The dark lord of deceit and suppression is returning to menace Star Wars audiences. No, I’m not talking about Palpatine, but the even bigger villain of Star Wars, its very creator George Lucas.
How can I say that? How can I be such a hater? How can I be so cruel to the man who, after staining Star Wars a good bit with the endlessly-tinkered-with Special Editions and the godawful prequels, sold Star Wars off to monster media conglomerate Disney so they could further degrade the franchise? Yes, how can I be so mean. I need to stop absolutely loving Red Letter Media. Lucas is happy now and I should be too, okay. In fact, Lucas is so happy with the Disney sale that he didn’t even bother to attend the premiere of upcoming The Rise of Skywalker (or The Last Jedi).
But who cares what Lucas thinks, right? Right!
Who cares that George Lucas vehemently and persistently opposes a remastered (or simply not laser disc ported!) physical and digital release of the unaltered original cuts of Stars Wars (A New Hope), The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi? I certainly don’t.
No, instead I look to a man who once bravely testified before Congress in 1988 saying, “People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians.” What a great man he was. (tiny hint: George Lucas)
Now as IGN claims, the last official physical media to contain the unaltered theatrical cuts was the 1995 THX VHS Star Wars box set, which was rejuvenated visually frame-by-frame and enhanced audially. You might be thinking that isn’t correct, that there was a DVD release too. Well, yeah . . . I guess. In 2006 just ahead of the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, Lucasfilm begrudgingly (and limitedly!) re-released the original cuts on DVD as “bonus material” (on separate discs actually labelled merely as bonus material) with the films sourced from gorgeous (sarcasm) 1993 non-anamorphic letterboxed flawed LaserDisc masters (that on top of everything else were transferred badly). So those DVDs had none of the 1995 enhancements. Some contend neither the 1995 or 1993 editions are the true or worthy theatrical cuts.
Regardless, the original unaltered trilogy, a work of art that is part of our cultural heritage, deserves a lot better than we’ve gotten so far on DVD. And we’ve gotten NOTHING on Blu-ray or digital.
But J.J. Abrams is a big deal and he’s come to the fans rescue, he’s our only hope. Except he was cut down by Darth Lucas (likely via his apprentice Darth Mouseous). Disney and/or Lucasfilm reportedly shut down the idea of releasing the original unaltered trilogy.
Speaking to Now This News, J. Jonah Abrams recently said, “I’ve been told that, for reasons that I quite don’t understand, that [releasing the original unaltered trilogy is] not necessarily possible.”
It seems Abrams received the same the curt utterly false response that Lucas gave to fans. I speculate that Disney is contractually obligated in the article of Lucas’s master agreement labeled “Order 66” to offer such a non-answer to anyone who inquires about releasing the original theatrical versions of the classic trilogy commercially, but this is only a theory on my part.
Boy I wish there was a way to appeal The People vs. George Lucas up to the United States Supreme Court.
As Mashable said in a 2015 article, “Want to see the original, un-retouched, un-messed-with ‘Star Wars’ [trilogy]? You’ll have to take a trip to the Library of Congress.” I wonder if The Library of Congress can impeach Lucas…?