When Disney purchased Lucasfilm four years ago for several billion dollars, there were unfortunately one or two things that could not be a part of that deal – namely the original 1977 “Star Wars”.
20th Century Fox retains distribution rights to the original film in perpetuity, along with theatrical, non-theatrical and home video rights worldwide to the previously released saga films and holds onto them through 2020.
In an interview with Little White Lies (via io9) this week, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” director Gareth Edwards revealed that the original George Lucas film has undergone a new 4K restoration recently:
“On day one, we were in Lucasfilm in San Francisco with Industrial Light and Magic and John [Knoll], our supervisor, he said that they’ve got a brand new 4K restoration print of ‘A New Hope’ – it had literally just been finished. He suggested we sit and watch it”
This has already led to two obvious questions – the first is if it’s Lucas’ 1997 Special Edition version, or is it (as many fans have wanted) the long sought after original theatrical version? The other of course being when the public will get to see it.
Next year sees the 40th anniversary of “Star Wars” with Fox potentially bringing out such a release and needs no co-operation from Disney to do it. Hopefully this means we’ll see some sort of announcement next year.