So, it came out recently that Disney may be working on the original, untainted cuts to the only three Star Wars movies that actually matter for a Blu-Ray release. And, like the original cuts always do, they immediately made the nerd press idiotic. Here are a few examples!
First of all, is Disney working on restoring the original cuts? Of course they are. My source is the fact that I am not a stupid person and I pay attention to how Hollywood studios operate. Namely, they like money, and there’s a lot of money to be made. So with that in mind…
Fox Owns The Rights!
Badass Digest immediately insisted that the original rumors were impossible because Fox owns the rights to the first Star Wars for forever, and the second two until 2020. To be fair to Devin Faraci, he does acknowledge that there’s a lot of money to be made, but he also insists it would be Fox working on the rereleases, not Disney.
The problem with this is that all Fox does is print the discs and ship them out. All the mastering on any Star Wars DVD you own is done at THX under the supervision of Lucasfilm. In other words, if this is true, it’ll be Disney working on the discs.
As for Fox possibly stalling this for whatever reason: Fox likes money, and Disney owns something Fox would like to keep borrowing, namely the rights to several Marvel characters. Fox isn’t going to be a problem.
George Lucas Will Never Let It Happen!
As we all know, George Lucas is, depending on your perspective, a principled filmmaker who finally achieved his true vision, or a self-involved jackass who refuses to accept that maybe once a work of art is released, it’s not longer truly his. And the last time he weighed in on this, as unearthed by Ars Technica when they talked about this a few months ago, he basically said it was never going to happen.
And we’re sure he’s very upset, but he’s no longer running things at Lucasfilm. He doesn’t get a vote. He sold that vote for $4 billion. Disney, on the other hand, has all the votes, and they like money. Guess who wins?
But The Negatives Were Damaged!
This is something you see in comments sections, and is based on George Lucas’ claim that he destroyed the original negatives while making the special editions. Honestly, I’ve always been skeptical of this one, not least because, OK, you destroyed your negatives, George, but you really want us to believe that every set of negatives of the original Star Wars was destroyed? Everywhere? Across the world?
Even if that were true, there would be a relatively pristine print of the original cuts in every single copyright archive on the planet, and that’s not even getting into the private collections and academic archives. If you want untainted Star Wars, it’s easy to find if you’ve got the cash.
Will Han finally be shooting first in December of next year? It’s a distinct possibility. But whether the release date is fiction or not, it’s safe to assume Disney is working on giving the fans what they want. They didn’t spend $4 billion on Lucas’ toys not to play with them, after all.