Star Wars Trilogy’s Original Theatrical Versions Will Not Be Released

Ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, there has been much speculation that the studio might restore the original theatrical versions of the original Star Wars trilogy, as it was seen before George Lucas made various digital alterations to them. Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy has now spoken about the possibility of this happening–and the news isn’t good.

In a recent interview with the Steelewars podcast, Kennedy was asked if fans would ever see the original versions of the movies. “I wouldn’t touch those, are you kidding me?” she said, via Movieweb. “Those will always remain [Lucas’s].” Kennedy also states that there is nothing legally stopping Disney from releasing them, but it sounds very unlikely to happen.

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Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi have been seen in various versions over the years. The first reworked editions were released theatrically in 1997, and since then, almost every home video release has undergone further alteration. These range from cleaning up VFX to adding characters from the prequel trilogy or inserting entirely new scenes. Among the most controversial changes were the decision to make Han shoot Greedo first, and the new song “Jedi Rocks” performed in Jabba’s Palace.

Lucas has always insisted that these are now the definitive versions of the films. To date, the last time they were available was as bonus features on the 2006 DVD release, sourced from the 1993 laser disc and in a far inferior quality to the altered versions.

In 2012, Lucas sold his company to Disney and is no longer involved with the development of the Star Wars franchise.

In related news, Kennedy also recently stated that the next Star Wars spinoff movie is likely to be revealed soon. “My hope would be sometime around the summer,” she said. “I never want to predict the creative process because it is its own thing, so we’re in the midst of those discussions right now.”

Before that currently unknown spinoff, a standalone Han Solo film will arrive in 2018. Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters in December–check out the trailer here.

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