Star Wars Original Cuts

UPDATE: It turns out that all of these rumors were, once again, wishful thinking. We’ve added the latest details below.

Every now and then there’s a new rumor that the original, unaltered, non-Special Edition cuts of the Star Wars trilogy are on the verge of being re-released to the public. Sometimes the rumor says the original trilogy will be re-released in theaters, other times they say the movies will be available in high-definition on Blu-ray for the first time officially. Now a new rumor has emerged regarding the release of the Star Wars original cuts, but this one is somewhat more credible.

Find out more about the Star Wars original cuts being released again after the jump.

MakingStarWars.net is behind the rumor this time, and that’s what has us a little more inclined to believe it. They even acknowledge that they tend to avoid running rumors about the release of the original cuts of the trilogy because they always turn out to be wrong (and we’ve written before about why a re-release has been unlikely to happen). But with the arrival of the 40th anniversary this year, they’ve had multiple sources providing tips about the re-release finally happening.

As of now, there are no specific details on the re-release of the Star Wars original cuts. As of now, it’s not even clear if they’ll be re-released in theaters or only on home video, but MakingStarWars.net firmly believes that the unaltered original cuts of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi will be officially re-released this year in honor of the first movie’s 40th anniversary.

Previously, Lucasfilm made us believe that the original negatives of Star Wars that they had in their possession were permanently altered for the Special Edition releases of the movies, making restoration essentially impossible. But then a 35mm print of the original cut of the first movie was unearthed last year, so we know there have to be original negatives out there that haven’t been altered.

The original cuts of the Star Wars trilogy were once made available on DVD exclusively at Walmart, but otherwise, any high-definition versions have been bootlegs that fans have to download online and burn to disc themselves. A friend actually gave me a set as a gift awhile back, and there is something very special about being able to watch those versions at home without all the added visual effects and alterations George Lucas made, not just in the theatrical Special Edition re-release, but the subsequent home video releases that feature several more changes over the years.

It would be phenomenal if Lucasfilm finally gives fans the cut of Star Wars they’ve wanted to see again for years now. That might be something they announce at Star Wars Celebration at Orlando in April, but in the meantime, we’ll remain skeptical while also hoping for the best.

UPDATE: The Digital Bits reports that Disney has not taken the appropriate steps to create a new 4K restoration of the original trilogy. It’s possible and could be done – the necessary elements are around and preserved. At this point, the only restored cuts that exists are the much-maligned Special Editions.

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