Evidence has mounted that suggests the entire Star Wars saga will finally be coming to 4K next year, following the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. While many movie lovers are abandoning physical media entirely, those who still enjoy owning an actual, tangible copy of something are becoming increasingly interested in getting the most impressive copy available. Tragically, most of the movies in this particular franchise haven't yet been made available in 4K. Yet being the key word, as a new product listing reveals that may be changing in the not-too-distant future.
We must caution up front that this should be taken as a rumor for the time being. Until Disney and/or Lucasfilm weighs in officially, we can't definitively say this is happening. That having been said, this isn't the first we've heard of this possibly coming to be. Now, a product list for upcoming Blu-ray/4K releases from every major studio and distributor for the rest of 2019/2020 has been released online. Granted, it's been compiled using "best-available information" and that it isn't official until the studio says so. But, they do have a listing for Star Wars Saga 4K Collection which, per their best estimate, is set for the first half of 2020.
It's also worth noting that they have every other movie in the franchise, including the standalones such as Rogue One and Solo, listed for individual release as well. Let's assume for a moment that this is true and that Disney/Lucasfilm are planning to capitalize on the 4K market while they can. This would be a no-brainer and the timing would make a great deal of sense. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been billed as the end of the Skywalker saga. What better way to cap the whole thing off by releasing a massive (and probably expensive) 4K box set for hardcore fans?
Quickly, we must temper expectations. Those hoping this set would include the pre-1997 un-altered cuts of the original trilogy need to squash that down. There is no evidence Lucasfilm is ever going to reassemble those cuts and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has previously indicated that she intends to keep George Lucas' vision intact.
That aside, there are certainly enough die-hard fans out there who might shell out a couple hundred bucks, if not more, for a deluxe box set with a bunch of new bonus features and, if we allow for some speculation, some pretty cool packaging. And, not for nothing, but with the launch of Disney+ set for later this year, even Lucasfilm's parent company seems to be acknowledging that the future is streaming, not physical media. The window to truly capitalize on this may be closing.
Plus, a Star Wars 4K box set could help bring in some money for a year or two while we wait for the next trilogy of movies, which comes from the minds of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the duo behind Game of Thrones. The first movie in their mysterious series isn't heading our way until 2022. All of this to say, while it hasn't been officially confirmed, it would be more surprising if something like this doesn't end up happening. Feel free to check out the listing for yourself over at The Digital Bits.