Exclusive! Original, Unaltered Cut Of Star Wars Trilogy To Be Released On Blu-ray By Disney 52

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Star Wars Blu-ray

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 Comicbook.com 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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52 Comments

  1. veryuncool

    How is this possible? Fox owns the distribution rights for the original trilogy films. That is, it owns the distribution rights to Episode IV in perpetuity and owns Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi until 2020. It seems highly unlikely that Fox would license them to Disney since Fox has a limited window to exploit them until their own license expires so why share revenue with Disney? I'm not saying the sources are wrong (oh how I want the unedited prints in HD) but I will remain skeptical until I see an official announcement from Disney. The rights issues are documented here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tangled-rights-could-tie-up-384541 and here http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/05/could-disney-finally-give-us-the-remastered-unedited-star-wars-we-want/

  2. Rhodri

    As far as I'm aware, Fox only owns the rights to ANH, so they could never release all 3 without a Disney collaboration. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that Disney would make a deal with Fox. Fox has no reason to refuse. There's money in it for both parties.

  3. Robzrage

    Should be easy since best buy released a non bluray version last year of the OT not SE. Plenty on EBay.

  4. Gizzy2000

    Actually, the distribution rights shouldn't present a big problem. Fox only got a small distribution cut for the OT, and Lucasfilm got the rest, I believe the distribution cut for the original film was smaller than the other two in exchange for distributing the prequels. And if Disney HAD to get the distribution cuts too then I could see them working something out with Fox. Fox has no reason to not want to work with Disney since they're running out of time to make money on Star Wars, and if Disney doesn't want to work with Fox then they can just buy the rights from Fox anyway. Win Win.

  5. ManaByte

    Fox owns home video and distribution rights for all six Star Wars movies until 2020, and they own ANH in perputuity. 

    This isn't such a huge exclusive as other sites have posted pictures of Lucasfilm doing the sound mix for Return of the Jedi, but whatever gets you hits.

  6. Crunch-O-Matic

    It is about time someone got rid of the sharpie squiggles on the Emporer from the close-ups in Jedi.

  7. Impossiblefunky

    Original version of Star Wars as in no "Episode IV" in the crawl?  That's how original I want my Star Wars.

  8. Gizzy2000

    Impossiblefunky said ... (original post)

    Original version of Star Wars as in no "Episode IV" in the crawl?  That's how original I want my Star Wars.

    That would be nice but I think it's unlikely. I'm guessing they'll release the unaltered film but with "New Hope" still there. Let's be honest, that's how we're used to seeing it since it was on all the tapes, but I'd still like to watch it without New Hope there. I suppose it could be branched but I'm not sure if they'll do that.

  9. CoMiGa

    Impossiblefunky said ... (original post)

    Original version of Star Wars as in no "Episode IV" in the crawl?  That's how original I want my Star Wars.

    There are multiple versions without the added title in the crawl. It's arguable about what would be considered the original theatrical version as there were multiple versions in the theater at the same time. The different film formats each were slightly different. 

  10. smokeyjoey8

    FOX has six more years to milk the shit out of episodes 1-6 before Disney gets the rights to all but 4. They aren't running out of time at all. In fact, you know they're prepping something to release alongside Episode 7 and possibly 8. FOX has no reason to work with Disney right now when they have six years of pure profit coming to them, while Disney has to sit there and watch. 

  11. Anonymous1461

    In the meantime, I get my fix thanks to Harmy and the good folks at OriginalTrilogy.com: http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Harmys-STAR-WARS-Despecialized-Edition-HD-V25-MKV-IS-OUT-NOW/topic/12713/

  12. Anonymous1465

    Glad to know I'm not the only one who always hated that!!

  13. hallives

    This unfortunateley means this goyte parody is no longer relevant "you;ll never get a blue ray of the star wars that you used to know"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJlbPXZEpRE

  14. madhi19

    Fox get a cut, but they probably don't get a say. It all depend of the wording. To be honest I doubt they mind one last milking of the Star Wars cow before 2020.

  15. LarryMudd

    It always said "Episode IV," because it was supposed to evoke '30s sci-fi serials, as though you came in the middle.  They added "A New Hope" for the pre-Empire screenings.

  16. sixsixtysix

    just because fox may have the distribution rights, that doesn't mean they own the negatives and therefore, have no way of transferring them. a partnership would be the only way it can happen.

  17. micktravis

    That's bullshit.  I saw it several times when it came out, and then again in the 80's, and everybody noticed it now said Episode IV.  It wasn't there in the original release.

  18. ComicHQW

    This guy hits the nail on the head, just because you own something doesnt mean you wouldnt want to cut a deal to make money. Im sure its for every copy of ANH sold they get X amount of royalty off the sale.

  19. Pardue

      

  20. Pardue

    My understanding is that fox gave those rights away to win distribution of films 1-3. Disney can do as they wish under the banner of LucasFilm.

  21. Gizzy2000

    smokeyjoey8 said ... (original post)

    FOX has six more years to milk the shit out of episodes 1-6 before Disney gets the rights to all but 4. They aren't running out of time at all. In fact, you know they're prepping something to release alongside Episode 7 and possibly 8. FOX has no reason to work with Disney right now when they have six years of pure profit coming to them, while Disney has to sit there and watch. 

    No, Disney does not have to, "sit there and watch", or let Fox distribute the Original Trilogy. All three Star Wars films are trademarks of Lucasfilm, and Fox has no right to distribute them if Lucasfilm (now Disney) does not want them to. The distribution rights just mean that the films have to be distributed by Fox. Fox does not own the MOVIES, just the distribution rights. Disney could take all the films out of print if they wanted to and Fox could do nothing about it.

  22. SmashinHero

    Film magic strikes again! I dont care how just gimme!

  23. DarrinConnell

    Exactly!!

  24. Matchstick

    Here is the thing though, Disney and Fox happen to be on very good terms for co-licensing deals. They now have a deal in the works for a co-license deal for a film in phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2018. It all comes down to money, if they can agree on a price share of the profits anything can happen. This is even how Marvel is now able to use Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, even while Fox is using them in the X-Men movie franchise.

    Also note, Disney and Sony entered into a deal with Amazing Spiderman.

    "In July, Sony Pictures will release The Amazing Spiderman. We're excited about the film and expect it will drive significant benefits for Spiderman consumer products.To that end, we (Disney) recently completed a transaction with Sony Pictures to simplify our relationship. And then in the deal, we purchased Sony Pictures' participation in Spiderman merchandising, while at the same time, Sony Pictures purchased from us our participation in Spiderman films. This transaction will allow us to control and fully benefit from all Spiderman merchandising activity, while Sony will continue to produce and distribute Spiderman films. We won't be specific about the economics of this 2-way transaction, but we expect it will drive attractive returns for Disney."

  25. Anonymous1501

    Deals can always be worked out, they probably just had to cut Fox in on some of the money from it.  After all, if Disney went to them and said "We'll take the costs on it, and you get (whatever)% of the revenues from sales" I would think Fox would jump on it.