Star Wars Theatrical Cuts

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the original Star Wars trilogy wasn’t overloaded with CGI added after the fact. Greedo didn’t shoot first, nor did he yell out “Maclunkey!” Han Solo didn’t have a conversation with a cartoonish Jabba the Hutt and step on his tail. Hayden Christensen didn’t pop up as a Force Ghost. But all that changed. George Lucas went back and retooled the original trilogy, tidying up some things while also adding a whole bunch of extra junk that the movies didn’t need. And to this day, those special editions are the only versions that are officially available.

Fans have long hoped for the original versions of Star Wars to be released, and it looks like J.J. Abrams shares those wishes. He’s even asked the powers-that-be to release the un-changed cuts. But alas, such a release might not be in the cards.

I’ve held out on buying the original Star Wars trilogy on Blu-ray for one reason: it’s not really the original trilogy. The only versions of the first three Star Wars films available (legally) are the special editions that feature a whole bunch of tinkering from George Lucas. There are too many changes to count (you can read them all here), but they mostly involve Lucas adding goofy-looking CGI into the background of many scenes, and, to be blunt, I hate it. I want the original theatrical cuts – or something at least close to them. And I’m not alone: many fans would love for Lucasfilm and Disney to finally release these cuts, perhaps in a fancy new 4K Blu-ray set.

While there have been rumblings that these theatrical cuts will eventually be released, there have just as many rumblings stating the opposite – that these cuts will never see the light of day again. And according to J.J. Abrams, who has some insider knowledge about this sort of thing, the latter might be true. In the interview below, Abrams reveals that he actually asked about a release of the original theatrical cuts, but was told it was not going to happen.

“I’ve been told that for reasons that I don’t quite understand that that’s not necessarily possible,” Abrams says. The Rise of Skywalker filmmaker adds that the new cuts are “what Geroge Lucas wanted” and that he respects that, but says that “there’s something about the original theatrical version that…for so many people…was what they loved.”

I’ll continue to hold out hope for the original Star Wars theatrical cuts to be released. But I guess I won’t hold my breath.

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