First ''Star Wars'' trilogy finally hits DVD. On Sept. 21, George Lucas will release a four-disc set that contains only his 1997 revised ''special edition'' versions of ''Star Wars,'' ''Empire,'' and ''Jedi''

By Gary Susman
Updated February 10, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, ...
Credit: Star Wars: TM & © Lucasfilm Ltd.
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Step aside, Frodo; get out of the way, Indiana Jones. What may be the most anticipated DVD package since the advent of the format is finally hitting stores: the initial ”Star Wars” trilogy. Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox announced Monday that they’ll release on Sept. 21 a four-disc set that includes the long-awaited DVD debuts of ”Star Wars,” ”The Empire Strikes Back,” ”The Return of the Jedi,” and a fourth disc of supplemental materials, including cast interviews. But there is a catch, young Padawans.

The rub: the DVDs won’t contain the original theatrical versions of the films, even as alternate DVD tracks. Rather, they will contain only George Lucas’ digitally revised ”special editions” that were released theatrically in 1997. ”The original versions technically don’t exist,” says Lucasfilm’s Jim Ward, the project’s executive producer, according to USA Today. ”[Lucas] wanted to represent the films as they exist in his mind, and that’s the special-editions versions.” Call it a Jedi mind trick — these aren’t the extras you’re looking for.

Star Wars Trilogy

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