Ever since the dawn of Blu-Ray brought high-definition movies into the home, millions of fans around the world began waiting for the complete Star Wars saga on Blu-Ray. The wait is over, and all six films are finally available with restored 1080p picture, six-channel DTS-HD surround sound, and a wealth of supplemental features both old and new. All Star Wars fans have an opinion about the set, and they have good things and bad things to say about it.
The most controversial, but least surprising, aspect of this nine-disc box set is the absence of the unaltered versions of the original trilogy. While the DVDs had them in addition to the special editions, these Blu-Ray discs do not have them at all. George Lucas has stated multiple times that he refuses to release the original versions of the original Star Wars trilogy again in any form. This decision alienated many die-hard fans and made them refuse to buy the set. However, not everyone disliked the changes, arguing that because George Lucas owned the films, he could do what they wanted with them. Since 1997, Lucas has made tweaks to the tweaks he made with each new release, the most ridiculed one being Darth Vader’s shout of “No!” in Return of the Jedi, which is new to this release.
However, until Lucas changes his mind, fans must either take or leave the special editions. As for their presentation, the original trilogy has been remastered to look better than ever, with sharp, clear picture and enthralling six-channel surround soundtracks that bring the sound effects and John Williams’ classic Star Wars theme to life. On the other hand, the prequel trilogy varies in quality. The Phantom Menace suffers from excessive noise reduction while Attack of the Clones, the first Star Wars film to be shot digitally, looks better. Revenge of the Sith is the best-looking of the prequel trilogy. All the prequels have amazing surround soundtracks that can make fans feel as if they are a part of the action.
There are three discs of extras; one for the prequel trilogy, one for the original trilogy, and one containing archival documentaries including The Making of Star Wars, which aired on network TV in 1977. The extra discs consist of deleted scenes, concept art, set and costume designs, interviews and Easter eggs. The infamous Star Wars Holiday Special is not included.
It is hard to believe that 35 years have come and gone since Star Wars first flew into movie theaters. While the absence of the unaltered original trilogy keeps this extensive Blu-Ray box set from becoming the last word in Star Wars on home video, there is so much to recommend about the set that it is virtually impossible to resist.