On Saturday a new rumor of an unaltered Original Trilogy Blu-Ray release popped up that quickly went viral. If you give a vocal minority something what they want to hear about Star Wars, they’ll spread it around and make it viral even if it’s false. Just like the rumor earlier this year that was started by i09, this has zero basis in reality outside of the writer’s imagination.
Yesterday we showed you director Kyle Newman’s reaction to people wanting to chop up another director’s films without his permission, and his reaction is part of why you won’t be seeing an unaltered Original Trilogy within your lifetime.
The reason is that George Lucas maintains final cut on all six Star Wars films.
It’s no different than any other movie. Just because the intellectual property changed hands from Lucasfilm to Disney, it doesn’t change the fact that Lucas maintains his cuts of the movies. Lucas doesn’t profit off of Star Wars anymore, but that doesn’t give Disney (or Fox who still owns the movies until 2020) any right to go in and chop up his movies to make a quick cash-grab off some jilted fans hopelessly clinging to nostalgia.
We’re not the only ones says this about Lucas maintaining his final cuts. Devin at Badass Digest has heard something similar from Fox:
And there’s one more wrinkle I’ve heard from sources at Fox: as long as George Lucas is alive they’re not willing (or able? I’m not clear here) to go against his wishes and release the untouched originals. That was the situation earlier this year, when a rumor about a rerelease of the untouched originals was circulating. Unless something has changed in-house I wouldn’t expect movement on these in the immediate future.
Lucas maintaining final cut on the movies kills a big reason these sort of rumors are just fantasy.
The other part of the rumor started by ComicBook.com said that it was Disney that was going in and chopping up the movies so that they could release them. Again, Fox owns all six movies until 2020 and A New Hope forever.
While people who desperately want this to be true will say that money talks, the reality is that Fox and Disney aren’t the best of friends right now. They’ve been quietly feuding over the Marvel characters they share, such as the Quicksilver situation, in a sort-of “cold war” way. If the two can’t play nice with the Marvel license, you’re not going to see a happy ending to the Star Wars situation anytime soon.
There’s also some crossed wires out there in the Star Wars community with people believing that Disney paid Fox for the Star Wars rights last year. That’s not true. Disney paid Paramount for the rights to all four Indiana Jones movies, which Paramount will share distribution on. Nothing like that has happened with Fox. I’m sure Disney would love to be able to do it, but Fox isn’t going to budge.
Dissecting the rumor you have both parts of it killed by reality. ComicBook.com says that Disney is releasing the movies (they can’t, only Fox can) and that Disney is reassembling the original cuts (they can’t, only Lucas can).
There will be a new release of the Star Wars Trilogy later this year on a format. I’m sure news of this release will begin to come out within the next couple of months, and when it does you’ll see a fresh round of rumors that it’s the unaltered Original Trilogy. As of right now, it’s the Special Edition cuts.