Over the years, Star Wars fans have been able to purchase the saga films on a wide variety of formats - from LaserDisc, to VHS, to DVD to Blu-ray. Well, now the legendary sci-fi franchise is finally taking the next step in home media, as it has finally been announced that all six Star Wars movies will soon be available on DigitalHD. And what's more, to mark the occasion, the new release will also come with new, exclusive bonus features that will further explore the fictional universe.
Beginning on April 10th, all six films in the Star Wars saga - including The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi - will be available around the world from a variety of different outlets. According to the official release, the digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer, and while pricing isn't mentioned, Amazon already has all of the titles listed for pre-order. The titles can be purchased for $19.99 a pop, though if you order them in a bundle, it is $89.99.
So what are these new features that will come with this new release? As described by LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy, the new stuff is "very special bonus material which delves into the saga’s rich history, including new and never-before-released conversations between legendary Star Wars artists — the masters who helped George bring his iconic universe to life." Each movie will have a "Star Wars: Discoveries from Inside" chapter that looks at one specific element of bringing the film to life, while there will also be "Conversations" that feature "key contributors" talking about their part in the franchise's legacy.
What's not precisely specified in the official press release about Star Wars special digital release is exactly what version of the movies - specifically the originally trilogy - are being made available. Presumably that means we can expect that they will be the same cuts featured on the Blu-rays that were released just a few years ago. This is unfortunate for those of us who are continuing to wait for officially restored versions of the original theatrical releases, but I guess patience is a virtue.
In case you couldn't already tell, this is shaping up to be a rather huge month for the Star Wars franchise - and this announcement of a DigitalHD release is just the tip of the iceberg. Later this month will see the annual expo known as Star Wars Celebration held down in Anaheim, California, and it's expected that the event will not only produce a new trailer and debut poster for J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it has also been suggested that the event may be used to reveal more about the upcoming spin-off movies set to be directed by Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank. Naturally, we'll be watching it all very closely, so stay tuned for our coverage - and head over to Page Two for a full breakdown of all the DigitalHD special features.
Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace