I was alerted to a rather startling turn of events in re: the release of the “original” Star Wars trilogy on DVD by the lads of Penny Arcade and felt it worth passing on. To wit:
[emphasis mine] Grrrrr. That DVD release was Lucas’ last, best chance to win me back as a fan of Star Wars and POOF!, he blew it bigtime. At least it resulted in a funny PA comic so it’s not, you know, a total loss.
I listened to Gabriel with increasing disbelief. I’d heard, as I think everyone did, that the original – by which I mean the original original – Star Wars trilogy was coming to DVD. What I had not heard, and what Gabriel intimated to me with his eyes wide was that these would not be from the scrubbed, manicured footage they used to make the re-imaginings, they would, in fact, be anamorphic rips from old laserdiscs. What’s more, they can’t even be purchased separately. They can only be purchased with the newer versions, together, for ninety dollars! Ha!
Clearly, the original trilogy can’t be put in a position where it can outsell the new one – that’s just not going to happen, so those two things must be in a statistically coherent package. But as to why the original movies can’t even be seen in their original format, it’s actually been claimed that George Lucas (in a manner of speaking) “taped over” the classic trilogy.