Star Wars - The Complete Saga
31 May 2012 08:24 PM
I got Star Wars - The Complete Saga when it was first released last year, and watched Star Wars and Empire right away, then got busy doing other things. Over Memorial Day weekend, I pulled the set out again and watched the first five movies in release order (just as I saw them in the theater). I’ll watch Revenge of the Sith this weekend.
First, let me say that I am a Star Wars fanatic. Especially the first movie, which as a 12-year-old, I saw three times theatrically--a record for me. I’ve owned every incarnation of Star Wars on home video, from VHS, to pan&scan laserdisc, to Japanese widescreen laserdisc, to widescreen domestic laserdisc, to the big black box CAV laserdisc set with book, to the “heads” CLV laserdiscs, to the special edition laserdiscs, to the DVD box set, to the DVD tin set.
I did not see Empire until its first theatrical re-release. I saw Return to the Jedi on the day after opening day, getting to the theater hours early with a friend to get good seats. My home video collection is similar for these two movies.
I saw the charity premiere of The Phantom Menace spending an exorbitant sum on tickets. This was at The United Artists theater in Dallas. I also bought a lot of toys (loved those battle droids!) I acquired the Japanese laserdisc of Phantom Menace and the video CD. There was no day/date home video DVD release. But when it came out on DVD, I got that.
Clones and Sith I saw theatrically in DLP at the nice Cinemark Legacy 24 on their lucky screen 13, which at the time was the biggest digital screen with best sound in town. I bought the DVD’s when they were released.
Which leads us to the blu-ray release. First, I like the different versions that you can purchase--the ultimate box set with all six films and three discs of supplements, and two separate sets of the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy if you only like one set of movies, or don’t want the supplements. Of course, I had to have the complete set.
The movies look outstanding. Even Star Wars, filmed in 1976-77 looks like it was made yesterday. Phantom Menace, which was a DNR’s mess on DVD, looks great. In fact, I can’t find fault in any of the video that I’ve seen.
The English 6.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound is a thing to behold. It gave my big rig quite a workout. The audio for the original trilogy was better than I had ever heard it. For the prequel trilogy, the theatrical sound was a notch better, mainly because the theatrical subwoofers were better than mine.
There are copious supplements, including commentary tracks on each feature. I did not have time to get into the supplements, but I will one day.
Never mind that the original versions of the movies were not included. That’s hardly a deal-breaker. If I ever want to see them, I can spin the laserdiscs or the DVD’s that were made from the laserdisc masters. Of course, you have to see the special editions or later to get my favorite line from Star Wars: when the stormtroopers are chasing Han and Chewie in the Death Star, one of them says “Close the blast doors!” As the doors close, Han and Chewie jump through them to the safety of the other side. Then a stormtrooper says “Open the blast doors, open the blast doors!” Trust me on this, the “Close the blast doors” line was missing from every home video version of Star Wars until the Special Edition.
And now you can hear the line on the blu-ray!