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Unique ID Code: 0000058797
Added by: DVD Reviewer
Added on: 6/4/2004 13:07
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Star Wars Trilogy (Box Set) (UK)

9 / 10
9 votes cast
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May the Force be with you
Certificate: U
Running Time: 369 mins
Retail Price: £44.99
Release Date:

Three films digitally restored and remastered.

A New Hope Episode IV - Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, the Princess Leia was captured by evil forces trying to take over the galactic empire. Salvation lay in the hands of two men, adventurous Luke Skywalker and spaceship captain Han Solo, helped by lovable robots R2-D2 and C-3PO.

The Empire Strikes Back - The battle to save the galaxy from the evil of Darth Vader rages on in one of the highest-grossing sequels ever. Luke Skywalker seeks instruction from Yoda to become a true Jedi Knight and soon he will engage in a showdown duel with Darth Vader which will reveal to him the shattering secret of his destiny.

Return Of The Jedi - Han Solo lies frozen in the dungeons of the hideous monster, Jabba the Hutt. Even as Luke and Leia rush to his rescue, the rebel commanders are plotting their next move against the Empire with the construction of a new space station, more powerful than the awesome Death Star.

Also includes a new documentary and never-before-seen footage.

Special Features:
Bonus disc includes the most comprehensive feature length documentary ever produced about the Star Wars saga and, footage from the making of all three films.

Directed By:
George Lucas

Written By:

James Earl Jones
David Prowse
Kenny Baker
Anthony Daniels
Alec Guinness
Peter Cushing
Carrie Fisher
Harrison Ford
Mark Hamill

Casting By:
Vic Ramos
Irene Lamb
Dianne Crittenden

Soundtrack By:
John Williams

Director of Photography:
Gilbert Taylor

George Lucas
Marcia Lucas
Paul Hirsch
T.M. Christopher
Richard Chew

Costume Designer:
John Mollo

Production Designer:
John Barry

Rick McCallum
Gary Kurtz

Executive Producer:
George Lucas

Twentieth Century Fox

Your Opinions and Comments

10 / 10
:) Star Wars Trilogy is and always best trilogy of the Hollywood industry. Get this box set! You will have a blast!
posted by Big AL Smells on 20/9/2004 04:27
9 / 10
Lucas films have done a fantastic job of restoring the picture quality, the picture is as crisp as any new movie, the scenes of the driods walking across the deserts of tattoine are just superb. Ive read many a `spoiler` about this box set on the net and luckily most of it was untrue, the `special edition` additions are still there but I really dont mind them, though sometimes, as in the entering Mos Eisly scene, the quality does `jar` out along original footage, though I think the Jabba scene should have been dropped in A new hope as Han walking over jabbas tail just looks bad.

Im glad to see that they have sorted out the bad `black lines` on the ractor in return of the jedi, and have done a fantastic job on it as well. There is not a lot to fault really, maybe a few more extras but the picture is unbeliveable. And how wierd is it seeing Hayden Christians face on the spirits at the end of `return`...but it needs to be done and in the scheme of things works well. Though this trilogy raises many questions and it will be interesting to see how Episode III deals with them, Lea says that she knew her mother?? Obi wan says that Yoda taught him???
posted by Bryter Layter on 23/9/2004 13:37
7 / 10
The films themselves are ‘enhanced’ versions of the Special Editions, which means they still feature all of the unnecessary changes from ’97, plus a few new ones. Empire all-but escapes any negative impact from these changes (even the new Emperor scene is tolerable), but A New Hope and Jedi are the worse for the changes.

Much has been said about how fantastic these films look, and that’s true for the most part. However, there are significant problems with the transfers that definitely warrant a mention. A New Hope fairs the worst, with over-saturated colours, incorrectly coloured lightsabers and the occasional video artefact (such as a big magenta blob that appears when Obi-Wan and Luke are overlooking Mos Eisley). The problems with the sabers continue throughout the films, with those in Return of the Jedi fair worst of all. There are also a number of contrast issues throughout the films, not to mention some odd colour correction. I believe a lot of this can be attributed to the restoration work carried out by Lowry Digital.

The Dolby 5.1 EX audio on Empire and Jedi is wonderful, although the score isn’t as dominant as I might have liked. Unfortunately A New Hope is a complete mess. For starters, the rear surround channels have the score stereo reversed, which has the effect of making the music sound indistinct and hard to localise. At one point it sounded as if the score was coming from the middle left of my living room, which is simply not right. Thankfully the effects have not been stereo reversed. Another issue affecting the score is that it all but disappears during one key scene due to some highly suspect mixing. Claims that this is a creative decision, while ludicrous enough in themselves, are disproved when listening to the French Surround track on the R1 release of this set (when the score is mixed at the correct levels). Finally, the quality of the dialogue is wildly variable through the entire film. It’s perhaps the worst thing about this release.

The extras are pretty disappointing when you consider what they could have delivered. There are no deleted scenes (even though we know material exists), and the documentaries that are available aren’t particularly insightful. Even the mammoth Empire of Dreams documentary is weighed down by more than its fair share of self-congratulatory posing. The rest of the extras are little more than advertisements for the next film and the video game. The commentaries should have been really interesting, but I found them to be very dry. There’s very little revealed about plot points, primarily because just as it gets to an interesting bit of the story the commentary switches from Lucas to someone like Ben Burtt, who proceeds to tell us how he recorded this and that to make the sounds of a door opening etc. This track needed input from Mark Hamill, who at least remains animated about the films (unlike Ford or Fisher).

Overall this is still a worthy purchase, primarily because it’s the only way to legally own the films on a robust medium such as DVD. However, the producers really dropped the ball with this release. It should have been the best trilogy set ever, but instead it reeks of an ‘it’s good enough for now’ attitude. I for one am mighty annoyed that I basically paid for a set on work in progress films (both technically and artistically). If you can ignore the technical flaws you’re in for a treat, and thankfully the best film in the set is also the best of the DVDs from this standpoint (I’m speaking of Empire). Those of you who spot these things as easily as I do might want to prepare yourself for a certain amount of disappointment.
posted by Chris Gould on 5/11/2004 14:05
10 / 10
What more could we ask for at this time???
posted by Richard73 on 25/3/2005 10:36
9 / 10
Intro- Ah, here we of, if not the best movies ever made. Loved by both publics and critics worldwide and highly influential. No synopsis needed here since everyone knows what is it about. You`ll find Star Wars references everywhere, tv programmes, other films made after 1977 and adverts, you`ll never escape from the dark side(pun intended). Memorable moments including the sound of the Lightsaber and lots of fans imitate it poorly or perfectly! I`ve 1st heard of it when the special editions where going to be released on 1997 but I never got to watch the movies sadly.

Forward 7 years later.

It is 20th September 2004 and I`ve got my copy of the DVD release of Star Wars(actually, it was my brother who got it for me. I was too lazy at the time!!! :)) popped in Ep IV, I wasn`t impressed at first viewing, it only took me the 2nd viewing to be actually satisfied. Two thumbs up for Ep IV. I`ve found Ep V to be even more superior than Ep IV and finally there`s the inferior Ep VI which IMO, is 1000000000 times better than Ep II or any of the crap prequel trilogy. Restored and remastered and packed with features, will the DVD release be give more bang for your buck(or quid :p)

I`ve done enough typing about the movie everyone knows about. Onward!

Video- Star Wars is presented in the original 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. All 3 classic films have been digitally remastered by Lowry digital, the guys who managed to restore the Indiana Jones trilogy(nicely done). They managed to do it again with the Star Wars trilogy. All the grain that kept popping frequently in your old copies of the VHS version has been removed for good. Because of the pristine condition the restoration boys have done, It looks as if you are watching a film made yesterday or almost similar to that. What`s also suprising is that there`s no Edge Enhancement to be seen. It has also been THX optimised.

I`ve told you the pros now here`s the cons: Yes, the video quality is in immaculate condition (although instances but in addition to that, the visuals have been changed altogether. So the flecks and original SFX go in the bin together. You will not find the original 1977, 1980 and 1983 theatrical versions nor you will find the 1997 re-releases. Instead George Lucas has decided to further update the CGI and SFX to what he sees fit.
There is NO original version anymore...

The above quote is from the man himself during an interview with UK mag Empire when talking about the original version of THX 1138(this applies to Star Wars before anyone comments this is irrelevent). Obvious changes include the conversation with Jabba and Han Solo has been changed dramatically in Ep IV and Darth Varder`s conversation with the holographic old lady has been replaced by the emperor. There are other subtle changes which there are too many to name.

My verdict on each one:
Ep IV- 9/10
Ep V- 10/10
Ep VI- 10/10

Sound- Much to the die hard fan annoyance and purists who like their sounds the way it was back in 1977, the sound has also been tweaked like the video. Remastered to DD 5.1 and surround 2.0, for a movie nearly 30 years old it sounds rather lively when the action comes. No original soundtrack(mono?) here as Lucas loves to tweak Star Wars a lot. Within a few years time when Stars Wars gets its 30th anniversary, Lucas will modify Star Wars for the 3rd time and then a 4th and 5th and so on...

Sound department 5/5 to all.

Extras- They look rather promising but be prepared to be a little disappointed. The audio commentaries on the 3 films aren`t true live recordings as I expected them to be. They are done from interviews and then cut and pasted to make a feature length audio commentary in fact, the large 2.5 hr documentary: Empire Dreams, the story of the Star Wars trilogy has an extract of Ben Burtt talking about how the sound of Chewbacca was achieved. The "participants" are George Lucas, Ben Burtt, Dennis Murren and actress Carrie Fisher (Irvin Kershner on Ep V). Despite that, they are somewhat interesting to listen. Lucas talks about the story, Burtt focuses on sound effects, Murren talks about SFX and CGI and Fisher...I don`t know what on earth is she talking about since there is few contributions from her!

Next you get the gigantic 2.5 hr documentary Empire Dreams: The story of the Star Wars trilogy with 12 chapter stops. This large feature includes interviews from around 40 cast and crew including Lucas, Ford, Fisher and a bunch of filmakers such as Steven Spielberg, Ridely Scott and Peter Jackson. This is adding salt to the wounds as it is very self pretentious and many people say "It`s been great fun" or "It`s going to be a great film" type comments. Whoever made the documentary needs to re-edit the documentary by omitting the self-congratulating poses like this. It only covers some of the production and I suspect some of this has been mentioned in the commentaries. Once you`ve watched it, you`ll think to yourself "Most self-pompus documentary ever made"...

After a rather disappointing documentary, there are 3 small featurettes titled The birth of the lightsaber, the characters of Star Wars and The Force is with them: The Legacy of Star Wars not as bad as the mammoth documentary but it`s all too short. The 1st featurette has Lucas and cast and crew talk about the unforgetable hum and the scintillating glow of the samurai like sword. Oddly enough, Lucas is a big fan of Akira Kurosawa and hence many references to Star Wars came from Kurosawa`s works (A lesson for you people: No Kurosawa= No Star Wars). The 2nd featurette is self explantory and the last one features many views from many film-makers such as Ridely Scott making Alien(I dub it Star Wars: The Adult version) 2 years laters and Peter Jackson inspired to make LOTR some 14 years later.

Going past through the meat of the extras, we have the gristle. Ep III behind the scenes preview is a self pretentious EPK which coincides with the release of the next prequel coming May 2005. There is another behind the scenes featurette but this time with the Star Wars Ep III video game. Like the previous behind the scenes featurette, this one`s rubbish.

Galleries, a dvd package is never complete without some sort of gallery. You will get production photos which have never seen before by anyone available on dvd for the 1st time. These photos show the cast and crew on location from Tunisia to California. Next you get a handful of posters(including international ones) and print campaign. These speak for itself.

Finally, you get the obligatory trailers and tv spots. Rather strange is that Lucas hasn`t went as far as remastering the trailers to make them look like the main features. There`s a 1997 re-release trailer if you want to bother viewing it. Fans of the film will be hugely disappointed as deleted scenes are nowhere to be seen.

The verdict is going to be a controversial one for me. This would get 8/10 but I will give it 4/10 due to the lack of quality in these "special features", a self-pompous documentary, no deleted scenes and 3 rubbish commentaries(or should I say interview clips).

Each disc is put in an amaray an then put into a rather thin cardboard box.

Overall- Well, there ya have it. In a galaxy far, far away we have 3 classic films with a below average treatment for extras but excellent to video and sound. Buy it just to show of your speakers and watch a genuine classic.

The force will be always with you...always
posted by alias-rf2 on 26/4/2005 22:21
9 / 10
This box set is an absolute must for Star Wars fans or anybody who likes collecting great films on DVD.
Contained inside the box set are 4 seperate disc`s which feature all 3 Star Wars films that were re-released at the cinema`s in 1997 (the ones with the added footage).All are digitally remastered with 5.1 surround sound ,plus a bonus disc packed with extra`s.
The picture and audio are of the highest quality ,both are crystal clear and the film`s have had a good clean up for the disc`s transfer from the fadded video versions.
Episodes IV,V,VI all come with a commentary track with comment`s by the creature George Lucas,plus Carrie Fisher and Ben Brutt.Which are pretty average.The best commentary in my opinion is the track on episode V which is done by the director of the 2rd film Irvin Kershner who is very entertaining and informative and gives the audience a good account behind the making of the picture
On the bonus disc,The main feature is a documentary called"Empire of dreams"a manmouth story over two hours long telling the story from start to finish of all three films.Most of the feature is focused on "star wars"and how Lucas got the backing to make it.Their are interviews with virtually all the cast and crew from the model makers to the main actors.
The behind the scene`s footage is exellent ,clips from on location ,inside a studio and the model rooms.Also on this documentary their are test screening`s,outtakes,and all kind`s of fabulous info.
On the bonus disc besides the documentary their are a couple of other featurettes on thing like Light sabers,chacters,make-up etc...
posted by bleasby on 8/5/2006 18:46
7 / 10
I have to admit - this is the very first time I`ve seen the trilogy in its entirety as an adult. None of the movies have had a big impact on me as a kid, since I could not remember the major plot lines.
Well, I ought to be cautious when dealing with what`s become cult. I will be, somewhat, at least.
OK, so here goes... . :)
The movies are classics in a sense that they paved the road to other movies and productions of this magnitude.
As for the movies` content, well, it`s above average mostly, but suffers from various below average merits.
The characters are totally flat (right or wrong - come on, give me a break...). Some of the sidekicks are truly pathetic. Come on - talking puppets??? OK, so technology couldn`t have done it using CG, but talking chipmunks? Barking monsters? A ridiculous Jedi knight??? Come on, Lucas!!!
I guess 30 years ago, we were so very naive as to actually learn to like this kind of crap. :)
As a sci-fi movie, though, it kinda sucks.
The video transfer is very good. There are no compression signs and the movie has obviously been restored nicely. The special effects are, well, there... . :)
The DD 5.,1 soundtrack is good. The surrounds are used throughout the movie and produce a nice sound envelope.
The menus are animated with sound.
The extras include a commentary (on each movie`s disc) and on the 4th disc - over 3 hours of behind the scenes, a game demo, and a vast picture and photo gallery. That`s it. No deleted scenes. No bloopers. Nada!
Bottom line - risking at sounding a bit blasphemous, this trilogy had outgrown its initial proportions, and like many average movies, gained a cult status regardless of its average merits.
posted by Zvi Josef on 26/9/2007 19:17