Even before Disney acquired Fox’s entertainment assets as part of its historic Hollywood merger, keeping track of those all-important film rights within the industry’s leading franchises was a difficult, and often confusing, gig. But now that the Disney-Fox merger is ostensibly signed, sealed and delivered, the Mouse House’s roster of characters and properties is about to expand quite drastically – and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
For Marvel Studios, in particular, this merger spells a long-rumored homecoming for the X-Men, but there’s plenty of reasons for Star Wars fans to get excited, too. Though Disney has been churning out films set in that galaxy far, far away for a while now, they haven’t, until this point, completely owned the franchise.
You see, when they purchased Lucasfilm back in 2012 for $4 billion, they got their hands on everything except the “original, theatrical versions” of the Original Trilogy – the rights to those were held with Fox. Now that the House of Mouse has bought their rival studio, though, this means that they’ve gained complete control over the sci-fi franchise, and it’s about damn time.
What they plan to do from here with those rights remains to be seen, but one thing that’s most definitely on their list is to release the Original Trilogy in high-definition. And that’s because until now, there’s never been a way to watch A New Hope, Empire and Return in glorious HD in their original, unaltered form. Sure, you can still pick them up on Blu-ray and have been able to for a while, but the versions you’ll get are the ones that include George Lucas’ excessive tinkering.
Whether Disney will give us a theatrical release, a home video release or something else entirely, is hard to say, but we imagine that they’ll surely address this in some way now that they’ve gained complete control over the Star Wars franchise. Or at least, we sure hope they do.
Regardless, having the full rights to every movie in the series is undoubtedly a good thing and with the future of that galaxy far, far away looking brighter than ever right now, we’re thrilled to hear that Disney’s finally in full control of this beloved property.