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How to watch the original Star Wars trilogy from before George Lucas altered it

Published Dec 15th, 2015 10:30PM EST
Star Wars Original Unaltered Trilogy
Image: Lucasfilm

The original Star Wars trilogy – you know, the one that starts with Episode IV – has been significantly modified by Lucasfilm in new releases, which has led to some controversy. One of the most common issues concerns the Han Solo vs. Greedo exchange, as some people have been left wondering who shoots first.

Young Star Wars fans have probably seen one of the latest versions of the movie. But older friends of the Force would probably enjoy the original Star Wars trilogy just as it first hit cinemas many years ago. The good news is that it’s actually available, but unfortunately there aren’t any HD versions of that movie available, so you’ll have to make do with a custom project that recreated the movie as George Lucas first shot it.

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There are ways of legally obtaining a version that is close to the original trilogy, Life Hacker explains, including the laserdisc trilogy, the low-quality DVD version or VHS tapes. But the custom recreated Star Wars version comes in 720p resolution.

The project,, recreated the entire movies as the Despecialized Edition, which aims to resemble the original films. Because there’s no official access to old footage, fans involved in the project had to use various resources to re-edit the movie, complete with original colors and even some intentional little flaws.

The team at used the original 2011 Blu-ray edition for the HD version of the trilogy, the 2004 Special Edition DVD, a low quality version of the original trilogy from the special features of the 2006 DVD (George’s Original Unaltered Trilogy or GOUT), and scans of 70mm and 35mm film prints and still images from the movies.

The video below explains in great detail how the original movie saga was recreated in 720p HD, and how to find and download the Despecialized Edition – mind you, this isn’t an official Disney and/or Lucasfilm product, so you may have to get creative about getting it.

Oh, and don’t forget that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will hit theaters on Friday.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.