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‘Star Wars Trilogy' Coming to DVD Sept. 21

10 Feb, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

Star Wars fans have long thought the space adventure trilogy was trapped in a galaxy far, far away, but the George Lucas trilogy will finally arrive in a four-disc special edition Sept. 21.

Widely regarded as the last major movie franchise for DVD to conquer, fans have clamored for the set. The three Star Wars Trilogy films — Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi — hold the top three spots on Amazon.com's most-requested DVDs list.

One fan was delighted by the promise of audio commentaries.

“I am happy that we're getting them for these films,” said a poster to the Home Theater Forum. “If it's $50, it will be the happiest $50 I'll spend all year.”

Fan demand wasn't lost on Lucasfilm Ltd. and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

“We know how long fans have waited for this release and how much they have been looking forward to it, so everyone has been working overtime to make sure that the Star Wars Trilogy on DVD is an awesome experience,” said Jim Ward, VP of marketing and distribution for Lucasfilm Ltd. and the DVD collection's executive producer.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi will be available in a four-disc set that includes a bonus disc filled with all-new special features -- including the most comprehensive feature-length documentary ever produced about the Star Wars saga and never-before-seen footage from the making of all three films. Each of the three films has been digitally restored and remastered by THX for superior sound and picture quality, according to Fox.

“First and foremost, the DVDs will deliver the very best possible sound and picture, and take advantage of everything the medium can offer. On top of that, we are creating added-value material that gets inside the creation of the Star Wars films in a fresh and fun way,” Ward said. “We want watching this DVD collection to be as memorable as seeing the movies for the first time.”

The collection will be available exclusively as a boxed set — following a strategy Paramount set with the Indiana Jones films — and will feature Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX.

International release dates and sound and subtitling specifications have not been announced.

Not all fans were thrilled that the set will not include the original theatrical cuts of the movies. Wrote one poster: “Someday, years from now, I will sit with my son watching SW: A New Hope and bow my head to his ear and counsel him sagely: ‘Remember my son, despite what you see here, Han shot first.’

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