One of the most exhilarating and influential trilogies in the history of motion pictures, George Lucas's sci-fi spectacular continues to capture the hearts and minds of individuals throughout the world. This release contains the STAR WARS trilogy (episodes IV-VI) in one glorious package.
First up is STAR WARS; George Lucas's stunning sci-fi masterpiece, and arguably one of the most inventive and entertaining films ever made. As the adventure begins, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), an impulsive but goodhearted young man who lives on the dusty planet of Tatooine with his aunt and uncle, longs for the exciting life of a Rebel soldier. The Rebels, led by the headstrong Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), are fighting against the evil Empire, which has set about destroying planets inhabited by innocent citizens with the Death Star, a fearsome planetlike craft commanded by Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) and the eternally frightful Darth Vader (David Prowse, with the voice of James Earl Jones). When Luke's aunt and uncle are murdered by the Empire's imperial stormtroopers and he mysteriously finds a distress message from Princess Leia in one of his androids, R2-D2 (Kenny Baker), he must set out to find Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), a mysterious old hermit with incredible powers. On his journey, Luke is aided by the roguish, sarcastic mercenary Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his towering furry sidekick Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) as they run into a host of perilous situations while trying to rescue the princess--and the entire galaxy.
Considered the most morally and emotionally complex of the original Star Wars trilogy, THE EMPIRE STRIKE BACK continues creator George Lucas's epic saga where STAR WARS left off. The Rebel Forces--which include young adventurer Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), rogue pilot Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and the beautiful but seemingly humorless Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)--have been successful in destroying the Evil Empire's Death Star. However, the Empire's top commander, the terrifying Lord Darth Vader (played by David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones), is scanning the galaxy for the Rebels' secret location. After a visually stunning showdown on the ice planet Hoth, the Rebels are forced to flee, and Luke separates from Han and Leia. Masterful storytelling weaves multiple, archetypal plotlines that pit Vader against Han and Leia as he desperately attempts to capture Luke for political--and, secretly, personal--reasons. Luke, meanwhile, finds himself under the tutelage of the tiny but powerful old Jedi Master Yoda, who teaches him the ways of the Force and warns the impatient but talented student against the threat of the Dark Side. Greek tragedy meets a philosophical hero's journey in EMPIRE, a remarkable sci-fi epic in which the performances are as powerful as the spectacular special effects.
The third and final chapter in the wondrous STAR WARS saga is RETURN OF THE JEDI. Luke (Mark Hamill) must save Han Solo (Harrison Ford) from the clutches of the monstrous Jabba the Hut, and bring down the newly reconstructed--and even more powerful--Death Star. With Solo imprisoned, Luke accompanies his faithful droids R2D2 (Kenny Baker) and C3PO (Anthony Daniels) in a rescue bid, with Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) also lending a hand. After they valiantly disentangle their friends from Jabba's clutches, Luke returns to his Jedi Knight training with Yoda. Meanwhile, the Rebel Troops amass in an attempt to see off the impending threat from Darth Vader (played by David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones) and his new Death Star, with the operation being lead by Han Solo. But Luke must face Vader himself if he is to become a true Jedi Knight, and as he enters into a spirited battle with his light saber-wielding enemy, some surprising revelations await the young warrior.
Theatrical releases: May 25, 1977 (STAR WARS), May 21, 1980 (THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK), May 25, 1983 (RETURN OF THE JEDI).
STAR WARS was passed up by a number of studios before 20th Century Fox finally providing a $10 million budget for the film.
The subtitle EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE didn't appear in the original title sequence for STAR WARS. It first appeared in the remastered version which Lucas produced in 1997.
David Prowse, who plays Darth Vader, allegedly had no idea during filming that his vocal parts would be replaced in post-production by the voice of James Earl Jones.
Jabba The Hutt was portrayed by a human actor whose dialogue was in English in the original version of STAR WARS, but the scene was cut from the final print of the film. George Lucas restored it, and replaced the actor with a CGI version of Jabba in the 1997 remastered edition of the film.
STAR WARS was an original selection to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1989.
George Lucas altered the dialogue at the end of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK in post-production so that he could prevent the surprise conclusion from leaking to the press. On set Darth Vader actor David Prowse said "Obi-Wan Kenobi is your father" to Luke. In the finished film Vader says "I am your father."
John Ratzenberger, "Cliff" from TV's CHEERS, had a small part as Major Derlin in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.
The working title for RETURN OF THE JEDI was REVENGE OF THE JEDI. The production was kept under wraps via the cast and crew, who informed anyone who asked that they were shooting a movie called "Blue Harvest."
The Ewoks weren't in the original script of RETURN OF THE JEDI, which contained a planet inhabited by Wookies. This idea was discarded when it was decided a more primitive race was needed to inhabit the planet, and the Ewoks were born.
George Lucas revisited the trilogy in the late 1990s to make a series of amendments to the special effects, largely caused by the advancements in CGI technology that weren't available to him when the original films were conceived.
The 2004 release of the STAR WARS TRILOGY DVD boxed set saw further special effects work added at Lucas's behest.
The videocassettes of the trilogy were the first to be digitally mastered in THX.
The THX process was developed by LucasFilm and named after George Lucas's early science fiction film THX-1138 (1971).