How The 21st Century Fox-Disney Deal Might End Up Affecting The Original STAR WARS Trilogy

How The 21st Century Fox-Disney Deal Might End Up Affecting The Original STAR WARS Trilogy

Lost in all of the excitement about the impending sale of 21st Century Fox’s film properties to Disney is the potential impact on one of the last remnants of Star Wars that Fox still has ownership of.

Since talks between Disney and 21st Century Fox have heated up again, there’s been lots of excitement about what it might mean for the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and their possible integration into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, another less headline-grabbing but still pretty interesting development could come out of these negotiations.

When Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, they did not purchase the rights to the original Star Wars film, A New Hope. The reason why Disney was able to buy the rights to all the other films in the series but not the original can be traced back to the 1970s. Since Fox co-produced and partially funded the movie, they kept the rights to the film.

This has been one of the obstacles standing in the way of us getting a home video release of the theatrical cuts of the original trilogy. However, if Fox sells their movie and television properties to Disney, things could change.

Releasing the theatrical versions of the original trilogy seems like a slam dunk. It’s something fans have wanted for years, but Fox was reluctant to do it. George Lucas has previously said that it would be too expensive to restore the original negatives of A New Hope, but as Den of Geek has pointed out, few people believe that excuse because they know Lucas sees the special editions as the definitive versions of his films.

The thing that might keep this dream from becoming a reality is that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy appears to feel the same way as her former boss, or at least doesn’t want it to look like she disrespects him. At Star Wars Celebration this year, Kennedy was asked about re-releasing the original trilogy and responded by saying those films will always belong to George Lucas.

However, Disney is known for jumping at an opportunity to make a ton of money, and that's exactly what this is. If the Fox-Disney deal goes through as expected and Lucasfilm is presented with the option to release the complete original trilogy, the opportunity might be too tempting to resist.

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