Now, the original versions so many of us fell in love with as children will finally be available for the first time on DVD. This is a momentous occasion. First, it proves that Lucas was lying about these versions no longer existing, and second, those of us who desire these films can finally add them to our collections and close this chapter of our lives.
Something that I have always found interesting is all the people who cried foul with regards to the unavailability of the original versions, Star Wars is the only film (well, three films) to get such a response. Many films have been altered over the years for their home video release, including Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
That doesn't even get into the growing trend of releasing "Director's Cuts," "Extended Cuts," "Unrated Editions" and the like. Sometimes those editions are the only way to get the film at all, or at least get it in its proper widescreen presentation. It was only Star Wars to get the cries of erasing history, destroying childhood memories, and worse.
I never went anywhere near the extremes that many demonstrated, although I did, and do, want those versions. They were the movies I saw as a kid, and I would like to be able to relive those wonderful memories of Luke, Han, Chewie, and Leia fighting the evil Empire and Darth Vader. I also agree with the comments of erasing history.
The original Star Wars was groundbreaking, forever changing the face of film. Lucas essentially ushered in a new era of films and the idea of the blockbuster. Steven Spielberg is credited with starting the summer blockbuster model with Jaws, but it was George Lucas who cemented it. No one had ever created effects like this. I was transported to this place "A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away."
The movie, besides changing the face of Hollywood, it also influenced an entire generation of movie fans. To some it inspired a lifelong love affair with the moving image; others were inspired to enter the business with some even working for Lucasfilm or one of its affiliates. Whatever the case may be, the film has made an indelible make on pop culture, on the industry, all the way down to the individual.