Ant Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed has taken to social media to beg Lucasfilm to release the unaltered, original 1977 version of Star Wars on Blu-ray, before it was even called A New Hope. Reed is not alone, many Star Wars fans were appalled in the late 1990s when George Lucas put out the "Special Editions" of the original trilogy and called it a day. Before home video and illegal downloads, fans had to wait for their favorite movies to get re-released in the theaters and A New Hope was re-released quite a few times after its initial 1977 run. But in 1997, Lucas forever altered the original trilogy and has refused to take them back to their unaltered state.
Lucas went in and made significant changes to the beloved movies, adding in CGI, extra sound effects, dialogue changes, and even adding additional scenes that were not present in the original releases. The movies were re-released in theaters starting in January of 1997 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Star Wars and were released in monthly increments until March of 1997. The Special Editions are as Lucas calls them: 'The definitive versions' of the trilogy, which has left a bad taste in the mouths of many fans, including Ant Man 2 director Peyton Reed.
There have been a number of petitions over the last handful of years to get a fully restored, unaltered version of the original Star Wars trilogy on Blu-ray, but to no avail. An open letter to Lucasfilm from Peyton Reed's Twitter account askes the studio to return the movies back to their original state. Reed says.
"Dear Lucasfilm, Please release a Blu-ray of the original, unmessed-with version of STAR WARS I loved when I was 13. Thanks, Peyton"
It is doubtful that anything will ever come of this letter, since fans have been begging for it for years. Many assumed that the Blu-ray editions would contain the original, unaltered versions of the trilogy alongside the Special Editions, but that was obviously proven to be false.
Fans believed that after George Lucas sold Lucasfilm off to Disney that we would get a shot at seeing the original trilogy as nature intended. But there are more hurdles than just Lucas. It appears that getting the rights from 20th Century Fox is the main reason that we won't see the original movies any time soon. In addition, the going back to the original edits would be a timely and very expensive procedure and one that might not even be possible. When Lucas went in to do the same process in 1996 to prepare for the 20th anniversary, the negatives were already deteriorating at a rapid level.
While a full, amazing Blu-ray transfer may be out of the question currently, there's still a chance that it could happen in the near future. If Disney and Lucasfilm can figure out a way to get the procedure done in a cost-effective manner, we will no doubt see those movies repackaged, bundled, and sold to the millions of fans clamoring for the original, unaltered Star Wars trilogy. Until then, there's the laser disc versions and some early VHS releases.