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DVD Shopping Bag: Star Wars Blu-ray: May the Force Be with Us

May the 4th reveals all

By Robert T. Trate     May 03, 2011
Source: Mania.com

The Empire Strikes Back anniversary poster
© Lucasfilm/Bob Trate


Tomorrow George Lucas will reveal the full details of his Star Wars Saga on Blu-ray. Even now May the 4th be with you is counting down the hours and minutes to the big moment. We here at Mania are big Star Wars fans, huge fans in fact. We put together a small wish list both practical and outlandish of what we want in the set. We already know that some of you feel as if George will be raking us over the coals for the fourth or fifth time. The Blu-rays were inevitable, as are the Indiana Jones Blu-rays. As we sit here counting down the hours here is what we hope to get. Plus what we probably won’t.
Blu-rays have a lot of space on them. To be precise a Blu-ray has 25GB on a single layer disc and 50GB on dual layer disc. This should allow for all of the following:
The Complete Saga:
Each disc should already come with all the special features included in previous releases. For episodes one through three each had a supplemental DVD chocked full of bonus content. Each and everyone one of those special features should be on one Blu-ray, according to their individual film. There should also be a feature enabling you to go into the moment of the scene and have it coordinated with a “Behind the Scenes” special feature. The original commentaries for all six films were incredibly informative. Sadly, only the original trilogy features commentary by one of its stars, Carrie Fisher. Who wouldn’t love to hear stories from Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Ray Park, Ian McDiarmid and Frank Oz?
The DVD release (in 2004) had an entire disc dedicated to the original trilogy. The “Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy” documentary should be included and will be without a doubt. Footage of the following two documentaries was featured in “Empire of Dreams” yet the original documentaries were not present. Both “Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga” (1983) and “The Making of Star Wars'” (1977) provide a time capsule into the world which Star Wars took over. Sure it is ridiculous seeing people doing the robot to Meco’s galactic funk. However, it is still worth it. In all seriousness, these documentaries are insightful and fun capturing a time and place. It is also great to hear George Lucas talk about the limitations of special effects and how they are nothing without the story (“cough”).
The only Easter Egg:
There were several deleted scenes on the 2004 DVD release of the original trilogy. This was a great Easter Egg to be sure. If only it didn’t take a probe droid to locate and watch it. We still have our print out from dvdeastereggs.com to unlock them. So George if you are going to go out there and hide something on these Blu-rays how about a rotten egg? Yes, and by that I mean “The Star Wars Holiday Special” (1978). We know we’ll never sit through the entire thing anyway. However, that cartoon featuring the first appearance of Boba Fett is totally worth it.
Outside of “The Star Wars Holiday Special” everything on here is a reasonable request. Now let us get into a few crazy things shall we?
Release, Re-Release, Special Editions:
There is also plenty of space to include every version of the original Star Wars trilogy. No longer will we argue who shot first Han or Greedo? We can watch the version we want to see. It is true we have as much chance of this happening as Ponda Baba growing another arm but we can hope can’t we?
Many of the Star Wars DVD’s have featured one or two levels of different Star Wars video games. These were merely samples or teasers of soon to be released games. Instead of an advertisement for something new give us something old. Let us play Star Wars: Dark Forces (1995) or Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2005). It is going into my PS3 anyway so why not some action from that galaxy so far far away?
Back in 1998 when Star Wars fever was starting to really build Lucas Arts released “Star Wars Behind the Magic”. It was a CD-ROM encyclopedia of the original trilogy. It did have some teaser material for episode one but it was nonetheless packed with hours of Star Wars material. The complete script for each film was included as well as whom every character was on screen. Each character also had a bio, behind the scenes facts, and pictures. There was a trivia game too which had a question with almost every entry. Believe it or not the CD-ROM featured expanded universe material as well. George, please include this on our Blu-rays or at least on its own Blu-ray disc. 
Cartoons and TV Movies:
This might be more an idea for a definitive edition or perhaps an exclusive to Best Buy or Amazon.com but why not include the original cartoons and TV Movies? The "Ewoks & Droids Adventure Hour" and the two Ewok movies on a single Blu-ray is an incredible incentive for the Star Wars nut. Better yet, Star Wars: the Clone Wars is huge with kids so why not give them even more kid friendly material?
The hours are ticking down to the big reveal. More importantly the days are counting down to September 16th. The day we will finally have the whole saga on Blu-ray.
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. From Dusk Till Dawn [Blu-ray]
2. What Dreams May Come [Blu-ray]
3. Taps [Blu-ray]
4. Smiles of a Summer Night: The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray]
5. Twelve O'Clock High [Blu-ray]
A Somewhat Gentle Man Starring Stellan Skarsgard, Bjorn Floberg, Gard B. Eidsvold
Crow 2, The: City of Angels [Blu-ray] Starring Vincent Perez, Mia Kirshner, Iggy Pop and Thomas Jane
The Encounter Starring Steve Sting Borden, Bruce Marchiano and Jaci Velasquez
The Green Hornet (Three-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD) Starring Seth Rogen and Cameron Diaz
The Green Hornet [Blu-ray]
The Green Hornet
Kung Fu Dunk [Blu-ray] Starring Jay Chou, Eric Tsang and Gang Wang
The Lookout Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels and Isla Fisher
The Malta Story Starring Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Steel
Megan Is Missing Starring Amber Perkins and Rachel Quinn
Proof Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anthony Hopkins
Sea Of Sand AKA: Desert Patrol Starring Richard Attenborough, Michael Craig, John Gregson
Supercop Starring Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh
Tennessee's Partner Widescreen Edition Starring John Payne, Ronald Reagan, Rhonda Fleming and Coleen Gray
The Yards [Blu-ray] Starring Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron
Ghost Sweeper Mikami Collection 4
Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys
Pokemon Jirachi: Wish Maker
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Power Struggle
PJ's: Season 1 Starring Eddie Murphy, Loretta Devine, James Black
The Super Hero Squad Show: Quest For The Infinity Sword Volume Four Starring Tom Kenny, Stan Lee and Steve Blum
Valley of the Dinosaurs
Houdini & Those Daring Young Men and Thier Jaunty Jalopies [Blu-ray] Starring Tony Curtis (Houdini), Janet Leigh (Houdini)
Twelve O'Clock High [Blu-ray] Starring Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe and Gary Merrill
Upstairs and Downstairs Starring Michael Craig, Anne Heywood
Criterion Collection
Fat Girl: The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Anais Reboux, Roxane Mesquida, Libero de Rienzo
Smiles of a Summer Night: The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson
Bound By Blood: Wendigo Starring Brian Anthony, Brian Arrington, Sara Brooks
From Dusk Till Dawn [Blu-ray] Starring George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later [Blu-ray] Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J
The Man Who Could Cheat Death / The Skull [Blu-ray] Starring Peter Cushing
Ritual (Tales From the Crypt) Starring Jennifer Grey, Craig Sheffer, Tim Curry and Daniel Lapaine
Sinister Starring Lucien Eisenach, Donny Versiga, Donna Hamblin
Student Bodies and Jekyll & Hyde Together Again [Blu-ray] Starring Kristen Riter
Wes Craven Presents: They Starring Laura Regan, Marc Blucas, Ethan Embry and Jon Abrahams
All the Right Moves [Blu-ray] Starring Tom Cruise and Craig T. Nelson
Taps [Blu-ray] Starring George C. Scott, Timothy Hutton and Ronny Cox
X-Men [Blu-ray] Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen
X-2: X-Men United [Blu-ray] Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen
X-3: X-Men - The Last Stand [Blu-ray] Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen
X-Men Origins: Wolverine [Blu-ray] Starring Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber and Danny Huston
What Dreams May Come [Blu-ray] Starring Robin Williams and Cuba Jr. Gooding
According to Jim: The Complete Third Season Starring James Belushi, Courtney Thorne-Smith
Being Human: Season 3 Starring Russell Tovey, Lenora Crichlow, Aidan Turner
Being Human: Season Three [Blu-ray]
Boy Meets World: The Complete Fifth Season Starring Ben Savage, Rider Strong, Danielle Fishel and Will Friedle
Identity Starring Aiden Gillen
Melrose Place: Sixth Season V.1 Starring Thomas Calabro, Andrew Shue, Heather Locklear
Murdoch Mysteries Season 3 Starring Yannick Bisson and Thomas Craig
Murdoch Mysteries: Season 3 [Blu-ray] Starring Peter Outerbridge, Flora Montgomery
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


Showing items 1 - 10 of 10
Hobbs 5/3/2011 5:47:03 AM

Basically he should put everything on it...I agree.  Though to be honest I could care less about games on it as these are the movies.  Trying to guess what Lucas is going to do has proven wrong for a great many people myself included.  I doubt you are going to see the original movies on these disks even though they should be and if I was in Vegas I would  bet you won't see the holiday special on it

That being said, what I'm hoping for knowing the originals are probably not going to be on it is a damn good blu-ray transfer.  Meaning I don't want to see the little boxes around the tie fighters anymore, that needs to be cleaned up as it was driving me nuts and one of the reasons I can't watch the special editions. I also want all the deleted scenes and stills we've known about for years. 

Either way I'll be holding off buying these.  For one the prices will come way down by Christmas and by that time all the reviews will be out as far as the blu-ray transfer is concerned.  Only at that time Will I decide to get these or not.

Wyldstaar 5/3/2011 7:59:11 AM

I would like to see some of the tweaks made by fan editor Adywan.  He fixed alot of problems that were caused by the Special Editions.  He made Hoth snowy white again, instead of the blue of the SE.  The modifications he made to the SE were subtle, but impressive.  His version of the first Death Star Attack is far superior to the Special Edition done by Lucasfilm.

DarthRaider 5/3/2011 9:25:53 AM

the 2004 release doesn't have deleted scenes hidden,it's a blooper reel,FYI!

hanso 5/3/2011 11:28:23 AM

 the set should come with an apology.

Wyldstaar 5/3/2011 11:53:42 AM

As long as the Original Trilogy blurays include fully restored versions of the original cuts, sans Special Edition footage, I won't call for an apology.  The fact remains that The Trilogy was one of the major highlights of my childhood, and the films hold up for me as an adult.  I've already got them on dvd, but I'd prefer them on bluray.

If anyone deserves an apology, it's the children in the Prequel generation.  They enjoy the prequel movies as kids, but most of them aren't going to feel the same way as the get older.  My oldest nephew just turned 15, and he mentioned to me recently that the last time his little brother was watching Attack of the Clones, it seemed horrible to him.  He used to think it was awesome.  The younger one still likes it, for now.

StarlightGuard 5/3/2011 3:10:34 PM

I heard on The Weather Channel (of all places) that a sandstorm scene which was supposedly cut from "Jedi" will be restored into the pic for this edition. Anyone else hear that?

Wyldstaar 5/3/2011 4:47:49 PM

The scene you speak of StarlightGuard was definitely shot.  A bit of it even appeared in one of the movie trailers for RotJ.  As for it being part of a new Special Edition, I doubt it.  The scene was cut because it didn't look very good.  A google image search of Return of the Jedi sandstorm will turn up loads of stills from the cut scene.  It would be nice to see it in the deleted scenes, though.

What I really want to see restored to the ESB: SE is the Wampas in the rebel base.  Originally, a pack of Wampas busted into the base through a wall.  The rebel troopers were able to force them into a secure room, and put a warning label on the door.  Later, when the Imperial troops are chasing Han, Leia and Threepio through the corridors, they pass the Wampa chamber.  Threepio trots back to the door, tears off the warning label, and continues after Han and Leia.  When the Snowtroopers arrive at the door, they open it and are grabbed by the Wampas and pulled inside.  The bit with threepio tearing off the warning label is actually in one of the early ESB movie trailers.

swisshammer 5/4/2011 10:42:02 AM

 I want my very own lightsaber. 

Hobbs 5/4/2011 11:24:43 AM

I just saw the actual release...Hanso is correct. It should come with an apology.  There is about a disc and half worth of crep on this set.  Fans are not going to be happy.  A 90 min feature on the 501st which is that group that dresses up in stormtrooper outfits at conventions.  Really?  We need 90 mins of this? WTF is it even doing on the ultimate dvd collection?  I can't stand that fan sheet they put on DVDs but maybe i'm just pissed because they left so much out of this collection but put that in!

Wyldstaar 5/4/2011 12:44:48 PM

Yeah, after seeing all the bonus features that are coming with the set, I'm highly underwhelmed.  All this time to prepare an ultimate bluray release of epic proportions, and most of it is stuff that we've already seen in other releases.  The new stuff doesn't look all that great, especially that 501st movie.  None of the things that the diehard fans wanted appear to have been included in the set.



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