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  • NEW Star Wars-episode 4-new Hope (DVD)
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NEW Star Wars-episode 4-new Hope (DVD)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 54 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Worth if only if you don't already own the films Sept. 12 2006
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: DVD
After years of insisting that the original versions of the Star Wars films "no longer existed", George Lucas has finally decided he can't turn down an extra paycheck and has released them as a "bonus" disc.

This means that if you already have the 2004 re-edited releases, with added computer graphics, you will be buying virtually the same thing just to get non-anamorphic transfers of the originals.

I say virtually the same thing because reportedly Lucas has made even more changes, so that there are now four versions of the films: the originals, the 1997 Special Editions, the 2004 releases, and these. The differences between the 2004 edition and this one are likely minor, so unless you're a completist, why bother?

And why should you care about "anamorphic" widescreen? If you own a small, square TV set, you won't see the difference. However if you have an HDTV (widescreen TV) the difference in picture quality is dramatic. Lucas's decision not to remaster the originals is an even greater insult to Star Wars fans than not releasing them at all. Most true-blue fans care very much about technical quality, and considering the devoted following these films have, they certainly deserve the same treatment accorded to "The Godfather", "E.T.", and "Raiders of the Lost Ark", to name a few.

And I'm not even that big of a Star Wars fan. I'll stick with my laserdiscs if I ever want to see the original cuts, as there is no difference in picture quality. Personally, I'm satisified with the 2004 DVDs as the changes are relatively minor and blindingly obvious.

But most folks will feel differently, and I appreciate that.

If you don't already own the films, don't own a widescreen HDTV, and don't care that much about the changes, this release is for you.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1993 Laserdisc transfers, stay away!!! Why on earth are you buying fullscreen anyway?? May 26 2006
By John McDevitt - Published on
Format: DVD
This "bonus disc" is a sad example of how screwed up Lucas has become. The original Star Wars movies are not even worth a new transfer to DVD? It's non-anamorpic to boot. I suggest you skip this release and look for a bootleg, which is pretty much what this is. Hey Luke, you didn't get any money from me for the 2004 box set and you are not getting it now. BOOM
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
This release is not worth owning, even if you're a die hard June 15 2006
By bixodoido - Published on
Format: DVD
I love the original Star Wars movies. I owned them on the original VHS release. When Lucasfilms released the trilogy on VHS in the `special' THX format I was more than happy to oblige, and bought the entire trilogy. Then came the special extended versions of the movies-great! I saw those in theaters and rushed to buy them when they came out on VHS. I missed the Laserdisc version and didn't buy anything else on VHS, but then came the DVD release of the trilogy (the extended versions of the film). Hey, I thought, I already own these movies in 3, yes 3, versions. But what the heck-Lucas and co. are saying they'll never release the original versions of the film on DVD anyway, so why not make it 4?

Now we're looking at yet another release of the films. This is promised to be a "Limited Edition," which probably means it will only be out until demand subsides and they can release another version. If this were a new Dolby or Hi Def release of the original movies I may consider them, but its not. It's a rehashed release of the Laserdisc version of the films from 13 or so years ago, hideously outdated and ignorant of the technological advantages of DVD. I'm not going to bite on this release-I've had enough for the time being.

When (and to me it's a question of when, not if) Lucas finally decides to put forth a bit of effort and release Episodes IV-VI in a format that's not 15 years outdated I'll buy, though by this point I feel I shouldn't. But I see no reason to buy this release. Before the first DVD version came out Lucas said he wouldn't release the original films on DVD until after Episode 3-that turned out to be a lie. Then he said he'd never release the original theatricals on DVD-that, too has proved untrue. I'm fairly certain that we'll get a new version of the theatrical releases soon, maybe one that will be worth owning. Until then I can be patient-Lucas is apparently so willing to bleed his die-hard fans dry that the only true "definitive" release of the films will be the one Lucas does right before he, himself, passes on. Only then will these poor, tired classics get a rest.
31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
By mcmurrak - Published on
Format: DVD
Or anything else Star Wars for that matter.

It's time to show George that he no longer rules the universe as he once did. And the only way to do that is to hit him where he'll actually notice, his pocket book. He obviously doesn't listen to anything or anyone else.

Why shouldn't you buy these Original Trilogy (OT) DVDs?

First, the movies won't be anamorphic. To quote Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits web site, "Anamorphic enhancement is the widely accepted industry standard for the presentation of widescreen films on DVD". Is it really that bad that the movies won't be anamorphic, well not really, but it's symptomatic of the reasons for George releasing these movies. He's only doing it because he's feeling forced to do, but he's not going to be nice about it, so no anamorphic print. Very lame. And besides, that process really doesn't cost all that much to begin with.

Second, according to George these movies will be from the best source material available, baloney. They are from the Laserdisc masters, which for the time, were great. But compared to today's movies they are sub-par. Lucasfilm says there are no longer any valid "source material" copies of the OT because he had them all destroyed when they release the "Special Edition" version. Again baloney. Many copies of the original movies do exist in private collections, film history archives and other places that he cannot destroy. Anyone of these could be used to create an true cleaned up OT version. I still have my copy of the Star Wars: The Definitive Collection release and it's an okay print, but with a little cleaning up it could be fantastic.

Third, he says he doesn't want to allocate the resources to the cleanup. Fine. There are any number of studios who have said they would get better copies of the prints (even the source for the LD prints would be fine) and clean them up and make them anamorphic for no charge. They just want to be associated with the project.

Yes, they're his movies and he has the right to make changes (whether you agree or not with the changes) as he sees fit. And while I don't like the changes he's made (especially in Star Wars which, in my opinion, were atrocious) I am willing to let the director do what he fells is best for his movies and support or not support these changes by purchasing or not purchasing the updated versions. There will always be arguments about the validity of "Director's Cuts" (think Blade Runner and Brazil) but the simple answer is they are "Director's Cuts" and they can do what they want with "their" movies. According to Lucas, the "Special Edition" version is the true vision that he had for the movies. If that is truly the case George, why the waffling on the different OT versions. Go with one and stick with it. Period. This so-called acquiescence to the fans to release the original movies has been downright insulting, condescending and not worthy of a studio as great as Lucasfilm is (or has been in the past).

And the final reason to not buy these movies is simple: George says he is releasing them to, and I'm paraphrasing here, "appease the fans". Bull@#$! He's releasing them for one simple reason. Money. Think about it. Every time something new for Star Wars has come out, he's released some version on DVD. He's planning on releasing a super-duper box set of all the movies in a couple of years as well as the HD-DVD versions, what kind of teasers is he going to release between now and then. He knows he can release anything with the words Star Wars on them and we'll buy them.

Well not anymore for this consumer. I've given ol' George the last dime I ever will. In fact, I'm boxing up my "Special Edition" version of the OT on DVD and sending them back to George with this note. I have the Laserdisc editions and while dated in their look and feel, they are truly the "original trilogy". I might even send back all three prequel DVDs as well just to prove the point.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
You're throwin' away a fortune here, don't be a fool Sept. 15 2006
By C. Smith - Published on
Format: DVD
The only reason a fan is tempted to buy these dvds in the first place is for the "bonus" discs, so the original theatrical versions are the ones to which I am referring. I made a big mistake yesterday when I dropped sixty plus on what I suspected might be trash. Video quality is horrible. Gritty and grainy with horizontal lines in places, vertical in others. Don't be like me and jump at the chance to get these. Let them rot on the shelves. I was a believer that these couldn't possibly be as bad as everyone said. Now I must admit that I was wrong. I have no complaints about the sound, but the picture made me wake up with a headache which still lingers even as I write this. Save your hard-earned cash and join the crusade to get these done right.