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"Unaltered" Original Trilogy Limited 2006 Edition DVD thread (still in stores!)


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It's really cool to finally have the unaltered original trilogy (in other words, the way things *really* happen in Star Wars) on DVD. :) Even though George is being absurdly stubborn by not giving us a new transfer, at least this is a start. For the rumored 30th anniversary Star Wars boxed set, a new anamorphic transfer from the fully restored master film prints of the unaltered original trilogy should be included.

 

As far as changes to Episode I, I'd actually prefer to keep Yoda as he is. Or at least have an option to view Episode I with the new transfer, but without any of these changes in the 2007 set. It would be cool to have an option to watch Episode I and see in the movie all of the duel of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan versus Darth Maul. :)

 

I assume there won't be many changes in Episodes II and III, but it would be nice to be able to watch in the movie the full length duel between Obi-Wan and Count Dooku, and also Yoda versus Count Dooku, in Episode II. :)

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  • 3 months later...

I'd like to add (especially for anyone who has read this thread all the way through) some things now that I've seen my copies of the 2006 set many times, to clarify some things that I said or speculated about that were not quite accurate:

 

- These sets are STILL AVAILABLE in stores (check the bargain bin). The "limited edition" thing was just a marketing ploy and they didn't sell as many as they had hoped, probably because most customers are utterly confused, with three different "Star Wars trilogy" sets sitting side by side on store shelves. I bet a lot of people think it's just the 2004 version again wrapped individually or something (the two other sets aren't even LABELLED as the 'special editions' they just say "Star Wars Trilogy" or "Episodes IV, V, VI"). So contrary to all our fears, these were NOT pulled from store shelves on Jan 1st. If stores in your area don't carry them, you can order them off amazon, ebay or equivalent. They're pretty cheap these days, even new.

 

- Yes, the "Bonus Materials" disc that originally was exclusive to the 2004 box set is still available. You can purchase it online (Amazon.com has it, for less than $10 usually).

 

- The collector's tin is still available (order online) but it's over $100. Be advised, all this is is the three 2006 (2 disc) sets tossed into a metal box, that you used to be able to buy at Best Buy for $10 more than buying them individually.

 

- I bought the special wal-mart deal where each movie came in a cheap cardboard box (same packaging for each movie, only the front cover is different, a pic of the DVD and a pic of the comic cvover). The comics are just reprints of the Dark Horse collections (themselves reprints of the Marvel Comics vintage "movie" adaptations that have been RE-COLORED to match the movies... so no red lightsabers for everyone in the original Star Wars, no blue Yoda, etc). Unlike the vintage comics, the "reader mail" "pin up section" and "intro" boards for each issue are removed in these versions. Still, pretty cool.

 

- The 2006 "bonus discs" come with no extras, except each one has an (identical) Xbox demo of "Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy" and an (identical) trailer for the game. There's no commentary or other bonuses.

 

- The 2004 discs that are included in the set are identical to the 2004 cuts of the movies already released, and have the same audio commentaries and other options. They have all the same flaws too, nothing has been fixed or changed. The disc artwork matches the 2005 sets (FBI logo and different fonts added to the 2004 disc art). Some have speculated that these are actually unsold stock from the 2005 "limited edition" (the only thing "limited edition" about that set was the cardboard box it came in!).

 

- The opening crawl in "Star Wars" (1977, bonus disc) IS how it was from 1977-1980. There's NO "episode iv: a new hope" and everything else is perfect. Upon closer inspection I think this was re-created with the original elements (not in CG). The only thing stopping me from saying it IS the 1977 original crawl is that the shot of Alderaan's moon as the camera pans down right before the Tantive IV flies into view looks different (more detailed and "half moonish" if that's a word) than the shots I've seen of the laserdiscs.

 

- Yes, the color quality IS better than the laserdiscs. The picture is sharper and there's better balance and the colors are accurate. This LOOKS better than any Laserdisc I've ever seen, including bootleg transfers that fans have put onto DVD. And on TV it looks better than VHS.

 

- Sadly, if you have a widescreen TV, and view it in "zoomed" or "stretched" mode, the second line of subtitles (Greedo scene, Jabba scenes or watching the movie on CC) will be chopped off. Thus you either have to watch it unzoomed to get that...

 

However some people have told me that certain DVD players have a Zoom feature that DOES show all the subtitles. If you're lucky enough to own one of these, then you're set!

 

- Yes, there are little problems in the video here and there (that really should have been fixed before they transferred it), some ghosting and color blips. But unless you're paying super close attention or sitting really close to a big screen, you aren't likely to notice.

 

- It's been confirmed by official sources that these are definately the 1993 master tapes used to create the LaserDiscs. The only thing different is the opening crawl for Star Wars (no word on if it's re-created or original, but I suspect it's re-created from the original elements, unless they just inserted a new moon in 1993 before they started doing the other SE changes).

 

- The sound on the "bonus discs" (the theatrical 2006 discs) is the same audio mix that accompanied the movie on Laserdisc in the 80's. It sounds good but it's Dolby 2.0 only. The first sound track for the theatrical Star Wars was actually the six channel stereo, but at the time few theaters had the capability to handle it, so they quickly produced a stereo and mono mix. Sadly none of these mixes are present on the DVD (but can be found on the 'net, and fans are working on creating their own versions that incorporate these mixes). The home video versions all used blends of the different theatrical soundtracks. So in this version you won't hear the "magnum" blaster rifles, Threepio doesn't explain the tractor beam, but Han says "trust me" and Luke says R2 is lucky he doesn't taste very good. Blast it BIGGS where are you, there's no "close the blast doors!" before "open the blast doors." The side of the street is secure (not "the door's locked"), etc.

 

- The "30th Anniversary Edition" of the DVDs that was long rumored was cancelled. No new DVDs are going to be released in the foreseeable future. The 30th anniversary of the original Star Wars was May 25. The 24th anniversary of ROTJ was the same day, and the 27th anniversary of ESB was May 20th. It's now July 7. Nothing coming down the pipe except the Clone Wars CG series next year and the Live Action series circa 2009. The "3D Star Wars in theaters" thing was also put off indefinately, because "the technology wasn't up to speed" Lucas claims.

 

 

And yes, I still prefer the original movies. I watched Star Wars (2006 theatrical DVD) again a few nights ago and it was wonderful. I'm watching ROTJ now and it's great too, just like I remember it.

 

Hope that helps anyone who is still on the fence about this set or curious...

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  • 2 months later...

Very good summary, Kurgan. :) The new Star Wars original trilogy DVD's do look quite good, better than even the Star Wars Definitive Collection laserdisk set, which itself looks good. Many were surprised but just how good these DVD's look when they bought their sets and got to watch them. :)

 

And not only are the dumb changes from the SE gone, but the colors in Star Wars are accurate in this DVD set, they look the way they always have, the way they are supposed to look, not with the odd colors found in the SE. :)

 

If anyone hasn't gotten this set yet, I highly recommend it. You'll have the original Star Wars trilogy the way it actually happened, without any of the bizarre changes stuck in the SE, with good picture and sound quality. The DVD's also have great custom Star Wars menus. :)

 

As for the beginning of Star Wars, there are many that now think that is the original opening crawl on this new DVD set, after having examined it very closely. Apparently it was available from the fully restored and preserved master film prints that Lucasfilm has had ever since they were preparing for the 1997 release of the Special Edition in theaters (you know, the ones that they've refused to use so far for a new transfer of the unaltered trilogy :) ), and they took the time to put the correct original beginning of Star Wars in (no "A New Hope" in the title). Head over to http://www.originaltrilogy.com if you want the details, several Star Wars fans over there have looked into this carefully. There's certainly been a lot of interesting discussion on this issue. :)

 

It's very disappointing that it looks as if there might be no Star Wars 30th Anniversary DVD set this year. Hopefully they will have a big Star Wars DVD collector's set out next year, including a new transfer from the pristine master film prints of the original unaltered Star Wars trilogy. :)

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  • 5 months later...
Very good summary, Kurgan. :) The new Star Wars original trilogy DVD's do look quite good, better than even the Star Wars Definitive Collection laserdisk set, which itself looks good. Many were surprised but just how good these DVD's look when they bought their sets and got to watch them. :)

 

And not only are the dumb changes from the SE gone, but the colors in Star Wars are accurate in this DVD set, they look the way they always have, the way they are supposed to look, not with the odd colors found in the SE. :)

 

If anyone hasn't gotten this set yet, I highly recommend it. You'll have the original Star Wars trilogy the way it actually happened, without any of the bizarre changes stuck in the SE, with good picture and sound quality. The DVD's also have great custom Star Wars menus. :)

 

As for the beginning of Star Wars, there are many that now think that is the original opening crawl on this new DVD set, after having examined it very closely. Apparently it was available from the fully restored and preserved master film prints that Lucasfilm has had ever since they were preparing for the 1997 release of the Special Edition in theaters (you know, the ones that they've refused to use so far for a new transfer of the unaltered trilogy :) ), and they took the time to put the correct original beginning of Star Wars in (no "A New Hope" in the title). Head over to http://www.originaltrilogy.com if you want the details, several Star Wars fans over there have looked into this carefully. There's certainly been a lot of interesting discussion on this issue. :)

 

It's very disappointing that it looks as if there might be no Star Wars 30th Anniversary DVD set this year. Hopefully they will have a big Star Wars DVD collector's set out next year, including a new transfer from the pristine master film prints of the original unaltered Star Wars trilogy. :)

 

Yeah, many amazing fan edits exist. We can't of course promote them here (out of respect for Lucasfilm's copyright), but that site does have some interesting discussions of those preservations. It's amazing what fans can do without millions of dollars, to lovingly restore the classic films! Maybe someday Lucas will get the message...?

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  • 4 months later...

We've been discussing whether to allow discussions of fan edits here, but I will only say that "Star Wars Revisited" is the ultimate fan edit of ANH (though still, we await a restoration of the original theatrical film!).

 

A note on the "opening crawl mystery." It appears that in 1981, when Lucas inserted "Episode IV: A New Hope" he also tweaked the "moon" to make it look like a globe instead of a half moon (playing with the contrast/brightness/saturation). Some had speculated that it was a new element added in 1981, but now most fans who have looked at it think it's just the original lit differently. Interestingly, the "old" moon of Alderaan (in that opening shot) was restored in 2004, so now what you see in the 2006 ("unaltered") and 2004 editions matches, but when you look at old laserdiscs from the 80's (which are the 1981 "Episode IV" edition) the moon looks different.

 

So still, the 2006 editions are the "most authentic" and best quality versions of the movies, closest to the theatrical originals, officially, anyway. A few elusive fan edits exist that are working to restore the films even more, but again, since that's a questionable topic I'll leave off elaborating for now. No word yet on a high def release, and I am still convinced that Lucas will not give us what we want...

 

Oh, and the Clone Wars CG movie (pilot of the upcoming TV series) is coming to theaters next month, you already knew that I'm sure, since trailers are now being shown of it. It looks silly, but I'll probably check it out, after scanning the reviews.

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Darnit, I want my totally unaltered Star Wars film, before it had "EPISODE IV" and "A NEW HOPE" at the beginning! :mad:

 

I'm just kidding. I dislike all the new stuff also, but I typed what I did above to highlight that Lucas has been changing the moview for a loooong time now. It's not just what he dis with these newer editions of the original trilogy.

 

I think we all just love what we saw the first time the most.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I think we all just love what we saw the first time the most.
I saw the VHS special editions first, but I like the originals better.

 

That's right. My opinion has changed greatly since I posted in this thread two years ago. There are some things I like and some things I don't, but in the end, I think the originals are better. I love stuff about both; I prefer Han shooting first, but I like the re-instated Jabba scene. I prefer Sebastian Shaw in Episode VI, but I like the new music in the ending better. And I prefer the awesome windows in Cloud City, but... uhhh... I don't really remember many other changes to Empire Strikes Back, or any that I didn't like. Anyways, I've just been getting interested in older movies lately, and as a result, I also like catching goofs, how they make effects, etc. So it's just a better experience to me, it feels more like you're watching an actual classic. I've come more absorbed in the movies themselves, and less absorbed in the Star Wars universe alone.

 

I still don't hate the edits though, and they certainly don't ruin the movies or anything. But if I'm watching the movies from a DVD on my TV, it's going to be the originals. I have a high-def television, and the original versions on the official DVDs look really nice on it (it looked like I was really in Tatooine while I was watching Episode IV, which it should), so I dunno what all the complaints against those are about.

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  • 7 months later...

I should add a little something here, since some folks have wondered and because they're ubiquitous now...

 

Most places, you can now purchase a DVD "Star Wars Trilogy" box set:

 

(see the one on the right, in blue):

 

dvd_saga.jpg

 

This set is essentially just a cardboard sleeve holding the three "Limited Edition" 2-disc sets from 2006.

 

It was released in December 2008, and is still available (they didn't even bother calling this one "Limited Edition" this time).

 

It appears that it usually ends up cheaper if you buy this rather than order each LE. But the content is IDENTICAL as if you'd purchased all three seperately, so you get the 2004 editions and the "2006" "Theatrical" "Bonus Disc" versions.

 

So if you're a first-time buyer of Star Wars on DVD, this is probably the set to get.

 

And just FYI, the Prequel version is just the three, previously released Prequel (2-disc) sets in a new cardboard sleeve. Again, nothing new, and it may or may not be cheaper than buying them individually, price shop and compare.

 

Also, I might be mistaken, but I think both of these sets are Widescreen only (not that that is a bad thing, mind you), as there's no alternate packaging for a full frame set.

 

 

People have also asked, "When is the NEW Special Edition set coming" or "When is the 3D set coming" or "When is this coming to Blu-Ray"? The answer is: NOBODY KNOWS.

 

Lucas and his company have said nothing official about it, and apparently such things were/are "planned" but have no definitive release date, having been postponed indefinitely.

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Please see the other thread for more accurate information. I realize now a lot of my earlier posts were speculation (having been made before I actually owned the 2006 set). I've learned a lot more things about the development of the saga thanks to hanging out on the Star Wars pages of IMDB.com.

 

Some little mistakes were made here and there, like my thinking that the "Faces" set altered the lines (apparently I misremembered that, and it was the 1997 edition that did that first, although the Faces set has other differences in audio from the 1980's tapes).

 

The 2006 "theatrical" bonus discs definitely use a LaserDisc "tape master" used to create those discs in 1993. Apparently the "original crawl" in Star Wars is actually the real deal, including the original moon shot (rather than a computer generated re-creation). If it was re-created using the original elements or simply spliced in, they did a darn good job of blending it so you can't tell!

 

Anyway, now you know, and knowing is half the battle!

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  • 3 months later...

All I can say is that when I bought and saw the 2006 versions I was very disappointed, even I could tell they were the slightly squeezed laser disc versions.

Could ne1 tell if me if the actual 1977, 1980, and 1983 releases on DVD is even a possibility ne more or have those reels turned to dust by now.

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You mean a brand new transfer from the reels? It's possible that they could restore the negatives from the vaults or from some private collectors I guess. Supposedly in 1997 when they did so for the original SE's it was a big job. They are probably in pretty bad shape by now. But if they can restore even older movies, surely they can do so for Star Wars, and the technology for restoration now has improved quite a bit I would think in the last decade.

 

Seeing the ORIGINALS restored in theaters again would be amazing (not just seeing some old copy somebody had from the 80's in their collection covered with dust and scratches, faded, etc). Seeing them on DVD would be the icing on the cake.

 

So I would think it's still a "possibility" it's just that Lucas has a stranglehold on that right now and he doesn't seem to want to budge. The 2006 release was supposed to "shut up" the fans who were complaining (while he saw everyone else as being "satisfied" with whatever new version of the SE's he'd release as his "definitive vision"). If the fans continue to complain, and do so constructively, who knows... maybe someday he'll change his mind (hopefully before it's too late to do the actual restoration work).

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That is what I would like to see, because I have very little problems with George altering his movies (emphasis on his movies he can do what ever he wants) but I would just like to have original theatrical releases so we can enjoy every version and see how far we've come.

I think history will remember Lucas a lot better than we are looking at him right now.

 

Not to say that I am not preparing an underground army to strike LucasFilm incase Lucas tries to completely remake the OT.

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That is what I would like to see, because I have very little problems with George altering his movies (emphasis on his movies he can do what ever he wants) but I would just like to have original theatrical releases so we can enjoy every version and see how far we've come.

I think history will remember Lucas a lot better than we are looking at him right now.

 

Not to say that I am not preparing an underground army to strike LucasFilm incase Lucas tries to completely remake the OT.

 

Frankly I'd much RATHER that Lucas simply remake the OT from scratch and release it, than to keep tinkering around with the movies making "Special Editions." I too want to see the originals restored to the pristine quality that was shown in theaters 1977-1985. THAT is what deserves to be preserved. The SEs are little more than curiosities... tech demos for (now dated) CG fx and editing. Now that the prequels are done, there's no more excuse to keep doing this.

 

But I'm cool with Lucas having his "my best version of my original vision that I always intended ever" sandbox over there and the REAL Star Wars movies over here where the regular fans can watch 'em to their hearts content.

 

Is that so much to ask? The Flanneled One has BILLIONS. He KNOWS Star Wars is his #1 cash cow. Why not? The man needs to see reason. He probably thinks he threw us a bone with the 2006 laserdisc dumps, but really, as loyal fans for so many years, we deserve a little more than that.

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  • 8 months later...
  • 2 months later...
I am going to carbon-date myself, but oh well... Did anyone ever get star wars: The Original cut on records. They had a version on record, which the listener would read along. Ignore the fact that I linked a blog site, for I am only trying to show you the pictures.

 

Star Wars : A New Hope : Read Along

http://checkthecoolwax.blogspot.com/2006/02/star-wars-new-hope-read-along.html

 

Star Wars : Empire Strikes Back : Read Along

http://checkthecoolwax.blogspot.com/2006/02/star-wars-empire-strikes-back-read.html

 

Star Wars : Return Of The Jedi : Read Along

http://checkthecoolwax.blogspot.com/2006/02/star-wars-return-of-jedi-read-along.html

 

Nostelgic... All the way... Hehehe...

 

The days when Han shot first, and Boba Fett was cold and ruthless. The days when the Ewoks danced and sang, and Sabastian Shaw was the force ghosts at the end of ROTJ. Hehehe...

 

I have all these dvds .

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Well the Blu-Ray sets are officially out, and (as we knew all along) there are no theatrical cuts included (unless you count Episode III which is the theatrical cut, since all that was changed on TV was one lack of transition which was restored for this edition, go figure).

 

People who liked the 1997 SE's don't get their version, in fact, neither do the 2004 edition fans (though the Blu-Rays are very close to these versions). Prequel fans have had their movies tinkered with as well (though Episode III really hasn't changed, Episode II now has the dreaded blue tints we all complained about with the OT 2004!).

 

It took 2 years for the theatrical OT to come out on DVD after the first trilogy box set. Hopefully it won't take as long this time...

 

What I don't get is why Lucas included all these nostalgic commentaries, nostalgic documentaries and nostalgic deleted scenes which will appeal directly to fans of the THEATRICAL versions of these films, but only included revamped 21st century digital versions of each movie? "Ultimate Boxed Set" this is not.

 

Ah well, at least we still have these, rather than nothing.

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  • 2 months later...

And as if there was any doubt, the "Theatrical Bonus Discs" are here to stay, since you can get them either in the 2 disc "limited editions" or else in the "Trilogy" DVD box set (with the blue cover). If you're a fan of the originals, that's really all you "need" to buy. The only difference between getting the box set vs. the 2 disc sets is that the individual cases are thinner and in a big cardboard sleeve.

 

Of course the "bonus discs" in the Blu-Ray set can only be obtained by buying the "Saga" Blu-Ray box set. Even though the BD is in special packaging, I imagine it might end up on ebay as a stand alone thing, like the "Bonus Materials" disc from 2004 did. Who knows.

 

MTFBWY

Edited by Kurgan
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Even though the BD is in special packaging, I imagine it might end up on ebay as a stand alone thing, like the "Bonus Masterials" disc from 2004 did. Who knows.

 

The difference is that the 2004 bonus disc had an individual case. The BD discs are tied to the whole pack.

 

But it's good to know that the originals are out there. ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good point. So if it was sold separately, it would be in generic jewel or amray case, etc. instead of the accordion style custom packaging.

 

It's worth repeating, since there are different extras on the BD-set (the only thing that sounds the same are the audio commentaries), it appears that LFL & co. presume that the majority of the buyers of this set already own the 2004 set. And I can imagine Lucas thinking "why would they want the original cuts? They have the 2006/2008 sets, right?" ;P

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  • 3 years later...

It's true, that lately, I haven't seen the 2006 "Limited Edition" sets or the 2004 or 2005 sets in stores, EXCEPT as second-hand, used copies, but the 2008 "trilogy" box sets are still not hard to find. We have the DVD versions of the Blu-Rays now that might be competing for them for shelf space, but hopefully people know by now that the 2006/2008 sets are the only way to watch the "original" versions of the OT.

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