Star Wars fans have reason to celebrate. The original versions of the first Star Wars trilogy may yet be available to take home in its original form. Rumor has it that Disney is working on getting copies of the original theatrical versions of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.
It won’t be an easy process for Disney. As A.V. Club mentions, 20th Century Fox currently owns the home distribution rights. Unless Disney can work out a deal, they would have to fight Fox in court if they want to get a hold of the trilogy any time before 2020.
Filmmaker John Landis revealed the news while promoting a Universal Studios park attraction in Orlando for his cult film An American Werewolf in London. He was asked if he’d ever want to do what George Lucas did with Star Wars and go back to his old films to shine them up with modern technology. He claimed that even if he wanted to, he didn’t have the permission.
He also mentioned that George Lucas owns his films, so he can do whatever he wants to them. That’s why the Star Wars trilogy of original films available now aren’t the ones that were first shown in theaters. Landis came to the same conclusion as many fans when he expressed his opinions about the changes.
Landis told Den of Geek his experience bringing the matter up with George Lucas.
“George owns his movies, so he can do what he wants. My personal opinion is George hurt his movies by doing what he did. However, George said to me, ‘but they’re my movies.’ I thought ‘that’s fair.'”
At a Q&A tonight John Landis dropped that Disney are finally going to re-release the theatrical cuts of the original Star Wars trilogy.
— Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) September 19, 2015
Despite all Lucas’s unprovoked edits on his beloved films, fans have wanted access to the originals. Landis further revealed to Den of Geek that Disney is up to the task. Landis gave further details of Disney’s plans.
“Did you know Disney, by the way, is putting out the original Star Wars the way it was? So, Disney, they’re like, money on the floor.”
But Star Wars fans shouldn’t rip open their pocket books just yet. Disney has yet to comment on the matter. If Disney can do it, besides generating more trust from the Star Wars consuming public, they’d show themselves better decision makers than Lucas himself.
They need to have this ready before Star Wars: Episode VIII arrives in theaters. That way they’d have time to capture the merchandise buying rush that is a sure to follow that film.
It’s a good time to be a Star Wars fan.
[Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]