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4.3 out of 5 stars
Star Wars Trilogy (Special Edition) [Gold Box Set] [VHS]
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747 of 777 people found the following review helpful
on 14 December 2012
Please be aware that several product pages lead to this strain of reviews. I have seen reviews claiming that there set did not contain the original unaltered versions as they had read in reviews and as such were dissapointed. Multiple versions of the original trilogy lead to this string of reviews, the Blu Ray set released in 2011 does not contain the unaltered versions. The DVD trilogy release from 2004 does not contain them either it is only the remastered copies. If you are looking for a trilogy that contains the untampered originals then insure that the eproduct you are buying was released in 2008, and that the picture on the front cover is one of Luke and Darth Vader with lightsabres clashed with a blue light coming from behind them. All other versions do not include the originals, that for any die hard fan are must owns! However there are plenty of reviews here on the content, I just wanted to clear up that issue.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2010
The original Star Wars trilogy changed my life and had a tremendous impact on my imagination when I was a kid. This box set trilogy is superb and all of the films are a joy to watch. Star Wars is a classic, The Empire Strikes Back is outstanding and Return of the Jedi is a great finale to the original trilogy. The remastered special effects improve the films in my opinion and the extras disc is fascinating. The genesis of Star Wars is an epic in itself. These films changed my life and I urge you to get hold of them and cherish them. Luke Skywalker is brilliantly played by Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher is great and sexy as Princess Leia and Harrison Ford is a revelation as the cynical Han Solo. Darth Vader has to be one of the greatest movie villians of all time and the supporting cast is superb. You will love the 'droids C3PO and R2D2, and Chewbacca is a great character without actually saying anything coherent. The action in the films is superb, the music by John Williams is stunning and the morality of tale is gripping and touching.
Epic stuff-George Lucas is a genius
5 stars-a must see. Far superior than the prequels
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2004
Possibly the most eagerly awaiting DVDs, The Star Wars Saga's original trilogy is a ride well worth buying. Much has been said of the way George Lucas has tinkered with the films during the last few years, the work done in the late 90's to bring out the Special Editions has been taken further with this set of DVDs. Slight modifications include a rework of the Han Solo/Jabba the Hutt scene in A New Hope, Hayden Christiensen replacing Sebastian Shaw in the ghost scene at the end of Return Of The Jedi and dialogue changes in the conversation between Luke and Leia when Leia talks about remembering her mother, just to help continuity with events of Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith. Naboo also now gets seen in the end of film celebrations.
There's always going to be an argue
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2006
The original trilogy certainly stands the test of time. It has a rawness, innocense and naivity to it which enhances the overall feel of 'myth' or 'legend'. It is hard to recapture the wonder of discovery - the famous scene in Empire Strikes back with Darth Vaders revelation to Luke.

But so many scenes take me back to my childhood - so many scenes are still awe inspiring - despite the 30 years of special effects in between. The opening scene in episode IV is unrivalled - the Star Destroyer chasing down Leia's ship. The complexity of the battle above Endor, with hundreds of Tie Fighters, massive capital ships...these scenes are still unrivalled.

There are so many heroes and anti-heroes to latch on to. Han Solo - the rogue, C3PO and R2D2 as a comedy pair, Lando Calrissian, Bobba Fett...

People talk of wooden acting and dubious dialogue - but this all seeems to fit with the feel of the films.

Overall, I would give th original trilogy 5 stars. 6 if it was possible. But some annoying tinkering by George Lucas destroys certain elements; the extra scene in episode IV with Jabba. This was un-called for and embarrasing. The altered scene in Jabba's palace with the band performing a song which is so incongruous, so ill-fitting, it destroys the whole atmosphere. Not to mention the 'wrong Annakin' at the very end of Episode VI. This is why I give this version of the trilogy 4 stars instead of 5.

When buying the boxed set, go for the original theatrical versions. They have been digitally remastered and are of top-class quality.
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175 of 199 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2009
I picked this up because I thought that Lucas was finally allowing people to choose whether they wanted to watch the original versions of these movies or the so-called enhanced versions. From the outer box it would seem so. However, this box contains a nasty and mean spirited surprise.
Yes- the new versions of the film are in Dolby Digital sound, anamorphically enhanced picture and THX mastering. However,the original versions are in a matted 4:3 format (ie not enhanced for a widescreen tv)and are in basic (and I do mean basic) stereo soundtrack. It looks like somebody filmed it in the cinema on a camcorder.
This is a bit like a photography book which has one half printed on high quality colour paper stock and the other half printed on yellowing newsprint.
There is absolutely no reason that the original versions cannot be displyed with the same level of picture and sound as the new versions and even if Lucas cannot be bothered bringing the sound up to 5.1 there is absolutely no excuse for not making the dvds anamorphic for widescreen tvs.
The only conclusion is that Lucas does not trust the public to make their own mind up. He wants to ensure that people think 'Gee they have really improved these clunky old movies' rather than 'Why did they ruin the simplicity of these films by jamming them up with lots of unnecessary CGI effects'. The way he is doing this is by making the discs of the old stuff as bad as possible.
Lucas deserves a rasperry for this. I am sure I will enjoy watching the new versions despite myself but this is a bad way to treat your fans and customers.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A NEW HOPE

On Blu Ray, this film has never looked better or sounded as sharp in the home. In fact, I daresay that this is the sharpest presentation it has ever had. With this - as with each of the films - there has been some minor tinkering. Lucas said that the original theatrical releases only achieved 30% of what he had originally envisaged : of course, these tweaks must take the films upt o something like 34.2%, overall. Not that it necessarily matters.

The films have never looked better. The inconsistent effects, the occasional, cheap vaseline smudges to hide practical effects, the garbage mattes (that is, transparent plates of low/high contrast used when composing plates in-fame) have been removed. About the only thing that hasn't been fixed is the presence of Jabba the Hutt as a giant CGI blob (it looked bad in 1997, and equally so now). Aside from that, one element that has always bothered me is the presence of under-detailed Death Star trenches : given the limitations of the budget and time for the 1977 release, surely Lucas could go back and add surface detail to the Death Star. The film goes from insanely detailed vistas, to fast moving, featureless surfaces that look exactly like grey painted cardboard. There have been tweaks to effects, some good, some bad (magical rocks, for The Force's sake!), but all, mostly pointless.

By the standards of today, Lucas is still a visionary. This film,and the entire saga, as such, is a brave telling of the heroes journey. Yes, the films are logically flawed, and often the contents can be balderdash : then again, anyone who expects every character to be the personification of considered sanity in the midst of a space battle is expecting more than I, or Han Solo, am capable of. Looked at now, thirty five years later, it's still a big film. Big in vision, big in charm, big in brass balls and bombast, and whereas most films set themselves as saving a race, this has a weapon that can blow up planets. Who'd've thought of that? Take your mind control, Neo, and stuff it up your jacksy. This is as big and bad as it gets.

EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Again, much like "Star Wars", the film has never looked better. The drawback is that the films are presented in barely-better than HD resolution based on the 2004 DVD transfers. Minor niggles - especially on the unforgiving Hoth scenery - have been almost entirely removed. On a technical level, Empire is the film that has been tampered with the least since release in 1980, and it has never looked so vibrant. The film's pace lags slightly in the middle with the introduction fo Yoda, which takes the film to obviously episodic levels of lethargy as Luke goes through his heroes journey at a tedious length. On the other side, the film looks stunning.

RETURN OF THE JEDI

Altered considerably since 1983, Jedi is now presented in its fourth home video cut (like the rest of the original trilogy). Changes are relatively major for the Blu Ray : an extra creature here, a larger door there, and perhaps most disturbing of all NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Darth Vader, instead of silently accepting his fate with a dignity, now vocalises ill-advisedly his stoic sacrifice. Presumably used to hark back to his same, mocked NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! In "Revenge Of The Sith", his great moment of redemption is soundtracked by a scream of unforgettable, unforgivable denial.

Ewoks blink, Dugs walk around Jabba's Palace, and "Jedi Rocks!" is still there, even though "Lapti Nek" and "Yub Nub" aren't. At least Ewoks still hold the dead, cold glass eyed stare of the painted lifeless eyes of.. oh. They blink now. And Hayden Christensen turns up creepily. What the?

Aside from these, it is still a great film. Of course, had they been made now, and made this way, nobody would complain. These films would be eagerly awaited. They would be hailed as visionary masterpieces. And, "Return Of The Jedi" would still be two summers away. But these films are modern myths. As big as any grand story, epic in scale, brazen in ambition and large in vision, the Star Wars films : taken as six, or three, are still, and always, tales of the type of shameless size that not enough film makers would dare to consider.

PRESENTATION

BR video and sound is clear, but this set contains only the commentaries. Extras hounds will have to go for the full box set.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2004
There has been much discussion on these pages about the merits of the new versions of the films against the old; but these seem to be losing perspective a little.
The main changes to the DVDs are a vibrant colour transfer to the picture; window-rattling sound effects; and essential extras that will leave fans slavering.
Compared to movies of the Special Editions of 1997, I noticed only one change to the actual content; and it was only in the last five seconds of the last film, which hardly spoils the ongoing enjoyment of the movies, and will make sense when Ep III is done.
In the extras, the highlights are the preview of Episode III - Hayden Christiansen puts on the Vader helmet, and even the crew are in awe of him; the really really poor 70s trailers; and the Empire of Dreams documentary, which shows all sorts of interviews and footage about production of the original movies. If you think some of the lines in Ep IV are bad, you should hear some of the ones they cut out.
Embrace the DVDs for what they are; the best possible way to watch Star Wars. When the lights are off, and the Imperial Battle Cruiser starts rumbling behind you until it crawls across your front room, you are in a galaxy far, far away, and there is nowhere else you would want to be.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2004
I've been reading, with growing amusement, the furious reviews of others who are getting very hot on under the collar because various bits have been changed and added and the classic trilogy has been tinkered with. I first saw Star Wars in 1977 when I was five and then spent the rest of my childhood pretending to be Luke Skywalker. Now I watch the films with my son (who want to be Darth Vader)and though they have changed, the magic is still there, It really doesn't matter how many stormtroopers where there in the original and how many were pasted in at a later date. These are timeless pieces of swashbuckling adventure, like the Adventures of Robin Hood or the Crimson Pirate before them. I think the problem with Star wars is that the phenomonal success has pushed the films to a level of importance which they were never intended to reach. To truly enjoy these films and to realise there wonder, I look at my sons face as Darth Vader questions the rebel by squeezing his neck or when the century ships sweep onto the falcon and the music gives you gooosebumps.
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99 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2005
These are as far as we know the same versions of the Original Star Wars Trilogy that were released last September but this set is without the 4th extra features disc. This is meant as a basic set for people who just want to see the films and dont want any extra features, this is shown in the reduced price compared to the 4 disc Boxset.
A good buy for the family.
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2011
Pretty much all of the review material here revolves around George Lucas' continuing tinkering with our most beloved sci-fi classics. What we have here for this release is essentially the Special Editions with a few changes here and there, and a couple of scenes in particular (which I see no need to describe again) which have most fans in an unholy uproar. These `tweaks' are undoubtedly unnecessary and do nothing to improve the films whatsoever. Lucas would do very well to remember the old adage; `If it ain't broke, don't fix it'. We've been here before of course, in 1997. Whether or not we'll ever see a blu-ray edition of the original films is anybody's guess. Lucas himself has been quoted as saying that the original versions are gone forever.

Thus with all the talk of Mr Lucas, crazed and demented by power, hacking his classics to pieces, I had deepest concerns prior to watching the trilogy this weekend. But any doubts quickly slipped away as I watched the quite incredible Empire Strikes Back. This is my favourite by a country mile, and the only one of the trilogy that is quite brilliant on every level, but the blu-ray transfer for all three films is superb, in terms of both picture and sound quality, and among the very best I've seen. It took me back 25 years, as if I was watching again for the first time. We may have our gripes, but let them not rob you of the opportunity of watching these great family films in utterly astonishing detail and clarity.

Plaudits then, go not to Lucas but to the team responsible for the work to upgrade these films to HD. These are the folk who have rescued this most anticipated of releases from becoming a total car crash. It's a remarkable job, and makes it well worth the upgrade, despite the tinkering.

And at least we don't have to purchase the abominable prequel trilogy.
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