Disney Won’t Release Original Star Wars Trilogy In Its Unaltered Form, And Here’s Why


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 Star Wars fans in particular, there’s much reason to celebrate, as Disney now has complete control over the franchise. True, they’ve owned Lucasfilm since 2012, when they purchased the company for $4 billion, but until today, Fox has held onto the rights to the Original Trilogy, and though you can currently buy each of those films on Blu-ray and have been able to for a while, the versions you’ll get are the ones with all those controversial and bewildering changes that George Lucas made.

You can’t actually find the unaltered, theatrical versions of A New HopeEmpire and Return in HD, and that’s hugely disappointing. As such, fans were hopeful that once Disney got their hands on the rights to those movies, they’d change that. But unfortunately, it seems that won’t be happening. And the reason has nothing to do with legalities or rights or anything of the sort. It’s simply because George Lucas won’t allow it.

Taking to Twitter to clear the air earlier today, Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo explained that even with Disney now owning every Star Wars movie, we won’t ever see the original, unaltered versions of Episode IVand VI, as Lucas considers what’s already available on Blu-ray to be the definitive versions of those films. Granted, Hidalgo didn’t explicitly name George as the reason, but it’s not hard to read between the lines of his Tweets.

And though the director/writer doesn’t actually have any legal power to stop Disney from releasing the theatrical cuts, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has always stood by him on the matter and won’t go against his wishes out of respect for his vision and work. Admittedly, things might change in the future, but as of now, it doesn’t seem like we’ll ever get to see the original Star Wars trilogy in its unaltered form, and that’s hugely disappointing.