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OTRC: New 'Star Wars' Blu-ray collection features tweaks to classics

A scene from 'Return of the Jedi' in 1982 featuring Darth Vader. / An image of the cover of the Blu-ray DVD collection for 'Star Wars.' (Lucasfilm)

The "Star Wars" saga is set for release on Blu-ray DVD on September 16 and while fans might be eager to see the familiar movies on the crisp image format, they should be prepared to see a few more changes.

Lucasfilm announced in August that they were releasing a Blu-ray DVD boxed set of the films from "Star Wars," released in 1977, to the 2005 movie "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith." The set will include documentary features, extended and alternate scenes, audio commentaries, behind the scene interviews and retrospective, but one change sent fans buzzing online.

During a scene for the 1982 film "Return of the Jedi," where (spoiler) Darth Vader watches his master Emperor Palpatine kill his son, Luke Skywalker, Vader decides to kill the emperor by throwing him over the edge into an abyss. Previously, Vader had been silent during his actions but in the new version he shouts "No!" The change was confirmed by The New York Times. The scene in question can be viewed here.

The "No" shout is very similar to the one the character delivered when Anakin Skywalker first became the cyborg known as Darth Vader at the end of "Star Wars: Episode III - Return of the Sith."

Another change is to the appearance of Yoda in the "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace." According to The New York Times, Yoda appeared as a puppet in the first film in the prequel trilogy, but was then a computer generated image in the last two movies. In the Blu-ray release of "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace," that film's Yoda is now also a CGI creation.

As for the original trilogy featured in the boxed set, the three films are not the original theatrical versions but rather the special-edition rereleases shown in theaters in 1997, which were also featured when the trilogy was first released on DVD in 2004. Those films had been previously tweaked to fix technical mistakes but also included what is considered a controversial change amongst die-hard "Star Wars" fans from a scene where Han Solo encounters a bounty hunter at a cantina.

"You have to go through and do a whole restoration on it, and you have to do that digitally," George Lucas, the creator behind the "Star Wars" saga, told The New York Times about preparing the original trilogy for Blu-ray conversion. "It's a very, very expensive process to do it. So when we did the transfer to digital, we only transferred really the upgraded version."

"Star Wars: The Complete Saga" will be on sale for $139 on September 16.

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