George Lucas Shows Off Original Unaltered Cut Of Star Wars Publicly For First Time


There was a time in movies where computer generated graphics were the dreams of fools and wack-a-dos. Computers, those room-sized contraptions, making art? Oh, a hearty laugh ensued, every time. This is why the original Star Wars, released way back in 1977, used miniatures and roto-scoping techniques.

However, with the advent of usable computer modeling in 1997, George Lucas, in his immaculate mindset that a film is never finished, decided to “update” all three original movies and release them as the “Special Edition” of each. Those are the only versions that have been screened publicly or been released on home video since.

Recently though, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences obtained the rights to show an original, unaltered 70mm print of Luke Skywalker’s original call to action. The only altered part was the addition of the “A New Hope” subtitle during the opening crawl.

This screening is a major surprise, too, because ol’ sourpuss George Lucas has been steadfast over the last two decades about his decision to mess with the spectacular special effects and replace them with oddly-smooth, early 90’s Toy Story characters. Perhaps that $4 billion softened the guy up? Or maybe our Disney overlords had something to do with it? Who knows!

Yeah that seems about right, actually. According to Twitter user David Daut, during a rousing four-Tweet-deep thread, the Academy got permission from Lucas to screen this as a double feature with everyone’s favorite beaten dead horse, Rogue One. While this screening is a big step forward for a possible home release on Blu-Ray or 4K, Daut says that there’s still a long ways to go. Lucasfilm and Disney are respecting the master’s wishes, at least for now, that only the “Special Editions” go home with audiences.

Oh well. I recall having the original box set of unaltered VHS tapes when I was a lad. Those were the good times, let me tell ya. I remember, back in my day, when movies had actual effects. Physical properties that the actors could work with, in, or around. Now it’s all these darn computer monsters, tennis balls on sticks that give poor characters nothing to work with. I remember when you could take a gal out for a soda pop, a Star Wars, and a bit of real, non computer-based cuddlin’. Thanks to George Lucas, those days have passed us.