I’m looking to get the original trilogy on DVD, but I’d rather have them modified as little as possible… With that in mind, where do I go for something like that? I don’t want the brand spanking new version with everything digitally altered, I want the originals ya know, all original and stuff.
They can be found but not at retail outlets. Do a google search or check Ebay.
Keep in mind these will be transfers from Laserdisc to DVD. There are no official DVD versions which are not the special editions. However there are companies in China and other countries that do this with good equipment so they are quite good. Professional looking cases, etc.
The only way you’re going to get that is as a bootleg. I believe there are people who have made DVD transfers from the old trilogy Laserdiscs, which predate the “Special” Editions, and are completely unaltered. Han shoots first, non-shit Ewok music at end of ROTJ, etc. I have no idea how good the quality on something like that would be, though.
Are the laserdiscs actually “the original” version? Lucas was messing with modifications from very early on. The “close the blast door” joke went away in the first re-release. They added the “Episode IV: A New Hope” subtitle in the first post-Empire release.
Personally, I’m looking forward to the day when Lucas is safely dead, and Criterion or someone comes out with a remastered edition of the original film.
the LD version from the THX box is more or less the same version that was on VHS for 15 years. It’s slightly modified from the original theatrical release (as noted) but is what most people would consider “the original version”
Yeah, I don’t need absolute original, just as close as I can get on DVD… And a link to where I might buy those. :D I’m useless for determing which version is which, so I always wonder if I’m buying the right thing on websites I’ve seen.
Forget the “original” version, just go with the version you remember. I saw Star Wars in theaters 4 times, and the movie changed between viewings. I clearly remember Vader saying “prepare my personal fighter” or something similar in the first few screenings, which was cut in the next two.
What bugs me is I always remember a scene in Tron, after Flynn stops playing (throws away the ball) during the Jai-Alai game, you see a cut to a kid playing the game in Flynn’s arcade and saying, “What the hell is wrong with this? Where’s Flynn?”
No idea how that scene got in the version I saw in the theater, but never saw that scene since.
If it’s not a LD transfer, it’s not the original (such as you could get). The originals have never been committed to DVD for distribution, per Lucas’ mandate. He hates that it’s out on LD and VHS, really.
I have the original versions on VHS (the widescreen THX remaster release), and watched them a while back to refresh my memory on them. Really, aside from Greedo shooting first and that stupid Jedi Rocks sequence, the only reason to prefer the old versions is nostalgia. Which, I suppose, is as good a reason as any, but it strikes me as silly. All the changes to Empire are improvements, and the Death Star battle upgrade alone justifies the existence of the SEs, IMO.
That said, bootleg DVDs of the originals are pretty easy to come by. I’ve seen some extremely nice sets with custom packaging and extras discs, even. Just keep an eye on eBay.
I don’t. I remember my dad getting me the first release of Star Wars on VHS for my birthday. At the time, it was priced to rent, not own, so it retailed for about $120 (in 1982). We had a sleepover for my birthday party, and we watched it like 5 times that night. Each time it finished, a different kid would get up and rewind it and start it up again.
When we went and saw Rogue One last December, it was on his birthday (he passed away 15 years ago), and I cried on the way home thinking how much he would have liked it.
It is disappointing that the Harmy editions, painstakingly cannibalized from a multitude of sources in a labor of love by the fan community, are the closest we’ve come in the 21st century to proper preservation of one of the most important pieces of 20th century culture.
I know I usually hold my opinions on Star Wars with near religious conviction, but this one disappoints me as a rational human being who does not want to see important culture lost to time.
I bought the special edition discs that came with the rips off the old laserdiscs a few years back at Costco - haven’t really watched them, I just wanted to have them. But now my son is turning five next month, and that’s how old I was when my mom took me to see Star Wars on release day back in 1977. I’m a little torn, is that the version I want to show him? I’m leaning that way, but the quality is poor, and maybe I’m just being an old fart. Maybe I need to let go (see what I did there) and get with the 21st century, maybe show him the blu-rays where Greedo shoots first. Argh, that’s physically hard to type.
We watched Harmy’s Despecialized Editions recently. Like, less than 6 months ago, and that’s the first time I’ve watched the original trilogy since I was a kid. They were very impressive and I’m glad I heard about them before watching the Special Editions. Those looked terrible from what I saw, though there was no yub nub.