A long time ago (actually this afternoon) in a galaxy far, far away (Orlando, FL)... George Lucas finally announced new live-action Star Wars footage - no, not the often rumored live-action TV series.
Lucas revealed The Complete Star Wars Saga is headed for a Fall 2011 blu-ray release and will feature deleted scenes from the Lucasfilm archives - as well as the usual documentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and interviews that come standard with any Star Wars-related film release.
Here are the details from the Lucasfilm press release, detailing the announcements from today's Star Wars Celebration V main event hosted by Jon Stewart:
"Today at Star Wars Celebration V, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announced that the complete Star Wars Saga will come to Blu-ray Disc with a worldwide release in Fall 2011. The Star Wars Blu-ray Box Set will feature all six live-action Star Wars feature films utilizing the highest possible picture and audio presentation, along with extensive special features – including documentaries, vintage behind-the-scenes moments, interviews, retrospectives and never-before-seen footage from the Lucasfilm archives."
While it's been long-known that Lucas would be bringing the Star Wars films to blu-ray, this is the first official announcement we've heard detailing the time frame - as well as what we can expect in terms of special features.
TheForce.net has posted a video of one of the forthcoming deleted scenes featuring Vader calling out to Luke Skywalker through the force as the Jedi pieces together his green lightsaber - prior to entering Jabba's palace.
While it's unclear at this point how many deleted scenes Lucas will be allowing out of the archives (or the subsequent quality of said deleted scenes), we're sure to be getting the most comprehensive set of special features ever offered in a Star Wars home release. Maybe we'll finally get to see the footage from the Star Wars Stories Project.
While this is very likely the third, or even fourth, time we've been offered a Star Wars home video collection, you've got to hand it to Lucas - he doesn't rush these releases. The writer/director is known for taking several years to prepare his precious franchise films for transfer to new formats.
Speaking of the transition to blu-ray, Lucas was extremely enthusiastic:
"Blu-ray is the absolute best way to experience Star Wars at home – in pristine high definition. The films have never looked or sounded better."
We recently profiled the Rebel Alliance in our 10 Most Badass Movie Combat Units - just imagine how badass they'll look in blu-ray HD.
The Complete Star Wars Saga will be released on blu-ray in Fall 2011.