All versions of the Star Wars Saga deserve to be released to the public sign now

In May of 1977, George Lucas released Star Wars, a sci-fi epic that completely changed the way films were made and marketed. Thousands, perhaps now millions, of people came to love this film (later renamed Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) and its two sequels: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi).
Children and adults of all ages fell in love with these films and with a galaxy far, far away

Owning these films on home video, however, has been a rather long, arduous process for fans over the years.

Different versions[1] of the films existed from the very beginning in the form of three separate audio mixes when Star Wars was originally released in theatres as well as the presence of the Chewbacca Barks at Mouse Droid scene in a 70mm version and its absence in the 35mm versions.

When the film was re-released in theatres in 1981 (and subsequently on VHS in 1984), yet another version was created with the addition of Episode IV: A New Hope to the opening scroll.

In 1995, all three films were restored for a VHS release with improved picture quality and remastered THX sound.

In 1997, the Original Trilogy (OT) was re-released in theatres with added/changed scenes and material. This created another version of Episodes IV, V, and VI[2].

In 2004, for the trilogys long-awaited first release on DVD, more changes and additions (as well as subtractions) were made to the films. Another version[3] was born

With the 30th anniversary of ANH looming in 2007, there are rumblings and rumors of a new release of the original trilogy, whether independently or along with Episodes I-III. Many fans feel that further changes and additions will be made to IV-VI (and quite possibly to I-III, also). There have also been rumors that these DVDs will be a high-definition format (most likely,
Blu-Ray)...

Getting to the heart of this petitions purpose, only a limited number of the versions (many of less-than-high-quality by todays home video standards) have ever been made available to the public.

Specifically, the theatrical version of ANH (with the Chewbacca/Mouse Droid scene but without Episode IV: A New Hope) was released on DVD in 2006 along with the theatrical cuts of ESB and ROTJ. *A home video version of ANH without the Chewbacca/Mouse Droid scene has never been released.* The 2006 versions, however, were a hybrid since they featured 5.1 remixed soundtracks (something absent on any of the OT theatrical releases).

Only one of the three original audio mixes for ANH (the six-track version) has ever been released on home video. It was attached to the 1981 re-release version on most VHS[4] releases but not to a version without Episode IV: A New Hope.

Original theatrical audio mixes do exist for ESB and ROTJ, but only on VHS. The 1995 versions and the 1997 Special Editions of the Original Trilogy have only been available (officially, that is) on VHS as well.

This problem does not stop at the Original Trilogy, though. The theatrical cut of Episode I was only available on VHS and the theatrical (non-digital), theatrical (digital), and IMAX versions of Episode II have never been released on any home video format.




This petition is to have all of the versions of all of these films released.




A definitive DVD set of each (or all) of the six films should be released that would allow the viewer to choose which version of a film he or she wanted to watch. When you put in the Episode I disc, for example, you would have the option to choose from the theatrical cut, the DVD cut, or the new cut of the film (assuming such a thing is made). What would be very nice[5] as well, would be to have the option to watch the theatrical cut and DVD cut with both the original picture quality and sound or in high-definition with whatever improved sound mix is available on the new cut (again, assuming that 5.1 is replaced with something else).

Likewise, the Original Trilogy would be available with theatrical picture quality and sound (I put this in quotes since the original theatrical prints are likely no longer a viable source to transfer from), the 1995 THX Editions, the 1997 Special Editions, and the 2004 DVD Editions. A new cut might be included as well.

Using the most extreme example, ANH, the viewer would be able to choose to watch the original 35mm theatrical cut in either mono or four-track audio (preferably also with an option for original picture and sound as well as a new, high-definition transfer[6]); the 70mm theatrical cut with 6-track audio or with 5.1 [a.k.a. 2006 Bonus DVD] audio; the 1981 re-release; the 1995 THX Edition; the 1997 Special Edition; the 2004 DVD Edition; and whatever new cut is created.

Fans deserve to have all of the versions of the films (that they have helped to make a success) released. I will not attempt to reconcile any arguments concerning whether the Special Editions are good or bad, whether changing the films is artistically right or wrong, etc. I will, however, say that I believe an artist should not deny the existence of work that he or she has released to the public and George Lucas has definitely skirted the edge of doing just that.

If Lucas wants to truly give a thank you to the fans, he should release a DVD set of all the versions of all the Star Wars films. This would not only be appropriate for the sake of appeasing countless numbers of fans, but also for the sake of preserving and chronicling the evolution of one of the most influential and well-known film sagas of all time.

Please join with me to have the Star Wars Saga given the full and proper home video release that it absolutely deserves by signing this petition.


1 All comments regarding how many versions of the films exist and which ones have been available to the public are based solely off my own knowledge and research. Errors may exist.

2 From this point on, Episodes IV, V, and VI will be referred to as ANH, ESB, and ROTJ, respectively.

3 Any reference to the 2004 DVD Editions refers as well to the 2005 and 2006 re-releases of this version of the film since they are (for the purposes of this petition) identical.

4 I use the term VHS rather loosely to describe all non-DVD releases of the films (Beta, VCD, Laser Disc, etc.)

5 There has never been a high definition (hi-def) transfer of any of the films available on home video. Since such improvements would themselves be new versions of the films, I say that it would be nice (as opposed to necessary or appropriate) to have new and improved picture and sound available since these would not constitute versions already in existence.

6 For the remainder of the petition, I do not attach the desire to see all current versions of all six films in both of these forms, but such a desire is implied.

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Marilyn NielsenBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
Petition target:
Lucasfilm

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