Think You Know Real Star Wars? There is a Trilogy Edition You've Never Seen Before

Think You Know Real Star Wars? There is a Trilogy Edition You've Never Seen Before
Image credit: Legion-Media

There's a widely accepted notion in the Star Wars fan realm: the original trilogy (Episodes IV to VI) is unequivocally the ultimate classics that is not to be topped.

What not all audiences are aware of, however, is that the versions of those movies that we can see now are not the same that hit theaters from 1977 to 1983.

The thing is, during the 1990s George Lucas partially redid the movies digitally for the original trilogy's reissue. Those versions (known as Special Editions) included some cut scenes, digitally amended visuals and sound.

The original movies were reworked to a greater or lesser extent, with newly inserted CG creatures, scenes, landscapes, color corrections, and backgrounds.

Some of the effects are actually not bad, but most are considered unnecessary make-overs that, while not completely ruining the films, do affect them in some way.

Star Wars purists were not happy with those modifications, and frankly still aren't.

Since those changes happened, the Special Editions have been considered the official versions. The old versions are of course available to watch on DVDs and Blu-rays, but not in the quality seen in the theaters upon their premiere.

But hardcore Star Wars fans wouldn't be themselves if they didn't try to bring the original theater versions to the world. And so, the Despecialized Edition was made.

The Czech English teacher Petr "Harmy" Harmáček and a small team worked on different versions of the first trilogy of Star Wars films and put them together digitally at great expense to get as close as possible to the cinema versions from the 1970s and 1980s – and all that in high definition.

The meticulousness of their work is remarkable.

Harmy and his team went to great lengths to obtain and carefully put together the tiniest bits of original movies: the Laserdisc, Blu-ray versions, and other versions that have appeared again and again over the years, such as recordings from TV broadcasts or scans of rolls of film.

However, the Despecialized Edition is not officially allowed to be sold.

Fans hope that someday official original theater versions of Episodes IV, V, and VI will be released, so that everyone could see what Star Wars looked like in 1977.