Star Wars: George Lucas Once Again Stands by His Special Edition Upgrades

The Star Wars creator thinks filmmakers can make any changes they'd like.

Fans who watched the original Star Wars trilogy before 1997 have an entirely different outlook on the franchise than those who watch the films after that point, as creator George Lucas made technological changes to the films to meet the special effects standards of the time, while also making some narrative edits to the stories themselves. While some of those older audiences who prefer the pre-Special Edition versions of the trilogy sometimes hold out hope that those cuts will get an official release, Lucas himself recently reflected on how he not only stands by those decisions, but how he also believes any filmmaker has the right to make any changes to their movies to fully realize their intended vision.

"I'm a firm believer that the director, or the writer, or the filmmaker should have a right to have his movie be the way he wants it," Lucas shared at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, per The Hollywood Reporter"We did release the original one on laserdisc and everybody got really mad, they said, 'It looks terrible.' And I said, 'Yeah, I know it did ... That is what it looked like."

Both Lucas himself and studio Lucasfilm have expressed how the Special Edition versions of the films should be considered the definitive versions of the movies. The best official release of those original films came in 2006, when a DVD release included both the Special Edition versions of the trilogy, as well as "Unaltered" versions of the movies. More minor tweaks were made to the films for the Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, and streaming releases.

Despite some fans holding out hope for the Unaltered editions to be released at some point, The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau previously expressed how unlikely that would be, while also expressing that fans clamoring for such a release were in the minority.

When asked by Moovy TV in 2023 if Favreau had enough clout at Lucasfilm to get the theatrical cuts of the films released, Favreau explained, "Do you think anybody but us, the people who grew up with it, anybody would care? I know to ... Younger people, that's what I figured out, that the younger people have a whole different perception of what Star Wars is, each generation. For the millennials, it's the prequels. Zoomers, sometimes it's [Star Wars:The Clone Wars. I've seen people come up to [Clone Wars creator] Dave Filoni and that's their entree into it."   

Stay tuned for updates on the future of Star Wars.

What do you think of the filmmaker's remarks? Contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter or on Instagram to talk all things Star Wars and horror