Buy it, you will: George Lucas finally announced a high-definition version of his six-part science fiction masterpiece.
Ever since widescreen HDTVs began to pop up in everyone's living rooms and the Blu-Ray format beat out the HD-DVD, people have been clamoring for an updated release of the Star Wars saga. No matter how much your video player box of choice "upscales" the DVDs of the original trilogy (That's New Hope through Jedi) released in 2004 to a higher resolution, it couldn't compare to a format like Blu-Ray that can portray true high definition. We all knew that it was only a matter of time before Lucasfilm would come out with a Blu-Ray collection of the six films and today that day has finally arrived. Knowing Lucas is a stickler for quality, I'm sure that the technical aspects of the Blu-Ray version are top-notch and took some doing. In the announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show today, Darth Vader himself proclaimed that "The forces of the Empire will be at your disposal to assure the success of this endeavor."
Waiting will be the hardest part as you won't be able to get your hands on them until September 2011. While you're waiting the 9 months out, you can fill your time figuring out which of the three packages you might purchase. The "Compete Saga" of all six films retails for $139.99 while you will be able to pick up either the prequel trilogy or the original for $69.99 each. It doesn't look like you can buy individual films so no dice on cherry-picking Empire Strikes Back as a cheap alternative.
What's not clear from the announcement is whether the original trilogy is presented as they were released in the theaters or the new "Special Edition" from the late 90s that added Jabba the Hutt to New Hope and Han not shooting first. The DVDs from 2004 showcased both versions - providing a choice between gritty awesomeness and digitally-shellacked dreck (is that even a choice?) - so here's hoping that Lucas learned his lesson and kept the classics on there.
Even if you hated the prequels like I did, the $140 pricetag for all six films seems like a real bargain considering Blu-Ray discs average around $30/movie. But if you're batting an eye at dropping that much dough on 4 great movies with 2 not-so-good ones, you can pre-order the Complete Saga on Amazon.com right now for only $90 shipped or each trilogy for $45.
Is it just me or is Amazon and Lucasfilm using an old Jedi mind trick? I am a weak-minded fool.