Will the diehard Star Wars fanbase ever be truly happy again? Based on the constant waves of backlash that have greeted virtually every project under the Disney banner whether it ends up even getting made or not, it seems unlikely to happen anytime in the near future.
Still, despite the divisive reception that greeted both The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, the campaign for Lucasfilm to make a sequel to a movie that the fans didn’t bother to prevent from bombing the first time around, the dismay surrounding setbacks for the hotly-anticipated Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the general sense of malaise around the franchise that often results in the finger of blame being pointed at Kathleen Kennedy, Star Wars is and always will be one of the most popular and beloved brands on the planet.
George Lucas is no stranger though to going back and making changes to his Original Trilogy years and even decades after the fact, and longtime Star Wars aficionados have made themselves clear on countless occasions that they’d much prefer the unaltered theatrical releases the way they first arrived. Unfortunately, however, the Mouse House hasn’t paid any heed to these calls and the versions available on Disney Plus are the ones that have been heavily tinkered with.
However, a new fan campaign is now trying to drum up support and get Disney to release every possible version of every Star Wars movie, a list that includes the unaltered theatrical cuts of the Original and Prequel Trilogies, along with their 3D conversions. Started over on Reddit, here’s how it reads:
While fan preservations like Despecialized and 4Kxx are amazing, they shouldn’t have to exist. The original Star Wars films are sitting in a vault waiting to be released. There is no excuse for Disney deny us these historical artifacts. There is no reason both the Special Edition & Theatrical Cuts couldn’t live side-by-side. I gave the reasons Disney needs to #ReleaseTheOriginalTrilogy in my WIRED article, now we need to make the demand known. We need to be loud. It will happen, but only if we stand together. Never give up hope that this film history will be preserved for the future.
Release the theatrical versions of the originals! Release the theatrical versions of the prequels! Release the 3D conversions of the 2019 Saga Editions! Release the 1997 Special Editions! There’s so much content that the fans would be ecstatic to have that are sitting on a shelf. George Lucas doesn’t own the movies anymore.
I refuse to believe the rumors that Disney would sign a contract that would deny them such an obvious revenue stream. If fans could convince Warner Brothers to fund a directors cut of a superhero movie that didn’t exist, fans can convince Disney to release the Academy Award-Winning versions of the movies that literally changed how people made and experienced movies and are currently sitting on a shelf. Your parents deserve to see the version they saw in theaters. Your kids deserve to see the original phenomenon. We deserve the option to choose what we want to watch.
The Snyder Cut campaign may have worked, but that doesn’t mean that every fan-backed petition is going to yield similar results, and the last thing Star Wars needs right now is to continue focusing on the past when the series is in desperate need of a fresh creative perspective more than ever before.