Official details on J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII are hard to come by, but thanks to the ever-churning rumor mill, the picture may be becoming clearer. This week saw a wave of new reports covering the Stormtroopers’ new look, who the main villain might be, and Han Solo’s new costumes and ship. While nothing has been confirmed by Disney/Lucasfilm, it allows fans to engage in interesting discussions while they wait for new information.

The latest Star Wars rumor does not pertain to the December 2015 installment, but the the films it serves as a sequel to.

Comic Book claims to have sources reporting that Disney is planning to release the unaltered versions of Star WarsThe Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi on Blu-ray, with the intention of a boxed set hitting stores in time for the theatrical release of Episode VII.

According to the rumor, the project has been in the works for sometime, but the condition of the negatives Disney is using has made the transfer process difficult.

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Unfortunately, this rumor is almost certainly not true.

But before we jump into that, let’s break down the history of controversial Star Wars home media releases dating back to the “special edition” of the Original Trilogy in 1997. In every format since (the 2004 DVDs and the 2011 Blu-rays), George Lucas has rather infamously made alterations to each film, apparently so they can be more in line with his initial vision.

Fans, on the other hand, view the changes as distractions that either alter entire character arcs (Han vs. Greedo), serve as gaps in logic (R2-D2 hiding from sand-people behind rocks), or “ruin” iconic scenes (Vader saying “No!” as he kills Palpatine).

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As such, many fans have been clamoring for the remastered theatrical cuts of the classic films to see the light of day. The original versions were available as bonus content in a limited edition DVD release of the trilogy in 2006, but they are nearly impossible to find now (and the quality of the prints could’ve easily been improved).

Badass Digest broke down why this new Blu-ray rumor is most likely false. In their evaluation, they pointed out that the distribution rights for the three movies are owned by Fox, not Disney. The Mouse House will acquire Empire and Jedi in 2020, but the rights for A New Hope will reside at Fox forever. This means that Disney is incapable of putting together such a collection, unless the two studios have reached some sort of agreement.

Now, it’s entirely possible that they could reach some sort of agreement in the future – Disney likes money, Fox likes money, and a Blu-ray set like this could obviously be a huge success. The problem is, Comic Book‘s source seemed to have no idea that Fox owned the rights to A New Hope and the distribution rights to the rest of the series.

Furthermore, one of Badass’ sources at Fox said that as long as Lucas is alive, they cannot go against his wishes of not re-releasing the Original Trilogy. According to the Star Wars canon, the altered editions are deemed “official,” meaning that the chances of this release taking place anytime soon are remote.

NEXT: Star Wars 8 Director Praises Episode 7‘s Practical FX

Star Wars: Episode VII will be in theaters December 18, 2015.

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.

Sources: ComicBook, Badass Digest,

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Stepping away from the rumor mill for the time being, a couple of members from the Star Wars universe recently took the time to rave about the production process for Episode VII.

While we’re all waiting to see what Abrams has in store, Lucasfilm is moving quickly on Episode VIII, hiring director Rian Johnson to call the shots. The Looper filmmaker spoke with the Girls in Hoodies podcast (hat tip to SlashFilm), where he discussed his recent visit to the set, praising the use of practical effects:

They’re doing so much practical building for this one, its awesome. They’re doing it all right, yeah. … I think people are coming back around [to practical effects] yeah, it seems like there’s a gravity pulling us back towards it. … I think more and more people are hitting a critical mass as far as the CG-driven action scene, lending itself towards a very specific type of action film, where physics go out the window and it becomes so big so quick, and I probably sound like a grumpy old man talking about it. I do wonder, kids are growing up watching those and that’s the thing they love now. So I don’t know if it’s a generational thing.

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Part of what made the original films so groundbreaking from a technical level was their use of models and miniatures to fill out the galaxy far, far away. Allowing the environments to feel more realistic (compared with the excessive green screen in the prequels) perhaps made it easier for audiences to buy into the experience. Many Star Wars fans probably share the mindset of Johnson’s “grumpy old man” and are looking forward to seeing a return to practical effects.

In two different videos, Abrams has already teased fans with a redesigned X-wing (pictured above) and a new creature consisting of an actor in a costume.

With Johnson’s words on Abrams’ style, one can assume that that the level of practicality used for effects goes beyond those examples – setting the template for the sequel trilogy to, at least aesthetically, be on the same ground as the originals.

NEXT: Adam Driver Calls Star Wars Experience ‘Surreal’

Star Wars: Episode VII will be in theaters December 18, 2015.

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.

Sources: Girls in Hoodies [via SlashFilm]

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Johnson wasn’t the only person who spoke highly of the new film. Franchise newcomer Adam Driver (rumored to be playing the villain) discussed the series’ overarching themes in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, explaining what makes Star Wars so special.

It’s space, it’s a long time ago in a galaxy far away. That’s set up immediately. But in the midst of all those things, what has made those movies last so long is that they’re all grounded, which is something that is not so far off from every movie with huge universal themes of siblings and parents and betrayal and trust.

Expanding on this, Driver went on to point out how friendship plays a large role in the proceedings, saying that it’s something that’s “not investigated as much” in movies like Star Wars.

It was such a huge part of the original three. “I’m going to go save my friend.” Everyone was going to go bail their friends out. “I can’t do this because my friends, everything is at stake because of my friends. I gotta go back. … Yoda, I gotta leave.

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While Driver couldn’t spill any other details (other than calling the experience “surreal”), his quotes should be comforting to fans since they lay the groundwork for the sequels to stay true to the spirit of the originals.

Given that rumored plot details call for John Boyega’s character undergoing a spiritual transformation after encountering Daisy Ridley, and Luke Skywalker allegedly set to train the young protagonists in the ways of the Force, relationships between friends, pupils, and mentors could very well provide Episode VII with its emotional core.

Star Wars: Episode VII will be in theaters December 18, 2015.

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.

Sources: Entertainment Weekly