12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Not a perfect release but comes pretty close!!
, October 30, 2011
Star Wars is an institution of cinema, it's not just a movie (or movies) but is also a cultural
phenomenon, a revolutionary franchise, a highlight in Hollywood's history and more. With an
excellent entertaining story, endearing characters (at least in the first three), spectacular and
revolutionary special effects, epic action sequences and the best score ever, this saga is truly
unique and amazing.
While the first three films are all classics and modern masterpieces, the prequel trilogy is
somewhat a mixed bag that does not achieve the hights of its predecessors but they are not as
bad as many have claimed and they are still enjoyable in its own right.
This BD set is one of the most, if not the most anticipated release in the HD format. When it was
first announced, many sentiments circulated around the net: joy, anger, anxiousness, etc. Star
Wars is such powerful that we, the people have strong reactions toward it. Of course, with a new
release, there is also new controversy. First the bad news: the films presented here are new
"Special Editions" that are "closer to the vision George Lucas have for his films". I really don't
mind when directors go back to their previous work and do some changes as long as they give as
the option to choose the new version or the original release that everyone likes. George Lucas has
never give us such option and that's what bothers me the most. I wouldn't mind the special
editions if the original were also included (completely restored of course) and we were given the
option to choose. With Star Wars that has never been the case and as mad as I may be, I have
learned to live with the pain and live with the changes that can be very subtle or very obvious and
I should warn you that if you absolutely don't tolerate the changes then don't buy this set. If you,
like me have learned to tolerate them or don't care about them then this set is very
I will review each film, their picture and sound quality and some of the changes that have been
Prequel Trilogy (1999-2005)
Ep. I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
After Ep VI was released in 1983, the world has lived happily without a new Star Wars film for 16
years. But when George Lucas announced that he was going to release a new Star Wars film that
was going to be the first of a new trilogy, the world jumped with joy. Ep. I was one of the most
anticipated movies ever and the excitement was visible everywhere. When it was finally released,
Ep I was not proclaimed as an instant classic like the previous film and many people felt
dissapointed with what they saw on the screen. To be fair, the first three films were sacred goods
and Ep I had to reach impossibly high standards. But, that it's no excuse to deliver a film that was
a mixed bag from beginning to end. The picture has a lot of problems, one of them the actors. I
don't know what George saw in Jake Lloyd but he is no a good Anakin Skywalker. He is one of the
main detractions of the film, which is bad because he is the main character and if you don't like
him, then the whole movie is hard to follow. The other big detraction and this may be the biggest
one is the inclusion of the creature Jar Jar Binks. Many people have complained about the Ewoks
on Ep VI but the whole group of them are not as annoying as this creature. Jar Jar is such a bad
character that comes close to ruining the whole film. Natalie Portman is an amzing actress bu here
she seems a little aout of focus and uncomfortable. The best characters and performances are from
Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor as the two jedi knights that save the day. Other problem is that
some sequences are too long like the pod race which begins very good but then drags a lot and
ultimately becomes boring. The plot is too political and lacks the excitement that the previous films
has and overall you never feel connected to the characters. On the positive side, the visuals are
amazing with spectaucarl special effects, the actiln sequences are exciting, the lightsaber fights are
fun much more dynamic and of course John Williams score is always of great help to all the films.
TPM is has a lot of troubles but ultimately is still watchable and sometimes it is genuinely fun.
Movie: 3.5 stars.
Ep II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
After the lukewarm response to Ep. I, Ep. II was supposed to be a return to form for the franchise
and while is definetely an improvement over the previous film, it still has some troubles, mainly
one which can be said in two words: Hayden Christensen. How you can enjoy a movie when you
absolutely hate the main character? That's the main problem I have with this film, I can't stand
Anakin Skywalker. While the action sequences are better, the battles are bigger and more
interesting and is great to see Yoda in action, Anakin is a real pain in the a**. Again, Ewan
McGregor is the best character in the movie and you root for him instead of Hayden. But, not
everything is Hayden's fault. A lot of blame goes to Lucas who wrote the character as a stupid,
stubborn, whiner. Natalie Portman is good but when she is with Hayden, their lack of chemistry is
very palpable. The love scenes are very ridicolous and you just can't help but laugj sometimes.
What this movie does right, aside from the battles and special effects is that gives us more stellar
performances from supporting characters like Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker,
Christopher Lee and Samuel L. Jackson and of course there is no more Jar Jar. Is also great to see
the jedi order in its splendor fighting as a strong group. And of course Williams score is as always
Ultimately, AOTC is fun to watch despite its problems and is better than Ep I. Recommended.
Movie: 4 stars.
Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Now this is a return to form for the franchise. Ep III, which is easily the best of the prequel trilogy.
Ep. III provides a satisfying conclusion to the saga and I can easily say that is a great film. The
story is much darker and the action sequences are great. The battles between Anakin and Obi-
Wan and between Yoda and The Emperor are simply amazing. Surprinsingly, Anakin is not as
annoying as it was on the previous film and he fares better here. For a movie that you know what
will happen, Ep. III is a fun ride and almost equal to Ep. VI. Highly Recommended.
Movie: 4.5 stars.
Original Trilogy (1977-1983)
Star Wars (also called-Ep. IV: A New Hope 1977)
Countless of things have been said about the original SW so I won't delve to much in it. Sufy to
say is that while no movie is perfect, this one comes pretty damn close, is a classic with
unforgettable characters, a great story and special effects that are still spectacular to watch until
this day. A masterpiece.
Movie: 5 stars
Ep. V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
My favorite SW film and one of the best movies ever made, TESB is as perfect as the first film and
even better. Darker, with great performances, a wonderful twist and an unforgettable villain, this
movie is perfection 100%. Very Highly Recommended.
Movie: 5 stars
Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
While this is the weakest film of the OT, is still a great film that gives a great conclusion to a great
trilogy. The main problem it seems to be the Ewoks but I don't find them that annoying (again
watch Ep I and we'll talk about who is really annoying). Ep VI is lighter than V but is also full of
thrills like the triple final battle, one in Endor, the other in outer space and the most important one
inside the Death Star. Ep. VI provides a perfect completion for a perfect trilogy. Very Highly
Movie: 4.75 stars
Video & Audio
Ep I is the worst looking movie in the whole set. Much blame goes to DNR that makes the picture
looks weird. Faces are sometimes soft, night scenes are sometimes crushed but overall is not a
bad transfer. In fact, it has never looked better but it could have looked better if a better effort
Attack of the clones look much better but still has some problems againwith softness and some
colors are not well reproduced. But, overall is a great transfer and I'm sure it will satisfy everyone.
Revenge of the Sith is completely demo quality. Is as perfect as anything you will see. A
The original trilogy looks uniformily excellent. I was surprise that they did not eliminate all the
grain in the film like in Ep. I and there is a layer of it throughout the three films. Skin tones are
warm, colors are well reproduced and detail and contrast are spectacular. You will marvel at how
good the movies look. Some DNR is apparent in some scenes but overall the three movies have
stellar transfers. I'm very happy with the results.
Sound is spectacular in all six films. The 6.1 DTD-HD MA in the whole saga is dynamic, strong,
clear and completely amazing. There is no sign of damage or hiss. This is a stellar mix for all the
This edition has some new changes in the films:
The best one and the only one that feels appropiate is the replacement of puppet Yoda for a CGi
one in Ep. I. Is far more pleasing than in the original release.
The other changes unfortunately are again done in the OT. Fortunately two of them are not very
annoying. The first one is is Ep. IV where Obi-Wan's scream in the desert was changed and
enhanced. The other is Ep. VI and now the Ewoks blink. Both changes are hardly noticeable.
Unfortunately, the most annoying change, also happens in Ep. VI and now Darth Vader screams
Nooo! before throwing the Emperor down the Death Star. This change is very stupid because the
original scene was perfecy buy you know what they say "this comes close to George's vision..."
As for the previous changes, they are still there but now Han and Greedo shoot at the same time.
At least now, this is closer to the vision we had of the scene. But for me, the most awful change
was the replacement of Sebastian Shaw for Hayden Christensen at the end of Ep. VI and
unfortunately he is still there ruining the end of the movie. Thanks a lot George.
This set comes with so many bonus material that you will have to see it for days. Everything is
great and interesting.
First, on discs I to VI, you have two audio commentaries, one from the previous DVD releases and
a new one that is a compilation of archival interviews.
On disc VII you have the archives for Ep. I-III where you will find interviews, model collections and
concept galleries for each film. Most important, you have 22 deleted scenes, 6 for Ep. I, 5 for Ep.
II and 11 for Ep. III. This is the highlight of the disc and they should not be missed.
On Disc VIII you have the Archives for Ep. IV-VI again with interviews, sculptures, models,
concept galleries and 23 amazing deleted scenes, 8 for Ep. IV, 10 for Ep. V and 5 for Ep. VI. They
are must see for everyone.
On Disc 9 you have a variety of documentaries including three making of documentaries for the OT
films, a documentary about the changes done in 1997 for the films re-release, a homage to troop
501, a documentary about the SW creatures and a very fun one with all the parodies of SW.
The bonus material is excellent and is clear that Lucasfilm put a very strong package. The only
downside is that none of the DVd bonus material has been ported over, including the excellent
'Empire of Dreams' documentary. Still, this new material, particularly the deleted scenes, is
amazing ans will be a great treat to everyone.
The Star Wars saga is one of the most legendary pieces of filmmaking ever made. While not all the
films are perfect, overall the 6 films provide top-notch entertainment and deserve to be seen. This
set is almost perfect with spectacular picture quality (most of the time), superb audio and plenty of
excellent bonus material. The only downside are as always the changes done to the film and the
exclusion of the DVD bonus material. Maybe some day we will see a definitive Star Wars set with
the inclusion of the originals but until then this set comes very highly recommended!!!