Here’s a cool bit of information considering all the news about new Star Wars releases this week, the entire Original Trilogy now exists in 4K. Previously news broke of a 4K version of A New Hope, but last night we received confirmation that all of the movies (at least the first three) are in 4K.
These are the Special Editions and the 4K versions were done around 2011 or 2012, and it doesn’t sound as if there are any drastic changes done to them to make them closer to the “unaltered” originals. That rumor appears to be bogus as these sound like 4K versions of the current Blu-Ray cuts.
Disney was part of an event last night where they discussed some of their 4K restoration efforts, and something interesting popped out during their presentation about the restoration of the Mickey shorts. The color for the 4K versions is being done by Reliance (formerly Lowry).
If you’ve been following the 4K Star Wars saga over the last few years you’d remember Reliance promoted that they did a 4K version of the trilogy. But not long after that word came out that those versions were apparently rejected. With the revelation that Reliance is working with Disney on the Mickey shorts in 4K, it’s very possible that their 4K versions of Star Wars weren’t really rejected and are the versions that exist today.
Of course there’s no way to know when these will see the light of day. Some things Disney restored to 4K (such as Song of the South) will never be seen by normal humans. But Star Wars is different and it sounds like Disney has been waiting for more Dolby Vision devices in the market before jumping into 4K UHD releases. With more and more Dolby Vision support out there every month, it’s not unusual to hope for a fall release of the first 4K Disney discs.
Obviously Star Wars is more complicated with Fox handling the home video rights until 2020, but a 4K Star Wars release right before The Last Jedi in December would make a ton of money and sell a whole lot of 4K UHD Blu-Ray players…