When I first heard that the Walt Disney Corporation purchased Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise, I was ready to Occupy Disney in protest, and I’m sure there are millions of fans who would have joined me. I was shocked. I sat stunned in my room, cuddling my Wicket doll and wishing it was all just a bad dream.
Episode VII? I didn’t want an Episode VII! Hell, I didn’t even want the prequel movies, but I guess George Lucas was going to shove them down my throat no matter what. To be fair, his marketing machine did go a great job of making me believe I only knew part of the story, and he did pocket a ticket purchase from me for all three of those below-average films.
It was then that I had my epiphany: if George Lucas wasn’t in charge of Lucasfilm anymore, then George Lucas couldn’t pollute the original Star Wars trilogy ever again. And that’s a huge plus, one that a Blu-ray collection absent of Star Wars reminds me of each and every day.
If you do a quick Google search about changes made to Star Wars, you’ll find that ol’ George has been altering the classics since their initial release to such a degree that the untouched versions haven’t been seen since their original theatrical run. Worse yet, Lucas seemed to adopt the “Special Edition” films (which also keep changing) as the official Star Wars originals. Hell, the man refused to release the theatrical versions of the film on Blu-ray.
I opted not to buy the Blu-ray releases, since the cluttered CGI nonsense that’s sprayed aimlessly all over my beloved Star Wars grates on my nerves. I want the original trilogy. If I can’t get the unaltered, pristine versions that were released starting in 1977, I’d at least like to see the theatrical versions that were re-released on VHS when I was a kid.
Where am I going with this? Well, if there’s one thing Disney seems good at, it’s archiving, maintaining, and making available their classic films. While Disney is just a machine motivated by profit, the company has, at the very least, realized there is a huge audience of consumers who like the timeless greats to stay exactly the way they are.