He’s actually finally going to release the original, unaltered, un-”improved” trilogy on DVD:
Fans can look forward to a September filled with classic Star Wars nostalgia, led by the premiere of LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy video game and the long-awaited DVD release of the original theatrical incarnations of the classic Star Wars trilogy.
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 and, as bonus material, the 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.
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. Topping it off with a new interactive adventure makes September 12 a red-letter day for Star Wars fans.”
About friggin’ time. I always knew George Lucas’ capitalistic instincts would eventually win out over his previous vow never to rerelease the original versions, but I didn’t figure that it would happen this soon. Finally, though, I’ll finally be able to toss my old VHS versions. Lucas should never have fiddled with Star Wars in the first place, anyway. Personally, I think it’s a waste that he’s bothering to include the “updated” versions along with the original versions. Just include the original versions; that’s all I–and I daresay the vast majority of fans–want.
I, for one, also plan on looking closely to see if Greedo shoots first in the “original” movies.
(Hat tip to Right Thoughts!)