Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Widescreen Limited Edition)
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For the first time ever and for a limited time only, the enhanced versions of the Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi will be available individually on DVD. Plus, these 2-Disc DVD's will feature a bonus disc that includes, for the first time ever on DVD, the original films as seen in theaters in 1977, 1980 and 1983.
The 2006 limited-edition two-disc release of The Empire Strikes Back is not only the first time the movie has been officially available by itself on DVD. It marks the first-ever DVD release of Empire as it originally played in theaters in 1980. What does that mean exactly? The film is without the various "improvements" and enhancements George Lucas added for the theatrical rerelease in 1997 as well as the DVD premiere in 2004. So no more of Ian McDiarmid (the Emperor) replacing Clive Revill with slightly revised lines, or Temuera Morrison rerecording of Boba Fett's minimal dialogue.
What do you lose by watching the 1980 version? Dolby Digital 5.1 EX sound, for one thing (only 2.0 Surround here), and digital cleanup. But for home-theater owners, the biggest frustration will be from the non-anamorphic picture. On a widescreen TV, an anamorphically enhanced (16x9) picture at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio will fill the screen with the exception of small black bars on the top and bottom. The original edition of Empire, however, on a widescreen TV will have large black bars on the top, the bottom, and the sides unless you stretch the picture (and distort it in the process, especially considering the substandard picture quality). If you're watching on a standard square-shaped (4:3) TV, though, you won't notice a difference.
Yes, it's true that serious home-theater lovers who want spectacular sound and anamorphically enhanced picture can always watch the 2004 version of the movie also included in this set. But chances are good that they already picked up the trilogy edition of all three films, so their decision to buy the 2006 two-disc edition depends on how much they want the original film. The official LucasFilm stance is that this is an individual release of the 2004 version of The Empire Strikes Back, and the 1980 version of the film is merely a "bonus feature." Common speculation is that the only reason the original versions are seeing the official light of day at all is to undercut the booming black market for the laserdisc version. Star Wars fans will have to decide for themselves if that's worth the purchase. --David Horiuchi
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Top Customer Reviews
It was a dark time for the Rebellion.
The now-famous scroll of yellow letters over the movie screen set the tone for the second chapter in George Lucas's Star Wars saga. In The Empire Strikes Back, we see a darker side to the conflict that was first introduced in the swashbuckling Star Wars. The stakes are higher, the battles are more tense, and the characters grow. In the same vein as the matinee movie serials that Lucas was honoring with these movies, Empire begins with a bang and ends on a cliffhangar, but, from beginning to end, showcases the best that the Star Wars Trilogy has to offer.
The Rebellion has just been driven from their base, and are set upon on all sides by the numerically superior Imerial Fleet, leaving the heroes scattered. Luke, yearning to finish his Jedi training, sets out to find a reclusive master, and must come to terms with his first defeat. Han and Leia travel to a magnificent city in the clouds, only to meet with betrayel at the hands of an old friend. Darth Vader, more sinister and evil than ever, has concocted a plan to capture Luke and turn him to the Dark Side of the Force, using Han and Leia as bait.
Lucas handed the directing reins over to Irvin Kershner (Never Say Never Again), who infuses his own brand of vision into Lucas's story, creating a much darker, character-driven narrative, and, arguable, the best film in the series. My first experience with the saga, Empire holds a special place in my heart. Either way, The Empire Strikes Back is filled with exotic worlds, fierce space battles, and climactic lightsaber duels.Read more ›
So what has been changed with the already perfect, in my opinion, STAR WARS: EPISODE 5 - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK? For starters one may want to familiarize themselves with Donald F. Glut's storybook novelization to read any scenes that are not included in the original 1980 release. Despite many of the key scenes occuring out of sequence in the novel and comic book version - for instance, the Bounty Hunters are introduced following Yoda bringing Luke's X-Wing out of the swamp, and the arrival at Cloud City occuring after Luke's imaginary duel with Darth Vader inside the dark cave. What has been changed?
There are many unnecessary, in my opinion, changes seen throughout. When R2-D2 is nearly swallowed by the swamp monster, Luke's "You're lucky you don't taste very good!" is changed to "You were lucky to get out of there!" WHAT? WHY? A more visual look at the Wampa eating carrion while Luke struggles to free himself from the ice cavern. Plus an actual look at Luke slashing off the monsters' arm. The best changes made are a wider view of Cloud City. There are open windows making the city look more like a real metropolis instead of a very confined set as it was in the original 1980 release. When Luke takes his fall from the reactor core, his cry as he falls is a recycled sound effect of the Emperor falling down the shaft in RETURN OF THE JEDI.Read more ›
Leia seems to have gotten more lovin mushy on Han Solo but WON'T admit it! She seems like she's not as toughy any more.Han saves helpless kid from Wampa teeth! Empire blasts the snow cave
to bits, and the rebels are 'omeless. They try to escape but not many make it for there's a lota popping off at them from Vaders guns.Now Wukey hates Phoooeeeyy,and wants to KILLUM EM!
Lukey goes to Yodey on Dagobah and learns to not give in to hate.When Vader kidnaps poor luke's buddies with the help of Han
Solo's bad ol' bUddy Lando, Wukey rushes into Vader's trap to save his friends. Aphooooeeey forces Lukey high above a trash pit into a brilliant lightsaber Duel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!will Lukey give in? and join Vader in asassinating Darthy's Sithy Master,
PULPATINE?(Pilpaton,Palpatine)? Chewie the magic walking carpet
might save the day with his howling and blasting everything in sight!With the help of Highness Princess Leier and Lando who twice double-crosses Han and Vader. The SCUM!Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This Limited Edition comes with 2 disc, the first is the 2004 updated special edition of the 1997 theatrical special edition release. Read morePublished 6 months ago by K. D.
I love the Star wars saga, but I think that they only sell the Star wars trillogy nowdays, so it was hard to find this jem, but here it is.Published on July 15 2013 by willy
Great movie. It brought me back to my childhood, and it's obviously a timeless film. My kids love it as much as me.Published on April 28 2013 by Jason I. Pyne
INTRO:For the first time on DVD in 2006 the "original" films of the Star Wars trilogy were released,fans are finally getting the chance to see the original movies,"IV:A New... Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2007 by T. Skylar
in this one,the deathstar is being rebuilt and the rebels go nuke it again.after a smorgasboard of malfunctions with the millenium falcon,they are trapped with the empire. Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by abe
Carrie Fisher once stated the SW series is like ice cream (nice simile). All being good, however ESB being the best flavor. I agree with her statement. Read morePublished on July 14 2004 by Whoisit
As long as there had been motion pictures, there had been science fiction films. Unfortunately, very few of them ever managed to hit the spot. That was, until 1977 rolled around. Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2003 by Rocker_Man
With the phenomenal success of Star Wars in 1977, George Lucas realized he could continue the planned trilogy he had been outlining since the early 1970s. Read morePublished on Nov. 6 2003 by Alex Diaz-Granados
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