It's the holy grail for 'Star Wars' fans: the original theatrical releases of 'A New Hope,' 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi' on DVD and Blu-ray. Right now, if you want to watch the theatrical versions of the original trilogy - without all the crap from the 1997 special editions - you have to own one of the original VHS copies, or find a bootleg rip of the 1985 Laserdisc. But, with 'Star Wars: Episode 7' headed to theaters from their new home at Disney, could the original theatrical releases finally be commercially available for the first time in over 20 years?
Last week, at least a partial cast was revealed for 'Star Wars: Episode 7'. Almost immediately, speculation began on who the new actors would be playing. Will John Boyega be a young Jedi? Will Adam Driver be a Sith Lord? Will Daisy Ridley (who is strongly rumored to be the daughter of Han and Leia) be a Jedi, too?
Good grief, I hope not. As I’ve written before, Jedi are boring.
George Lucas had a backup plan.
It might not seem like such a bold move today – in the era of blockbuster franchises – to be planning for a sequel before the first movie has even been released. But, in the 1970s, this was downright revolutionary thinking. Especially considering that we’re talking about a movie set in another galaxy in an era where such films were considered inane. (Granted, some people still consider them inane.) But not only did Lucas have a plan for a 'Star Wars' sequel, he had two plans. One, as you know, became ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’ The other exists as a sort of alternative universe oddity of what could have been – a story titled ‘Splinter of the Mind’s Eye.’
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, George Lucas commissioned a short film to be paired with 'The Empire Strikes Back' in theaters. That film was the medieval fantasy 'Black Angel' and it was directed by Roger Christian, the acclaimed production designer who won an Oscar for his work on the original 'Star Wars.' And then theaters stopped playing shorts before features and 'Black Angel' vanished, never to be seen again ... or so everyone thought.
With 'Star Wars: Episode 7' casting starting to heat up and announcements expected before the end of the year, all eyes have turned to director J.J. Abrams, the man in charge of this mission. But, don't think George Lucas is happy to just play golf and have dinner at Olive Garden at 4:30pm throughout his retirement; the man who created it all isn't walking away from the 'Star Wars' franchise so easily.
Lucas' son, Jett, spoke about 'Star Wars: Episode 7' recently and said his father is "constantly" talking to J.J. Abrams about his plans for the upcoming sequel.
For decades, 'Star Wars' fans were secure in the knowledge that lightsabers came in only three colors: red for evil, green for good and blue for Obi-Wan Kenobi. But then, when the new trilogy of prequels was released between 1999 and 2005, Samuel L. Jackson joined the franchise as Jedi warrior Mace Windu and broke the rules by sporting a purple weapon. So how did it happen?
When George Lucas handed the reins of 'Star Wars' over to Disney, it was understood that the man behind the most popular science fiction universe of all time would only be involved in 'Star Wars: Episode 7' in a limited capacity. However, we didn't realize just how limited it was! Lucas recently spoke out about his involvement in 'Star Wars: Episode 7' and revealed that he hasn't spoken to director J.J. Abrams. Like, at all.
When Steven Spielberg and George Lucas talk, people tend to listen. So, when these two living legends participated at a panel about the future of entertainment at the University of Southern California and said that Hollywood was heading toward complete and total disaster, plenty of heads were turned. If two of the most successful filmmakers in history think their industry is doomed, then surely they must be right. Right?
One of the main questions regarding 'Star Wars: Episode 7' is, "Will J.J. Abrams be able to follow in George Lucas' footsteps?" Many, including 'Star Trek Into Darkness' star Simon Pegg, believes yes, as he's already reinvigorated the 'Star Trek' universe. But what exactly will he bring to the next chapter? As Pegg said, "All the things that we loved about the first three."
J.J. Abrams gave his first extensive interview on 'Star Wars: Episode 7' to Playboy and spoke at length about the challenges of being in control of 'Star Wars' and 'Star Trek' - two of the biggest sci-fi franchises in history. He talks about how he'll be collaborating with George Lucas, his feeling on the prequels and how you shouldn't assume he won't direct 'Star Trek 3.'