Lucasfilm has officially announced a September 16th release date for the complete Star Wars saga on Blu-ray. Fans can preview some of the special features at the San Diego Comic-Con (July 21-24). In the meantime, here's a look at the huge amount of new content available on the Star Wars Blu-ray set.
Star Wars: Episodes I-VI
The Star Wars Blu-ray set will include all six Star Wars films in widescreen format with 6.1 DTS Surround Sound. The original theatrical versions of episodes IV-VI won't be included, since it would be too expensive to remaster them. However, the Blu-ray versions of the films will have some changes from the most recent DVD release, such as a re-inserted deleted scene in Return of the Jedi where Luke constructs his lightsaber.
Audio commentaries will hopefully offer explanations for some of the changes in the films for the Blu-ray release, as well as more behind-the-scenes information. Each film will have an audio commentary created from archival interviews with the cast and crew, as well as a new audio commentary:
- Episode I: The Phantom Menace -- George Lucas, Rick McCallum (Producer), Ben Burtt (Sound Designer), Rob Coleman (Animation Supervisor), John Knoll (Visual Effects Supervisor), Dennis Muren (Special Effects Artist) and Scott Squires (Visual Effects Supervisor).
- Episode II: Attack of the Clones -- George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman (Digital Effects Artist), John Knoll and Ben Snow (Visual Effects).
- Episode III: Revenge of the Sith -- George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Rob Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett (Visual Effects Supervisor).
- Episode IV: A New Hope -- George Lucas, Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren.
- Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back -- George Lucas, Irvin Kershner (Director), Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren.
- Episode VI: Return of the Jedi -- George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren.
Star Wars Archives
The Star Wars Archives include brand-new behind-the-scenes supplements for both Star Wars trilogies. The features will include deleted, expanded and alternate scenes; concept art and matte paintings; costumes, models and props; interviews with cast and crew; and a "flythrough" of the Lucasfilm Archives.
The final disc in the Star Wars Blu-ray set contains almost seven hours worth of documentaries on the Star Wars films and the culture surrounding them. The first three on the list are brand-new, available just for this Blu-ray set.
- Star Warriors (2007, Color, Apx. 84 Minutes) -- A look at the 501st Legion, a worldwide Star Wars fan club dedicated to Imperial costuming. What made this group so significant that an actual unit in the Star Wars universe was named after them?
- A Conversation with the Masters: The Empire Strikes Back 30 Years Later (2010, Color, Apx. 25 Minutes) -- A retrospective on The Empire Strikes Back for its 30th anniversary.
- Star Wars Spoofs (2011, Color, Apx. 91 Minutes) -- Star Wars has been constantly parodied in pop culture. This documentary looks at some of the spoofs in popular media, such as Family Guy's Star Wars episodes and "Weird Al" Yankovic's song parodies.
- The Making of Star Wars (1977, Color, Apx. 49 Minutes) -- Hosted by C-3PO and R2-D2, this documentary provides a look back at the making of the first Star Wars film from a very early perspective.
- The Empire Strikes Back: SPFX (1980, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) -- Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) hosts this documentary about the special effects in Episode V, such as the stop-motion AT-ATs at the battle of Hoth.
- Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi (1983, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) -- Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) and Carrie Fisher explore some of the bizarre creatures of Star Wars, such as the aliens in Jabba's Palace, in this documentary on Episode VI.
- Anatomy of a Dewback (1997, Color, Apx. 26 Minutes) -- In this documentary on the Special Edition release of Episode IV, George Lucas explains how the special effects for the Dewbacks -- pack animals on Tatooine -- were updated to make them more life-like.
- Star Wars Tech (2007, Color, Apx. 46 Minutes) -- How scientific is Star Wars? In this documentary, real-life scientists examine the plausibility of Star Wars technology based on our advances in modern science.
Keep an eye on the official Star Wars Blu-ray site for updates, as well as previews of Star Wars artwork included in the set.