Bring back the original Star Wars movies

A few year’s ago, there was a joke in “The Big Bang Theory” that rang true for most of us “Star Wars” fans.

During an episode where the characters are planning a marathon of the classic science fiction films, the character Howard Wolowitz urges another character to hurry up and watch the films.

“If we don’t start soon George Lucas is going to change it again,” he says.

After watching “Return of the Jedi” a few months ago, I remembered how much I’m aching to watch the unaltered versions of the films as the highly-anticipated release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” fast approaches. Now I’m hoping Disney can finally work its magic to get the original films back in the public’s hands.

After releasing the trilogy in from 1977-83, Lucas famously went back and edited the films for the special edition releases in 1997 and they’ve been subsequently edited again for the DVD and bluray releases.

At first, the changes were thrilling. I still vividly remember seeing all of the special edition releases in theaters in 1997, and I distinctly remember a good friend and I being enraged after we got stuck in a packed theater sitting by a kid loudly explaining “The Empire Strikes Back” to his younger brother at Austin’s old Sterling Theater (now Cornerstone Church).

Even the kid calling a lightsaber a lifesaver couldn’t completely ruin the experience (But try it around a “Star Wars” junkie like my friend — it doesn’t attract a positive response).

But then the prequels came, followed by more edits, which — at least to me — crossed the line: Hayden Christiansen being edited in at the end of Return of the Jedi, Ewan McGregor’s voice being dubbed into Obi-Wan Kenobi’s first appearance in “A New Hope” and then they dubbed Darth Vader saying “no” in the climax of “Return of the Jedi.”

(Spoiler alert: Darth Vader is Luke’s father, and he saves him from The Emperor in the climactic scene of “Return of the Jedi.” It’s been 32 years; it really doesn’t count as a spoiler anymore.)

That was one edit too far, Mr. Lucas. That pivotal scene was one of my, and many other people’s, favorite scenes of the series. I loved it for the simplicity of it. Darth Vader yelling, “Noooooooooooo,” just ruined it for me.

So in recent weeks I’ve taken to combing for my copies of the original trilogy on VHS but to no avail. I have no clue where they ended up, just that they exist somewhere.

Now that we’re on the cusp on the new trilogy, it’s really time that Disney gives the fans what they want: A chance to watch the originals before they were subjected to wave after wave of edits.

For years, Lucas has stood firm against such a release, but he’s out of the equation now that Disney owns Lucasfilm. Disney would, however, have to work out a deal with 20th Century Fox, who still has a stake in ownership of the original series.

But come one, it would be mutually lucrative for both studios. Fans like myself would be fawning all over a chance to see the original theatrical cuts on bluray.

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