Ant-Man & the Wasp director Peyton Reed is calling on Lucasfilm to release the unaltered original 1977 theatrical version of Star Wars on Blu-ray. For years, fans have been clamoring for the original Star Wars trilogy films to be made commercially available in their "true' forms but thus far Disney and Lucasfilm have given no indication that any such plans are in the works.
Star Wars creator George Lucas infamously re-tooled the original trilogy films into "Special Editions," making significant changes to the movies via added CGI, sound effects, etc., something he did to repeatedly until selling the franchise to Disney. The Special Edition Star Wars films were declared to be the "definitive" versions by Lucas, and at one point he even claimed the original cuts of the movies no longer existed. There was once a low-quality bonus feature of the original versions, but those who prefer the pre-Special Edition versions of the films have really had to settle for VHS or Laserdisc (unless they are willing to comb the internet for less-than-legal fan-made "de-specialized" editions).
Lucasfilm may have no plans to unearth the original theatrical versions of the Star Wars trilogy and give them their long-awaited release on high-def physical media, but that won't stop fans from raising the cry. Ant-Man & the Wasp director Peyton Reed has added his voice to the chorus with a tweet practically begging Lucasfilm to relent and let the world have 1977's Star Wars on Blu-ray.
Please release a Blu-ray of the original, unmessed-with version of STAR WARS I loved when I was 13.
— Peyton Reed (@MrPeytonReed) September 22, 2017
It's unlikely that Peyton Reed has any more pull with Lucasfilm than any average fan out there, even though being the director of MCU films like Ant-Man and its sequel he is technically in the same extended Disney family as Lucasfilm. Still, you can't blame a guy for trying.
Fans like Reed may have thought that with George Lucas no longer taking on a decision-making role in the Star Wars universe, Lucasfilm might finally give in and release the un-tampered-with original trilogy on Blu-ray and DVD, but the Lucas policy appears to still be in effect. Though it might seem like a no-brainer for Lucasfilm to dust off the original cuts and make a heap of dough by putting them out to the world, there are actually some very practical reasons why this can't/won't happen that don't have to do with Lucasfilm simply being evil. Rights issues with 20th Century Fox are one of the biggest stumbling blocks to making the Original Version release happen, and there's also the sheer expense of going back to the original negatives (if they even still exist) and doing the full HD restoration that would need to be undertaken.
Fans who are driven by pure nostalgic longing and unadulterated Star Wars geekiness don't care very much about these arguments over expense and rights issues. Ultimately, however, everything in the Star Wars universe does boil down to cost vs. potential profit, and that's even more the case now that Disney has taken ownership. So Reed probably shouldn't get his hopes up too much over the prospect of seeing the original Star Wars in its "real" 1977 form on gorgeous Blu-ray. Here's hoping people held on to their VHS copies.
Read More: There Will Never Be Another Star Wars
Source: Peyton Reed
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
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