Lucas Gives In To Demands of the Dark Side -- Er, Rabid Fans

by | May 4, 2006 | Comments

Remember all that geekboy hullabullo a few years back when it was announced that the Original Trilogy ("Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Return of the Jedi") would be released on DVD ONLY in their new-fangled special edition form? (And I’m not knocking the geekboys, mainly because I was one of the complainers.) Well, it seems that George Lucas has reversed his "lifetime ban" on the uncut OT. The unrejiggered Star Wars trilogy is finally coming to DVD.

From the official Star Wars website: "In response to overwhelming demand, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release attractively priced individual two-disc releases of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Each release includes the 2004 digitally remastered version of the movie, as well as the original theatrical edition of the film. That means you’ll be able to enjoy Star Wars as it first appeared in 1977, Empire in 1980, and Jedi in 1983.

See the title crawl to Star Wars before it was known as Episode IV; see the pioneering, if dated, motion control model work on the attack on the Death Star; groove to Lapti Nek or the Ewok Celebration song like you did when you were a kid; and yes, see Han Solo shoot first.

This release will only be available for a limited time: from September 12th to December 31st. International release will follow on or about the same day. Each original theatrical version will feature Dolby 2.0 Surround sound, close-captioning, and subtitles in English, French and Spanish for their U.S. release. International sound and subtitling vary by territory.

"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."

Oh, and if you have a few extra dollars for Uncle George, the "Lego Star Wars 2" video game will be released on the same day.