Although it was announced at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show that the films would be coming to the format and pre-sale orders were being taken, fans hadn’t known exactly when they could look forward to having the Blu-rays in their possession. The boxed set will go on sale Sept. 12 internationally.
The new nine-disc set contains more than 40 hours of special features, including deleted, extended and alternate scenes, and new documentaries (like “Star Wars Spoofs” and the action figure-oriented “Star Warriors”).
“Star Wars” was first released for the home video market on VHS and Beta videocassettes back in 1982. Purists, however, preferred to watch their favorite space opera on laser disc, either RCA’s CED (Capacitance Electronic Disc) or Laservision’s CLV (Constant Linear Velocity) discs. In 1985, the CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) format was introduced, and fans were able to watch the film frame-by-frame. Later, in 1995, a “definitive collection” was released (costing $250!) with nine laser discs and the first commentary track.
The THX-mastered wide-screen versions of the VHS tapes and laser discs were released in 1995, and a 1997 special edition offered trailers, behind-the-scenes shorts and more.
In 2001, “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” was released on DVD, and the floodgates of special features were opened. Things like deleted scenes were thrown in, to fans’ delight. Now, with the upgrade to Blu-ray, Luke, Leia, Han, Anakin and Yoda are continuing to age better than anyone might have imagined.
— Jevon Phillips
RECENT AND RELATED