One of the wildest rumors to hit over the weekend was that Disney is planning to release the unaltered versions of the original “Star Wars” trilogy in a Blu-ray box set in time for the theatrical release of Episode VII.
The rumor came from Comic Book who claims the project has been in the works for sometime, but the condition of the negatives Disney is using has made the transfer process difficult. The hope would be to release in its complete, unaltered, original form without the redone special edition effects.
Unfortunately the report doesn’t take into account numerous things, from Lucas’ wishes to most notably the involvement of 20th Century Fox. As previously reported around the time of the 3D re-release of ‘The Phantom Menace’, Fox retains the distribution rights to the 1977 “Star Wars” film in perpetuity in all media worldwide. Fox also retains the theatrical, nontheatrical, and home video rights worldwide through May 2020 for the other five films. After that, they revert to Lucasfilm and Disney.
No mention is made of Fox or Lucas in the report, which makes its validity highly dubious. Lucas last commented on the original editions a decade ago, telling The Associated Press at the time:
“The special edition, that’s the one I wanted out there. The other movie, it’s on VHS, if anybody wants it. … I’m not going to spend the-we’re talking millions of dollars here, the money and the time to refurbish that, because to me, it doesn’t really exist anymore. It’s like this is the movie I wanted it to be, and I’m sorry you saw half a completed film and fell in love with it.”