Star Wars Original Trilogy Unaltered

As if we are living in an alternative universe, one thing that does not exist in our world is an original unaltered high definition version of the original Star Wars trilogy. The special edition versions are available on Blu-Ray or via streamable purchase but if you prefer your Star Wars without the added and altered scenes then there is no commercially available product for you buy. George Lucas has even said the original versions “don’t exist anymore” suggesting the original negatives were cut during the specialization process. I don’t really mind that Lucas wanted to edit his movie but I do feel that us fans should be able to choose the original versions. When an artist releases their work out into the world and becomes a cultural experience, it becomes a part of history and should be preserved. When Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, this took Lucas out of the picture and a new hope was created that Disney would find it in their hearts, or in their financial interest, to release a modern high-def release of the original trilogy.  

There has been no official word from Disney about this possibility, but in the meantime there are some hard-working fans who have personally recreated these sought after versions. A leader in this arena is Harmy who has most recently posted his 2.5 version of Episode IV. Harmy has created the high-def versions by using the 2004 DVD release, the current special edition Blu-Ray releases, as well as rare sources like recordings of a television broadcast and film print scans. The source materials also have their own issues, for example the 2004 DVD release was wrought with color correction issues, so Harmy has even had to fix the source material. In some cases, multiple sources were masked and combines to recreate parts of one scene. A tremendous effort by Harmy that is a service for all Star Wars fans.

Getting a copy of these versions takes some hoop jumping. This google doc will walk you through the process. You will have to download and install software on your computer for the file download as well as create an account on a suspicious but harmless website. Keep in mind that if your end goal is to watch these downloaded movie files on your television then you will need some means to get them from your computer to your TV. You'll either either burn the download onto a Blu-Ray disc or convert it to a movie file for playback. It may look daunting and technically challenging but I promise it’s worth it.