It’s been nearly a foregone conclusion that there would be at least some kind of Star Wars DVD release this year for the 30th anniversary of the original film. Though everyone is expecting it, it has not yet been officially confirmed.
On Sunday, Rafe Telsch over at CinemaBlend.com jumped on an apparent revelation by Hasbro.
Hasbro has the toy rights to Star Wars so they have a lot to gain from continual releases of the films, re-energizing audiences and introducing newcomers to the franchise (although it’s hard to think of many people not being aware of Star Wars anymore). In their financial report they announced that Lucas is working on a video release for the 30th Anniversary of the franchise.
I reviewed Hasbro’s recent financial report and found no mention of a Star Wars 30th anniversary video release. The CinemaBlend article also attributes confirmation of the 30th anniversary video release to a quote from Hasbro Chief Executive Al Verrecchia in an Associated Press article. Here’s a snippet from the AP article:
Looking ahead, Verrecchia said he expected Star Wars to continue to be a strong performer with Lucas planning a video release for this year’s 30th anniversary, a Star Wars animated TV show next year and a live-action Star Wars TV show in 2009.
“He and his studio have a lot going on over the next several years to support the franchise,” Verrecchia said.
Note that the only direct quote from Verrecchia on the issue was, “He and his studio have a lot going on over the next several years to support the franchise.”
Since the matter in question is an indirect quote, it’s actually hard to tell if Michelle R. Smith, author of the AP article, was expanding upon Lucas’ forthcoming projects on her own or if Verrecchia actually specifically mentioned the video release.
Also mentioned in the CinemaBlend article was an odd quote from George Lucas himself, when recently presenting an award to Empire Strikes Back publicist Sid Ganis. Lucas claimed that Ganis was “the reason why The Empire Strikes Back is always written about as the best of the films, when it actually was the worst one.”
Quotes like this will give Lucas-bashers steam for months or perhaps even longer. Using the third-hand source mentioned by CinemaBlend, though, I traced the quote back to its original source, a Hot Blog posting which itself was an update to a previous Hot Blog posting.
Geirge [sic] Lucas, giving the award to Sid Ganis, who was the in-house publicist on Star Wars: Episode Five – The Empire Strikes Back, said, “Sid is the reason why The Empire Strikes Back is always written about as the best of the films, when it actually was the worst one.”
Problem is, the quote appears to have been taken way out of context. Check out this Hollywood Reporter article about the same event which states:
“It’s testament to his skills that (‘The Empire Strikes Back’) is considered the best ‘Star Wars’ film, even though it was the worst,” Lucas joshed.
The potential (I daresay, high probability) that Lucas was joking won’t get in the way of Lucas-bashers, of course.
As for CinemaBlend, it’s definitely not my intention to berate them here. As a matter of fact, I consider Joshua Tyler’s CinemaBlend site to be one of the premiere movie blogs out there. It often holds to much higher standards than other seemingly similar blogs. I just thought it might be interesting to try to unravel the twisted web that Star Wars stories can often create.
I’ll keep you posted on any further confirmation around a 2007 Star Wars DVD release — based no doubt on the efforts of sites like CinemaBlend.
Primary Information Source
Star Wars Coming To DVD . . . Again (CinemaBlend)
UPDATE (2/14/2007): My current theory is that the “video” mentioned is actually a video game rather than a DVD. Announced today by starwars.com, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is expected to be available in November. This will likely be an all-encompassing media event along the lines of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. Considering that they are announcing it nine months in advance, this may be “the” 30th anniversary release from the perspective of Lucasfilm. Hey, at least it doesn’t appear to involve LEGOs this time. I’m still hoping for a DVD in there somewhere, though.