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Owning "Star Wars" on home video has become an exercise in frustration. The films have been released, remastered, remixed, restored, and reworked so many times it is hard to ever be sure which version of the film you are purchasing.

Now, I should clarify, I like the special editions of the series, I like most of the updated effects, I like how the new versions flow with the prequels, and I’m glad George Lucas was able to finish them the way he wanted.

However, watching the original cuts is like visiting old friends. Han shots first, the Ewoks sing Yub-Nub instead of Ya-Ya, the Emperor has monkey eyes, and most importantly Luke says "You're lucky you don't taste very good.

Watching the films in their original format is akin to visiting the house you grew up in. These versions broke box office records, won Academy Awards, and inspired a generation of fans to dream of adventures in a galaxy far, far away. Up until recently hope of seeing the original versions of any of the "Star Wars" films on DVD seemed very small.

Then, unexpectedly came the announcement of a September 12, 2006 release of the original theatrical versions of the original trilogy. At first this seemed like a dream come true. However, as details became available it was clear the release would only add more confusion.

Lets forget about the important technical issues of 16x9 transfers and 5.1 sound for a minute and ask a more basic question. What is the original version of "Star Wars?"

Did you know that the opening day cut of "Star Wars" is different than the one that was released across the country that same year? Did you know that depending on which theater you attended in 1977 you could have heard one of three different sound mixes?

Alas, there were multiple versions of Star Wars from the beginning. The new 2006 DVD created yet another variation with a sound mix from 1993 combined with a 1977 cut of the film that doesn't contain the "Episode IV: A New Hope" title.

To be sure, I'm being nit-picky in the extreme. Still, how many of us own multiple versions of "Star Wars;" in formats ranging from Beta, VHS, laserdisc, VCD, and DVD. Not to mention a few bootlegs to fill in the gaps of alternate versions and special features that never made it to DVD.

Factor in the recent birth of HD-DVD and Blue-Ray high definition formats plus rumors of a 3-D release, not to mention an approaching 30th anniversary and it becomes clear we will continue to see many more editions of "Star Wars" in the coming years.

To be truthful, I welcome them all. Each version of “Star Wars” has its place as a product of its time. That's why each version needs to be preserved with the same care and reverence that has been given the 2004 special edition versions.

The rumor is a new DVD set is in the works for the 30th Anniversary, possibly with even more changes to the films. If fans are to be expected to purchase these films yet again, please include every possible version of the films!

Transfer all the picture elements in high definition for every variation. Included every alternate sound mix made and let the viewer decide which version to watch. Give "Star Wars" fans a reason to trash countless out of date video tape copies and sub-par DVD editions. Release an all encompassing "Star Wars" box set that can add something new to the saga and honor the past at the same time.

As you'll see bellow, with the exception of Episode III, there are many variations of all the Star Wars films not one definitive version to be released. Properly preserved these variations will offer a clear window into the creative process that lead to the final version of the series.

Presenting each variation with the highest possible quality would be the ultimate gift from Mr. Lucas to the fans that have made him millions.

Is this a dream?

Yes.

Will the set outlined below ever come out?

Probably not.

But its fun to think about!

After the films, I've broken down ideas for potential bonus discs based on previously released material. I would love to see all of it included in a box set or released separately, along with new documentaries. If you're gonna dream, dream big, right?

-Brian


Episode I: The Phantom Menace


Picture Options
1. Theatrical Edition (1999)
2. DVD Edition (2001)

Sound Options
1. Dolby Digital Track
2. Isolated Audio track of the Music Score
3. Isolated Audio track of Alternate and/or Unused Music
4. Samuel L. Jackson's narration for the blind.
5. Audio Commentary from DVD


Episode II: Attack of The Clones


Picture Options
1. Theatrical Film Edition (2002)
2. Theatrical Digital Edition (2002)
3. IMAX Edition (2002)
4. DVD Edition (2002)

Sound Options
1. Dolby Digital Track
2. Isolated Audio track of the Music Score
3. Isolated Audio track of Alternate and/or Unused Music
4. Audio Commentary from DVD


Episode III: Revenge of The Sith


Picture Options
1. Theatrical Edition (2005)

Sound Options
1. Dolby Digital Track
2. Isolated Audio track of the Music Score
3. Isolated Audio track of Alternate and/or Unused Music
4. Audio Commentary from DVD


Episode IV: A New Hope


Picture Options
1. Original 70mm Edition (1977) this version did not have the "Episode IV: A New Home" title and did not contain the scene on the Death Star where Chewie barks at the mouse droid.

2. Original 35mm Edition (1977) this version did not have the "Episode IV: A New Home" title.

3. Re-release / Home Video Edition (1981) included the "Episode IV" title.

4. Special Edition (1997)

5. DVD Edition (2004)

Sound Options
1. Six track mix for Original 70mm Edition (remixed for 5.1)
2. Four track Dolby Mix for Original 35mm Edition
3. Mono mix for Original 35mm Edition
4. Home THX Mix from 1993
5. Dolby Digital Track for Special Edition
6. Dolby Digital Track from 2004 DVD
7. Audio Commentary from Definitive Collection Laser Disc
5. Audio Commentary from DVD
9. Isolated Audio Track of the Music Score
10. Isolated Audio Track of Alternate and / or Unused Music


Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back


Picture Options
1. Original Edition (1980)
2. Special Edition (1997)
3. DVD Edition (2004)

Sound Options
1. Six track mix for Original 70mm Edition (remixed for 5.1)
2. Dolby Digital Track for Special Edition
3. Dolby Digital Track from 2004 DVD
4. Audio Commentary from Definitive Collection Laser Disc set
5. Audio Commentary from 2004 DVD
6. Isolated Audio Track of the Music Score
7. Isolated Audio Track of Alternate and / or Unused Music


Episode VI: Return of The Jedi


Picture Options
1. Original Edition (1983)
2. Special Edition (1997)
3. DVD Edition (2004)

Sound Options
1. Six track mix for Original 70mm Edition (remixed for 5.1)
2. Dolby Digital Track for Special Edition
3. Dolby Digital Track from 2004 DVD
4. Audio Commentary from Definitive Collection Laser Disc set
5. Audio Commentary from 2004 DVD
6. Isolated Audio Track of the Music Score
7. Isolated Audio Track of Alternate and / or Unused Music


TV Specials


1. The Making of Star Wars (1977)

2. The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) With the ability to watch the cartoon Starlog 432-1 as a separate work

3. SPFX- The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

4. Classic Creatures of Return Of The Jedi (1983)

5. From Star Wars To Jedi The Making of A Saga (1983)

6. Material from Star Wars Premiere on TV (1984), a behind the scenes documentary hosted by Mark Hamil, plus celebrity guest spots from commercial breaks.

7. George Lucas: Heroes, Myths and Magic (1993), a PBS documentary from their "American Masters" series

8. Star Wars: The Magic and The Mystery (1997) TV Special about the making of the special editions hosted by Howie Long.

9. From Star Wars To Star Wars; The Story of ILM (1999)

10. The Mythology of Star Wars (1999)

11. Star Wars Connections 4 Episodes (2002) The Anakin Skywalker episode is available on the Episode II VHS tape
    - Anakin Skywalker
    - Obi-Wan Kenobi
    - The Fetts
    - The Skywalkers

12. Science of Star Wars: Man & Machine (2005)

13. Science of Star Wars: Space Cowboys (2005)

14. Science of Star Wars: War, Weaponry & The Force (2005)

15. Animal Icons: Star Wars Creatures (2005)

16. AFI Tribute to George Lucas (2005)


Home Video / Internet Videos


1. THX Demo / Documentary (1990) Home Video
    - Wow! - A THX Demonstration
    - Soundtrack! - A THX documentary hosted by James Earl Jones

2. Extras from The Definitive Laser Disc Collection (1993)
    -War Stories: An Interview with George Lucas
    -Art Gallery: Narrated by Ralph McQuarrie
    -The Lucasfilm Archive Tour
    -Sound Advice: An Interview Ben Burt
    -How the Walkers Walk: Narrated by Dennis Murrin
    -Story-board comparison
    -ABCs of Jedi Effects: An Interview with Dennis Murrin
    -Jedi Video-matics
    -Lapti Nek- music video
    -Various Videomatics, with Stills of Production Photos,
    Conceptual Art, and Storyboards

3. Leonard Maltin interviews with George Lucas from THX release (1995)

4. Special Edition Featurette (1997) Home Video laserdisc version

5. The Anatomy of A Dewback from starwars.com (1999)

6. Making Episode I: Lynn's Diary, SUB CLIPs and Intros, which are missing on the Episode I disc (1998-1999)
        - 1a Interview Out takes
        - 4a Something Out of Nothing
        - 6a The Fall
        - 7a One Day To Go
        - 8a Casting Director
        - 10a Naboo Soldier

7. Episode I The Music EPK Featurette (1999) There were six Electronic Press Kit Featurettes released to the media for Episode I, they included Story, Costumes, Design, Fights, Visual Effects, and Music. Of these six, only five are included on the original DVD, for some reason the music featurette is absent. However, it should be said that part 12 of Lynn's Diary (which is on the DVD) is almost identical to the music featurette.

8. Making Episode I: Featurettesfrom starwars.com (1999-2000)
          - Sound
          - Depth
          - Watto
          - Podracing

9. Episode I Behind The Scenes Featurette from VHS Release (2000)

10. Episode I DVD Bonus Disc (2001)

11. Episode II: On Location Hosted by Ahmed Best 30 Episodes from starwars.com (2000-01)

12. Episode II Electronic Press Kit Featurettes (2002) Two of the three featurettes can be downloaded via a link on the original Episode II DVD.

13. Episode II Preview from Classic Trilogy VHS re-release (2001)

14. Episode II DVD Bonus Disc (2002)

15. R2-D2: Beneath The Dome (2002) Complete Three-Part Mockumentary

16. Animatics: The Force Behind the Force (2002)

17. The Story of Star Wars (2002)
       - The Story of Luke Skywalker
       - The Story of Anakin Skywalker

18. Original Trilogy DVD Bonus Disc (2004)

19. Episode III Hyperspace Videos(2005) A collection of featurettes and demo reels previously available only to Hyperspace members, including the three webdocs left off of the Episode III DVD.
       - Behind the Curtain
       - Ten Gallons of Buildings
       - Going to the Dark Side
       - It's A Big Universe: The Making an Audiobook
       - EPK: Questions Answered
       - Episode III Animatics Reel
       - Animation Sizzle
       - The Journey
       - EPK: Inside ILM

20. Star Wars: A Musical Journey (2005)

21. Episode III DVD Bonus Disc (2005)


Deleted Scenes/Trailers/Short Film


1. The Star Wars: The Lost Cut (1976) The first assembly cut of Star Wars.
A work in progress it contains the cantina scene before reshoots, the Biggs footage, the pre-Special Edition Jabba The Hutt, and lots more.

Sound Options
1. Original production sound
2. A commentary by the "Star Wars Insider's" David West Reynolds

2. Deleted Scenes from all six films, not previously available on past releases. One such scene available on-line to Hyperspace members is the Jedi Assault on the Droid Control Ship from Episode II

3. Original Trilogy Trailers (1977-1997)
Several trailers that were available on previous laserdisc releases where omitted from the 2004 DVD release, they are...
        a. Star Wars Trailer with an Academy Award Card at the end
        b. A trailer for a limited 2 week release of Star Wars on
        "Friday April 10"
        c. A Empire Trailer with no voice over
        d. A 2nd Revenge of The Jedi Trailer
        e. A ROTJ trailer that starts with the narration "Return To..."
        f. The Special Edition Laserdisc contained a slightly different
        version of The Star Wars Special Edition Trailer
        g. Special Edition Trailer for ESB
        h. Special Edition Trailer for ROTJ

4. Return of The Ewok(1983) Hyperspace members can download an edited version of this short film, which was shot during the production of "Return of The Jedi." The full version has yet to be made available


Other Appearances


Star Wars has appeared on television in many forms, this mini-set collects some of the more varied and unusual in addition to a few behind the scenes documentaries and a look at the Star Tours theme park ride. The inclusion of this material maybe prohibited by copyright issues, but I think they belong here. This list partially comes from Star Wars Insiders 23 and 32.

1. Star Wars Goes Commercial (1977 - present) A collection of all the various TV commercials to have used Star Wars characters from product tie-in (books, toys, comics, etc.), to public service announcements. There are to many to list here.

2. Muppet Madness (1979, 1980) one episode of The Muppet Show and two episodes Sesame Street with Star Wars guest stars. NOTE: The Muppet Show apperence is available on DVD seperatly

3. Star Wars Sings (1978) Clips from "The Donny and Marie Show" and "Saturday Night Live" with Star Wars characters

4. The Magic of Myth (1998)a documentary used in the Smithsonian Exhibit plus it's out takes (1998)

5. Star Tours - A behind the scenes look at the attraction that is apart of all four Disney theme parks


Ewok Movies


Technically speaking this disc has already been released. However, the current release features the first film in its overseas incarnation called "Caravan of Courage," it would be nice if a future release also contained the American TV version called "The Ewok Adventure." Not to mention some material on the making of these films would be welcome!

1. Caravan of Courage: The Ewok Adventure
2. The Battle For Endor


Ewoks


This set covers the 13 episodes of the original Ewoks Animated series. These are the original episodes and not the re-edited versions released by Fox Home Video.

    THE CRIES OF THE TREES
    THE HUNTED VILLAGE
    RAMPAGE OF THE PHLOGS
    SUNSTAR VS. SHADOW STONE
    TO SAVE DEEJ
    THE TRAVELING JINDAS
    THE TREE OF LIGHT
    THE CURSE OF THE JINDAS
    THE LAND OF THE GUPIN
    WICKET'S WAGON
    THE THREE LESSONS
    BLUE HARVEST
    ASHA


Ewoks Double Feature


This disc contains 8 episodes of the Ewoks cartoon series re-edited into two feature length films. It has already been released, however, given the fact that the series contained 13 episodes, it would stand to reason that Lucasfilm has already created a third unreleased feature that could be included on a future release.

1. The Haunted Village
2. Tales From The Endor Moon


All New Ewoks


The Ewoks cartoon was transformed into "The All New Ewoks" in 1986, some shows contained two different story arcs.

    THE CRYSTAL CLOAK / THE WISH PLANT
    HOME IS WHERE THE SHRIKES ARE / PRINCESS LATARA
    THE RAICH
    THE TOTEM MASTER / A GIFT FOR SHODU
    THE NIGHT OF THE STRANGER
    GONE WITH THE MIMPHS / THE FIRST APPRENTICE
    HARD SELL / A WARRIOR AND A LURDO
    THE SEASON SCEPTER
    PROW BEATEN / BAGA'S RIVAL
    HORVILLE'S HUT OF HORROR / THE TRAGIC FLUTE
    JUST MY LUCK / BRINGING UP NORKY
    BATTLE FOR THE SUNSTAR
    PARTY EWOK / MALANI THE WARRIOR


Droids


This set covers the Droids Animated series. The show, which ran for only one season, was divided into three parts. These are the original episodes and not the re-edited versions released by Fox Home Video.

The Speeder Racers
    THE WHITE WITCH
    ESCAPE INTO TERROR
    THE TRIGON UNLEASHED
    A RACE TO THE FINISH

The Prince and The Pirates
    THE LOST PRINCE
    THE NEW KING
    THE PIRATES OF TRANOONGA
    THE REVENGE OF KYBO REN
    COBY AND THE STARHUNTERS

The Adventures of Mungo Baobab
    THE GREAT HEAP
    TAIL OF THE ROON COMETS
    THE ROON GAMES
    ACROSS THE ROON SEA
    THE FROZEN CITADEL

Bonus Material
"The ABC Sneak Peak and Fun Fit Test" a half hour special starring R2D2 and C3PO.


Droids Double Feature


This disc contains 8 episodes of the Droids cartoon series re-edited into two feature length films. It has already been released, however, given the fact that the series contained 13 episodes, it would stand to reason that Lucasfilm has already created a third unreleased feature that could be included on a future release.

1. The Pirates and The Prince
2. Treasure of The Hidden Planet


Clone Wars


While the "Clone Wars" episodes have been released on DVD, it would be nice if a future release featured a few changes. First, Chapters 1-20 should be re-mixed into Dolby 5.1. Second, rather than two separate features, it would be interesting to see Chapters 1-25 edit together into one feature film. And lastly, each chapter should also be presented separately as they were originally broadcast. Of course, any future release should contain the original extras plus new bonus features.


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