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Star Wars Blu-ray Review
Posted September 12, 2011 10:51 PM by Webmaster
The moment is finally here. On Friday, George Lucas' epic Star Wars saga will make its debut on Blu-ray in HD for everyone to enjoy. So the question on everyone's mind naturally is, does the Star Wars Blu-ray release live up to the high expectations? Luckily, Blu-ray.com's own staff reviewer Casey Broadwater has the answer in his comprehensive Star Wars Blu-ray Review.
While the new Star Wars video transfers/restorations represent "an exponential leap in picture refinement, integrity, and clarity from previous DVD releases" and for the most part look wonderful, the first two Star Wars prequels, especially The Phantom Menace, leave some to be desired. The good news is that the original Star Wars trilogy doesn't disappoint. Casey concludes "I can't imagine these three films looking much better than they do here. I suppose it's possible, but I'll leave that for Lucas to figure out."
As for the audio, it's good news all around. "I don't even need to write up separate audio reviews for each of the films. You know why? Because these lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 surround tracks are perfect."
To summarize Casey's thoughts about the Star Wars Blu-ray release, "The films have never looked or sounded betteróEpisodes III-VI are particularly impressiveóand they come with a fantastic collection of special features." and is highly recommended.
I may have thrown my hands up at my sides and shook them like a teenage girl screaming at a concert when I saw the review had been posted...Since it is Star Wars I think my masculinity is still in tact though...I think?
Go with the Saga. I just came from my work that just got it in, the packaging is literally SHIT. Nice cover, but it's a three disc regular Blu-ray case and a cheap sleeve. THe Saga is nearly identical to the Alien Anthology, at least from the outside, and looks awesome, minus cover art which doesn't do it for me.
Great review Casey, very well balanced and informative. I'm definitely in the same group as you, hoping someday Lucas will come to his senses and give us the OOT, in the highest quality of course. I just wished that some of Spielberg's newly discovered common sense and love for film preservation would of rubbed off on him. Awe well...
It's a sad day when I can best-describe the "original" Star Wars trilogy on blu-ray as a Netflix rental. I am unable to overlook George Lucas' years of "tinkering." If the change made is noticeable, then it wasn't a necessary one, George. Improve the special effects, okay. But to alter characters and dialogue to "complete" the circle from the triangle of prequels is unforgivable. Day One Pass for me.
Sorry to say, but I'll be skipping this release. The picture quality looks impressive, but I'd rather have the untainted old trilogy in laser disc picture quality rather than BD quality with all the unacceptable changes. My custom sets will still have to suffice...
I'm sure Casey has no problem sitting down and enjoying these films because he didn't have to give Lucas any $ for the set. If Lucas wants to send me a free copy I'll do the same. Until then I'll stick with my stack of DVD-r's.
You know, I love the Star wars as much as anybody, and im sure theres some great improvements, but the forementioned tinkering and the fact that Ive owned the VHS, LDs, and the remastered DVD sets....and i'm just gonna spend my money on something new.
It is always odd to me as I read all the "Star Wars" comments and that very strange bluray review.
I always felt that episodes 1 through 3 got a bad rap. All people have done is compare them to episodes 4 through 6. If you take 1 through 3 and treat them as stand alone movies, they are good films and were entertaining to watch. I am old enough to remember when "Empire" and "Jedi" came out, there were people complaining even back then about those now classics.
George Lucas gave us a six episode adventure with incredible vision and imagination like no movies have been able to match since. "Lord of the Rings" comes close, however; these are his stories, his vision, his characters, and I find it interesting to watch what George really had in mind or felt changes would improve on character or theme. It I ever want to re-live my 1977 "Star Wars" experience again, I can reach for the laser or DVD and do that.
The great thing about "Star Wars" and how George has released them over the years (VHS, Laser - Big Box Set and each movie, DVD, and now, blu-ray), we are able to choose the version we want and enjoy.
Thank you George Lucas for six great adventures!!!!! Thank you for the great extras! Thank you for all six-"Star Wars"! Now, "Indiana Jones" needs to be next!!!!
The negative people are thinking about it wrong; we WANT a revisionist George Lucas. Only that way can we ever hope for a version of the prequel trilogy that has Jar Jar edited out!
On a more serious note, while some of the tinkering is annoying, let's not forget that the special effects were a lot worse and the colors were all faded in the original versions, so on the whole the updated versions have a lot of advantages. I'm willing to suffer some goofiness for the improved special effects and decent colors.
This conclusion of this review is excatly what I'm thinking.
One day Georges Lucas - as Anakin did - will make his own redemption and he will give us what we want : the original theatrical trilogy on Blu-ray.
As it is said : thie Original Trilogy belongs to all of us - not to Georges Lucas.
Until the George Lucas Redemtion day :
ENJOY THIS INCREDIBLE STAR WARS SAGA BLU-RAY SET !!
STAR WARS is AND WILL ALWAYS BE STAR WARS !!
Breath of fresh air to hear that. I was so worried that after all this time, hype and expectations, it would fall short. People can complain all they want about George Lucas but he made some darn good movies and good to see he takes care of them. It might not be what WE want, but they're his product. I can't wait for my copy to come.
@SITH. What do you mean, sound is disgusting? Is this a compliment, a post hip hop turn of phrase, a 'bad meaning good' type thing? I'm less concerned about the changes to star wars now, I'm more worried about the innate bastardisation of our English language! Nooooooooooooooo, or should that be Yeeeeeeeesssssssss!
Nice review - no word on the easter eggs though? My friend got the UK version on Friday (Tescos sent them out early apparently) and he has already found the complete cartoon from the Holiday Special so I'm hopefull there are some other goodies still to be found.
Great review Casey! You hit everything on the spot. Now, can we please get an announcement for Indiana Jones soon. Who wants to bet we'll hear something about Indy in the next few days? Maybe around the release of Star Wars?! It would be nice to get a flyer for "Coming soon to blu-ray" or something like that in the Star Wars cases, but since Star Wars is Fox and Indiana Jones is Paramount, the chances are slim.
The tinkering wouldn't sting as much if two of the films in the original trilogy weren't his to mess with. He didn't direct them. He should keep his grubby hands off. It's not his "vision," when someone else made it.
@scorsetinogilliam: He didn't direct them, but he hired the directors; as well as everyone else who worked on those movies.
I don't understand the hypocrisy of Lucas' statement in 1988. I didn't read it as once a film is made it shouldn't be changed. What I got was art being altered by a second party against the first party's authorisation; talking about the artist's right to have their work presented as they see fit, and to preserve it as they left it after they're gone.
Like the changes or not. But what really annoys me is when people act like Lucas is some dictator who walked into their homes and ruined their childhood. No, your childhood ended 30 years ago when you turned 13. I think a lot of the negative reactions here are pretty obsessive and irrational.
If anyone has made George Lucas a caricature, it's George Lucas, not anyone else. And fans have a right to be vocal, because it's their money they've handed to him over the years and made him a billionaire, and he can't even release the OT as is.
OOOOOOOOO I wonder what changes Mr. Lucas has in store for us pansies who will buy the BLU. Will he make all the flights and explosions in space silent, since there is no sound in the vacuum os space? Will he completely remove Jar Jar Binks and replace him with a space bunny? Will he finally make Yodas lips move like he is really talking and not a talking puppet like in "The Empire Strikes Back" or "Return of the jedi"? Will he digitally enhance princess Leias breasts? Will he dubb the Ewoks language to english? Oh I can't wait to see the movie that I saw and loved years ago? Oh wait, that's not going to happen since that movie is not being released.
ďIf anyone has made George Lucas a caricature, it's George Lucas, not anyone else."
Sorry, but as catchy as that may sound, it simply doesnít make any sense.
"And fans have a right to be vocal, because it's their money they've handed to him over the years and made him a billionaire..."
Letís be clear: you handed your money over to a CASHIER CLERK, in exchange for theater tickets, VHS, DVDís or anything else with a Star Wars logo on it. You didnít make George Lucas successful with some kind of charity; you simply gave money for an item that you wanted, and received Ė end of transaction. George Lucas made George Lucas successful, through talent, risk taking, careful planning, hard work and clever business foresight. Yes, you have the right to be vocal about anything you donít like; I would never argue such rights. But donít act like Lucas owes you his brass ring.
I must admit I have not watched StarWars 4,5 & 6 since the original 1997 SE, I forgot about the originals since i sold all my Laserdisc collection a few years ago.
Since all the fuss about the original three movies, I bought the OOP DVD's with the non anamorphic originals on, I watched them a few days ago.
They have in my opinion not aged well, not only is the acting OTT but the story arc is very childish and simplistic ( yes i know they were originally aimed at children ) I suppose children now expect so much more from what they are watching.
Anyway I digress, i don't think the movies are worth double, triple bla bla bla dipping for.
Some classic newer movies being released every week, thats where my money is going.
As for episodes 1,2 and 3 i rented them on DVD fro blockbuster and while they were OK to see the story unfold as prequels, just thought they were OK, but not worth buying.
Might buy original 3 movies if they are ever restored to original theatrical prints, if they are cheap.
I would have been ok with buying the set with the 2004 DVD SE versions of the films (with the fixes to the lightsabers and blasters)
I would have been able to deal with the blinking ewoks, pointless rock in front of R2, poorly done jabba's door enlargement, stupid dug added to jabba's palace, i might have even been able to ignore Gary Busey shouting into a sewer pipe in ANH... but the "no" did it... Lucas captured lightning in a bottle and has been crapping in that bottle for over a decade until finally the bottle is now overflowing with crap
my preorder (which was put in on the day it became available) was cancelled with a note about how Lucas should know when to leave things alone and the message ended as this comment will end
Hope you guys in the US do not experience the amount of compatibility issues happening with the Euro discs...audio dropouts, distortion, picture freezing...make sure your player has the most up-to-date firmware and keep your fingers crossed!...
Excellent review and the scores for video and audio quality were spot on.
Got this yesterday in the UK, the blu ray review is right, the sound is awesome ! I though the original trilogy PQ was good but not as strong as you would expect from Lucas.
As for the changes? Well each will have his own opinion, blinking ewoks and the cg yoday are actually improvements but yes the vader nooo is crap, did it hinder my enjoyment of this set though?..not one bit.
Of course, he doesn't owe anything to anyone, and I never said he did. The fact remains that his constant (and over-) tinkering with the films over the years made him a target for mockery. Also, his refusal to release an "original" version of the films side-by-side with his own "revisionist" ones implies that he is ignoring the older fan-base that helped made the originals the hits that they were.
Gotta love the hyperbole in some of the statements here, Lucas derangement syndrome I suppose.
"Box of lies"...rofl. Also love how the reviewer compared Lucas to a third world dictator, big difference. Lucas owns these movies, the dictators don't own their countries, even if they think they do.
Anyway, I don't mind changes for continuity (Jabba in IV, emperor in V, etc.), or fixing things like the puppeteers arm, starfield glitches, transparent light sabers, etc. Other stuff is hit or miss, but the only ones I really hate are the muppet debacle in Jabba's palace, Greedo shooting first, Christensen's ghost at the end of Jedi, and the upcoming "Nooooooo!!". Other than that, my life still goes on. I do hope for the originals on blu someday though, if Lucas comes to his senses.
It's also unfortunate the two of the newer ones apparently look the worst out of the bunch. Applied DNR to Ep.I just to match the digital grainless look of II and III? Shame on them.
Look at it this way, because of George's tinkering everytime it's released he's saving us from double/treble/quadruple dipping because we're not buying the exact same films over and over again. Thanks George!
No day one for me, I'll wait until they're cheap, same as I'm doing with LOTR.
Overall, he's right, it's a great set, but The Phantom Menace's video presentation was disappointing really. No matter how much I'd like to, I can't in good conscience give it even a 4/5, but 3.5 will do, I had hoped that DNR would be avoided, or minimised, but otherwise, it doesn't look bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it should have been better. The rest of the prequels, and especially the originals, are astounding, so I'd say 4.5 just about. Audio is 6/5 (yes it's that good) across the board, I cannot fault that in anyway.
Just saw your comment regarding STAR WARS. I would DEFINITELY start with episode IV, then go to V,VI,I,II and III in that order. That's the way they were released. The prequels were made knowing that (most) viewers had already seen IV, V and VI already.
If you haven't actually seen the movies, there's a chance some of the surprises and plot twists might actually come as a surprise to you. If that's the case, you are very lucky and I envy you.
I was in high school when episode VI came out and I unfortunately ran across a spoiler just before going to see it - I was scarred for life. I had been waiting for years for this movie and it was ruined just days before I got to see it. Ugh.
Bravo! Finally a Star Wars fan that get's it! I've been wondering this same exact thing forever, so many people just like to complain, but I could never understand why people just can't enjoy 6 fun adventure movies!
Excellent Review Casey! You reinforced my decision to buy this set. I got to watch the blu-ray versions of Ep I and II this weekend, and I was underwhelmed with the PQ. Its good to know that they are the weakest two films visually.
NOTE for Casey: the Alien box set is the Alien ANTHOLOGY, not quadrilogy.
Sorry Georgey I'm not buying your latest remade garbage, no matter the cost or resolution. No...Nooooooo! He's really made the whole saga laughable. If the fans ever do get what we want, and I doubt we ever will, then I'll buy.
These are George Lucas' films. He thought them up. He had them put to film. He can do as he wills with them. If the ever slip into The Public Domain, which I doubt, then you haters can do what YOIU want to them. Until then, enjoy your dvds, laserdiscs and such. Let the rest of us enjoy this set, and keep the whining to a dull roar so I can hear the movie!
First, profane attacks don't help your case...they make you appear to be angry, hurt, and defeated (name-calling, in essence).
Second, the issue is solely that the original versions (as created by the three directors of these films, lest we forget that Lucas didn't "create" the second two) are not being released alongside George's "visions." Why not, and why shouldn't I be allowed to own the films that I remember from my childhood (by the way, how old are you), exactly as they were? Why should these versions not be made available, alongside Lucas' visions (for the fanboys), especially as Lucas himself has spoken, very publicly, about the evils of film alteration?
The fact of the matter is that Lucas' ego is taking center stage...and that is precisely why he's been deemed a "dictator" by this reviewer. This is a problem for fans of these films who've been watching them for over thirty years (does this include you?)...period. I am a fan of the (original three, in their original form) films...not a Lucas fanboy...and by no means am I under some sort of "moral obligation" to simply accept Lucas' "visions" simply because he states, well after the fact, that they're accurate representations (despite not having the directors' consent to do so [regardless of who owns the rights]). The truth hurts...and the truth is that this review is dead-on.
Great Review! but I think I hate you now XD before I was looking forward to it, but now you got my "blood flowing" so to speak, now I am counting the days till I get it!
But yea, reading about the "NOOOO" yell gave me shivers XD
It was an excellent review, as much as I don't care for the new additions I agree with the reviewer when saying this set is too good to pass up for those reasons. I for one have always muted that horrible cg "singer" in Jedi on the DVD (hell even the special edition vhs released back in the day) and will continue to do so on the blu-ray.
Actually what's pathetic is you being unable to accept the fact that people have good opinions on this set. I actually find the comments attacking Lucas quite disturbing in content, and the fact that these are films (yes, the greatest films ever made IMO, but films nonetheless), not real life stuff, makes it all the more disturbing. Constructive criticism is very good, but some Star Wars fans take things too far.
I'm greatly relieved to learn that Lucas didn't DNR the detail out of the original trilogy. That was my greatest fear and would have been the only thing which prevented me from buying the series. It's now become a day 1 purchase!
So......I think I have every version. VHS, LD original, both un-touched, special addition LD then DVD, now the TRIFECTA, BLU-RAY!!!! I'm just the kind of guy if it's new, I have to have it. I didnt HAVE to buy that 9th version of T2, but dammit, I wanted lossless audio! If you stand strong for some reason, and dont buy this epic set because of 6 minutes of changes of a saga you know by heart anyways, the only person you effect is yourself. Lucas doesn't care, why would he? Star Wars in 6.1 lossless? Got to hear that! For me it's worth it just for the audio. CANT WAIT TO GET THIS.
All things considered, I plan to employ a strategy for the Star Wars Complete Saga set similar to the one I used for the Alien Anthology of last year: wait for a moderate drop in price, at which point I'll purchase it, probably toward the end of this year. Hopefully, by then, I will have also upgraded my surround sound system. On the whole, it looks very promising.
Looks and sounds great!! I got mine pre-order last friday. Thats because release date was 12th of September here in Finland but I got it few days earlier. I think I will spend next weekend watching and especially listening these movies!
ďFirst, profane attacks don't help your case...they make you appear to be angry, hurt, and defeated (name-calling, in essence).Ē
If the reviewer (a paid professional, to presume) of this official bluray website can get away, and further earn kudos, with caricaturizing a filmmaker to some kind of lunatic dictator, I donít think responding to such nonsense with a little profanity is off the Richter scale. Maybe I am being a bit harsh, but Iíll stick by my harshness in this case. However, colorful metaphors do not necessarily equate anger, hurt feelings or defeat. I my case, Iím merely disappointed in the review and further amused, for lack of a better word.
ďSecond, the issue is solely that the original versions (as created by the three directors of these films, lest we forget that Lucas didn't "create" the second two) are not being released alongside George's "visions." Why not, and why shouldn't I be allowed to own the films that I remember from my childhood (by the way, how old are you), exactly as they were? Why should these versions not be made available, alongside Lucas' visions (for the fanboys), especially as Lucas himself has spoken, very publicly, about the evils of film alteration?
The fact of the matter is that Lucas' ego is taking center stage...and that is precisely why he's been deemed a "dictator" by this reviewer. This is a problem for fans of these films who've been watching them for over thirty years (does this include you?)...period. I am a fan of the (original three, in their original form) films...not a Lucas fanboy...and by no means am I under some sort of "moral obligation" to simply accept Lucas' "visions" simply because he states, well after the fact, that they're accurate representations (despite not having the directors' consent to do so [regardless of who owns the rights]). The truth hurts...and the truth is that this review is dead-on.Ē
Itís not wise to generalize typical credits with the making of these films. George Lucas is the author Ė the creative authority Ė of Star Wars, through all six installments. People need to get into proper perspective his involvement with Episodes V & IV; no, he did not technically direct them. However, it is both uninformed and lacking in filmic sensitivities to think he didnít generally and creatively direct their overall productions. Kershner and Marquand were to the Star Wars series what any director is to individual episodes of a television series. This is not to undermine their contributions, not by any means; but to simply recognize Lucas as the larger creative force behind the whole endeavor--enough to justify any claims or acts of auteurism. Kershner, Marquand and Kassdan aided in executing a story that was conceived by Lucas, but they themselves did not create or even decide upon the shifts into darker tones, tragedy and heavier emotional content. The very idea to bring Kershner into the series was by Lucas, to take Empire down, what was then, a darker, more complex and more unconventional trajectory of myth and fantasy than its happy-go-lucky predecessor.
Look at it this way: A typical directing job seldom involves working the camera or editing the footage or rendering visual effects hands-on, but itís the director who has final creative say on these matters and all others. In the case of Episodes V & IV Lucas raised his involvement up one tier because, well, simply because he had to Ė because he was overseeing so many different production phases at once (including Raiders of the Lost Ark). So relative to his newly elevated position, Kershner and Marquand were like super-2nd unit directors. Again, in no way is this an attempt to dismiss everything they brought the saga. But this does address a larger point, anyhow. All the time do actors bring their own efforts into a film only to then have many of their scenes cut from the final product. The same goes for production designers, FX artist, composers etc. Their jobs are to facilitate the choices made by the creative authority, even if it means changing or omitting their own efforts. Kersnher and Marquand are no exceptions to this chain. The final point to be made here, perhaps the most important of all, is that any tweaking of Episodes V & IV most certainly involved elements that were as much at Lucasí discretion in the original making as they were in í97, 2004 or 2011.
George Lucas is an editor at heart, viewing Star Wars extensively, perhaps forever, as a work in progress. Yet I fail to see why this should be held against him by mere default. That films are in some way relics of history and should be preserved as such is a common and very cultured sensibility... but subjective none-the-less. There is no rule dictating that a film must maintain its original, museum-like form. Anyone who argues otherwise is simply being elitist. An organic, editorial expression is no less valid than a stagnant one. Why does Lucas not make available the unaltered, theatrical original trilogy? Because he no longer considers them the proper vision of his story. Therefore, why should he continue to express to an audience that which now misrepresents himself as an artist. This is not ego, it is integrity.
Why should you not be allowed to own the films that you remember from your childhood, exactly as they were? Because you DONíT own those films, you didnít create them. What you own is your childhood and all her fond memories. Donít confuse the two. Having said that, Lucas is not ordering Storm Troopers to break into your homes and rob you of any VHS or laserdisc copies that you may acquire. Youíre not being forced by moral obligations or any other reason to buy his updated versions. But Lucas himself shouldnít be forced to express his films (to whatever the latest format) in any other way than he sees fit. Heís not a very sentimental guy, George Lucas. No doubt, this makes a rough deal with all who are inherently, painfully nostalgic about the original films. But Lucas didnít ďgrow upĒ with these movies. He MADE them, with limited resources and, relatively speaking, less-than-desirable technological means. You can blame the guy for being insensitive to your nostalgic whims but you canít blame him for not being altogether rosy about the original state of those movies.
By the way, Iím an adult, in my thirties. I grew up watching the bulk of Star Wars sans the prequels or any special, special editions. I recognize my own fondness for the movies that I watched as a child, and even prefer a number of their unaltered moments to these latest versions. Iíve even voiced my disapproval of these changes in recent discussions. But I can do that and at the same time still respect Lucas as an artist. I donít need to tear him down in the process with mockery, slander and wild accusations of dictatorial insanity in order to validate my own tastes.
A wonderful set. It is so sad to hear so much hate for George. I grew up with the original versions, but, I prefer the special editions, as they are the films we would have had in the very beginning if George had the finances and technology (and of course the know-how of how the whole story plays out). Some people have queried the order in which to watch them, I personally like to watch them from Episode 1, simply because that is the beginning of the Skywalker saga, George did say that he started filming from the middle because that is when things really kick off in a story, or words to that effect. A lot of what I said is quite obvious but with so much hate directed at George etc, I, as one of the first generation of Star Wars fans just wanted to put my thoughts "out there". I just love Star Wars and I am forever grateful to George for sharing his vision although I may not like some elements . I definitely would love to see all six in the cinema again and especially in 3D.
Well tempered review., Thanks for your insights....so maybe this is stupid question #29, but is there any
debate over whether one watches them in the order of original theatrically release...or go for the chronology they speak too. I may be missing the obvious....thanks
I don't know who do you think I am, but you mistook me for someone else.
All I want is amazing, maybe not definitive, but worth money set. I'm not talking this as a Star Wars fan/fanatic (cause I'm not), but movie lover. I want hours of special features, I want to have a choice which version I want to watch, and I want the best quality. Just like with Alien Anthology and Blade Runner.
Someone mentioned the Holiday Special cartoon was an easter egg. I'm surprised no one has mentioned it afterwards. That gets me ever more excited about this than I was already! (I didn't think that was possible.) Kinda glad it's only the cartoon and not the whole thing. Not sure if I could sit through that.
Good review! Now I REALLY can't wait for this weekend! This is being treated as a major event at my house with my kids. I saw episode IV 11 times in the theater when I was a kid in 77 (it played at the theater for a VERY long time!). I can look past the changes and still have a great time watching all 6 of these films.
I'm pretty sure the original versions of the OT will be released someday, too much money to be made there.
Wow are you all really this short sighted that you give up caring about the unaltered version already? Only a week ago everyone was rightfully mad. It's not just the new changes it is the old ones too, like the terrible effects added to the OT in '97.Don't support this crap.
I don't think I misinterpreted what you were saying at all. Your most recent statement is certainly a lot milder than your previous one expressing dismay at people who call it amazing, and you calling the whole thing pathetic in comparison to BR and Alien releases. If what you say in your most recent post is what you really meant, then I see no reason why you couldn't have expressed it like that the first time round. As for the rest of my previous post, they were aimed generally.
That's alright then In general, though, I think we all (myself included) could do with a little reminder, that at the end of the day, the only one whose opinion should truly matter, is our own. Yeah, we can have disagreements and stuff, but hey, what we personally think should be the main thing.
Comments greatly appreciated. Is my understanding correct:
The video source utilized to complete the HD/transfer of the original trilogy to bluray is the very same one that was used for the DVD set around 2004ish time frame? If so, were improvements made before the bluray transfer?
I was hoping that one of the Lucas edits would be replacing/editing the "Nooo" in episode III to something a little more practical or dark. But instead they have added yet another "Nooo" and in episode VI to boot?
Do you think this could seriously be a double dip opportunity in the future whereby they will use the pre-DVD/original video source to complete a new HD transfer/bluray set along with less changes for the original trilogy movies? I can wait another 12-18 months before watching the set if this is a realistic possibility.
How can one judge a review if they don't have the product being reviewed........in hand? Also, I miss the days when a reviewer could give an unbiased opinion on a product, before the dark times, before the message board. The only 'honesty' in the review was the "YOU SURELY CANT ARGUE WITH ME ON THIS" tone it took when the reviewer was describing the sound quality. I actually felt a true self opinion during that part of the review.
The individual trilogies are bare-bones? Sucks. At any rate, I find that my flame for all things Star Wars pretty much died out with the prequel trilogy and OT changes. Won't be buying anything now, don't really feel like buying any of it ever, but maybe one day I'll get sentimental and buy the OT bare-bones set when it's cheaper. The prequel trilogy will never EVER be a part of my collection.
At this point I'm much more interested in watching The People vs George Lucas, which hits DVD within the next couple weeks I believe.
What is wrong with me? I know I don't LIKE the changes on this version or really any of the other versions... I know that I would prefer if Lucas released BOTH versions of the films. But for some reason I cannot boycott this, and I cannot keep myself from buying it!!!! Especially after reading this review. Who knows... maybe the "Nooo" at the end won't be too bad after watching them in order and connecting it to the "noooo" to episode III? I mean I am not a fan of it yet and think it is one of the worst changes since greedo shooting first, but what can we do? GL can't be ignorant to the fact that most people want both versions, but he won't bite, so whatever... As Luke said to his father "I see the good in you", I too see the good in these butchered versions of the films. The magic is still in there somewhere, and I cannot keep myself from buying it! I am not going to be the only one on the block without star wars on blu-ray!
As time has gone on I've come to truly appreciate every other director who has released the original theatrical versions with various cuts. I'm truly amazed at all of those who can't wait to give up their money for this trash but in a world where Britney Spears makes millions and WWE is considered entertaining it shouldn't come as a shock I guess.
What I would recommend for anybody tired of hearing "you'll buy it because it's Star Wars" (gimmie a break) is to go old school. Remember the way it was as you were growing up. I put together a little retro movie room this past year with a RCA 32" 4:3 TV, found a new RCA VCR and have been collecting VHS again as well. I have various VHS sets of the original, unaltered trilogy and they are so much more fun to watch.
As for the prequels, wow guys, you are in complete denial in your Star Wars fandom if you think they were good on any level.
Can't wait to watch this!!! Just remember guys when the scene with Vader comes up and he's about to throw the Emperor over the simple fix is to hit mute button. Too bad Greedo shooting can't be fixed that easy! The rest of the additions I guess I don't mind.
wow i find it funny that the first 3 films get a better overall score and review than the 3 newer films that were filmed with newer advanced technology?? not complaining, just surprised!! day one for me!! Long time fan since i was 8. going to enjoy have a star wars marathon this coming weekend!!
as far as all the negative comments and ppl that wont buy it due to you views, WELL..... its your loss i guess...
Last I checked they are HIS movies and he can do what he pleases. The childhood argument is ridiculous. Only in America is this an issue. America, where everyone has the most delusional sense of entitlement.
I could care less what he add, takes out, changes, tweaks etc. They are still the same movies and I fail to see how the changes make the story any different. I wish Peter Jackson would do the same with LOTR, keep improving it, adding deleted scenes like the epilogue....
My family and I are looking forward to watching all 6, my daughter has never seen them and is so excited. Hopefully he doesn't "ruin her childhood" by changing them later.
The last of an old technology is always better than the first of the new. It took until Episode 3 for digital to match film. Anyway, I have to pass on this set Ė Iím unable to enjoy these films with the changes and will wait patiently until I can see them again as they should be seen.
I've been trying hard to decided whether or not to buy this set and after reading this review I really think I might plan on buying it now. You know people need to know that they are George Lucas' movies and he can really do whatever he wants with them as he pleases. Anyways thats all I have to say about that.
It's funny - being born in 1976 I was a bit young to see these in theaters (at least the first two). I still love them dearly as an important part of my childhood, yet "the version I remember" was broadcast with a 4:3 aspect ratio, shown on an uncallibrated 1970's vintage CRT screen, with sound that can most charitably be referred to as "mono". I love those movies as much as any Star Wars geek (I never saw a different version until I purchased the VHS widescreen collectors set i the 1990s!) but I don't want George to release "my" childhood version alongside his changes.
Don't get me wrong - I hate Greedo shooting first, and two or three of the other changes feel wrong (if not as character-arc-shattering), but I think we should be honest about this - for the most part we really don't want the original version as it was released (how many of you saw the movies in theaters with surround sound? What about all of the dirt and scratches that were on the film by your 7th viewing?), what we really want is a version that transports us back to an idealized vision of what they were like when we first fell in love with them.
I'm not saying there isn't room to criticize, but I do think we ought to keep some perspective on how subjective what we're asking for really is.
Edit: First day purchase for me - I've been waiting for this version to share them with my daughter.
ottscay - I'd like to say you make some fair points, but they're not really analogous to the changes most people complain about. Cosmetic touches are rarely the target of people's ire in the seemingly neverending cycle of change these films are going through. The things that bother people (including myself) the most are the ones that alter character or mess with the flow of the movie.
I might be mistaken, but I always got the impression that the most reviled change in the 1997 version (besides the Greedo-shooting-first bit you already mentioned) was the Jabba's Palace musical number. The movie stopped for 3 minutes while a ridiculous CGI puppet of Sy Snoodles made the duckface into the lens.
Adding words to the climactic scene of Jedi drastically changes the emotional impact of that scene.
Those types of changes are jarring and ruin any chance long-time fans of the films have at full immersion.
The addition of a 6.1 surround mix and the removal of dirt and scratches do the opposite.
So two years after the first DVD set of the OT was released, good old Georgie boy released the 2 disc DVDs with the original versions with crappy VHS type picture quality.
So maybe in another two years, George will release another Blu-ray set with the originals in standard DVD quality...hey, it could happen.
Excellent review and accurate comments on the egomaniac nut job George Lucas. I know Lucas will release the Original Theatrical Star Wars (IV - VI) in blu-ray form - eventually. But doing it this way, and releasing the basderdized versions first, he'll get a nice double dip with the blu-ray format. There are a huge amount of people who will buy this version now, and then 2 years from now will buy the Original Theatrical versions. Nice job, George. But I will not be buying liberal version crap - (Yeah, Guido shoots first and misses him from a foot and a half away --- that's realistic), Vader crying "Nooooo" like a little girl, & the goofy bubble gum music in Return of the Jedi. Gimme a break. The originals were perfect and I can wait for them.
I won't be buying this release. Instead I'll be watching the unmolested 2006 DVD release. The PQ may be garbage but I get no joy in seeing Lucas' edits so its really the only option for me. It's a shame more of you couldn't show some restraint and hold out for a proper release.
I could honestly live with some of the changes bar Greedo shooting first and Vader's new "Nooo" at the end of Jedi. There are a few CGI changes that have been worthwhile (I actually like the changes that improve continuity with the prequel trilogy) and its frustrating, because I know you cant pick the ones you want. With this in mind I'd say a release of the unaltered theatricals would probably be best.
It cracks me up how every comment in this post which isn't blind fanboy raving has had its rating reduced at least one point. Some mind-addled Lucas disciple is going through and clicking that red minus button like crazy to hide the evidence that anyone might not be happy with the train wreck that the Star Wars franchise has become.
I find it VERY strange that there is no super special collector's editions coming out for this...
I mean, the Terminator bust, the Alien egg...but NOTHING for STAR WARS? Seriously?
Even the 2009 Star Trek reboot had the discs in the saucer section of a cool plastic replica of the enterprise...I was at LEAST expecting something similar, but bigger, like maybe a Millenuim Falcon and all the discs would eject out the back or something. The marketing possibilities are endless if the released some high quality special cases. I bet people would even buy several copies just to get the different housings.
I can only imagine how awesome it would be to house the blu's in a Darth Vader bust similar to the T2 Blu special edition. Push the button and hear the Vader breathing fx. Come ON!
My guess is that someday, when King George croaks and is de-throned, a raid at the Lucasfilm compound will ensue. Somewhere in that menagerie they will unearth a hermetically sealed master film print copy of the original trilogy (encased in Carbonite no doubt). Only then will those "lost" films be appropriated, properly transferred and made available to the public on whatever format of the day is prevailing and a huge celebration will be had by all!
You know, I've been reading all these for/against arguments here and it's really quite odd.
I saw Star Wars day one when I was seven years old, and I still love it today.
From a technical perspective, I feel sad for those foregoing and denying themselves the oh-so rare opportunity to re-live a cherished childhood feeling of utter joy.
I prefer to say "WOW, look how awesome that looks compared to the original (textures, clarity, etc) and OMG, that sound is amaaaaaazing." as opposed to "It's not exactly how I remember it so I'm OUT"...In fact, come to think of it, if that's how you REALLY feel, you would never buy the Blu-Ray in the first place...the sound and picture has been changed from the original VHS and DVD releases. Heck, it even looks and sounds better than it did in theaters back then!
For those that weren't there, the only thing theaters had going for them were the big screens (since homes didn't have them) and $1 discount cheap movie night once a week. Then Jurassic Park came out and the mandatory DTS upgrade to theaters that would show it.
For those who truly want to recreate the OT theater experience, get a big screen rear projection TV, pop in the VHS - BAM. enjoy.
For me, however, I choose to embrace technology and accept it's flaws in exchange for the end experience.
I sometimes WISH I was an unaltered OT enthusiast, then I could quote Vader and speak to Lucas and say "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed..."
@ottscay: I was thinking something very similar to you. I love these movies!Especially the Original Trilogy--I have since I was a kid, and I have a room full of toys to prove it. I did grew up on the original Original Trilogy. But while there are some changes that I'm not crazy about (I can live with the Jabba's Palace musical number, but I do miss Lapti Nek. I do, however, hate the Greedo shooting first change, and I'd love to get Sebastian Shaw at the end of Jedi instead of Hayden), overall, the Special Editions from '97 and the DVDs and now Blu-Rays since then have brought is a much cleaner, much more impressive FX-wise (see the Battle of Yavin) version of Star Wars that we would be missing out of with the original unaltered versions.
Of course, if you're really feeling nostalgic, then who cares if it's non-anamorphic and non-HD? Like BrightFalls76 pointed out above, the Star Wars from our childhood, the nostalgic-inducing unaltered versions were slightly blurry VHS copies. If that's what I want, nostalgia for the Star Wars I grew up with, I do not mind at all watching the 2006 non-anamorphic versions (I took care of the non-anamorphic problem with my computer, though). Now, if I want that epic space opera with stunning visuals and earth-rumbling 6.1, then I don't mind putting up with a few changes.
I do enjoy the prequels--a whole lot--but they've always been on a different level to me. It's a different Star Wars. I don't even collect any prequel stuff, just OT. But I do enjoy them on their own merits. Give me a prequel over most of the garbage they've been putting out more recently!
Anyway, don't hate--just my two cents.
As for my wife and I, we've decided to start off our weekend with A New Hope on Friday evening. It's 4, 5, 6 - 1, 2, 3 for us!
Disappointed that George Lucas has yet again tinkered with these movies without giving the fans what they want and that is the original trilogy untouched. This could have been the ultimate star wars box set if they had included the original theatrical movies and then had the george lucas altered versions. I have purchased the box set but wont be surprised if another boxset is released in a few years when george decides to add 3d versions or whatever because he needs the money.
While I don't like most of the changes, dating back to the 1997 Special Editions, I feel Lucas has every right to do what he wants. (Though he did not direct Empire or Jedi, but I digress) What I do not support is making remastered HD versions of the original films unavailable. I don't blame anyone for getting the set, but this is my one way of protest, so I won't be getting them. It was a great review and it makes me sad to not be buying Star Wars, but if I hope to see the films I grew up with in the quality I would like to, this is the only way I can think to do it.
On a totally separate and hypocritical note, some of the "clean up/restoration" seems like it would be totally acceptable to most people. Including me. Like fixing the visible red pole in ESB, or extending the star field on Star Wars. But content changes like "noooo" and ghost Hayden, are awful. (And change the subtext of the films in some ways, in my opinion) They fixed some technical mistakes in the Godfather restoration a few yeas ago, but left the content intact. So who is to decide if/when the day comes, how "remastered and restored" will the Holy Trilogy be?
I'll buy the original box set, but you couldn't give me the prequels for free. In my mind they don't exist. As a matter of fact they are so poorly done when compared to the original classics that they shouldn't even be considered canon.
ps: I hate most of the addition's to the classic trilogy. I don't know what is worse 1) Han Shooting first 2) Jedi Rocks 3) Noooooo. Has GL lost his mind?
I think the reviewer let his blu-ray fandom and star wars fandom interfere substantially with his objective judgment. Anyone who calls the horrific packaging with its grade school art and lack of plastic disc protection "handsome" lacks any credibility regarding the rest of the review in my opinion. Also, no mention of how the original trilogy is just up-resed copies of the DVD ones rather than proper new 4k transfers like they should have been.
i fell bad for those who do not want to enjoy the star wars sage in HD format..... but to each is own i guess. i am in all the way and have my saga on reserve at BB to pick up at 10 am on friday. the few little things wont bother me at all and i have been a fan since 1977 when i first saw it at 8 years old. i played with and collected all the toys as a kid, i also collected them as an adult and made some good $$ buying and selling high end collectibles from star wars.
i think true fans will still buy it and enjoy it for the great video and sound quality. some of us are excited to hear that lossless 6.1 surround sound, i know i am. looking forward to speeder biker chase scene in ROTJ, Hoth battle in esb, pod race in phantom and final battle scene in ANH.
for me the few little things that he did change i dont think it ruins the movies at all. I do however agree that the original unedited series should be released as well. simply from a collectors point that the originals are the originals!! it would be nice!!
I'm just curious (or call this an informal poll): what is the ONE thing/change that we hate the most? That if we had the power, would absolutely revert back to its original form? "Han shot first"? Jedi Rocks? "ROTJ Nooooo" ? Replacement of Lapti Nek? Other??
Ya. Han Shot first for sure. Then Vader's No. Vader's No might be cheesy but it fits with his character arc AT THE VERY LEAST. That is all I can say for it. I like Young Anakin's Ghost though. It makes no sense that he appears Young when Yoda and Ben appear the way they were when they died but it has great emotional impact. You get the sense Anakin has been redeemed to the way he was before he fell. AND I think both songs used for Jabba's Palace are dorky but good fun. So the new one doesn't bother me. It may have something to do with the fact I used to play Battlefront II non stop and that was one of the songs on the soundtrack. So I have fond memories of it that way.
Re Young Anakin's Ghost at end of ROTF - I agree. That's the one thing I don't understand about this edit: if Anakin is to appear as his younger self, then George should also have replaced Alec Guiness with Ewan MacGregor as the young Obi Wan. It's stuff like this that makes some of the changes seem so arbitary. Sigh....
I also wanna add that "Jedi Rocks" is actually not a bad tune - props to Jerry Hey!! - but it does bring the action to a bt of a standstill for a couple of minutes.
The prequels ruined Star Wars plain and simple.... It was like if after 40 years we got a Beatles reunion album and Ringo sang lead on all the new songs.
The prequels were by far the biggest disappointment in the history of cinema. I get mad when I think how good these films could have been. Instead we got Jar Jar Binks + his poop jokes, a flying R2D2, the corniest scene in the history of film when C3PO loses his head, Darth Vader looks and acts like a Backstreet Boy, some of the worst dialogue since Ed Wood's last movie...Shall I go on?
The original SW films are timeless classics...The prequels are an embarrasement.
OK someone please explain the review system to me. It got 4.0 movies, 4.0 video, 5.0 audio, 4.5 extras....how does that work out to 5.0 overall? Anyway I already ordered it and havent read the review yet.
At first it was Super 8 (Anyone remember this was the first home video format) then Laser Disc, DVD and now here comes Bluray. What can I say I love Star Wars. Even with all the changes I'll still get it. I hoped for the die hard fans the original unaltered versions might come out some day in Bluray.
Don't know if anyone thought of this before, and if so I apologize, but has anyone considered this may be the best untainted version you may ever get in blu-ray. All future versions may be doctored up by Lucas even more than this one. Maybe you should take it while you can or get a more lousy version in the future.
The first time that I went to see Star Wars was back in 1977 at the Loew's Orpheum Theater on 86th St in New York. I had seen the commercials on TV and I had asked my mom to take me because I was only 14yrs. of age at the time. Back then, they also had the souvenir programs that were being sold in the theater and my mom purchased it for me as well. Seeing that film on the big screen was truly an event for me. Because of Star Wars, I would always make it my personal business to collect the souvenir programs when every major film was released. I am happy to say that I own all three souvenir programs of the Star Wars saga, along with the posters. Because of this major release, I decided to unearth these true gems and reminisce about the good old days. Now that I happen to have my own projector and home theater set up, I cannot wait to see these films again regardless of the changes that were made. Those changes are not going to affect me in the least bit because at the end of the day, what I'm most happy about, is that they're being released on bluray this Friday. I plan on inviting mom and a few friends over for this event...
I love the Originals, I love the Prequels, I love Luke, I love Young Anakin, I love Puppet Yoda, I love CGI Yoda, I love old school effects, I love CGI effects, I love Han/Leia romance, I love Anakin/Padme romance, I even love Jar Jar too. The Saga is one of the most beautiful stories ever told. Gonna love Friday.
I'm in LA, and Amazon tells me it left Sacramento at 2:36 this morning. So why oh why can't it just get here today?!!! My ONLY wish was that this wasn't being released right at the beginning of football season!! I have to take 3 hours out on Saturday and another 3 hours on Sunday to watch football, and that's six less hours I'll have to bask in the Star Wars glory this weekend!!!!
to the few who have never seen star wars, start with episode 1. Its the crappiest and by the time you get to episode 3, you really will get to appreciate whats coming next and was done in the 70s and 80s. If you start with 4, you'll set yoursdelf up for let downs later on.
For those who may be confused to what the "UOT Purist" wants in a SW release on BD. All we want is the films restored and released as they were originally, with the brilliant clarity that BD offers. It would be best to think of these classic films already released on BD when trying to understand what the "UOT purist" is looking for.
All of the above mentioned films look and sound better on BD, than they did theatrically. We don't have a problem with that, infact we welcome it. We just want the same treatment applied to SW.
With that being said, please stop with comments such as "If you want to watch the OT as it was, watch it on VHS", because with my explanation you can clearly see how dumb that statement is.
What you "UOT purists" fail to see is that these movies belong to George Lucas, they are his "art", so he can do what-the-hell-ever he wants to them.
If you don't like it, that's just too bad.
With that being said, please stop with the comments such as "I will only buy/watch the original trilogy in its original form" because IT NO LONGER EXISTS. Lucas himself has stated that the original prints are in such sad shape that it's nearly impossible to release them any longer. The sooner you get it through your thick skulls, the better. I, as well as others, are fed up with the constant whining--the world doesn't owe you a damned thing so give it up already!
Do I like all the changes? Not all of them. Am I mad at George? No, the films belong to him and he has every right to do as he wants. Will I buy the complete saga on Blu-Ray? You damn right I will. Star Wars in 1080P and DTS MA audio.. Hell Yes!
I purchased the original trilogy. Can't say I'm a big fan of the prequel trilogy. Anyhoo, just got mine delivered to me 10 minutes ago from Amazon.com. Can't wait to pop these in when I get home tonight! Yipppeee!!!
Friday off and UPS bringing my complete saga. Can't wait till morning. It will be like Christmas. Oh and for those of you whining about the changes, just don't buy them and shut the hell up. We're lucky to get anything. They don't have to release anything on Blu-ray. You all can keep watching your crap quality VHS, LD, and DVD. I, for one, want it to look and sound the best that it can. A few changes to the fx don't change the story one bit, in my opinion.