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Star Wars Trilogy (A New Hope / The Empire Strikes Back / Return of the Jedi) (Widescreen Edition with Bonus Disc)
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* Episode IV, A New Hope
Commentary by George Lucas, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher
* Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back
Commentary by George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher
* Episode VI, Return of the Jedi
Commentary by George Lucas, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher
* "Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy," the most comprehensive feature-length documentary ever produced on the Star Wars saga, and never-before-seen footage from the making of all three films
* Featurettes: The Legendary Creatures of Star Wars, The Birth of the Lightsaber, The Legacy of Star Wars
* Teasers, trailers, TV spots, still galleries
* Playable Xbox demo of the new Lucasarts game Star Wars Battlefront
* The making of the Episode III videogame
* Exclusive preview of Star Wars: Episode III
How Are the Picture and Sound?
Thanks to a new digital transfer, you've never seen C-3PO glow so golden, and Darth Vader's helmet is as black as the Dark Side.
What's Been Changed?
The rumors are true: Lucas made more changes to the films for their DVD debut. Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) has been added to a scene in Jedi, Ian McDiarmid (the Emperor) replaces Clive Revill with slightly revised lines in Empire, Temuera Morrison has rerecorded Boba Fett's minimal dialogue, and some other small details have been altered. Yes, these changes mean that the Star Wars films are no longer the ones you saw 20 years ago, but these brief changes hardly affect the films, and they do make sense in the overall continuity of the two trilogies. It's not like a digitized Ewan McGregor has replaced Alec Guiness's scenes, and the infamous changes made for the 1997 special-edition versions were much more intrusive (of course, those are in the DVD versions as well).
How Are the Bonus Features?
The bonus features are excellent and along the same lines as those created for The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Each film has a commentary track, recorded by Lucas, Ben Burtt (sound design), Dennis Muren (visual effects), and Carrie Fisher, with Irvin Kershner joining in on the film he directed, The Empire Strikes Back. Recorded separately and skillfully edited together (with supertitles to identify who is speaking), the tracks lack the energy of group commentaries, but they're enjoyable and informative, with a nice mix of overall vision (Lucas), technical details (Burtt, Muren, Kershner), and actor's perspective (Fisher). Interestingly, they discuss some of the 1997 changes (Mos Eisley creatures, the new Jabba the Hutt scene) but not those made for the DVDs.
There's also a sampler of the Xbox game Star Wars: Battlefront, which lets the player reenact classic film scenarios (blast Ewoks in the battle of Endor!); trailers and TV spots from the films' many releases; and a nine-minute preview of the last film in the series, Episode III, Revenge of the Sith (here identified by an earlier working title, The Return of Darth Vader). Small extra touches include anamorphic widescreen motion menus with dialogue, original poster artwork on the discs, and a whopping 50 chapter stops for each film.
"The Force Is Strong with This One"
The Star Wars Trilogy is an outstanding DVD set that lives up to the anticipation. There will always be resentment that the original versions of the films are not available as well, but George Lucas maintains that these are the versions he always wanted to make. If fans are able to put this debate aside, they can enjoy the adventures of Luke, Leia, and Han for years to come. --David Horiuchi
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
was as i expected. this will help bring my granddaughter up to datePublished 1 day ago by sam burkett
I want to love this, but being forced to watch George Lucas's garvage special editions is a crime against all that is holy.Published 1 day ago by Ryan Moore
Great update to the VHS versions I had. The video quality is amazing. I did struggle with the soudn on my surround sound. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Samuknow
Nice compact package. All 6 discs in a standard size Blu-ray case. Great to watch in HD with 6.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.Published 2 days ago by Dennis G
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