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on December 31, 2010
This is just an alert since there seems to be some confusion about a trilogy release with the original unaltered versions along with the special editions vs a trilogy set that only contains the special editions and no copies of the original unaltered versions.

The reviews for both sets are merged together... that is why you are seeing people claim that it has the original unaltered versions, and people complaining they do not. THIS set that I specifically clicked on to make this comment on is on the 2004 release which DOES NOT CONTAIN THE ORIGINAL UNALTERED VERSIONS. The box image is silver and has Darth Vader's mask on the box. This set ONLY contains the SE along with a 4th bonus disc of making of features and trailers and a sneak peak at episode III. If you want the trilogy set that contains both the SE and the unaltered versions but no bonus features, make sure when purchasing from Amazon, that the picture is a picture of Darth Vader and Luke clashing with light sabers and the box has a lot of blue coloring. It also says IV V VI along the bottom. Scroll down to DVD info and it should say release date: 2008. THAT is the version you are looking for.

If you place an order on the Trilogy with the Silver box with Darth Vaders mask on it, you are going to get the 2004 release of the trilogy and that's probably not the one you want... This review is going to appear on both sets though... So make sure before you buy, that you are on the correct trilogy page. Check the picture. Check the release date.

There are plenty of reviews of the actual product so I'm not going to go into that. Just wanted to clear up some confusion.

UPDATE 11-23-15
There are no longer copies available from retail that have the original cuts included anymore. They're out of print. There are no bluray editions and no current editions with the old cuts. You can still find the ones with the original cuts but be prepared to pay a hefty price.
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on December 9, 2015
If you're wondering why this is less expensive than other options out there. This comes in one case for all three movies. It has 6 discs - 3 blu-ray and 3 DVDs, but they are all in one case. Not an issue for me, but I was curious about the less expensive price.
review image review image
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on June 1, 2010
It's real simple, George. The vast majority of people who will buy the Blu-Ray versions are middle-aged nostalgia hounds. These people will NOT pony up more of their hard-earned dough for CGI "enhancements." They WILL, however, whip out their credit cards for the ORIGINAL THEATRICAL RELEASES faster than Han Solo's draw-down on Greedo.

Find your best exant print each film of the original trilogy. Have the ILM lab boys scan in every frame @ 4k. Do the LEAST amount of color correction and dust/scratch removal--only in a restoration sense, not "improving color" or anything like that. Approach it like archivists.

Use your technical advancements to do the finest BR encoding of those individual frames. I want to see film grain, dude. Matte lines. Pancake makeup. Absolutely naked and unvarnished. The final result should be a monument to the format, really.

Do the same with the audio.

If your ego won't let you "let go" of your CGI meddling, then make every feature a two-BR set--your best "improved" version + the original theatrical release. You can charge more that way, have your final vision, and still satisfy the fans who want the '77, '80. and '83 prints. And line your pockets with more filthy lucre as you sell the same product to us for the umteenth time.

Call it a "Special Edition Archivist Series" or something like that.
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on November 16, 2008
Memo to George Lucas: I am not buying any more of your movies until you give us the REMASTERED films as they were ORIGINALLY. Han shoots first. Hayden Christiansen's ghost does not appear at the end of ROTJ. The original nub nub Ewok music is put back into the film, and the original Jabba's Palace band music is restored, etc. etc. Get the picture? You can do it, George. And don't tell us that the original negatives for these films no longer exist, because I don't believe you. If you think you are going to keep me buying and rebuying and rebuying the same product over and over and over again, then think again, because I'm not coming along for the ride.

I repeat: As soon as you release the original 1977, 1980, and 1983 versions of the films AS THEY WERE ORIGINALLY - and they MUST be remastered - not grainy laserdisc transfers. Then, and ONLY then, can you have any more of my money.

Just give the fans what they want. Is that too much to ask?
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on September 10, 2004
I am a huge fan of Star Wars. YEs, I am an 'Original Fan". And why is being an 'Original' fan percieved so negatively? If you are an original Beatles fan, the newer fans ask you with reverence what it was like seeing them in concert, etc. etc. (No, I am not fortunate enough to be an 'original' Beatles fan. I wasn't even born in 1964.) Original Star Wars fans are called oldtimers and accused of not letting go of the past and not appreciating that times change.

Mr. Rehnquist wrote in his review "I ask, who would want to see old, outdated movies in this age of advanced technology? " Well, I hope the answer is "Many People". My love of movies is not based on the level of special effects. Should we no longer watch the great old black and white films of the past because they are 'old and outdated'? No more Bogie and Bacall? No more Hepburn and Tracy? What about Gene Kelly? Jimmy Stewart?

The thing Mr. Lucas is forgetting is that more is not always better- in an interview when the movies first came out, he was quoted as saying that the problem with the Sci-Fi genre in general was that so many moviemakers forgot about the story. The movies ended up being built around the special effects.

Unfortunately, Mr. Lucas is adding all of these scenes and filming the newer movies (Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones) with nothing but the possibilities of these special effects in mind. He has lost the story; it had become secondary to the special effects.

I had no problem with the celebratory scenes added at the end of "Return of the Jedi" but I do have a problem with some of the other scenes. Han shot Greedo. Greedo did not shoot first. It is ridiculous to change this. Han's change of heart and redemption are more powerful when you know he was a mercenary! He was always looking out for himself. That's how he survived! He was in it for the money, and found himself inexplicably drawn to the people of the Rebellion. That's good story-telling.

The problem is that Mr. Lucas has taken the liberty of CHANGING much of the story with these scenes.

Mos Eisley was supposed to be a dusty, deserted town. Tatooine is on the outer rim of the galazy. It's an unimportant, dusty, underpopulated planet. What I saw in the "Special Editions" was a thriving, well-populated town.

I would happily buy the special edition versions if I knew Lucas intended on eventually releasing the original versions on DVD as well. I'd buy both.

We're not trying to erase the movies you love. If you like the "Special Editions" Great! I am glad. I would never tell any of you to shut up or that your opinions were stupid and your views outdated as we have been told by Mr. Rehnquist.

We original fans aren't telling you new fans that the version we grew up with should be the only one out there. Please have the courtesy of relizing we are only asking for the opportunity to buy these movies the way we fell in love with them.
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on September 2, 2011
George,

I appreciate your attempt to clean up matte lines, wonky lightsabers, and improve sound and picture quality in your Blu-ray release.

However, I don't understand why you want to make jarring changes to your characters that make once powerful cinematic moments now creepy or distracting.

A lot of people have made the case for Han shooting first (as in the theatrical cut) in Episode IV being a much more interesting and accurate characterization, so I'm not going to touch that.

This review is going to be principally about the changes you made to scenes with me in it.

For instance, in the original cut, when I throw Emperor Palpatine down the death star's reactor shaft, there is a moment of silent deliberation where, oscillating my expressionless masked face back and forth, I decide whether or not to sacrifice my life for the life of my son. The lack of dialogue allows the viewer to read more subtlety and indecisiveness into this act, and the silence is truer to my character's previous dialogue in films IV-VI.

In this release, you decided to have me scream "NO! NOOOOO!" at the very beginning of the scene, removing any of the subtlety or conflict, inserting a goofy, lamely comic line not befitting of my badassness, and consequently dulling the emotional significance of a father's redemptive sacrifice of his son.

What's worse, you replace Sebsastian Shaw's peaceful and redeemed ghostly image on endor with Hayden Christiansen's garish, creepy, pedefile-like smirk.

Not only does this not make any sense, because the last time I was alive (on the Light or the Dark side) I looked like Sebastian Shaw, and Obi-Wan and Yoda's ghosts look exactly as they did before they died... but again, Hayden's horrible acting and the visual unevenness of the three actors blunt what could have been a great, emotionally significant scene.

The scene starts great with Mark Hamill's excellent contemplative stare, coupled with peaceful acting from Sir Alec Guinness, but it ends with Hayden Christiansen's disgusting smirk, ruining what was one of the emotional high points and one of the key resolutions of the trilogy.

I keep trying to Skype you - please pick up so I can force choke you and prevent you from making any more changes to your movies.

Sincerely,
Darth Vader
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on November 10, 2004
The packaging falsely states that these are "the classic films". The films being sold in this trilogy are updated versions of the "Special Editions" that were released in 1997, NOT the original theatrical classics as the packaging states. Very deceiving and shameful marketing!
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on August 14, 2004
The rumors are true about this DVD set being a "Special Special Edition". More changes have been made to the original Star Wars trilogy since 1997. Recently, many images, sounds, and even a full-length copy of Return of the Jedi have been floating around on the internet, all of which confirm the changes.

Like it or not, here are some of the major alterations:

A New Hope
1. Greedo still shoots first, but it is slightly improved.
2. Jabba the Hutt is still in the film, but has been completely redone.
3. The lightsabers have been enhanced; they are no longer white rods in certain scenes.

The Empire Strikes Back
1. Actor Ian McDiarmid now appears as The Emperor via hologram, with new dialogue and different music.
2. Actor Temuera Morrison now provides the voice of Boba Fett.

Return of the Jedi
1. Naboo has been added to the end celebration montage.
2. Actor Hayden Christensen appears as the ghost of Anakin Skywalker at the end of the film.
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on December 11, 2015
The rumors are true about this DVD set being a "Special Special Edition". More changes have been made to the original Star Wars trilogy since 1997. Recently, many images, sounds, and even a full-length copy of Return of the Jedi have been floating around on the internet, all of which confirm the changes.

Like it or not, here are some of the major alterations:

A New Hope
1. Greedo still shoots first, but it is slightly improved.
2. Jabba the Hutt is still in the film, but has been completely redone.
3. The lightsabers have been enhanced; they are no longer white rods in certain scenes.

The Empire Strikes Back
1. Actor Ian McDiarmid now appears as The Emperor via hologram, with new dialogue and different music.
2. Actor Temuera Morrison now provides the voice of Boba Fett.

Return of the Jedi
1. Naboo has been added to the end celebration montage.
2. Actor Hayden Christensen appears as the ghost of Anakin Skywalker at the end of the film.
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on September 22, 2006
These are not the original movies; they are modified versions of the original films that have been tinkered with over the years in various ways. I sold my copies cheap at a garage sale recently, because I could no longer stand to watch them. If the original movies were released on DVD, I would probably buy them. I loved those old movies without the added musical numbers, CGI characters, extra sound effects, etc., etc., etc. This version was a disappointment because all of that new stuff is so distracting that it takes away from the gentle spirit and lovable goodwill of the original theatrical releases.
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