It’s the Holy Grail of every Star Wars fan: a high-definition release of the original Original Trilogy. That is, the version of the films that existed before George Lucas began vomiting CGI all over them starting in the late ’90s. But it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon, despite the efforts of J.J. Abrams.
Abrams was tasked with closing out the nine-episode Star Wars Skywalker saga by directing The Rise of Skywalker, and yet, even he was unable to convince Lucasfilm to release the so-called non-Special Edition Original Trilogy. In a recent interview with Now This News, Abrams revealed that he approached Lucasfilm directly about releasing the original theatrical cuts of the first three Star Wars films, and was both disappointed and perplexed by their answer. “I have asked about this because, I mean, who wouldn’t want to see that?” Abrams said. “But I’ve told that — for reasons that I don’t quite understand — that that’s not necessarily possible. Which is, you know, too bad because that was the thing that I loved.”
Abrams’ reveal is both disappointing and curious. It’s disappointing because it suggests that we’ll never see a release of the de-specialized Original Trilogy. Seriously, if the guy who directed Episodes VII and IX couldn’t get Lucasfilm to budge, then who else could? His comments are also curious in that Abrams apparently wasn’t told why the movies can’t be released. This, to us, seems odd. What’s the danger in giving him a specific reason? The only logical reason we can come up with is that when George Lucas agreed to sell Lucasfilm to Disney, he baked a clause into the deal that prevented the studio from both releasing the original cuts of the Original Trilogy and revealing said clause to anyone. That’s the only reason that would seem to account for both Lucasfilm’s refusal and secrecy, and if that’s the case, then it’s pretty disheartening. You can take a look at the rest of Abrams’ interview below if you feel like pouring salt on your open wounds.
J.J. Abrams is calling for the original versions of ‘Star Wars’ to be released pic.twitter.com/Hpcq1whPDX
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) December 12, 2019
The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now.