While it has been rumored for a couple years now, George Lucas has finally made it official. Lucas officially announced at the “Main Event” at the Star Wars Celebration V that all six Star Wars films would be getting a Blu-ray release next year. According to IGN, the six film Blu ray set will be out Fall 2011 and include “”documentaries, vintage behind-the-scenes moments, interviews, retrospectives and never-before-seen footage from the Lucasfilm archives.”
Lucas, along with surprise guest Mark Hamil and moderator Jon Stewart, showed off some of the never-before-seen footage, a deleted scene from Return of the Jedi. The scene was Luke’s original entrance into the film and while it was brief, watching it on YouTube gave me chills. It is of Luke assembling his new green light saber and hiding it inside of R2D2’s dome, right before he infiltrates Jaba the Hutt’s palace. Again it is a very brief scene and one that was apparently cut right before the final edit of the film in post production.
According to Lucas, only the remastered cuts from the original trilogy will be released on Blu-ray. In an interview with the New York times he stated the follwoing:
To release the original versions of these films on Blu-ray was “kind of an oxymoron because the quality of the original is not very good.”“You have to go through and do a whole restoration on it, and you have to do that digitally,” he added. “It’s a very, very expensive process to do it. So when we did the transfer to digital, we only transferred really the upgraded version.”
However, nerds hold your gunfire. Lucas has been known for trashing the original versions in the past. In the past he has infamously refered to them as workprint editions but he didn’t say that this time around.
“We’ve been working on them for quite a while,” Mr. Lucas said, “but still, there are pipelines. Unfortunately, the recent releases get priority over what we call the classic versions of things.”
Either Lucas is trying to save face with Star Wars geeks or he has learned from his mistakes. I would personally expect the “classic versions” to get a release on Blu-ray, maybe by Christmas 2012. So Star Wars fans, how soon will you pre-order these bad boys?