When will we finally get the original cuts of Star Wars? Ever since George Lucas decided to take them back to the lab and fiddle with them until he was happy, fans have been griping about a cut where Han shoots last and Jabba the Hutt’s band has the worst lead singer of all time. But after years of rumors, we might finally be getting our childhood movies back.
I generally have it as a policy that we don’t run those rumors because they are generally wrong. However, over the last month the evidence and tips have been piling up that the unaltered original trilogy will be re-released this year for the 40th anniversary in various formats. Several sources have let us know it was coming and it appears to actually be on the way this time. At this time, we firmly believe the unaltered original edits of the 1977, 1980, and 1983 cuts of the original Star Wars Trilogy will officially be re-released soon.
It’s not clear whether this’ll be a home video or a theatrical rerelease, but fans would welcome either. Lucas only begrudgingly put the laserdisc transfer on a DVD and insisted for years that was the best fans would get. It’s been claimed for years that the restoration process creating the updated versions destroyed the original negatives, meaning that basically the original cuts don’t exist to create a high definition transfer. Nobody quite bought the idea that George Lucas would be allowed to destroy the only extant film copy of one of the single most popular movies in the history of cinema, and sure enough, a 35mm print turned up last year and is being restored by fans. There are likely other prints out there, although they’ve yet to surface since owning them is technically illegal in the first place.
We’ll see if this is the year those rumors finally pan out, but it would make sense. Disney likes money, fans have been beating this drum insistently for more than two decades now, and this year is the 40th anniversary. We’ll see just whether this pays off likely later in the year.