STAR WARS Blu-Ray Details Announced

Despite server setbacks this morning, Lucasfilm finally got the announcement out.

And the response has not been overwhelming.

At 6:00am Pacific, the starwars.com was supposed to go live with an announcement that had been teased for the past few days: “All will be revealed” was the line, and with the Blu-Ray logo on the artwork, most fans assumed it had something to do with the upcoming release of all six films in high-definition.

Except the Force was not with Lucasfilm this morning, and it doesn’t appear to be getting much better.

Reaction to the announcement has been laced with frustration at the fact that such a large corporation as Lucasfilm would be unprepared for the amount of Internet traffic on their server. For a brief while, the URL was re-directing visitors to the Fox Movies web site home page.

Once the site was back up, however, things did not improve by a large amount. The much-anticipated and ballyhooed announcement was only a slideshow that could only be accessed a little bit at a time, after visitors shared the site through social media outlets Facebook and Twitter, along with YouTube.

Some selected reactions from the announcement page:

“…when you tease people for several days promising ‘all will be revealed,’ you need to deliver. You gave us a slide show. And if ‘all’ will be revealed, why is there MORE to reveal at ComicCon?”

“I woke up at 6:00 AM just to see what was on the site. What did I find? It wasn’t even up when they said it would be! After waiting around for half an hour I gave up and did something productive.”

“Really like the artwork for the Complete Saga Edition but have to question artwork for PT: if SW is trully Anakin’s story, why does an image of Yoda dominate the PT artwork? Why not a picture of Anakin, after all he domiates the artwork of the OT edition as DV. “

“Honestly, so far I’m really disappointed. I expected much, much more. The box art for the complete saga is absolutely horrendous. It looks completely washed out. And the bonuses? Commentaries we already have…”

The new box set of the Star Wars saga will include a number of extras (listed below) with the notable exception of “Empire of Dreams”, seen by many fans as the definitive documentary about the making of the original trilogy. Nor is “From Empire to Jedi” included (and the parodies list seems to be missing a certain spoof involving hardware…).

Given that Lucas has done as much to upset fans as he has to elate them, the fact that such a large technical glitch from one of the leading technology developers in the film industry does not make Lucasfilm look good. For fans already upset that Lucas keeps changing the original trilogy, this is just one more item on the list of complaints from fans worldwide.

Granted, Lucasfilm probably won’t feel the pinch in the pocketbook from anyone who’s finally done with the Star Wars movies, but it’s a publicity gaffe that no corporation should allow to happen.

And like it or not, George Lucas – who set up as an indie filmmaker to avoid the corporations – is one of the largest corporate entities in the business. Irony?

Special Features:

STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA ON BLU-RAY is presented in widescreen with 6.1 DTS Surround Sound. Special features include:

  • Disc One- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
    • Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, John Knoll, Dennis Muren and Scott Squires
    • Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew
  • Disc Two – Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
    • Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, John Knoll and Ben Snow
    • Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew
  • Disc Three – Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
    • Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Rob Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett
    • Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew
  • Disc Four – Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
    • Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren
    • Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew
  • Disc Five – Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
    • Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren
    • Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew
  • Disc Six – Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
    • Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren
    • Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew
  • Disc Seven – New! Star WarsArchives: Episodes I-III
    • Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; a flythrough of the Lucasfilm Archives and more
  • Disc Eight – New! Star WarsArchives: Episode IV-VI
    • Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; and more
  • Disc Nine – The Star WarsDocumentaries
    • NEW! Star Warriors (2007, Color, Apx. 84 Minutes) – Some Star Wars fans want to collect action figures… these fans want to be action figures! A tribute to the 501st Legion, a global organization of Star Warscostume enthusiasts, this insightful documentary shows how the super-fan club promotes interest in the films through charity and volunteer work at fundraisers and high-profile special events around the world.
    • NEW! A Conversation with the Masters: The Empire Strikes Back 30 Years Later (2010, Color, Apx. 25 Minutes) – George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan and John Williams look back on the making of The Empire Strikes Backin this in-depth retrospective from Lucasfilm created to help commemorate the 30th anniversary of the movie. The masters discuss and reminisce about one of the most beloved films of all time.
    • NEW! Star Wars Spoofs (2011, Color, Apx. 91 Minutes) – The farce is strong with this one! Enjoy a hilarious collection of Star Wars spoofs and parodies that have been created over the years, including outrageous clips from Family Guy, The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother and more – and don’t miss “Weird Al” Yankovic’s one-of-a-kind music video tribute to The Phantom Menace!
    • The Making of Star Wars (1977, Color, Apx. 49 Minutes) – Learn the incredible behind-the-scenes story of how the original Star Warsmovie was brought to the big screen in this fascinating documentary hosted by C-3PO and R2-D2. Includes interviews with George Lucas and appearances by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.
    • The Empire Strikes Back: SPFX (1980, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) – Learn the secrets of making movies in a galaxy far, far away. Hosted by Mark Hamill, this revealing documentary offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into the amazing special effects that transformed George Lucas’ vision for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Backinto reality!
    • Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi (1983, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) – Go behind the scenes — and into the costumes — as production footage from Return of the Jediis interspersed with vintage monster movie clips in this in-depth exploration of the painstaking techniques utilized by George Lucas to create the classic creatures and characters seen in the film. Hosted and narrated by Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams.
    • Anatomy of a Dewback (1997, Color, Apx. 26 Minutes) – See how some of the special effects in Star Wars became even more special two decades later! George Lucas explains and demonstrates how his team transformed the original dewback creatures from immovable rubber puppets (in the original 1977 release) to seemingly living, breathing creatures for the Star Wars1997 Special Edition update.
    • Star Wars Tech (2007, Color, Apx. 46 Minutes) – Exploring the technical aspects of Star Wars vehicles, weapons and gadgetry, Star Wars Tech consults leading scientists in the fields of physics, prosthetics, lasers, engineering and astronomy to examine the plausibility of Star Wars technology based on science as we know it today.

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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