We seem to hear this rumor every few months or so but now there’s a reliable source hearing that we’ll get the 1977, 1980, and 1983 cuts of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi in 2017 for the 40th anniversary.
Unlike the numerous other instances of false hopes over the last…decade…this source is a little more reliable. Jason over at MakingStarWars.net says he’s been hearing from a lot of people that it will happen this year for the 40th anniversary of A New Hope. If Jason is hearing it from enough people to run it on the site, then I trust it enough to believe it for now.
Another thing is that Lucasfilm just announced a big 40th anniversary panel for Star Wars Celebration. If they’re hyping that panel up so early, they may be announcing something big there…and this could be it. The panel takes place on the first day of Celebration, so that will be a big way to kick it off. Kathleen Kennedy will be on it as well…
This would be the first time in twenty-two years these versions have been available officially (except for the poor non-anamorphic “special features” version on the DVDs a decade ago). The VHS release in 1995 was the final time they were released on any real format with a major promotional push behind them. There’s an entire generation who has grown up without seeing these, so it’ll be a big deal for them to come out.
At least if this happens then people will no longer have to pirate the movies and then pretend that they’re film restorers.