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Star Wars Original Trilogy - Unaltered

Updated on July 17, 2014

Han shot first.

Of all the details modified over the years since the original Star Wars movies hit theatres, that one change exemplifies why the changes in the newer versions irritate.

To be clear, I am no purist. I actually appreciate some of the changes made. A lot of new ground was broken in the making of these movies, but in the end, the technology to bring George Lucas' vision alive simply did not exist. Instead, tricks were used, such as a smear of petroleum jelly to hide the mechanism that held up vehicles that were supposed to be floating above ground, and comprimises made, such as the closed in sets for Cloud City, which was envisioned as open and filled with light and scenery.

My appreciation stops when details of the story itself gets changed.

This set is 6 disks; 3 of the original, unaltered series, in all their rough and tumble glory, plus 3 in their modern versions.

A New Hope is the dramatic beginning of our story, following the young Luke Skywalker as his universe is turned upside down by tragedy and hope, and he begins to learn who - and what - he is. To this day, A New Hope is considered the finest example of pacing in a movie, as the story unfolds to its dramatic, inconclusive conclusion.

The Empire Strikes Back came out at a time when sequels were notorious for how bad they were, and it is considered by many to be the best sequel ever (though some would argue Aliens holds that honour). Film making technology of the time was pressed to its limit, beginning at the ice planet Hoth. Here, all the hope of the previous movie appears to be crushed, culminating in Luke discovering the now infamous, paradigm shattering secret about himself.

Return of the Jedi is the first of the trilogy that I ever saw, a consequence of living in the sticks, and I remember it well. One of my brothers took me to a neighbouring town's little theatre. There were so many people, the theatre owner brought in benches for extra seating, yet it was still standing room only. I'm sure a few fire codes were broken that night! I was enthralled, and the entire theatre exploded with applause and cheering at the end.

(A little bit of trivia I discovered: some of the Ewoks are speaking Filipino.)

Each time these movies were re-released, something else was changed. Today's versions, released after Episodes I, II and III, have even removed the actor portraying pre-Vadar Anekin Skywalker, replacing him with Hayden Christensen. Again, I understand why it was done, but it irritates.

Some changes, such as the extended musical number, don't really add anything. Others improved details, such as removing the transparency from inside views of fighter cockpits.

In the end, though, I still prefer the original. In fact, I recently snatched up an original release VHS of A New Hope, even though I already own all 6 episodes on DVD. No matter how much they "fix" things, nothing will quite match the original releases, and no matter how much is changed, those of us who were around for the original releases will never forget.

Han shot first.

Star Wars Trilogy Episodes IV-VI (Blu-ray + DVD)
Star Wars Trilogy Episodes IV-VI (Blu-ray + DVD)

The original releases, with modifications.



They say so, too!

What's your opinion about the original trilogy?

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    • AnnaMKB profile image

      AnnaMKB 3 years ago

      @t2d2: At least some of them are speaking Filipino (a friend had interpreted what was said to us, some years ago). Interesting to hear others are speaking Tibetan, too!

    • profile image

      t2d2 3 years ago

      The Ewoks aren't speaking Filipino, they are speaking Tibetan.

    • profile image

      Ibidii 3 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I saw Episode IV at the drive in theater a few years after it came out. It was hard for me to see. When my son was 13 in 1997 they had the 20th anniversary and we saw it together on the big screen. It was his first time to see the original! He is a big fan of the Star Wars originals as well as all original movies! Great review!

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 3 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Big fan of original anything. Anyone older than 18 can appreciate that the technology and film cheats used in the original shoot were far superior in their own day and were pioneer techniques for all the high-tech gadgetry, CGI, viz fx, mo-cap, virtual filming, and high def stuff we are bombarded with regularly today.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 3 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Interesting lens, however I can't comment on these movies because I've never seen any Star War least I can't recall...

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I definitely like the originals best even though the visual quality of the re-edits is really superior. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Congratulations on Lens of the Day! I agree, the original is best!

    • profile image

      glowchick 3 years ago

      I agree with you on the need for some of the changes but I am also irritated by the constant need to want to change it! I saw all of the originals in theaters ( Empire being my favorite!) and wish that they would be re-released :)

    • inkedwriter lm profile image

      inkedwriter lm 3 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD...May the Fourth Be With You

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

      Great review. Congratulations on LotD! Happy May 4th Day!

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 3 years ago from Rome, Italy

      You should check out the movie-documentary The People vs. George Lucas - it explores the the director's meddling with the originals at length. Oh...and YES, Han did shoot first!!

    • AnonymousC831 profile image

      AnonymousC831 3 years ago from Kentucky

      Great review.

    • astevn816 lm profile image

      astevn816 lm 3 years ago

      The original movies were the best and Hans did shoot first

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I like you prefer the original versions as they were fantastic at the time! Han shot first!

    • amandascloset0 profile image

      amandascloset0 3 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD!!

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      I have the original on VHS and Han shot first. I'm just saying. The first / IV is still my favorite of all the episodes. Favorite character is a toss up between Chewy and the Jawas. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as LotD.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      I do have to agree with you, the original version was the best. A very nice review Thanks :) and Congratulations on LOTD!!