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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 product 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.

TL;DR: If you want original films that are unaltered buy this product .
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on 30 July 2014
Another post to say that this is NOT the original film trilogy, they are the remastered versions (han shots after greedo etc). Currently there is no all-in-one version (not in the uk or europe) that includes all the original pre-remastered versions. To get those original films you need the seperate 'Limited Edition' versions that each contain 2 DVD's, 1 the remastered version and the other the actual original film release. I'll put the details below to aid those looking for the original films.

For Star Wars IV: A New Hope (Limited Edition):

ASIN number: B000FMH8UI
manufacturer code(on base of spine): 3391901001

For Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Limited Edition):

ASIN number: B000FMH8US
manufacturer code(on base of spine): 3392001001

For Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi (Limited Edition):

ASIN number: B000FMRYNE
manufacturer code(on base of spine): 3392101001

All three of these 2 disk set versions (that you can find on Amazon also) include the original pre-remastered (han shoots first etc) films as well as the remastered versions.

I hope that clears things up for fans like myself that were having a hard time working out where the actual original film versions were!
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on 28 January 2013
I've recently rewatched the original trilogy and picture and sound are as good as you're going to get. What wonderful films these are, they still deserve their legendary status in the Western hemisphere.

I've always been okay with the special editions of these movies but the BD versions have even more tinkering, trying to blend these films with the prequels. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Return of the Jedi, a great film but spoiled by these changes - Darth Vader yells no as he tosses the Emperor into space, presumably to hark back to the "nooooo" in Revenge of the Sith. Even more annoying is the ending of that film which has an incredibly poorly judged song which seems completely out of place and unnecessary scenes of planets seen in the prequels also celebrating the demise of the empire. The music doesn't even sync with the dancing of the little bears - moreover, Darth Vader's ghost is that of young Anakin seen in the second two prequels, whereas I much prefer the older Vader. After this scene I really started hating George Lucas and I think the anger he has caused editing these films even more is entirely justified.

If these changes are to get us to fork out for the prequel trilogy then extra reason to not give these changes any credit.

Still this is Star Wars and is an essential purchase to all nerds like me.

Four stars (minus one for the BD edits)
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on 19 April 2004
I pretty much agree with Amazon's editorial review except for the uncritical praise lavished on The Empire Strikes Back. It's a good sequel but it's not without flaws. That said, it's worth pointing out that these three movies will feature even more enhancements and newly shot footage designed to ensure both trilogies fit together as one story (which was after all Lucas's original intention).
Lucasfilm won't say anything until the official press launch but to judge by some of the more informed comments being made around the net it does look as though the Obi-wan/Vader fight onboard the Death Star (from A New Hope) has been redone to bring it more into line with the pace and zip of the lightsabre battles of the prequels. The CGI Jabba The Hut from ANH has almost certainly been redone and many of the effects from all three films have either been replaced or cleaned up. Additionally, in The Empire Strikes Back, Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor may have been digitally added into the scene where Darth Vader communicates with the Emperor. But most controversially of all (at least for the fans) actor Hayden Christenson - who plays Anakin Skywalker (Luke's father and Darth Vader to-be) in the prequels - may also feature as the aged and horribly scarred Vader in the scene from Return of the Jedi where he is finally unmasked by Luke.
Now whether this and numerous other rumours (such as the one about the Han/Greedo scene having been properly restored) turn out to be true or false, well, we'll just have to wait and see. One thing I do know, this DVD release is NOT the 1997 Special Edition. No way. I know that 100%. I'm not saying the above changes are definitely going to be in there either but that's increasingly what it looks like. So if you're a fan brace yourself for some major surprises because George hasn't quite finished tinkering with his story just yet.
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on 2 December 2015
First and foremost, let me clear up the fact that this indeed isn't the original original. It's the CGI improved version. I had my doubts when I was buying it due to many negative reviews and statements about it but you can rest assured, it's a OK. You will notice the CGI "improvements" but I highly doubt it will ruin the experience for you.

As for the content itself, there were absolutely no problems with any of the DVDs whatsoever and me and my friend had a blast watching this cinematic gem that formed they way we perceived sci-fi as kids and today alike. Video and audio quality is top-notch and I highly recommend this to any of the Star Wars fans, whether you're doing a SW marathon before VII hits the cinemas or you're just completing your movie collection.
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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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on 23 January 2007
Well it's taken long enough but for all of those waiting to see the version of the Star Wars trilogy that they remember from the cinema, before Mr. Lucas decided to make an extra buck or two by 'improving' them, the wait is over. Contrary to the statement made by another reviewer these are the original theatrical releases (two of the three scenes he says are now 'missing' were cut before Star Wars was ever released and although stills do exist of those scenes they were never part of the film as seen at cinemas. The third he mentions is still there, though he is remembering it incorrectly.) Don't expect 5.1 Dolby, cleaned negatives or anything other than the films as they were thirty years ago (and yes, it looks like 30 year old film stock), and that's exactly as it should be. If you want the cleaned, enhanced, 'special' editions they are here as well but for me they just serve as a reminder of why George should have left the originals alone.
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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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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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VINE VOICEon 2 January 2006
I saw Star Wars in the cinema on its original release in 1977 and I was not slow to buy a ticket for an encore. The sheer experience of that film was exhilarating at a time when movie SFX were still a fair distance away from the quality we know and expect today. Few cinemas had stereo sound then because Dolby Stereo was in its infancy, and to actually be in a cinema so equipped at that time was a rarity. If you were really lucky, in addition to Dolby stereo, it might have a 70mm facility which would give you an enhanced picture, plus a 6 channel stereo split instead of the normal 4 channel of standard Dolby. Nowadays digital stereo in the cinema and home makes that sort of differentiating pretty irrelevent.
Seeing Star Wars in stereo and with its incredible effects really was an experience . After that sound and SFX were never going to be the same, and neither have looked back since.

Of the three films Return Of The Jedi is in 3rd place, a great film but is simply bettered by the two that came before it. In second place sits Star Wars itself. The film remains one of those viewing experiences which just remains in your mind as a milestone. What effects, what imagination, the ability to lift you out of every day life and take you to a galaxy, far, far away. Who can forget seeing that opening shot of the huge Star Destroyer bearing down on Princess Leia's fleeing vessel?
No audiences had seen spaceships of those looks and dimensions on the big screen before...
The pride of place by a whisker is taken by The Empire Strikes Back. Of the three films, this is the one that has stood up to more repeat viewings than the others. When I first saw it it did not have the effect that seeing the first did, absorbing though it still was. The passage of time has seen it establish itself as my fave of the trilogy though. I always felt that the plot for Star Wars drew on the Arthurian Legend and nowhere is this more apparent than in The Empire Strikes Back, particularly when the true identity of Darth Vader is revealed for the first time.
There is a moodiness about Empire that runs through the film from start to finish, and I often wonder what Jedi would have been like if George Lucas had let the director of Empire Strikes Back - Irvin Kershner helm that film too....

As to the controversy of the editing that Lucas has made to the dvd releases, my feelings are as follows:
I loved the originals and have the vhs versions of all three. However, with nearly 20 years between Jedi and The Phantom Menace there were always going to be continuity issues concerning casting and SFX. Play an original vhs version of Star Wars, and you will soon see that the mattes have not aged well and stand out visibly. Yet did we notice them at the the time of the films release? No of course not because the SFX then were state of the art. Now with the passage of time and SFX having come on in leaps and bounds, George Lucas decided to update the former films.In my opinion he has done a good job too SFX wise. The casting editing is more to link with the newer editions of the franchise than to improve the quality of the originals, so my thoughts on that are mixed though. I can see the reason for doing it but I simply prefer the original actors in their roles. Clive Revill's Emperor in Empire Strikes Back I think is the deletion that was most unnecessary.
Overall though I am glad that I have a choice and can either watch the originals on vhs or put on the updated versions on dvd.
I have looked forward to the dvd release of these films for years and am delighted with finally being able to blast them across my home cinema set up. The picture on 16:9 anamorphic is great on a widescreen tv. All sound channels are crisp and totally clear of any distortion. Laser blasts and Tie Fighters shoot across the room to varying degrees...Such is the effect of being able to do that, it has returned me to the awe struck kid seeing Star Wars for the first time in a cinema. Thanks for the dvds, George, it may have taken a while but at least they are here now.
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