In the never ending quest to get movie fans to completely re-buy their entire home-video collections, (some of us for the third time), it has been announced that all six live action Star Wars films will at long last be released on Blu-Ray in one massive box set, due for release in the fall of 2011.
This news was given to thousands of fans at the "Star Wars Celebration V" convention in Orlando, Florida by George Lucas himself, in rollicking presentation moderated by Jon Stewart.
In what was the main event for convention, Stewart asked Lucas questions submitted by the fan community online, and one the most frequently asked questions involved the series' release on the HD format. With a sly smile, Lucas said "I wish I could say it was coming out this year" paused dramatically "But it's not, it's coming out next year" as the crowd went wild.
StarWars.com reports that along with all six films with the best possible picture and audio quality, the set will include many special features and bonus footage.
Fans were treated to glimpses of the bonus material including a long-thought-lost deleted scene from "Return of the Jedi" in which Luke Skywalker assembles his new green lightsaber prior to venturing to Jabba the Hutt's palace. After finishing the weapon he hides it inside R2-D2 for use later. This scene was completely finished with effects and all before it was cut from the final version, making it a special rarity. Mark Hamill appeared on stage to present the clip.
In an interview given to the New York Times, Lucas said that the first three Star Wars FIlms in the set will be the "Special Edition Releases" that were shown theatrically in 1997. He also acknowledged that the wait for this set has been a little long, as they were waiting for the format to take hold. The wait may have made sense, as of now there are almost 19.4 million Blu-Ray players in the United States.
George Lucas also surprised Stewart when R2-D2 brought him his own Star Wars action figure. The toy featured two interchangeable heads, one representing a clean shaven, and the other a goateed Stewart, much to the pleasure of the fans.
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