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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
They ruined the movie by adding unnecessary scenes and effects.Published 2 days ago by Jessica DePasquale
Note: this is not the original version. This version has the new 3d "enhancements" which is contrary to some of the comments made by other buyers.Published 16 days ago by Eric
The weakest of the trilogy by far. It's Star Wars though; and better than the last three ( I, II, and III) horrible Star Wars films. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Scott Schaffner
|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
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