If this was a review of Episodes IV-VI, I would obviously be giving a 5-star review. Unfortunately, Episodes I-III exist as a big stain on the Star Wars legacy. I was very disillusioned over a year before Episode I was released in theaters because Lucasfilm flooded the stores with all kinds of Episode I paraphernalia, from figurines of a weird, muppet-looking character that no one had seen before to children’s underwear featuring the same unlikely character.
Lucas knew that Star Wars is a cash-cow, and as a purist, I resented the cheapening of the brand by selling absolutely anything you could put a logo on, and so long before the movie came out, at that. So, I boycotted Episodes I, II, and III and just finally got around to watching the last month. On the one hand, I kind of wish that I had never watched them because they definitely aren’t good.
Lucas knows where the money comes from, and he purposefully made the movie more child-friendly. Granted, military sci-fi is usually marketed to teenagers, but these movies were made for six-year-olds. On the other hand, I’m glad that I gave the movies a chance because I may have been pleasantly surprised. Now, I just hope Disney *cringe* can do a better job with the next three episodes.
The DVDs came in a plastic case with some artwork lining it. As some reviewers noted, the release dates for the movies are off and other little details like that, but otherwise he set is clean. It comes in a paper sleeve, which is thin and flimsy, but for a boxed set, I didn’t expect much more. The case is thin plastic; I dropped it once and it cracked, so it’s not too sturdy. With careful storage, this is a good DVD boxed set. The movies can speak for themselves if you want to look at reviews of them. As a boxed set, it does its job.
It’s a shame the bitter 45-year-old fanboys are using the amazon reviews to hate on the prequels and the new editions. I mean, get real- you knew exactly what you were buying. Anyone purchasing this Blu-ray set has seen every version of every Star Wars movie at least 10 times. The reviews should speak to the quality of the actual boxing, the visual and audio quality of the Blu-ray vs normal DVD, and the extras included that can’t be found elsewhere.
Boxing is great. Clean, compact, and with interesting artwork that you’ve probably never seen before on the inside.
The video and sound quality of these Blu-rays are awesome. Miles above the DVDs. Interesting result, however: It makes the original trilogy look a lot better, but makes the prequels seem a little worse. The reason: The prequels, relying so heavily on CGI that gets better every year, have not aged particularly well. The extremely detailed quality of the Blu-rays makes them look even more cartoony.
The extras are wonderful, but leave you wanting a bit more. SO MUCH conceptual art and 360 views of props…but that gets boring after a few minutes. I’d gladly trade every bit of conceptual art and all that jazz for just one more good documentary. And sadly, all but one of the documentaries are stuff you may have seen before…most are from the 80s and 90s and you’ve probably caught them on TV some time. The real meat and potatoes of the extras are the new little vignettes, where the artists and model makers talk about specific things, like designing the Death Star or animating the AT-AT, etc. Sadly, these little gems are only 3 or 4 minutes long each. There’s about eight of them for every movie, though.
My one huge gripe: In a set this big, they could have and should have included EVERY SINGLE featurette and documentary Lucasfilm ever made, including the really good one “Empire of Dreams” from the OT DVDs, and all the docs and featurettes from the prequel set, which were really good.
There’s an impressive collection of deleted scenes, but be careful: If you’re a die-hard fan, some of these are very cringe-inducing and awkward to watch. You may need eye bleach and some regressive hypnotism to forget some of them. If you thought Luke was whiny in episode IV, just wait until you watch “wormy” hang out with his friends on Tattoine for a painful 15 minutes…you’ll be rooting for the empire after that.