It should come to no one’s surprise that I grew up on Star Wars. My parents owned the original trilogy on LaserDisc and eventually VHS with the arrival of the 1997 Special Editions. I wouldn’t be what you would call the ‘casual viewer’: I don’t view the six films as merely entertainment, but as vertical slices of an epic canon. As a result, I’ve been far more apologetic of the prequel trilogy than most because it completes a necessary portion of the Star Wars arc despite being clearly inferior films. With the release of the sextilogy on Blu-ray, in high definition for the first time ever, there’s absolutely no reason to purchase any further iterations of Star Wars in a physical format. Ever.
Good ol’ George is gonna hafta get clever from here on out. Episode I debuted on video cassette exclusively in 2000, despite the fact that DVDs were already well on their way to replacing them. Episodes II and III released on the shiny discs as the preferred home format, but the original trilogy didn’t see the format until September 2004. Believe it or not, Blu-ray is, mark my words, the final physical home video format. There is no ‘next format’ after Blu-ray, Lucas is going to have to figure out downloadable schema, whether it be movies-as-apps to get the bonus features included or whatever, but with the purchase of this nine-disc (!) release, the fight to own Star Wars is now gone. Oh, I’m sure he’ll re-release the original theatrical versions and get fanboys salivating to avoid all the malarkey around the changes he’s made over the years.
It feels like the end of a journey. Enjoy this George, it’ll be the last time that you’ll be able to charge $124.99 for these films ever again.