could release a OT dvd set in 2004 that is similar to the Indy set. This would likely be the SEs with an extras disc and including a preview of Episode III of course. I think this would be generally well received.


Following the release of Episode III, they could turn their attention to putting final versions of all of the films together as well as compiling their archive material for release. The "final editions" could be presented in a box set with every extra imaginable, including some form of the unaltered versions of the original trilogy, likely to show a comparison between the degraded prints and the remastered product - but at least that would provide some version of the unaltered originals on dvd for those who must have them.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Walt O
I don't understand why he would need to alter the original negatives...why not just scan it into the computer and then add other elements to it? Are you suggesting he physically cut and pasted negatives?
Yes, he physically recut the negatives to conform to the "Special Edition" version of the movie. Copolla did the same with Apocalypse Now Redux.
 

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Actually the prints are old and empire strikes was in teh worst shape. So they scaned them into the computer to fix up the degradation.


Also I would be suprised for the dvd if he fixed up some more scenes like replcing jabba again in a new hope with the upgrades cg Jabba which looked a hundred times better in phantom menace. personly I would wait until episode 3 is done before putting them all one dvd so we don't get some ruf cut special edition then have to buy it again after.
 

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" and he once again noted that the original theatrical versions of these films no longer exist "


This is a lie, or a mistake. Even if he did alter the original negatives, there's no way that copies of the movie don't exist in good enough shape to do an HD transfer for restoration. For god's sake, they're doing restorations of 50 year old Disney movies now, I'm sure they can restore the OT.


Lucas is mentally unstable of course.
 

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You may be correct about the fact that he can do hd transfers fromt he original master but disney also had to do a shiload of fixed for sleeping beauty and lion king becasue the original negatives from that wher even in bad shape.


The main thing for him to do is rescan teh original unless he has that on a hard drive somewhere and just fix it up with out altering scenes(cg).


then give us both editions. Its funny how people get so upset at teh special edition. I can just magine if he fixes itup again with todays technology, how people would be pissed. But if it does look better I won't complain. Special Edition didn't bother me I just want it out on DvD
 

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I will be happy if you can just program it to erase the stupid greedo firing and missing. If you cannot, I will just see if somebody can crack the copy protection, edit the stream and remove the offending one second.
 

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Didn't Lucas say about ~3-4 years ago that he would not release the Original Trilogy on DVD until he was finished with the 3 New ones? This seems like old news to me, or maybe it was only made available to those of us who subscribed to the SW insider magazine?!?
 

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"Yes, he physically recut the negatives to conform to the "Special Edition" version of the movie."


That's all fine and good, but the bits he changed still exist in their original form. You can't convince me that he took a bit, added other stuff digitally, and then destroyed the original! Those bits are still around, I'm sure.


Walt O
 

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The removed pieces of film that were part of the OTR may still exist, but I believe most of them are in pretty bad condition.
 

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Can't somebody just lend him their LD copy if he threw out the original?


What kind of excuse is that anyway - Sorry, folks, I'd like to release the original uncut version you all loved, but my dog ate the negatives.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by empirebuilder
Sorry, folks, I'd like to release the original uncut version you all loved, but my dog ate the negatives.
:D :D :D
 

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No, I bet even his dog has enough sense to treat the original trilogy with more respect than Lucas has.
 
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