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Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)

626 customer reviews

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  • Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

For the first time ever and for a limited time only, the enhanced versions of the Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi will be available individually on DVD. Plus, these 2-Disc DVD's will feature a bonus disc that includes, for the first time ever on DVD, the original films as seen in theaters in 1977, 1980 and 1983.

The 2006 limited-edition two-disc release of Return of the Jedi is not only the first time the movie has been officially available by itself on DVD. It marks the first-ever DVD release of Jedi as it originally played in theaters in 1983. What does that mean exactly? The film is without the various "improvements" and enhancements George Lucas added for the theatrical rerelease in 1997 as well as the DVD premiere in 2004. So Sebastian Shaw reclaims his spot as the man behind Darth Vader's mask, and we don't see the otherworldly celebration (including the Gungans) at the end of the movie.

What do you lose by watching the 1983 version? Dolby Digital 5.1 EX sound, for one thing (only 2.0 Surround here), and digital cleanup. But for home-theater owners, the biggest frustration will be from the non-anamorphic picture. On a widescreen TV, an anamorphically enhanced (16x9) picture at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio will fill the screen with the exception of small black bars on the top and bottom. The original edition of Jedi, however, on a widescreen TV will have large black bars on the top, the bottom, and the sides unless you stretch the picture (and distort it in the process, especially considering the substandard picture quality). If you're watching on a standard square-shaped (4:3) TV, though, you won't notice a difference.

Yes, it's true that serious home-theater lovers who want spectacular sound and anamorphically enhanced picture can always watch the 2004 version of the movie also included in this set. But chances are good that they already picked up the trilogy edition of all three films, so their decision to buy the 2006 two-disc edition depends on how much they want the original film. The official LucasFilm stance is that this is an individual release of the 2004 version of Return of the Jedi, and the 1983 version of the film is merely a "bonus feature." Common speculation is that the only reason the original versions are seeing the official light of day at all is to undercut the booming black market for the laserdisc version. Star Wars fans will have to decide for themselves if that's worth the purchase. --David Horiuchi

Special Features

  • Disc 1:
  • **Widescreen Feature (Enhanced Trilogy Version)
  • **Commentary by George Lucas, Lawrence Kasdan, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher
  • **Easter Egg - Credit Roll
  • Disc 2:
  • **Widescreen Feature (For Both Versions Full Screen and Widescreen) - original theatrical movie version in dolby 2.0 surround
  • **XBox Playable Game Demo
  • **Lego Game Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams
  • Directors: Richard Marquand
  • Format: Full Screen, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 12, 2006
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (626 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FQVX78
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,444 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983 & 2004 Versions, Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

199 of 231 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Aguilar on September 11, 2006
Format: DVD
So after waiting 11 years or so, we finally get a re-release of the original version of Return of the Jedi in all it's unaltered glory. Just as fans have been dreaming about since the advent of DVD.

Well, um...I don't think any fan was dreaming about this particular release.

The original release version of Return of the Jedi (the only reason to buy this set as most all fans will already have one of the previous Special Edition releases) is relegated to bonus material on disc two. Ouch! But wait, it gets worse.

George Lucas, the champion of pristine presentation in the theatre and at home has released the film that made him a legend in the state of the art of technology circa 1993.

Yes, that's right. This transfer is from the laserdisc release of '93. Even worse the film is not anamorphic like just about every other modern day DVD. What does that mean? Well a non-anamorphic DVD has a low visual clarity and the image won't fill a widescreen TV. To make a movie anamorphic takes very little time and money. That Jedi is not anamorphic shows a disregard for the film that is disturbing.

Star Wars fans expect these landmark films to be treated just like many other films (Vertigo, Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane, Snow White, etc.) that have gotten detailed restorations that cleaned up dirt, grime and audio ticks and presented the films in today's state of the art. This is the release most fans were dreaming of. A release that showed the film some modicrum of respect.

George, the fan base you have worked so hard to woo over the years is fed up with your shoddy treatment of these films.
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125 of 146 people found the following review helpful By Carl J. Jonard on May 26, 2006
Format: DVD
This could very easily be an ecstatic 5-star review. The original, unaltered Star Wars trilogy, finally on DVD with no droid & alien cartoon antics, no Hayden Christensen's face on Sebastian Shaw's body, no videogame-quality Jabba the Hutt, the original Academy Award-winning special effects, the music we remember... This should be a red-letter DVD release for Star Wars fans. Sadly, it is not.

Here's why you should boycott this release:

1. The picture & sound are intentionally presented in mediocre quality. These DVD's are transferred from the exact same videotape used to create the laserdisc release in 1993. That means a non-anamorphic, muddy, letterboxed picture that will have to be zoomed in to fill widescreen TVs or computer monitors. Lucasfilm refuses to fulfill the basic minimum standards of a current DVD release and make a new transfer. The quality of this DVD presentation will not live up to that of such timeless classics as Caddyshack II & Ishtar.

2. It's overpriced. If Lucasfilm is only willing to toss out these beloved films in this shoddy version, and they are unwilling to spend any time or money at all on their release, that is their right. They should charge accordingly. As bootleg-quality laserdisc transfers, these DVD's should sell for $5-$10, tops. Incredibly, Lucasfilm is charging $90 retail for these three movies! That's almost twice the cost of the (still available) box set with the exact same Special Edition discs!

They're trying to justify the cost by bundling the unaltered movies (the only reason to buy this version) with the Special Edition movies, but they must know it's a sham. Anybody who is willing to pay $90 ($60 @ Amazon) for the Special Edition DVD's has already bought the existing box sets.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By H. Preston on May 26, 2006
Format: DVD
Disc 1 - 2004 "Enhanced" DVD Release

Audio Is Dolby Digital EX With Optional Commentary

Disc 2 - Original 1977 Theatrical Widescreen Release

Audio Is Dolby Digital 2.0

Video Transfer Source Is From The Non-Anamorphic Laserdisc Transfer Master To The 1993 "Star Wars Trilogy" Definitive Edition Box Set

This description says it all, two discs, one you probably already own and one made from "cutting edge" video technology from 1993. If you are mainly buying this release for the original versions, please be aware that they do not use the full resolution of the dvd format. They are merely copies of the Laser Discs from the early 1990's. I wish I could give this release less than one star.
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210 of 273 people found the following review helpful By Troy on June 23, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First off, I already have the special/altered movies on dvd. IF I bought this latest release, it would only be to obtain the ORIGINAL theatrical release (with all the matte lines/primitive technology). The original version is all that I'm missing from my dvd collection & my only motive to purchase a new release.

DVD has a maximum resolution of 720x480 dots on the screen; did Lucas take advantage of that improved hi-res technology for this "first time on dvd" original theater version?? NO of course not. He's giving us the original movie in laserdisc resolution:


(analog letterboxed). That's only *50%* the pixel resolution that DVD can offer!!! What a royal ripoff. Are we fans supposed to be happy about getting an inferior-quality print of the original movie? Fat chance. The original movie was recorded with 6-track surround & on hi-resolution 70mm film <---- THAT'S what we want, not some inferior 540x320 blurry picture from an old 1980s laserdisc.

Get with the program George.
You should have released the originals in hi-resolution 720x480. You should have taken advantage of DVD's full potential, not dump some inferior/blurry/lo-resolution video on us.
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Topic From this Discussion
How will the original versions look on a regular TV?
The non-anamorphic original theatrical versions look fine on a regular TV. The bit-rate on the discs is high (typically around 7-9) so the motion is good, although the prints don't appear to have been cleaned up at all so they have that 'old film' look, i.e grainy, fluttery, and with... Read More
Oct 22, 2006 by Neal Vincent |  See all 5 posts
The songs! It's all about the SONGS! Don't let them be lost to time!
I completely agree!
The first time I saw the "Special Edition" I was game for what I thought would be minor "improvements". Instead I ended up confused, and I felt like crying at the lame ending. The music's all wrong at the end and at Jabba's Palace; young Annikin ghost at... Read More
Mar 15, 2007 by Angel Rowe |  See all 8 posts
a question about special features before buying
Commentary track on disk 1
Aug 11, 2009 by Daniel B. Waldman |  See all 3 posts
How can you give a star rating to stuff that isn't out? MORONS
Thank you, Ronin. I was considering starting a discussion on this very issue elsewhere on Amazon; I still might, but the fact that this one is already up may alter my decision one way or another. What DOES give people the idea that they can--that they SHOULD--review products that have not been... Read More
Sep 30, 2008 by John M. Kertis |  See all 7 posts
PS it sucks Be the first to reply
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