It's been a long time coming, but today we're finally getting the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD.

Star Wars fans—including many sci-fi geeks who lined up at stores last night for midnight release events for the 4-disc boxed set—have been looking forward to this day for a long time. At last, George Lucas digitally delivers his classic saga (1977's Star Wars, 1980's The Empire Strikes Back, and 1983's Return of the Jedi), right into our family rooms.

The Lord of the Rings aside, Star Wars was the movie trilogy to end all movie trilogies, the films that first married state-of-the-art special effects to the timeless battle between good and evil, all set against the backdrop of a galaxy at war. How much did these films impact our culture? Well, how many people do you know who haven't seen at least one of the movies?

Who can forget the destruction of the Death Star? Or the dazzling lightsaber duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, ending with arguably the greatest shocker in movie history ("No… I am your father")? Or that breathtaking scene where a diminutive Yoda frees a spacecraft from the mire with a mere wave of his hand, thus providing countless Sunday school teachers a perfect object lesson of faith moving mountains?

Thank you, George Lucas.

And yet many are tempted to say, "No, thank you" to Mr. Lucas. Why? Because these new DVDs aren't the films we remember so fondly.

Goodbye to the Originals

Those original three movies finally came—unaltered—to VHS in 1995, and Star Wars fans around the world were elated. Then, in 1997, to celebrate the first film's 20th anniversary, Lucas released extended versions of the original trilogy—also on VHS. The tapes came out with ballyhooed new special ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.