Blu-ray REVIEW: Star Wars – The Complete Saga (2011 9 disc set)

I will be going LIVE at 12:30 AM (ET) Saturday morning with Robert Daniels on VISIONS IN SOUND. Tune in on your dial to 98.5 or internet to CKWR!  You folks in the UK can tune in as you enjoy some morning coffee or tea!

Rob says:  “May is Star Wars month on Visions In Sound and we will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary with a slew of special shows. Joining me this week will be special guests Jason Drury, Michael Ladano & Erik Woods to help with the celebration. Featured music will be from the Star Wars prequel trilogy (John Williams). Join Us THIS Saturday 12:30-2:30am (ET)”

 

STAR WARS: The Complete Saga (2011 Lucasfilm 9 Blu-ray set)

Includes:  Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and three bonus discs.

Star Wars on blu-ray…it took a lot less time than it did for Star Wars to arrive on DVD!  In special features and deleted scenes alone, it was well worth the wait. You can’t do a box set like this without the bonus of unseen footage. The good news is, The Complete Saga is loaded with unseen special features and deleted scenes. In fact, the Tosche Station scene (deleted from A New Hope) is worth the purchase alone for the true fan. It’s that great.

Will this be the last time we buy the first two Star Wars trilogies? Heck, no! When 3D comes out, everybody will be having the same discussion all over again!  And when the sequel trilogy is complete, we’ll be doing it again.  Will Greedo still shoot first? Well, in my mind I have long accepted that Han shot first. Only in some weird Lucasverse is there a way that Greedo could shoot and miss at that range. That close, I’m sorry, Han is toasted smuggler stew.  Disney says there is no way to re-release the original trilogy without its Special Edition enhancements, as the original film materials are too far gone.

However about 10 years ago or so, Lucas did an official DVD reissue of the ORIGINAL original trilogy, which I went out and bought on day one. It was satisfying, it looked better than my old VHS copy, but it wasn’t cleaned up nice like the special editions were. Which, in my opinion, is fine. It looks good and it’s as close to your childhood memories as you’ll ever get. After all, we didn’t have 1080p TV tubes.

Accepting that a Blu-ray version of the “ORIGINAL” original trilogy will never happen, I am very satisfied with my Blu-ray of the Complete Saga.

The sound is awesome, very deep, and annoying to the neighbors.

The video is perfect; I realize there are probably some colour changes here and there but I’m not about to do an A/B test and find them. I don’t care, it’s sharp and bright and clear and even Phantom Menace looks good!

Content wise, you know what? Hell, I’m actually enjoying Phantom Menace. I’m lost in that moment in 1999 or whatever it was, when we sat there watching it the first time, trying to figure out who the new baddies were and checking out all the cool designs, which all stand up today. Except Jar Jar. Take him out and the movie’s not half bad at all, flawed as it may be.

Bonus featues: I wanted to watch the deleted scenes and there is good news and bad news. The bad news is, I hate how the deleted scenes are organized. You have to click the movie you want, click the planet you want, and then pick deleted scenes from the features. You can’t just go to a menu called “Deleted Scenes”. Anyways, these were mostly great although some action scenes were just animatics. And, I don’t think these deleted scenes overlap at all with the scenes provided on previous DVD editions. For example there was no Greedo scene in the Episode I deleted scenes, but there certainly was on the original DVD release for Episode I. That goes for the special features in general…I don’t think there are many that overlap at all with the ones you already have.  That could be good or bad; for most fans that’s good.  You’re buying new stuff, not the same stuff you have already.

Highlights: As mentioned the Tosche Station scene, which has all the soul of old Star Wars along with finally tying up the Biggs storyline. Also welcome was the attack on the droid control ship from Episode II — previously only available to subscribers to Lucasfilm’s ill-fated Hyperspace service.

There’s also an hour and a half (!) of spoofs from all over the place, including The Simpsons, Family Guy, Robot Chicken, Saturday Night Live (including that hilarious Kevin-Spacey-as-Christopher-Walken-as-Han-Solo one), Colbert, That 70’s Show, and many more. Most of these, I have never seen.

This is exactly what anybody who had reasonable expectations wanted.

5/5 stars

 

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23 comments

    1. That’s a mighty big “if”, J! Disney have already said they can’t restore the originals anymore, and they don’t lie about such things like Lucas used to.

      My advice: Grab the 2006 DVD versions. That’s what I did. You’ll get the original cuts in DVD quality which is darn good enough for me.

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      1. I actually have those. I know there are issues about the quality / whereabouts of the original prints, but I’d accept the improvements/ clean-ups minus the horrendous additions (the Jabba and Han scene, Greedo, extra song, tonsils, for example). But aye, it’s pretty poor that Lucasfilm didn’t take care of them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Jedi Rocks was the name of that track, I believe. Why not leave in the original song Lapti Nek? Why make a whole new song that sounds very out of place in Jabba’s palace? I could still sing Lapti Nek today, but I couldn’t tell you how Jedi Rocks goes, aside from the tonsils….

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Next week, we will be discussing the CLASSIC trilogy, including these changes. Should be a good show. We went….well, not nuclear…but we went atomic on George Lucas last night over the prequels.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. To be honest, I never watched them. I was the box set that was released about a decade ago. I think it might be the new cuts but I’m not sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. My understanding everything that Lucas cut from the OG trilogy was preserved. So it is possible to do but it is a big project thay won’t be happening soon. The special features are tempting in this set though. Might pick it up if I can find it for a deal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely worth it. Besides not all of the Special Edition enhancements sucked. We tend to remember the bad ones because of how poorly they hold up today.

      A guy I knew really hated the Jabba scene. He felt (and I think he’s got a good point) they should have put the scene in as-is, without the CG Jabba, but just have Harrison come in to dub new dialogue. That way you could call the guy “Bill, Jabba’s henchman” or something. Scene could be left intact with a minor change.

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    1. Very few movies are worth buying just the special features alone…but Star Wars would be. Disney could release a “special features” DVD set with all this stuff and it would sell easily…and fans would appreciate them doing it that way.

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