This will be a familiar feeling for “Star Wars” fans. Last week, rumors surfaced that the long sought after theatrical cuts of the original trilogy would be re-released, and the buzz was bolstered by the recent revelation that a brand-new 4K restoration of “Star Wars” had been completed. But alas, it’s not the version you want. The rumored re-release of the original theatrical cuts has been debunked. Again.
Home video veterans The Digital Bits have heard from their sources that the newly pristine “Star Wars” is “the most recent revised version” aka the “special edition.” So, Han doesn’t shoot first, and there’s all kinds of extra junk in the movie, and probably that Jabba The Hut scene too. Sorry folks, but this is hardly a surprise. George Lucas has said time and again that the enhanced versions are the ones he prefers, fans be damned, but that said, wherever this is a cloud, there is a silver lining.
Shawn Belston, 20th Century Fox’s Senior Vice President of Library and Technical Services, said during a special event at Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts, that all the cuts and snips Lucas made to the original film back in the ’90s still exist, so theoretically, the original theatrical cut could still be put together. (Or maybe someone could scare up a print from one of the archives around the world, which are apparently out there, despite urban legend suggesting Lucas bought up all the copies and burned them in his fireplace or something). However, it doesn’t look like that’s be happening anytime soon. (But if you’re really dying for those theatrical cuts, the Despecialized Editions floating around the web can’t come recommended highly enough — they look stunning).
So, sorry, if there is a 40th anniversary re-release this year, it’ll be the Special Edition version, which despite all the added goop and stuff, is still worth seeing on the big screen. Even if Han doesn’t shoot first.