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Update: Rumors rekindled for the release of the original Star Wars trilogy

02.28.2017

UPDATE: Yet again, it looks like the dream for this to come to fruition is still a good ways away. The Digital Bits has updated their story to basically say this isn't happening or even in the works, although the possibility exists to make it happen. There's a lengthier response, which you can read here, but essentially, it just ain't happenin'.

Ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm, there's been talk of them releasing the original, unaltered STAR WARS trilogy. After all, if the company wanted to make good with SW fans, what better way? While such a release seems an inevitability, the question on everyone's mind is, "When?" If the latest rumors are to be believed, then the announcement is coming this year during Star Wars Celebration Orlando in April.

Now before you get TOO excited, we're going to take a look at the facts that are out there so you can make your best guess as to what to expect. First off, the new rumor that an original STAR WARS release was coming started with the good folks over at Making Star Wars. To their credit, they are listing as a RUMOR, but their sources say a release is on the way. Obviously the internet is inclined to take such things and run with it, so let's take a look at the next bit of evidence.

We know that director Gareth Edwards saw a 4K remaster of STAR WARS last year when assembling ROGUE ONE. There were a lot of questions regarding which cut we saw, but it seems to be some version of the Special Edition. In fact, just recently, Star Wars creative executive of the Lucasfilm Story Group, Pablo Hidalgo, Tweeted out that, "As far as I know, there's only one person who could make [the original trilogy release] happen and he hasn't seemed all that interested." Seems pretty definitive, but we have more to examine!

Bill Hunt over at The Digital Bits has been known to do his homework, and done it he has! He's reported that Disney’s director of Library Restoration and Preservation, Theo Gluck, was at a special event at Ohio State University’s Wexner Center last night, and confirmed that the original cut negative for STAR WARS is currently in its Special Edition form only.

So what does this all mean? That we're most likely looking at the announcement of a 4K release of STAR WARS in its latest Special Edition form.

Before you give up all hope, Bill Hunt did go on to say that 20th Century Fox’s Senior Vice President of Library and Technical Services, Shawn Belston, has confirmed that all of the "trims" removed from the original negative back in the 1990s still exist. That means that Lucasfilm could reassemble the original cut of the film, if they so desire.

It's been a long road to a proper release of the original STAR WARS trilogy, but as one fan to another, all I can say is, "Be patient." It's eventually going to be released, and while the above news certainly doesn't seem like we're close, Disney is a company known for its extensive restoration projects and protection of its original source material. They know the fans want this, and you can bet if there's money to be made, they'll entertain the notion. In the meantime, a Star Wars 40th anniversary panel, hosted by Warwick Davis, is set for Thursday, April 13th. Perhaps then we'll know what's really going on with the latest release of the original STAR WARS trilogy.

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