Yesterday, as most of you know, was Star Wars day, and to celebrate the occasion Lucasfilm released the details of what is to be expected in the highly anticipated upcoming Blu-ray releases of the films.
That is, of course, if you were lucky enough to get into the site when the countdown reached 00:00:00 (at 11pm AEST). All I got was a white screen of death, followed by php mysql errors, followed by redirects to foxmovies.com. It became stable after about an hour, but by then dozens of users who managed to get in were thoughtful enough to post the details on their blogs.
Also revealed was the cover art of both the "complete" edition (see top-right), as well as the boxarts for each respective trilogy (next page). Personally, despite the individual trilogies re-using the same publicity shots as always, they look FAR superior to the pretty disappointing looking complete saga edition. I can understand that it's trying to represent the beginning of both Anakin's and Luke's journeys, but it just doesn't do it for me.
Now then... focussing on the complete collection which has all the special features (buying just the trilogies will only get you the movies), if you want to claim "completeness", you have to compare the boxset to the ridiculously comprehensive Alien Anthology, which has every version of each film, massive new documentaries on each, as well as everything (promos, docos, etc) ever previously released on the saga.
That's how you do it.
So what do we get with this?
It looks like we're only getting the 2004 DVD versions, which really was to be expected (probably with some more additions like - hopefully - CG Yoda in The Phantom Menace), as well as some new sound remixes. So looks like we'll probably be stuck with Greedo shooting first (although it's more about the same time now) and Hayden Christensen being totally out of place in Return of the Jedi.
You'd think with the branching technology we could/should get ALL versions of the films, including the originals, the 1997 editions, the 2004 editions, and now the 2011 editions. Having the options for all these versions would definitely increase sales even moreso.
No doubt, the picture and sound quality should be outstanding. Star Wars releases usually are of the highest quality. However, despite that, my number one concern is that they fix some of the video and sound issues from the recent DVD releases. If you're not sure what I mean... have a look at this...
Yep... looks great, doesn't it? The original trilogy DVD releases were plagued with lightsaber problems, with Luke's lightsaber being green(!) in A New Hope, Vader's changing between pink, orange & red constantly between shots, and pretty much every other lightsaber shot looking dodgy.
Also on the wishlist is that they fix the sound mixes, which apparently they are. When the rebels first attack the Death Star at the Battle of Yavin (in A New Hope), a great rendition of the Rebel Fanfare used to pump through the speakers as they swooped down to begin their attack. Emotional stuff. What do the current versions do? Well, all you hear is the sound of the X-Wings and the music is pretty much inaudible. Lucasfilm claimed that was "by design", but there were reports that some European versions had the original version in there.
Special features thoughts and full boxset details on the next page...