“I don’t have the re-releases with me.” (credit: Aurich Lawson / Lucasfilm) On Monday, November 6, major media-acquisition news landed: 21st Century Fox has reportedly held talks to sell all of its assets to Disney.
CNBC’s unnamed sources say those talks have since stalled, but the mere possibility got nerd tongues wagging. What would happen if those two media giants joined in unholy matrimony?
In addition to questions about Disney and Fox’s shared rights to Marvel Comics properties, one franchise stood out: Star Wars. Our own Lee Hutchinson talked at length about how Fox figures into the future of Star Wars’ past, so we’re resurfacing this 2014 article, which looks at the logistical and legal hurdles that existed on the eve of the original trilogy’s first major Blu-ray launch. Until we hear any firmer news about Fox and Disney, of course, this is all a bit of a pipe dream.
But who knows?
Disney is doing all kinds of things with the Star Wars universe now that it has purchased the franchise away from George Lucas.
In addition to the three sequel films, there will be “at least three” spin-off movies, which will likely be origin stories for some of the supporting cast of Star Wars characters.
The House of Mouse is pouring a tremendous amount of time and money into Star Wars, and Disney could be the new arbiter of the Holy Grail of Star Wars requests: a remastered release of the unedited, non-special-edition original trilogy.
Unadulterated, “pure” versions of the original Star Wars films are difficult to come by.
Except for one sad, low-resolution release on DVD in 2006 (which we’ll discuss in a moment), the films have only been available in their modified “Special Edition” forms since 1997, when George Lucas re-released the films to theaters with a series of changes.
Some of those changes aren’t bad at all—the fancy new attack on the Death Star in Episode IV is perfectly cromulent—but others are absolutely terrible.
In Return of the Jedi, Jabba’s palace gains an asinine CGI-filled song-and-dance interlude.
Dialogue is butchered in Empire Strikes Back.
And in the first movie, perhaps most famously, Han no longer shoots first.
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