They original versions of Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi may not be on Bluray, but they’ve been on DVD for a long time now. Ever since they were released as individual movies rather than a set. In 2006.
The individual releases had two discs each, one disc of the “special” edition, one “bonus” disc with the original versions of the movie. It was clearly a ploy to get people who’d already bought the trilogy set to buy them again, and guess what, it worked.
Yet we still get people who say things like “I believe the only way to see the truly original version of Star Wars is on VHS at this point.” (name withheld to protect the innocent) in threads from time to time.
There are plenty of movies (and shows) with no way to see the original version on anything but VHS, whether it’s something as simple as altered music thanks to stupid rights issues, or something more substantial like only directors cuts being available, but Star Wars doesn’t fall into that category.
(in case my tone comes off wrong or something, I’m not mad that people don’t know this, I have no anger while writing this)
Yeah, some people even believe Steven Spielberg is the one changing Star Wars!
The fact that the 2006 individual disc release contains unedited theatrical cuts was publicized, but may have missed some people amonng the dozens of other released versions. They also have all the bad things that should have been fixed when they were altering the movies, but either weren’t at first, or changed too much (like the horrible matting on space vehicle shots and some mediocre lightsaber effects).
Edit: There are aslo people who don’t trust Lucas on claims of “unedited version.”
Has any other movie been tinkered with so much after its theater release? I can’t think of one. There are director cuts using alternate scenes. But they didn’t totally reshoot scenes many years later.
Stuff like reshooting Jabba the Hutt (remember the skinny guy in the original?). I lost track of all the stuff that changed in Star Wars. The movie I watched in the movie theater in 77 Doesn’t even exist anymore. I think that was in the 8th or 9th grade?
They filmed a scene with Jabba (a human at the time), but it didn’t make it into the original movie. Likewise scenes with Biggs on Tatooine, but I can’t even remember if those were ever added back in. Other things were CGIed into the re-releases: more aliens, more stormtroopers, and Greedo shooting first. The title “Episode IV: A New Hope” was also not in the original, but was added pretty early on. You’d have to be a real purist to object to that.
FWIW, I’m aware of the DVD versions that are available, but they’re not anamorphic widescreen. Which means that if I were to get them and put them on my nice big flatscreen TV, I’d get a little box in the middle of the screen, with black on all sides, rather than a full screen. That’s why I’ve never bothered with them.
For a long time, ancient formats were the only way to see unadulterated Star Wars. People just got so used to that state of affairs, and so used to Lucas releasing progressively worse versions, that it’s understandable that they might have missed noticing the originals being released in among all of that garbage.
Maybe some of the original effects could have used a bit more work, but both of the things you mention were significantly worse, for some reason, in the Special Editions than in the original.
I never could keep Spielberg and Lucas separated in my mind. They both worked on Star Wars. I never cared enough to memorize who did what. I just watch the original three movies every couple years and put them back on the shelf.
So can someone post a Amazon link to the original version DVD’s?
As others said. There are a bunch of crap dvd releases out there with various versions of Star Wars. If I’m going to spend my money, then I want the original version DVD’s. I’m interested in taking a look and ordering.