After several years spent wrangling over various and conflicting rights, Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd., and 20th Century Fox have today announced that for the first time, the complete Star Wars Saga will be available on digital HD in all markets, beginning April 10. The Set includes the prequels Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and the original trilogy films Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
The series will be available as a complete packaged set for $100.00 or individually for $20.00 apiece, with the films accessible by the purchaser across all their devices. Included with purchase are a collection of bonus features, among them never before seen deleted scenes, interviews with key personnel, featurettes about the making of each film, and trailers.
It’s a robust package, though not quite the fulfillment of fans’ dreams. The original Star Wars Trilogy included as part of this release are the controversial special edition versions, containing updated special effects and contextually altered scenes that bring the story closer in line to the prequel trilogy. Rumors of a Blu-Ray release of the original versions have surfaced periodically since Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012. However, 20th Century F0x retains distribution rights to A New Hope in perpetuity, and to the five subsequent films through 2020, which complicates matters considerably. Time will tell if the cooperation between the two studios in this release is a sign of things to come.