That sound you just heard is a million voices crying out at once. And, unusually for a news story about Star Wars and its fans, it has nothing to do with anger over the latest CG-tinkering or plot shifting inflicted on the classic trilogy. Quite the opposite, in fact…
For Lucasfilm has finally realised that the only way to really please the faithful is to give them what they’ve been after all along. On 12 September this year, the three original trilogy films – Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi – will hit the shelves in their unmolested form. It makes you wonder why they took so long to realise that this was a good idea... Perhaps it was George Lucas’ heretofore-unwavering determination that the Special Edition versions would be the only Star Wars available to new buyers.
And lest you fear this is an internet rumour gone wild, here’s the word from the horse’s mouth: “Over the years, a truly countless number of fans have told us that they would love to see and own the original version that they remember experiencing in theaters," blabs Jim Ward, Senior Vice President of Lucasfilm in a press release. "We returned to the Lucasfilm Archives to search exhaustively for source material that could be presented on DVD. This is something that we're very excited to be able to give to fans in response to their continuing enthusiasm for Star Wars. Topping it off with a new interactive adventure makes 12 September a red-letter day for Star Wars fans."
Far be It from us to find the spiny downside – you know, gift horses and mouths and all that – but there is a caveat. The films will only be available as separate, two-disc editions and for a very limited time. Taking a leaf out of Disney’s book, those crafty Lucasfilm types are locking the films back up in their vault after 31 December this year. You just can’t win, can you?