In spite of strong statements from creator George Lucas that 2004’s digitally remastered, restored, and enhanced versions of his original Star Wars triology were the definitive versions of his films, Fox and Lucasfilm have announced they will release new two-disc DVD sets that will include the original versions of Star Wars,The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi as they were originally shown in theaters when released in 1977, 1980, and 1983, respectively, along with the remastered “definitive” version. The movies will be priced at $30 each and will go on sale September 12, 2006, and be available only until December 31, 2006.
“Over the years, a truly countless number of fans have told us that they would love to see and own the original version that they remember experiencing in theaters,” said Jim Ward, President of LucasArts and Senior Vice President of Lucasfilm Ltd. “We returned to the Lucasfilm Archives to search exhaustively for source material that could be presented on DVD. This is something that we’re very excited to be able to give to fans in response to their continuing enthusiasm for Star Wars.”
The video quality of the original theatrical versions will not be as high as 2004’s remastered versions, and Lucasfilm is reportedly adamant that Lucas has not changed his mind about which versions he considers authoritative. But re-releasing the theatrical version is a concession to fans, and