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What I Intend to Do about Getting the Original Versions of the OT on DVD

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Binary_Sunset, Sep 1, 2001.

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  1. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    I think perhaps our only hope is that 20th Century Fox strongarms him into releasing both, so they can sell an expensive boxset in addition to the standard release and increase video sales.
  2. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 26, 2001
    2nd Quest mentioned something interesting above about the DVD format being great to tell the process of filmmaking, etc.

    The thing that gets me about this news is Lucas is a co-founding member of the Film Foundation which preserves and then releases classic films.

    For him not to include the original cut as, just that, the original cut, is a HUGE oversight.

    Not only that, but he always has supported preservation as saving history.

    Lucas is clearly becoming highly-authoritarian when it become to his own works.

    Sad really. And hypocritical as well.

  3. DarthKarde

    DarthKarde Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    What George Lucas needs to realise is that many of the the fans who want the original versions on DVD are the same fans that have poured a small furtune into his bank account, the same fans that turned Star Wars into the phenomenon, the same fans that made the special editions and prequals possible. We ask for little in return, Star Wars has been reward enough, all that we ask is that George allows us to enjoy the movies that we love for as long as we wish. Is this too much to ask.
  4. DarthMalifluous

    DarthMalifluous Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 11, 2002
    Has anyone thought of this? Copyright exchange...

    Now labeled the Special Edition, "points" that would have been directed to the likes of the Producers, Actors (so on and so forth)... no longer become relevent. I hear Lucas saying that these "SE films are what should've been" but I'm not so certain that it is the only reason behind this defintive statement. As with most decisions, whether for good or ill, money can be found as one of the pillars of said decisions. Could it be that Lucas will stand to gain far more in revenue if the only editions available are the ones where he reaps the most reward? If he makes the theatrical OT available on DVD he would have to acknowledge the points given out during that course of time, thus rendering his current status as sole beneficiary of the property moot. Could this also be the reason why we haven't seen any more official VHS releases of said theatrical cuts after the '97 release of the SE? - even though industry numbers show that the theatrical OT VHS sales were on par with the SE VHS sales.

    Just throwing out a theory folks. No malice intended.
  5. Tayschrenn

    Tayschrenn Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 24, 2002
    And a very interesting one. Do you have any particular sources on this? I find this quite intetresting.

  6. DarthMalifluous

    DarthMalifluous Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 11, 2002
    This is a well known practice in the industry. Unless completely qualified and stated to the nth degree, points become nulified on further "reshaped" projects. Why do you think we see so many things like "Director's Cut", "Special Edition", "Definitive Edition". Of course, lawyers and agents are much smarter in an industry that is moving much faster than say 25-30 years ago (they evolve just as we do ;)). Most of these "copyright" miscues are not even something that would've been explored concerning older material until recently. SW is a perfect example though of how such things can and most likely do take place. This is George's baby, no doubt, but he gave away so much of that property to 20th Century, to the lenders, direct and indirect participants... throughout the OT that he really had very little financial control of the estate. Fo course, the OT made him wealthy, got his feet wet, but his real wealth was found in ILM. As one of the only FX companies in the world for 15 years that specifically catered to the higher priced clientel that Hollywood offered/offers, ILM basically owned the "playground". With companies like Digital Domain (James Cameron) and Rhythm and Hues (to name a few) the competition became stronger, more fragmented... ILM's market share dropped dramatically once CGI hit the market. Lucas, being a very smart business man, would've had to have seen the opportunity that SE would've presented to him. Of course I want the theatrical OT on DVD, but I can totally see why he wouldn't want them to ever see the light of day... it makes no financial sense. Remember, this is a man who has seen both ends of the financial spectrum and vowed never to let himself be on the wrong end again (ANH).

    There are of course all the peripherals too (toys, games...) but that's something completely different in the entertainment-law world.
  7. Daughter_Of_TheForce

    Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 1, 2001
    Let me try to understand what you're saying. Are you saying that because his copyright control over the originals is so sparce and weak that even if they were to make bajillions of dollars, most of that money would be dispersed to people other than LFL?
  8. DarthMalifluous

    DarthMalifluous Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 11, 2002

    What I'm saying is that there are countless other films that have seen "Special Edition" status and their structure leaves "participants" in the dust. I'm not assuming that Lucas is only releasing the SE simply on a base financial decision, but like everything in life there are far more layers than are admited to, and based upon industry practice and Lucas' ability to not only define industry practice but also to embrace it at certain times, it would not surprise me to learn that Lucas' motivation behind the "only the SE will be released on DVD" is so much more than simple "these are how I've envisioned the films all along".

    Maybe it is just as simple as that, I really have no idea how the SE "points" contracts have been drawn up (if there even are such beasts)... I really don't know. But it is a disinct possibility.
  9. Lanky

    Lanky Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 30, 2002
    Opps. Disregard this post [face_blush]
  10. Darth-Stryphe

    Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 24, 2001
    Why? cause in 20 years, people will watch all 6, in order, having never seen any before. And it would really suck if they didnt fit together as one story, not one story where suddenly it looks bad half the time after the middle.

    As I said in another thread, this will not make any different. Look at the SE, most of the effects are still 1977 effects. This will be the same way with the Final Editions. In order for it to be otherwise, a near re-shoot will be necessary. No matter how much touching up GL does, the OT will never look like it was filmed in the 2000s.
  11. Digger

    Digger Jedi Youngling

    Jun 21, 2001
    Oh, I know they'll never be up to 2000s standards (look at luke's hair ;-) ), but should they not be as close as possible?
  12. that_guys_wise

    that_guys_wise Jedi Youngling

    Apr 17, 2002
    They could have been made to look as close as possible - the PT could have been made to look like the OT.
  13. DarthMalifluous

    DarthMalifluous Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 11, 2002
    Why, so they can all look excessively outdated once again in 20-30 years as fashion and style continue to leap forward? The 70's hairstyle is "of an era" and gives the film that much more charm because of it IMO. Who knows... with bellbottoms back in a big way 70's hair may be next making the PT films look outdated a lot quicker than the OT ;)
  14. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    The SE's weren't considered a different enough film to qualify for award ceremonies such as the oscars- I doubt Lucas's copyright hold over them was considered changed enough.

    Also, just because a director doesn't feel one version of his film isn't the definitibe version, doesn't mean the alternate ones shouldn't be shown. For example, James Cameron always stands by his theatrical cuts as being his "director cut"- yet many of his movies have had a DVD release with the alternate or extended version available on it.

    Now, perhaps Cameron is merely being gracious, but there are few, if any, films (shy American Beauty and Payback) I can think of where an unaltered or alternate version of a film was not being released to DVD due to the intent of the director himself.

    Even Spielberg understands that it's important for the original version of a film to be preserved.

    It's utterly insulting that Lucas would dare even consider doing this to such a prominent and key piece of film history. It's disgusting.

    I have nothing against the SE's, and I don't care which version Lucas feels is the definitive version- let the SE's be the default playback option on the DVD and hide the original version on a sub-menu if you want, but Lucas needs to look past his own self-interests and look at the larger picture.

    Despite their "flaws", the original versions absolutely must be preserved. This is what Lucas needs to understand.
  15. That_Wascally_Droid

    That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 29, 2001
    I'll repost this here:

    As for boycotting etc, that's all very noble and what not, but I doubt it will solve anything.
    Most everybody who wants SW on DVD won't give a hoot which version it is anyway because most of them probably won't be die hard fans.
    If you guys are really dead serious about this, it's going to actually take work.
    Also, don't play the motion as though you're the one holding the cards. Lucasfilm is the one in control here. Not fanboys, so don't start making obsurd threats and ultimatums. LFL will laugh them away.
    No, you have to supply proof of why such an addition would be benefitial to the company. If they don't see a reason (and so far Lucas doesn't), they're not going to do it.
    If you really think they're greedy and heartless, tug at the heartstrings of their pocketbooks.
    In other words, you're going to need more than just: 'But I like that version better! Waaahhh! Travesty!' to which they'll reply 'Yeah whatever. Here's your fre copy, now go cry me a river.'
    You need to fully bring forth the logic side of the argument. The pathos side isn't going to get you anywhere.
    Remember, this is a huge multi million dollar company. Not random fanboy 24601 on a mesage board who you're trying to convince is wrong for liking the SEs.
    You'll need to put forth these arguments in an organized and polit manner.
    No condescending and calling Lucas a pinhead.
    These arguments and reasons should proceed the petition.
    As for the actual petition:
    I suggest once you have the introduction and argumentive essay/report done, you put it in a format for people to print up and sign.
    Once the fan has done this, they can mail it to you.
    Once you have a sufficient number (I'm talking a big number, not just 200 or so), the petition leader then mails them to Lucasfilm.
    Don't try to forge signatures.
    Go about this completely honestly.
    If one person forges one signature, it could destroy all for which you have fought and suffered
    The goal I would seriously go for is to have the original versions as an extra ala ET. both sides win that way.
    Well. What do you think?
  16. Ithorian

    Ithorian Jedi Youngling star 3

    Apr 13, 2000
    That_Wascally_Droid has an excellent point. If anything is going to persuade Lucasfilm on this , it's going to have to be a unified front, not some lone gunman ranting mailed to Lucas. (unless of course, the mail floods the Ranch so much he can't walk. :p ) A informative essay/petition is really the way to go.

    Remember, as much as this is for the diehard fans here, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of film and DVD fans who will feel robbed if the originals do not make it to DVD. If we really want to make it effective, we should try to get some support from online DVD sites, film sites, etc. No offense to anyone here, because I dress up, too, but a couple thousand guys who dress up like Jedi and stormtroopers aren't going to really make that much of a dent.
  17. UW-Jedi

    UW-Jedi Jedi Youngling star 1

    May 24, 2002
  18. That_Wascally_Droid

    That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 29, 2001
    Here would be a great place to start.
    Starting listing valid reasons for Lucasfilm to add in the O-OT.
    And if you say something like 'thousand of fans would want it!!!!11!!!1!11' you're going to have to supple proof.
  19. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    The Digital Bits had a small rant on this yesterday, but I particularly liked this excerpt:

    "Filmmakers have a responsibility to their audience and to cinema history. Lucas owes it to every single Star Wars fan that ever paid $5 for an action figure or $8 for a theater ticket to preserve the original experience. I don't care if he doesn't like them. We love them. I don't care if he owns them. In a equally real and important way, we own them too. They're part of our childhood! Steven Spielberg understood the importance of saving the original version of E.T. ,including it on DVD recently along with his "better" 2002 version. Lucas needs to follow his lead. Hey... don't get me wrong. I'm dying to see the new CGI-finished versions too. It's his right to remake the films the way he always wanted to in the first place, and I'm all for it. But he still needs to preserve the original versions. He owes it to the fans, he owes it to everyone who ever worked on the films and he owes it to generations of film lovers as yet unborn. "
  20. QuiGonJinn

    QuiGonJinn Jedi Youngling star 2

    Aug 1, 1998
    Lucas is not mentally sound! He must not be allowed to maintain control of the Star Wars movies any longer! We should ostracize him! It'll be all shakespearean; we'll all stab him, he'll say "And you too, QuiGonJinn?" then I'll say "It's not that I don't love you, it's that I love Star Wars more."

    Seriously, I'm furious about his decision. The SE's suck ass!

  21. That_Wascally_Droid

    That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 29, 2001
    OK, those last two posts are what Im' talking about.
    Those are going to get a laugh and a toss.

    1. Lucas owes nobody nothing. He already gave you the originals and your toys and more movies and more years out of his life than he ever had to. He owes you squat.

    2. Openly questioning Lucas' mental state is also not going to get you anywhere.

    You know. Judging from most of your guys' posts I thought that you guy's cared about this. Guess I was wrong. Enjoy your SE DVDs...

    Now come on people!
    You do nothing but rant and rave about the SEs and now that you can actually do something about it you're going to toss it away by childish acts?
    C'mon! You're better than this.
    Now let's get some real arguments here!
  22. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    Like my previous posts mentioned- I have nothing against the SE's as a whole, and I hope Lucas makes further changes still, but regardless of that- the number one reason, beyond everything else, that the original OT should be released is the historical significance of the original OT in the scope of cinema history.

    The originals were a landmark creation that, along with other films such as Jaws, shifted the focus of the film industry, popularity and product.

    It is among the films that forged the blockbuster-style film that, to this day, are the lifeblood of the film industry.

    It's contribution and place in film history is so significant that these original versions must be preserved for archival purposes so that they can be viewed, studied and enjoyed as they were initially. For the generation that expiereienced them the first time, for this generation and for the generations to follow.

    Lucas is certainly aware of this contribution the originals have had, and, as a filmmaker, Lucas should feel obligated to preserving this significance.

    Take, for example, Citizen Kane, which is generally considered to be the best film ever made. What if, all of a sudden, it's director came back to life and said he had re-edited the film, and that this new version was now the only one that will ever be preserved- that the original incarnation of the film, the one generally considered to be the best film ever made, would eventually be lost? Doesn't future generations have the right to be able to view and study that original incarnation so that they can see why it was considered so highly as it was?

    A less drastic example would be Psycho- why release the original Hitchcock version when you have that nice color shot-for-shot remake of it available? Afterall, if it's the same script and the same exact shots and framing, whats the difference?

    People have a right to view these films- to be given that choice.

    Anything less is insulting to the entire history of cinema and to the movie watching audience as a whole.
  23. That_Wascally_Droid

    That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 29, 2001
    Hmmm that one might work.
    It stands as a very good ethos argument.

    What we're going to need is an argument that will appeal to LFL's pocketbook.
    And saying that some people won't buy it won't work. It simply wouldn't create enough of a dent. Besides, I'm certain Lucas has already considered this and filed it under 'calculated losses'.
    The angle we need to approach is to show how LFL will gain money, not lose it.
  24. JohnWilliams00

    JohnWilliams00 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jan 29, 2002
    This battle isn't over Mr. Lucas. We'll have a petition 10 miles long waiting for you. Mr. Lucas will not ignore an executive order.
  25. royalguard96

    royalguard96 Jedi Knight star 5

    Aug 13, 2001
    Mr. Lucas will not ignore an executive order.

    You mean George W. Bush is calling for the original editions now???

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