Is Disney Planning To Re-Release ‘Star Wars’ Digitally And Will They Do Right By Fans?

10.08.14 4 years ago

Crazy rumors seem to be the flavor of the moment. It’s easy to throw sh*t against the wall and hope that it sticks, especially when it deals with topics that you like to write about. So I can see why people make them up and others (like myself) run with them. The newest has to do with Star Wars, just not the new one.

Instead it’s the ad above that is getting those neurons firing in geek brains across the Internet. It paints a picture of a world with Italian narration and the original Star Wars saga available on digital download. Currently, you’d need to rip your version of choice from DVD in order to play it on your phone, but Disney seems to have some sort of plan in motion to change that. Here’s the translation from Film Divider:

Enter Disney’s magical world, with the brand new site disney.it. All your favourite Disney characters await you, including the most engaging TV series and plenty of exclusive videos and content. Amazing apps and games and a online community to share your passions. All of this, simply from any PC, tablets or smartphones. Carry the Disney’s magic always on you.

Now Russ Fischer over at Slash Film pokes a good many holes in this rumor as it is, but I think there are a few more questions that pop up to cool the flames here. First is the status of the rights issue in Italy, the place that gives Disney IT its little acronym.

The big road block for this sort of re-release is 20th Century Fox’s claims to ownership over the film series, especially the first film. The rights don’t fully transfer to Disney until 2020 and A New Hope stays with them until they decide they would like to give it up.

There’s obviously going to be a re-release and there will be digital downloads, the only question is when they will happen. George Lucas probably destroyed the original prints in a fire by now, so the possibilities of getting the version you want are slim. Disney has enough money to pay Fox and both would certainly jump at the opportunity to make more on a new platform.

So it’s really a question of when, a question I don’t feel is going to have an answer in the immediate future. And who really wants to watch Star Wars on their phone or tablet anyway? I have to side with David Lynch on this one:

(Via Slash Film / Disney IT/ Film Divider)

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