George Lucas Protests ‘Star Wars’ Release, Hopes to Block It From All Screens

in Star Wars

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker screaming in 'A New Hope'

Credit: Lucasfilm

If you’re hoping to see the original Star Wars movies, you may be waiting a while.

It’s been nearly 50 years since Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) embarked upon a mission to save Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) at his side, but fans are still clamoring for more adventures in a galaxy far, far away.

Han, Luke and Leia in 'A New Hope'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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What started with Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) (which was back then known as just Star Wars) has evolved into a sprawling franchise of eleven films and numerous TV shows, both live-action and animated, that chart not only the fight between the Jedi Order, Rebellion, and Resistance, and the Dark Side but other stirrings across the galaxy.

Like all dedicated fanbases, there’s a lot of debate as to which of these projects are superior. For a lot of Star Wars fans, it doesn’t get much better than the original trilogy helmed by the franchise’s creator, George Lucas.

Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in a white gown and hood in 'A New Hope'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Since The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, a significant portion of this fanbase has criticized the writing, acting, and direction of recent projects compared to the OG films. Among these critics is Lucas himself, who recently claimed that Disney misunderstood some aspects of the Star Wars universe.

“I was the one who really knew what Star Wars was … who actually knew this world because there’s a lot to it,” he explained while accepting a Palme d’Or for his contribution to cinema at the 77th Cannes Festival. “The Force, for example, nobody understood the Force. When they started other ones after I sold the company, a lot of the ideas that were in [the original] sort of got lost.”

He added that “that’s the way it is” when you hand over the rights to something like Star Wars, noting that when “you give it up, you give it up.”

George Lucas and Mark Hamill on the set of 'Star Wars'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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However, Lucas doesn’t hold every aspect of his Star Wars films in such high regard.

Speaking at Cannes, Lucas admitted that he hopes the original version of Star Wars: A New Hope is never re-released on the big screen or streaming due to their “terrible” quality.

Fans have long rooted to see the OG version of A New Hope that was shown in theaters (in which Han shoots first, unlike the edited version introduced by Lucas in which Greedo shoots first to make Han look like less of a villain). However, Lucas has asserted that the edited version is, in his opinion, all any fan should see moving forward.

Han Solo (left) and Chewbacca (right) in 'A New Hope'
Credit: Lucasfilm

“I’m a firm believer that the director, or the writer, or the filmmaker should have a right to have his movie be the way he wants it,” he said, referencing not only the Greedo edit but all the other tweaks enforced prior to Lucasfilm’s sale to Disney.

He added that the original Star Wars has actually been released before – and nobody was impressed.

“We did release the original one on laserdisc, and everybody got really mad,” Lucas said. “They said, ‘It looks terrible.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I know it did.’ That is what it looked like.”

Stormtroopers aboard the Death Star in Star Wars - A New Hope
Credit: Lucasfilm

This rerelease occurred in 1993. The original theatrical version of A New Hope was also later included alongside the edited version on a limited-edition DVD box set in 2006 and 2008 (although they were in the wrong aspect ratio).

Considering that it was released in 1977, it’s no surprise that the quality of the original version to hit theaters is subpar compared to what we see on the big screen today. Star Wars was a game-changer for the world of special effects, experimenting with all kinds of new technology that would have looked much more impressive to contemporary eyes than those who have grown up in the CGI era.

Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew as Han Solo and Chewbacca in Star Wars - A New Hope
Credit: Lucasfilm

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In the spirit of the technological advancements encouraged by Star Wars, Lucas also addressed the growing use of AI in the film industry at Cannes. While plenty of people are opposed to the concept of artificial intelligence in creative fields, Lucas admitted that he thinks it’s “inevitable” that it will become commonplace.

“It’s like saying, ‘I don’t think these cars are going to work… let’s just stick with horses,’” he said. “You can say that, but that isn’t the way the world works.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) smirking in desert wear on Tatooine
Credit: Lucasfilm

Recently, it was rumored that Lucas could potentially return to helm one last entry in the Star Wars saga – allegedly, a live-action Disney+ series. While we very much doubt this idea (Lucas has not kept his desire to enjoy retirement quiet), the same report also claimed that the brain behind the Star Wars saga is a fan of some of Disney’s work in a galaxy far, far away.

To be specific, Lucas apparently enjoyed the 2022 Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi, which saw Ewan McGregor reprise the role of the former Jedi Knight and encounter Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) for the first time since Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005).

Would you like to see the original version of Star Wars rereleased in theaters or streaming? Let us know in the comments!

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