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431 of 470 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Corrections made, further 'changes' and extras galore
After salvaging all nine discs in a product that seems to have an ever-expanding waistline (requiring me to hibernate from 'real life' for the past two days!), I may find it particularly difficult to make valued judgements without the fear of "true fans" protesting bias through pure anarchy. And thats all the fuss has ever been. Anarchy against the principle of making...
Published on 12 Sep 2011 by Picard

versus
320 of 336 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stunning sound, great visuals, but far from complete
First and foremost, this is the best I've seen the original trilogy at home in terms of picture quality, which should be a given really with blu-ray. In Star Wars and Empire particularly there's a superb level of depth and detail which injects even more life into Lucas's idea of a 'used' universe. Jedi wavers a bit, but I've always found that it suffers in comparison, on...
Published on 21 Sep 2011 by Steve D


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320 of 336 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stunning sound, great visuals, but far from complete, 21 Sep 2011
By 
Steve D (London, England) - See all my reviews
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First and foremost, this is the best I've seen the original trilogy at home in terms of picture quality, which should be a given really with blu-ray. In Star Wars and Empire particularly there's a superb level of depth and detail which injects even more life into Lucas's idea of a 'used' universe. Jedi wavers a bit, but I've always found that it suffers in comparison, on whatever format - and it definitely picks up in the second half once all the smokey, dark interiors disappear. With the prequels, TPM perhaps isn't as good and appears a bit flat but, by the time you get to Sith, the image is fairly jaw-dropping.

The sound's the thing, though. If you've got the set up for it, they sound absolutely stunning. John Williams' marvellous scores sound better than ever (the chase through the asteroid field is demo material for the sound, I think). The dialogue is clear, the sound effects placed just about right in the mix. When the special editions were released I went to see them in a THX certified cinema, and I think these sound even better than that. During the attack on the Falcon the TIE fighters sound like they're flying around the room

As for the changes, well I understand anyone who's chosen not to buy the set and, in some ways, I wish I'd done so myself. In fact, I lost count of the number of times I ordered and cancelled it before finally caving in and going ahead. I first saw Star Wars in early '78 when my folks took me to Leicester Square to see it on my birthday, and that's the version I want to remember and own. I agree with much of the criticism of Lucas for his constant revisionism. He's messing with my fond childhood memories of these wonderful films, as he is doing so for many, many others, and we all have a right to say so. Having said all of that, the latest revisions (other than the colour timing and such) last barely a minute over the course of the six or so hours of the original films. For me, the more heinous changes had already happened in the special editions, so if you could handle them then you can probably handle this. Ben's new Krayt call didn't bother me in the slightest. Artoo hiding behind rocks - stupid, because the rocks are there in one shot then not in the next (and I suspect this was just added for the upcoming 3-D versions anyway). Vader's "Nooooo" I absolutely hate but, again, it lasts barely a second. Oh, and Han and Greedo now shoot simultaneously, and it still looks stupid.

I reckon most fans probably already know whether they want the blu-rays or not. I'm glad I've seen them and made up my own mind, and I'll definitely get some mileage out of them before returning to my old, unaltered VHS tapes and dvds. And it seems almost inevitable that Lucas will discover seamless branching one day and release the original versions. I hope so, anyway.

For me, this set is visually superb and aurally stunning, but it loses a point for not including the original versions, and another for not including all the previously available extras. It is what it is, and I think there is a lot of entertainment still to be found within. In my opinion, Lucas can tinker as much as he wants, but he should at least give the fans who've made him so rich the choice as to which version of the movies they want to watch. It is this lack of choice that grates with me more than anything else.
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431 of 470 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Corrections made, further 'changes' and extras galore, 12 Sep 2011
By 
Picard (USS Enterprise) - See all my reviews
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After salvaging all nine discs in a product that seems to have an ever-expanding waistline (requiring me to hibernate from 'real life' for the past two days!), I may find it particularly difficult to make valued judgements without the fear of "true fans" protesting bias through pure anarchy. And thats all the fuss has ever been. Anarchy against the principle of making changes to successful films.

None the less, this review is concerned with the product in question and to help potential customers make a choice; I'm not overly concerned with the validity of George Lucas' decision making. I also aim to compare these Blu-rays with the 1997 and 2004 'Special Edition' releases of Star Wars.

The Product:

Presented in an beautiful thick card box, we have a product that immediately feels special. The cover is matte, with a simple painting of Anakin and Luke choosing their fates in a vast open land. Some have criticised this imagery since it doesn't reflect the original promotions of each film, but I actually believe it to be a bold and sincere move that accurately reflects one of the primary themes of the film; realising ones destiny. It almost demonstrates maturity in comparison to the previous efforts.

The films are housed on separate Blu-ray discs in a chunky 'amaray' case that slides out. Inside, you'll find a 'Guide To The Galaxy' booklet (paintings and a map of the extras), and if you pre-ordered, a special Senitype 35mm cel from Revenge of The Sith. All cels have the same image, and they are limited to a specific amount.

Loading the Blu-rays is quick and, thankfully, there are NO adverts before you reach the menus. Terrific! Loading times vary between different players, although I've noted that as has been the case with many Blu-rays, a Playstation 3 almost by-passes any 'loading' screen.

The Big Picture:

Whilst I still prefer the Original Trilogy as individual films, their is no denying that Episodes 2 and 3 stand out the most on Blu-ray. They are for the most part 'immensely' beautiful, making it quite obvious how digital filmmaking offers so much more freedom to explore emotional response, and this is exemplified by the colours of the environments that appear to have endured so much control, precision. So far I haven't been convinced of Digital presentation in theatres, but at home, presentations like this are jaw-dropping. Even Episode 1, which was shot on traditional film, has been enhanced to look akin to Episodes 2 and 3 and thus provide better continuity. The only downside to this continuity however is that, in order to preserve a 'digital' look, it has suffered from digital noise reduction which has removed almost all of the natural film grain and given the movie a smoother, slightly waxier look. On a larger-than-average TV this will stand out more, but I can't say it ruined my enjoyment of the film - its just a pity that Lucasfilm chose not to preserve the films natural state.

Its also good to see that the problems with the original Episode 1 DVD have been completely ironed out, and as such the presentation exceeds how I remember it even theatrically (although sometimes prone to 'Edge Enhancement'). Episodes 1 to 3 won't look any better than this. At least until a new format comes out...

For the Original Trilogy however, things are quite different. Focusing on improvements, these Blu-rays are a 'major' step-up from the 2004 DVD's, with crushed blacks no longer present (and no lost detail in dark scenes or areas of the frame), no irregular enhancements, and of course, re-worked lightsaber effects. Although the work that ILM did is only for select shots, the important thing is that consistency is now present.

Studio shots and outdoor shots work together with more consistency in lighting. The fact that they are so much brighter reveals details i've never seen before and breathed new life into darker scenes such as 'The Battle of Yavin', in which the cockpit control panels pop with primary colours, and the star fields in space are more detailed. Vader's costumes also springs amazing detail, from hurried workmanship on his helmet in Episode 4, to immaculate reflections in Episode 6. Primary colours are sometimes over-saturated in the reds (particularly with any 'fire'/explosions), so I'm guessing this is one of Lucas's current "creative decisions".

And sure, because of digital editing these films are now lesser products of the era to which they were made, but this should be seen from a positive point of view and not lethargically wagged away. The studio shots are the most impressive improvement since they appear so atmospheric, leaving the original lighting effects looking somewhat poor and dated in comparison. The films could never have looked this good originally, so credit to Lucasfilm for embracing this technology in a descent manner. It should be taken as a compliment that the films gain so much attention and that enhancements have been worthy enough in the first place.

'But' downfalls do exist, although I am referring mainly to those who care deeply about picture quality here. Since the original films have not had a fresh scan since the work done for the 2004 DVDs, the restoration work looks positively dated at times, and this is certainly not nit-picking. The only way to analyse such is to view the Blu-ray's on two different sized TV's - an average living room one at 32", and a more up market model at 50" or over. Having had the opportunity to compare both, it becomes blatantly obvious that the restoration was done at a low resolution, since digital artefacts are constantly present on a larger TV. Detail becomes smudged and 'swirly'. Grain levels are inconsistent. Those over-saturated colours become blocky and flat. Conversely, these flaws aren't as obvious on a smaller TV, so the question is just how will you be watching these films? My guess is that most families won't take notice of the topic, but for others who are more aware of the Blu-ray world, the quality of these Star Wars transfers do not justify value for money in my honest opinion. The upgrade to 1080p however does, as do the products other features...

The Sound:

... such as this. To call John Williams a genius is somewhat an understatement; the man is a legend. Part of the success of Star Wars stylistically is the classic marriage between sight and sound (Leitmotif in particular), and these Blu-rays offer a massive jump in definition over the DVD's and VHS. It was said before the release that the original individual soundtrack tapes were used to remaster the entirety of the Original Trilogies, and if thats the case then it clearly shows. Cues that were lost in the 2004 DVD are restored, the final mix is absolutely spot on (listen out for the 'fanfare' as the X-Wings Fighters swoop down during The Battle for Yavin) and the clarity is stunning - even better than my re-re-re-remastered 'Soundtracks' on CD.

I'm simply overwhelmed by the definition. The Prequels obviously benefit from digital recordings, and the final output is expectedly a leap over the DVDs, but its the Original Trilogy that benefits from this release. This is a topic that I fear will be, and already has been, gravely overlooked. Just outstanding.

The Final Edit:

These films are neither the '1997' versions, nor are they the '2004'. Instead, the product combines edits that were made from both, as well as new edits for 2011. Interestingly, the Original Trilogy have two 20th Century Fox fanfares before each film; one from 2011, and then one restored from 1997. A bit daft, as if they were going to include a 'modern' version anyway, why not just use the films original titles?

I managed to spot little under a dozen small alterations (both in editing and 'additions'), though I shall refrain from getting bogged down with these and encouraging new arguments. In short however, the edits this year are very basic in nature and certainly don't detract from the final enjoyment of the film. Vader now shouting "Noooo" in Return of The Jedi? Blinking Ewoks? R2-D2 hiding behind new rocks? These are about as big as they get this time round, and I honestly can't understand the fuss. I have no problem with fans enjoying any particular version of Star Wars, but the behaviour that some demonstrate to make their 'arguments' apparent can be downright childish. The only change between 1997 and 2011 that the family and myself have cringed at is the replacement of Sebastian Shaw's head (when he's ghost at the end of Episode 6) with that of 'Young Anakin' actor Hayden Christensen. If Luke is able to see these ghosts based on his own memories, then how would he have known what Anakin looked like as a teenager? Yeesh.

The Special Features:

In a word, 'Wow'. Discs 7 and 8 - the interactive bonus content - are for Episodes 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 respectively, and the menus are ordered in a Film > Area/Scene > Category of Extra > Feature fashion. This is very intuitive and make navigating the material interesting. I simply can't list everything thats on offer, but highlights include the spectacular 360-degree models (in which you can see just how R2-D2 was built in a rather scrappy manner), matte paintings and very intriguing Deleted Scenes. They range from short scenes - such as a woman telling Luke to slow down on his Landspeeder - to very long scenes - such as Luke meeting Biggs and the rest of his friends on his home planet. And the schematic artwork of the ships.... Mind boggling, to say the least.

The only problem I have found on Discs 7 and 8 are that before you play a Deleted Scene, the caption outlining what is going to happen leaves far to quick to read fully.

Disc 9 contains an array of brilliant archival documentaries (most are a stretched 16:9 aspect ratio and in SD) as well as a few newer bits and pieces; the most disappointing being 'Star Wars Spoofs' which, sadly, I shall not watch again it was that poor. 'The Empire of Dreams' is sadly not included, but the ones included, such as 'Classic Creatures', last around an hour/hour and a half and are very insightful.

The Downsides:

To access any Bonus Features apart from two commentaries per film (in essence, the 'hours' of extra footage) you MUST buy this Complete Saga, rather than the separate Episodes 1-3 and 4-6 products. This is an unfortunate marketing tool, and means that should you only be a fan of either Episodes 1-3 or 4-6 but still want the excellent Bonus Features, you're very much compromised. The truth is that the products have been produced this way not just to get more money from customers, but to tie the Prequel and Original trilogy together even further.

The price is also an issue for me in comparison to the, aforementioned, Alien Anthology which is similarly a bulky product. Sure, that product only has 4 films, but its retailing a 'third' of the Star Wars Complete Saga, and has far more bonus features (if less intuitive). Why does a franchise like Star Wars require a higher sales value, just because its a more successful brand?

In short:

The legacy only continues from 2011. The reaction my nephews gave from little more than exploring the box was a wonderful reminder of my own intrigue and excitement at receiving the original trilogy on VHS in the early 1990's and, again, in 1997. The improvement that is reaped from this product is significant and even brought a tear to my eye during key such scenes, such as finale to the The Battle of Yavin, and the celebration at the end of Return of The Jedi. These emotions were not through reminiscing of how I originally watched the films - they were from the fact that we can finally watch these films in the comfort of our home in such a fidelity.

+ Flawless audio tracks that are on par, if not better than Avatar's.
+ Picture definition a major leap across the saga.
+ Almost all glaring errors from past releases fixed.
+ Bonus Material sets a new standard for Blu-ray, easily.

- LucasFilm were too tight to re-scan the Original Trilogy. Hey, its just a fact...
- Bonus Material only available with The Complete Saga.
- 'That' change at the end of Episode 6.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for all fans!, 4 Mar 2014
By 
Sara "SG" (PT) - See all my reviews
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After the VHS and DVDs I had to get this to upgrade the experience with my home cinema update too. Unfortunately mine didn't came with the senotype that came with the first ones, but that would be just for fun and not really important for the experience. 40 hours of extras is all we could wish for. The image is more amazing than ever, the 6.1 DTS-HD MA audio is perfect. And for the ones who live in portugal I confirm the subtitles are in brazilian portuguese. Anyway they are very soft and we can watch the movie without even notice or remember that little detail. Personnally I don't look at the subtitles most of the times but is important for me to have portuguese or brazilian ones so I can see the movies with other people. Forget about the brazilian you are used to see in custom subtitles on the web. This is very subtle and we can live with it better than not having at all. And you save a lot of money compared to the store/street price in portugal.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A long time ago in a galaxy far far away..., 20 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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Not quite the complete saga anymore with new films being released from 2015 onwards, this is still a stunning bluray boxset of both the original classic trilogy and the often unfairly slated prequels. The picture and sound quality is fantastic, cleaned up and of course George Lucas can't resist tinkering and adding yet more changes which is why i personally think the Disney buy out is a good thing but that's another argument for another time. The original trilogy is superb, one of the greatest film trilogies of all time that introduced me to my love of films and scifi all those years ago. Sadly the original theatrical releases aren't included here so it will be worth hanging on to the dvds for those but the special edition versions do look fantastic and of course are still great films. Star Wars A New Hope of course sees the story of farm boy Luke Skywalker who gets a message from a princess begging for help and goes off to rescue her from the clutches of the evil Galactic Empire and Darth Vader. A thrilling film from start to finish with great performances from the whole cast and superb cleaned up special effects. The Empire Strikes Back sees Luke begin his training as a Jedi while Darth Vader becomes obsessed with finding him leading to an epic confrontation and cliffhanger. A darker film and again a thrilling film from start to finish with great performances and superb cleaned up special effects. Return Of The Jedi, the final film in the original trilogy sees Luke and Leia rescue Han from Jabba The Hutt picking up from where the cliffhanging ending of Empire Strikes Back left off and sees the final battle between the Rebels and the Empire. The Phantom Menace, the first of the prequels and for me the weakest Star Wars film but still has its moments and is good fun and sees Anakin Skywalker as a young slave the boy who will one day become Darth Vader meet a young Obi Wan Kenobi and his Jedi master. Some good performances especially Liam Neeson and Ewan Mcgregor while sadly Jake Lloyd can't act and Jar Jar Binks is one of cinema's biggest embarrasments but does have the impressive villain Darth Maul. Attack Of The Clones picks up several years later with Anakin being trained as a Jedi. An Improvement on The Phantom Menace but still not as good as the original trilogy with a wooden Hayden Christensen as a now adult Anakin but with good action and effects. Revenge Of The Sith sees the downfall of Anakin and the rise of Darth Vader and is the darkest and best of the prequels neatly bridging the gap between trilogies. An excellent essential boxset with some terrific extras.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undiscovered classic, 26 Mar 2014
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It's surprising to me that more people don't know about this series. I may have discovered a hidden gem in Star Wars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another format of a well-loved film series..., 23 Nov 2014
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Great series, and I agonised over whether to replace my VHS set with DVD, and did so, and then agonised over whether to replace the DVD with this one. I did replace it, and was pleased with it, but it is a bit of a waste, really, to have 3 sets of the whole thing...

It would be nice if you could buy rights to something like this film set - which would give you rights across various media - rather than having to buy and then re-buy. We also have 3 different sets of the VHS / DVD version, as we bought each at successive release-dates, with directors cuts or additional scenes... Would be fairer if you could just buy one version, and then update...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The complete set, 20 Aug 2014
By 
T. Cosens (England) - See all my reviews
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An epic saga deserves an epic boxset and this one delivers. All six films remastered with perfect sound and visual quality and then an array of extra features to keep most fans happy for hours afterwards. In fairness not everything in the set is brand new but there is enough to keep you entertained.

The films vary in quality and everyone has there own opinions on each one. For me the worst is Attack of The Clones, it's garish, cheesy and not very interesting. Even the final battle lacks some sort of spark. The often derided part one, The Phantom Menace, is not all that bad and whilst it gets bogged down with some boring political battles it has some stunning scenery and action scenes including the superb lightsaber duel with one of the coolest villains ever created.

Of course the original trilogy still stands tall with Empire Strikes Back towering above them all, but it is great to have all six films in one place. The original cuts still elude us but to be honest Star Wars fans and general film fans should just enjoy whats on offer here. Star Wars remains a game changer in the film world and should be treasured.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Replace your old DVD collection now, 3 Feb 2014
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Buy it! brilliant picture & sound WOW! a must have upgrade
enjoy it as much as myself & the children did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 1 Feb 2014
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T. Jones (uk) - See all my reviews
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I love Star Wars. I love blu ray. I love Star Wars on blu ray. I'm not a geek who worries about added extras and bonus material. All I can say is if you love Star Wars you will love this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it and I cannot avoid it, 4 Jan 2014
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Great pack, I love the movies so I am not objective. Great price and finally I get everything in blue ray
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Star Wars: Complete Saga (I, II, III, IV, V & VI) [Blu-Ray]
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