"Star Wars" fans who insist Han shot first may have something to look forward to. A rumor is circulating that Disney is planning on releasing the original "Star Wars" trilogy in their unaltered forms to Blu-ray for the first time next year, just in time for the release of "Star Wars Episode VII."
The rumor comes from ComicBook.com, which reports that "the project has been under way for quite some time, but it's been challenging because of some damage to the original negatives they are utilizing." Sources for the report say there is no exact release date for the trilogy, but that the goal is to release before the J.J. Abrams directed "Episode VII" hits theaters.
So far a Blu-ray release of the unaltered "Star Wars" trilogy has yet to be released. In 1997, George Lucas began to re-release the films in theaters with new CGI and scenes after concluding that modern technology has finally caught up to his original vision for the films. Ever since then, when it comes time for re-releases of the trilogy on Blu-ray or DVD, fans get the "updated" version, rather than the films that played theatrically in the 1970s and '80s.
While the rumor would seem to make perfect sense, there are a few small hiccups. As Badass Digest points out, Disney doesn't actually own the distribution rights for "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Return of the Jedi" or even the three prequels. They all belong to Fox, which originally released the films in theaters. The rights to all "Star Wars" films (execpt the original) will go to Disney in 2020, but that is still a ways off and you can bet Fox will never give up the rights to the original film, as there is simply too much money to be made.
So is this rumor dead in the water? Fox and Disney could have possibly come to a deal of some sort to make the Blu-ray release happen, but the chances seem unlikely. There is also the problem of George Lucas himself, who is notorious for tinkering with his films.
Despite many fans thinking otherwise, Lucas thinks of the updated trilogy, featuring modern CGI and other additions, as his true vision for the trilogy. Sources from Fox tell Badass Digest that releasing the original, unaltered films would go against the wishes of Lucas, something the company is unwilling or unable to do. As long as those two pieces of information hold true, you might not want to hold your breath on the unaltered films being released anytime soon.