On Friday, April 10, the Star Wars films will be available for the first time in digital HD, with loads of new (and old) bonus features. You can purchase, download, and watch them on your TV, tablet, computer, or phone from Amazon (buy them here), Vudu (buy them here), Google Play, Xbox, Verizon/Fios, and Disney Anywhere. No more discs! Instant access! Star Wars marathons have never been easier!
|Fan-made (not official) from furiousfanboys.com|
While there have been rumors of a Blu-ray release of the originals coming sometime this fall, the biggest hangup has been the fact that 20th Century Fox currently owns the rights to the existing films. Since they’re not happy that Disney bought Lucasfilm without Fox being given a chance to make an offer themselves, many have assumed that they will not play nice.
However, this week’s StarWars.com press release states that “the Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd., and 20th Century Fox today announced the upcoming release of The Star Wars Digital Movie Collection.” In other words, Fox and Disney are already overcoming their differences and working together to release Star Wars films to the public.
Could the original, unaltered theatrical versions be not far behind? At this point, that seems to hing entirely on whether George Lucas has contractually forbade this from happening or not. If not, he has very little say at this point about what happens in the universe he created. Just imagine what it would be like to enjoy the versions millions grew up with, restored in HD anamorphic widescreen. So long, VHS! Thanks for the memories.
If the originals are coming soon, the most logical place for an announcement will be at this months’ Star Wars’ celebration in Anaheim, where Lucasfilm exec Kathleen Kennedy and The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams are expected to make some big announcements (and reveal the next Episode VII trailer). Stay tuned!
DIGITAL VERSIONS SPECIAL FEATURES
If you’re anything like me, you want the original versions but enjoy the prequels and the Special Editions, warts and all. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from the digital platform versions (aside from phenomenal picture and sound), which come with a load of special features, old and new. (Specs from StarWars.com)
THE PHANTOM MENACE
- Conversations: Doug Chiang Looks Back
- Discoveries From Inside: Models & Miniatures
- Legacy content includes “The Beginning”; The Podrace: Theatrical Edit; plus eight deleted scenes.
- Conversations: Sounds In Space
- Discoveries From Inside: Costumes Revealed
- Legacy content includes “From Puppets To Pixels: Digital Characters In Episode II”; State Of The Art: The Previsualization Of Episode II; and “Films Are Not Released, They Escape”; plus Episode II Visual Effects Breakdown Montage and six deleted scenes.
- Conversations: The Star Wars That Almost Was
- Discoveries From Inside: Hologram & Bloopers
- Legacy content includes documentaries “Within A Minute: The Making Of Episode III”; The Journey Part 1; and The Journey Part 2; plus six deleted scenes.
- Conversations: Creating A Universe
- Discoveries From Inside: Weapons & The First Lightsaber
- Legacy content includes “Anatomy Of A Dewback”; Star Wars Launch Trailer; plus eight deleted scenes.
- Conversations: The Lost Interviews
- Discoveries From Inside: Matte Paintings Unveiled
- Legacy content includes “A Conversation With The Masters” (2010); “Dennis Muren: How Walkers Walk”; “George Lucas On Editing The Empire Strikes Back 1979”; and “George Lucas On The Force: 2010”; plus six deleted scenes.
- Conversations: The Effects
- Discoveries From Inside: The Sounds Of Ben Burtt
- Legacy content includes “Classic Creatures: Return Of The Jedi”; “Revenge Of The Jedi Teaser Trailer”; Return Of The Jedi Launch Trailer; “It Began TV Spot”; “Climactic Chapter TV Spot”; plus five deleted scenes.
There are also plenty of novels and comics that are official canon now, including ones that tells what happened in between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.