Last week Disney completed its multi-billion dollar merger with Fox. From an entertainment perspective, one of the main focuses has been on the effect the merger will have on the X-Men and Marvel franchises. For many of us, however, there is a much bigger, burning question. Now that Disney owns 20th Century Fox, will we finally get a re-release of the Star Wars original trilogy theatrical cut?
For years fans have been begging for the studio to re-release the original trilogy theatrical cut. Hopes ran high that it would happen when George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney a little over six years ago. Unfortunately, at the time 20th Century Fox retained the rights to Star Wars (A New Hope, that is), and that was that. Plus, Kathleen Kennedy has never made re-issuing the original trilogy theatrical cut a priority. But things have changed. With the merger now complete, and given the state of the Star Wars fandom, now is the perfect time to make the move.
It’s Time to Re-Release the Original Trilogy Theatrical Cut
We’re living in an age where the Star Wars fandom is practically split down the middle. That is thanks in most part to Rian Johnson and his controversial take on Star Wars with The Last Jedi. While expectations are high that Star Wars: Episode IX may narrow that gap, it’s no given. If there is one thing that can bring balance to the For…er, fandom, it’s the original trilogy theatrical cut.
Ask even a casual Star Wars fan “who shot first?” and the universal answer is Han Solo. Likewise, mention the nonsensical musical number in the Return of the Jedi Special Edition and see what kind of reaction you get. Don’t get us started on adding Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker as a Force ghost. George Lucas forgot an important, old adage when it came to Star Wars: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Releasing the original trilogy theatrical cut to Blu ray now could heal a lot of old wounds when it comes to the Star Wars fandom.
Fast forward to 2020. Can you just imaging an ultimate Skywalker Saga box set that contains the original trilogy theatrical cut? Based on the sales of that alone Disney wouldn’t have to make another Star Wars film ever again. (Note to Disney: even if you release the unaltered OT, please don’t stop making Star Wars movies.)
Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters December 20. Here’s hoping the original, unedited trilogy returns with it.