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Friday, May 05, 2006

Unaltered Star Wars Original Trilogy Officially on DVD

In case you didn't know, Lucas is finally releasing the unaltered, original Star Wars trilogy on DVD. For a lot of people, this is the moment they've waited for, but for me, I say too little, too late.

First off, I already own the unaltered versions on DVD. How? Well, there's been a very active fan community dedicated to having these movies on disc. Everything from straight copies of the laserdiscs to versions removing the alterations made to the commercially available DVDs are easily available. Some of these discs even have isolated score tracks and alternate scenes.

Given in the article I linked above Jim Ward from Lucasfilm says "It is state of the art, as of 1993, and that's not as good as state of the art 2006," one can't help feeling these discs are going to be little more than authorized bootlegs anyway. That and the 2.0 Dolby track I've seen mentioned on the official Star Wars site sounds to me like they're just going to transfer the old laserdisc masters and pair them with the altered versions for a 2006 holiday release. I have no interest in owning the altered versions and I can't see paying for something, official or not, if it's not better than what I already own.

The big thing for me though is I'm pretty much over Star Wars. I can pin point the exact moment when it happened; 1997, about half way through my viewing of the "Star Wars: Special Edition." Right there in the theater, it hit me. This movie isn't nearly as good as I remember it. Yes, I can be a cynical bastard, but I went into this expecting to be wowed. I left nonplussed.

Since then, I really don't think I've sat through an entire Star Wars movie*. I certainty haven't seen the other special editions nor have I seen the new films, though I've seen bits and pieces of the first one on TV. I haven't even watched my original-original trilogy DVDs, though they are there if I want them.

Now, I'm not here to harsh anyone else's enjoyment as I know these films mean a lot to a lot of people. For me though, unless I completely immerse myself in nostalgia and look at these films with the same eyes I had when I was 7, I just can't get into them anymore. There's just too many other films I'd rather watch than sit through the stiff acting and cliche good vs. evil story of Star Wars again.

Still, I think this is a good thing that the discs will be available for people who want them. I can't say I'm surprised that Lucas went back on his "these will never be available again" thing. Honestly, I think this was part of the plan all along. So for the fanboys, I guess the big question now is, do I buy these and triple dip on the altered versions or wait for the inevitable HD-DVD/Blu-Ray set that will have extras and all that?

* unless you count the Holiday Special, which I've seen multiple times since then. :)

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