This week sees the release of a brand new Star Wars film, The Last Jedi. Many millions of fans around the world are counting down to the first cinema screening. As I am one of the many, I thought it would be an appropriate time to look at the original Star Wars videos.
For a lot of fans, the first three Star Wars films remain the best. The ones which came after had many magical moments, but these ones were always special. This is particularly true for those of us who grew up with the films. In this respect, those of us lucky enough to have the Star Wars videos would often watch them again and again!
It would be fair to say that having Star Wars on home video has caused some controversy. The films have been released in different versions over the years. Sometimes the different versions have upset fans. Let’s look at this in more detail.
Star Wars Videos – The Original Releases
The Star Wars videos you see here in this article are from 1988. From what I remember, these were one of the first copies released to buy, rather than rent. Buying and owning videos only started to become popular in the UK during the late 1980s.
I believe that these video tape releases contain what many fans call the “proper versions” of Star Wars. This is to say that they appear here in their original cut or edit. As I mentioned at the start, many of the releases which came after 1988 caused some controversy.
From the early 1990s onwards, Star Wars creator George Lucas decided to re-edit the three films. He did this as he believed technology would allow him to show the films as he always intended to. Whilst the intentions were clear to understand, many fans did not like the changes. They found the alterations too distracting, and upset their memories of the films.
With this in mind, many had decided to keep their original Star Wars videos, or wish that they had!
Star Wars Videos – The Legacy
There have been a number of releases of the original three Star Wars films. From the mid-1990s they have come out on VHS, DVD and Blu Ray. In nearly all cases, however, they were the “special edition” versions.
In response to this, the original theatrical versions of the films were released on DVD. They were called the “Limited Edition” versions, and feature both the original version and the special edition of each film. A number of fans, though, believe that these versions are still not exactly what they remember from the original release.
Some dedicated fans around the world have made their own edits of the films. These are normally called the “despecialized editions”. To do this they have taken footage from all released sources, editing them together in a version they are happy with. This really shows the dedication many fans have!
For fans really keen to see the films as they remember them, the best approach is usually to obtain the 1980s releases of the Star Wars videos. These are exactly what they saw at the time.
Star Wars Videos – An Example
As I had the Star Wars videos out I thought many of you would appreciate a sample of them to look at. I’ve added a promo to my You Tube channel.
The sample I have shared is for the CBS FOX promo reel at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back. It’s a trailer which features scenes from many films, all perfectly synced to the Star Wars theme composed by John Williams.
Here’s the direct link for the promo video – CBS FOX 1988 All Time Greats Trailer.
I hope you enjoy it, and spot some of your favourite films!
VHS To DVD Conversions – What I Do For You
The story of Star Wars videos and their different versions show the value of my services. It is far from being the case that Star Wars is alone in having many different versions released. There are a number of fans who believe that the best version of a particular film is the one which was released on VHS.
I am delighted to make it easier to watch those versions again. If you have a special version of a film or concert on tape, then my VHS to DVD conversion work can let you watch it again.
The Taper was set up because I am passionate about helping people bring back their magical memories. I hope you’ve found the story of the Star Wars videos to be a great example of this!
I provide a high quality service for a low, competitive price. If you have memories you’d like converted to more modern formats, please get in touch. You can reach me via the details provided on the contact page.
Thank you for visiting my site and looking at my services. As the saying in the films goes, May The Force Be With You!