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Rumor: Disney restoring Original Trilogy for Blu-ray

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Matt: Exclusive! Original, Unaltered Cut Of Star Wars Trilogy To Be Released On Blu-ray By Disney

--- Quote ---For a long time Star Wars fans have been clamoring for Disney/Lucasfilm to re-release the original, unaltered cut of the first Star Wars trilogy, and has now confirmed with two independent reliable sources that just such a plan is under way.

According to our sources, Disney has plans to release the original cut of the Star Wars trilogy on Blu-ray. Our sources indicate that the project has been under way for quite some time, but it’s been challenging because of some damage to the original negatives they are utilizing. The goal is to release A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of Jedi in their complete, unaltered, original form without the redone special edition SFX.

Our sources did not have an exact date as to when the original cut of the Star Wars Trilogy would be released on Blu-ray, due to the challenges Disney has encountered in pulling everything together. However, our sources indicated the goal is to have it ready and released before Star Wars Episode VII is released in theaters.
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I refused to buy the 2011 Blu-rays so no SW on Blu for me, but I'd be down for this.

If it pans out.

Qui-Gon Jim:
I assumed that one of the things Disney saw when purchasing the property were the dollars being left on the table with regards to an OOT release.

Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits had this to say back in May:

--- Quote ---Of course, Disney is going to release the original, unaltered films!

Are you kidding? The folks at Disney have $4 billion riding on this little investment and they aren’t stupid. The only reason the original versions haven’t been properly released before this is that George Lucas didn’t want it to happen… but Lucas is no longer in control of such decisions. There’s simply no way Disney would have paid $4 billion without the right to do what they wanted to with this franchise. And what they want to do is exploit the crap out of it for years to come.

As for Fox being a problem somehow, does anyone really think Fox wouldn’t appreciate the chance to make some easy cash releasing the original versions in partnership with Disney? Where there’s a will, there’s a way... and where there’s this much money to be made, you can bet they’ll find a way. Besides, if Fox can work out its differences with Warner Bros. to finally release classic TV Batman on Blu-ray and DVD, Fox should have no problem striking a deal with Disney on this.

Bottom line: We’d be absolutely shocked if the original, unaltered Star Wars films don’t A) return to theaters, B) get released on Blu-ray and DVD, or C) both, prior to the theatrical debut of Episode VII in December 2015. I mean seriously. You don’t need to be a Jedi or a Sith to see that the Force is strong in this rumor.
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I don't think the Fox thing is as big a roadblock as other people seem to think it is, either.

This whole scenario makes a lot of sense to me. Everyone stands to win something.

From what I've read over the years it sounds like GL kept Fox somewhat at arms length.  He wound up giving them a stake in ANH.  But with his end of that movie he was essentially able to set up Lucasfilm as an indie studio, and he retained more significant ownership of the subsequent films along with the licensing.  From that point forward Fox served essentially as a distributor, and not much more.

Fox owns the distribution rights to Star Wars into perpetuity. They own the distribution rights to the two sequels until 2020, and they will revert to LFL/Disney at that time. Any future release of the original trilogy from now until 2020 (and of the original movie after 2020) will still have to go through Fox, regardless of the history between Fox and Lucas.


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