Star Wars on Blu-ray!

Posted by David On September 15, 2011 ADD COMMENTS

September 14 2011 was a special day for nerds everywhere. That’s right, as the title of this post suggests – the release day of Star Wars on Blu-ray! I picked up my copy yesterday and spent last night going through the awesome special features and choice scenes from the films themselves. Soon I’ll gather my friends together for a screening of all 6 films in one day but for now that’ll have to wait.

I wont bore you with too many of the technical specs of the release. You can find that info elsewhere, especially the excellent But I will tell you just how cool this item is. Even someone not that obsessed with Star Wars would appreciate the attention to detail that went into making this box set.

The packaging is the similar to the recent Alien box set, with the 9 discs in a book like arrangement, protected by a sturdy slipcase. Both the slipcase and the booklet also feature some really nice artwork.





















Like I said, I haven’t watched the full movies yet, but what I did see of them were breathtaking, especially Episode 3, but also the original trilogy. They have really gone out of there way to clean them up and they look better than ever, almost like they were filmed in digital. But the true highlight is the sound mix. It is simply amazing.

The menus look very cool,  but have 2 drawbacks. Although I like the idea of grouping by planet/event, it would have been nice to have had a branching option, like MU-TH-UR mode from the Alien set. This way you could watch all of the deleted scenes in one hit, instead of having to go in and out different menus. And most of the special features, including all of the deleted scenes, have an intro screen to give some details about the scene, but unfortunately it is only onscreen for 3 secs before it disappears. This is fine for 2 sentences but not 7-8 like the intro for the Tosche Station scene. You have to be a speed reader to read it all! On the subject of the special features/deleted scenes. Why not include the ones from the prequel film’s DVD releases? With them this would have truly been the Ultimate Collection.

Now, onto the controversial changes. Unlike the Special Edition releases, the changes made to the blu-ray releases are relatively minor. I wont list them all here, but some include a new CGI door for Jabba’s Palace (the painting was fine IMO), the Ewoks now blink (I actually prefer this to the originals, at least they don’t look so creepy now ), and Vader now screams ‘No’ when throwing the Emperor down the shaft, echoing his notorious scream from Episode 3 (this is utter rubbish and more importantly, un-neccessary). It is a hard situation. Do I think the films should have been changed? – No. Do I believe the Saga is so firmly immersed into society that it now ‘belongs to all of us’? – No. Like it or not the Star Wars Saga belongs to George Lucas and he can do whatever he wants to them. I hold out hope that one day he will release the original trilogy in HD, but until that day I will continue to enjoy what I have. (Oh, and Han will always shoot first in my mind!).

Overall, I cannot recommend this box set enough. Of course I’m preaching to the choir here, but this really is a magnificent release and no film saga deserves it more than Star Wars.

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