1997 Versions of the Star Wars Original Trilogy Return To Selected Theaters This August


The force is so strong with the original “Star Wars” movies that they’re coming back to select theaters this August. Alamo Drafthouse announced Tuesday that it will present the three original films — 1977’s “A New Hope,” 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back” and 1983’s “Return of the Jedi” — back-to-back in a “Return of the Trilogy” road show touring more than 20 locations nationwide.


Twenty years after Hollywood first released “Star Wars” in just 36 theaters, the re-released adventures of Luke Skywalker filled more than 1,000 screens back on January 31, 1997. The Star Wars: Special Edition was released with all new footage created specially for the films and skyrocketed to the No. 1 position for three weeks. It grossed more than $138,257,865, and brought its its worldwide total to a then astounding $775,398,007.


More Recently, On December 17 2015, one day before the nationwide release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 38 AMC Theatres locations across the country screened all seven films back to back. The 20-hour marathon was a wonderful experience that many fans (like myself) had and awesome time together, some of us discussed our childhood memories in between each film and many dressed in costumes. However, though the Marathon was a spectacular event it featured the 2011 Blu-rays versions of the original trilogy which were made from the same scans as the 2004 source.



Now, for the first time in nearly twenty years Alamo Drafthouse will present the original Star Wars Trilogy: Special Editions on the big screen. The films will be presented in their 1997 re-release format — when creator George Lucas inserted new CGI scenes and made sure the world knew that Greedo shot Han Solo first in the cantina on Tattoine. The showings will also include contests and props, and everyone is encourage to dress up.


Kansas City gets the first date, Aug. 6, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland.

“It’s always been a dream to show the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy again — somehow, someway,” Alamo Drafthouse’s vice president of special events, Henri Mazza, said in a statement. “Seeing the original trilogy on the big screen for the first time is a real life-altering event and just a supreme amount of fun. When the films became available to book for screenings like these, we jumped at the chance to do something big.”


Tickets will go on sale at ReturnOfTheTrilogy.com on May 4, as in May the Fourth be with you.


Meanwhile, J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens” has made $936 million in North America and is still playing in several hundred theaters, including Kansas City’s Barrywoods and Cinetopia.


Here’s the list of “Return of the Trilogy” dates so far:

Aug. 6: San Francisco, The Warfield

Aug. 6: Kansas City, Mo., The Midland

Aug. 6: Washington, D.C., Warner Theatre

Aug. 6: Los Angeles, The Theatre at the Ace Hotel

Aug. 6: New York, The Town Hall

Aug. 6: Miami, Olympia Theatre

Aug. 6: San Antonio, Texas, Majestic Theatre

Aug. 7: New York, Kings Theatre

Aug. 7: Dallas, Majestic Theatre

Aug. 11: Austin, Texas, The Long Center for the Performing Arts

Aug. 12: Austin, The Long Center for the Performing Arts

Aug. 13: Austin, The Long Center for the Performing Arts

Aug. 13: Philadelphia, The Keswick Theatre

Aug. 13: Louisville, Ky., Brown Theatre

Aug. 20: Oakland, Calif., Paramount Theatre

Aug. 27: Boston, The Boston Opera House

Date and venue TBD: Houston

Date and venue TBD: Denver


This re-release may not be what some fans are looking for. However, if you didn’t have the chance to see the film in 1997, now is your chance. One quick memory regarding that release; As I waited to see Star Wars: A New Hope for the first time in twenty years I got to play the original trilogy arcade game in the lobby. Also, in one of the trilogy screenings, I remember receiving the special ‘Luke Skywalker’ carded Kenner figure that was given to the first so many fans that waited in line.


I wish I had that original trilogy arcade game in my home today but at least I still have that Kenner Luke figure.


For those who may have forgotten the event of a lifetime…


Check out the original trailer for the 1997′ re-release.
“An adventure of a Lifetime”



Check back for more details later here at SWNN.


May the Force be with you…


Source: Slashfilm



+ posts

74 thoughts on “1997 Versions of the Star Wars Original Trilogy Return To Selected Theaters This August

  • April 13, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Here’s your chance to see the shitty cgi version of Jabba, and hear Luke scream like the Emperor! (But on the plus side, Sebastian Shaw as Anakin)

    • April 13, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Still no Yub Nub. Still no Lapti Nek. No thanks.

    • April 13, 2016 at 11:53 pm

      Correction: the shittier CGI Jabba (the 2004 replacement is still not that good. Which is sad as a CGI Jabba was done to virtual perfection, no pun intended, in 1999 for The Phantom Menace).

      • April 14, 2016 at 9:11 am

        I don’t necessarily think the CGI Jabba in TPM was better, it just blended better in the CGI background. In ANH he was walking around in a 70s movie, that’s a huge difference.

        • April 15, 2016 at 5:29 am

          The problem is how he moved. Steve William’s group really gave that character some weight in the original SE. The model was better in the ’04 release, but the animation was terrible. I’d rather see ‘sad-eyes’ feeling like a big, bulky creature, than something pretty that moves like poop.

          • April 15, 2016 at 12:10 pm

            Haven’t seen the 97 version in a long time, but that could well be true. Movement is far more important to the realism than details of the model (just compare Jurassic Park with Jurassic World…)

  • April 13, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    but it’s not the original trilogy… it’s the 97 versions…
    Not interested

    • April 13, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      Right there with you. I lined up at the theater opening night for each of these with some old buddies from high school in 97, that was before we got burned. Some scenes were cool, most were just…not needed.

      • April 13, 2016 at 10:14 pm

        yeah, the bad outweighs the good. I’m in favour of the clean up but not extra bits, even more so how these bits were executed. Empire comes out the best easy! ANH not so good, ROTJ 97 version is painful

      • April 13, 2016 at 11:00 pm

        Who cares about what Gen X-ers think nowadays…

        It’s all about us Millenials now!

    • April 13, 2016 at 11:51 pm

      It may the Special Editions, but it is still the original trilogy.

  • April 13, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Please add “Only in America” sticker in there somewhere. The rest of the world just got hyped and left disappointed.

  • April 13, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    The 1997 special editions with the unfinished looking fat leech Jabba and the Fisher-Price detailed C-3PO on the landspeeder? Ummm, why the hell wouldn’t they just put the final blu-ray versions in theaters instead? Because those are George’s final vision of the trilogy, the canon editions of IV-VI so that would make a lot more sense.

    • April 13, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      They might actually be those versions. The article might just mean that they are the revised versions of the movies rather than the original prints (which Lucas alleged no longer existed).

      • April 13, 2016 at 5:08 pm

        good point. that makes sense. let’s hope.

    • April 14, 2016 at 2:13 am

      My question exactly! Either give the ORIGIONAL version to satisfy the die-hards or give the NEWEST version that is canon and has much better color correction and CGI quality. The 1997 version seems like the worst version to me, with its pink lightsabers and dated CG-tech.

  • April 13, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Hater comments in 3… 2…. 1….

  • April 13, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Keswick Theatre in Philly! YES! (Will be squeezing my eyes shut & plugging my ears when Greedo shoots first, though…)

  • April 13, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    watching taht teaser, CGI didn’t stand out so much. It didn’t feel realistic only when the 97 Jabba showed up, but that’s all….

  • April 13, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    So the first paragraph says it’s the originals…then it says SEs…there’s an inconsistency in here!

    • April 13, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      More like rewriting history.

  • April 13, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Damn, for a second I thought your headline said “1977 versions” and I was about to go mental.

    • April 13, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      anyone who believes the original versions of the OT will ever be in theaters again IS mental

  • April 13, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Why are all these kind of stuff always only on USA? 🙁

    • April 13, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      I’m sorry. Maybe they will do it outside of the US soon?

    • April 13, 2016 at 11:48 pm

      If it makes you feel better, I live in the US and stuff like this always seems to go around my homestate. I mean, I don’t blame them, but still.

  • April 13, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Ugh, Alamo Drafthouse, that niche theater that caters to the pretentious hipster crowds.

    No thanks

    • April 13, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      The theater will most likely be darkened. No need to look at them.

      • April 13, 2016 at 10:44 pm

        Even then, it’s the vibe of the place and the smug attitude of the employees there that turns me off from visiting them (and I would know about this; I lived in Austin, TX and visited the place once a long time ago for a friend’s independent film premiere).

        • April 14, 2016 at 2:39 pm

          Honestly, it sounds like a really odd place to show Star Wars. I’m guessing that because it’s a niche theater that it’s smaller. Star Wars is likely to have a pretty big draw. Can this place accommodate that?

      • April 14, 2016 at 3:55 am

        But that fat, ginger tool – you’ll have to SMELL him.

        • April 14, 2016 at 2:37 pm

          That’s why clothespins were invented.

    • April 14, 2016 at 3:40 am

      Hipsters drink PBR…I don’t remember Alamo selling PBR lol

      • April 14, 2016 at 3:56 am

        True, that’s hipsters’ choice of beer but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other hipster beers out there, nor that AD wouldn’t serve said other kinds of hipster beers

  • April 13, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    I cared for those 1997 versions. Vaders voice was more impressive in them then in newest editions, not to mention that some of the cgi actually made sense (Falcon taking up from Mos Eisley, X-wings flying threw the atmosphere to the final attack on Death Star etc). The original 1977’s episode in comparison looked just weaker (for me).

    • April 13, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      and ANH Jabba, do you care for him too? 🙂

      • April 15, 2016 at 5:10 am


  • April 13, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    yes, philadelphia!! excited for this. i’ve always wanted to see the OT in theaters.

  • April 13, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    It’s a shame there are no dates up here in The Great White North. Good memories lining up for the SE’s in ’97. “Tweaks” that shall always perplex me: Han not shooting first (duh), CGI Jabba v1.0, Luke telling Artoo “you’re lucky you got out of there” versus “you’re lucky you don’t taste very good”, Luke yelling as he falls in Bespin, “Jedi Rocks” versus “Lapti Nek”, and “Victory Celebration” versus “Ewok Celebration” (aka, “Yub Nub”). Aside from those I welcomed the SEs. But the later replacement of ghost Sebastian Shaw with ghost Hayden was just nucking futs…

    • April 13, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      Yeah, that ghost change isn’t going anywhere.

      Case in point: ROTJ ghost Anakin from the official SW app

    • April 15, 2016 at 5:09 am

      The R2/Luke thing I’m pretty sure has existed since 1980 – the 35mm mix vs the 70mm mix. And yes, I’ll say it, one of only two changes I actually liked? “Victory Celebration”.

      • April 16, 2016 at 7:32 am

        I agree. It brings more weight and emotion to that scene in my opinion.

  • April 13, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Milk it Disney, MILK IT !!

    • April 13, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      Right? If only Lucas never sold the franchise. He never milked it.

  • April 13, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Is that the one with the funny cartoon Jabba??

  • April 13, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    That’s still my favorite SW trailer of all time but I already seen the SE nearly 20 years ago. Now if these were the original prints or maybe even the 3D versions they been promising for over a decade now then I’d be first in line.

    • April 14, 2016 at 1:04 am

      Eh, I prefer the one on the 1995 VHS release. That one just screams Star Wars to me.

      • April 14, 2016 at 4:42 am

        I should have said theatrical trailer as that one was only shown on TV but otherwise I agree and I admit the special defects take away a little bit from this one. I kind of want to see a PT one done in the same style, Won’t be as great but would bring back some memories. I can’t say I love all the episodes but I had good experiences watching them all in their original run.

  • April 13, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    For those of you that keep complaining about the SE:

    Get over it! It’s been 19 years now since the first iteration came out. They’re not going anywhere and the unaltered versions don’t seem to be getting released anytime in the near future (if ever).

    If you feel that strongly about it, stick to your VHS tapes before the 1997 version or the Harmy, Adywan, or whatever version is being bootlegged nowadays.

    Lastly, I leave you all this. A picture of the back of the last VHS release of the OT before the 1997 SE with an informative message (though a lot of Gen-X purists seem to have forgottened or ignored).

    • April 13, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      So we shouldn’t be angry over the fact that we keep being given only one version of the film that many of us don’t like? Both versions should be available.
      Also, being told about it in 1995 doesn’t change our feelings on it.

      • April 14, 2016 at 3:52 am

        No, it doesn’t, but at least you were told about it and were essentially not blindsided completely by it.

        • April 14, 2016 at 7:10 am

          Doesn’t mean we have to like it OR support it financially.

      • April 13, 2016 at 11:54 pm

        But it is in poor quality (for DVD) and isn’t even anamorphic, requiring me to zoom in with my TV to watch it without pointless, extra letterboxing.

        • April 14, 2016 at 12:04 am

          Agreed. But at least it exists. Given The Maker’s legendary disdain towards his ex-wife Marcia and how releasing un-altered versions of the OT would mean acknowledging her invaluable contribution I resign to admit the SEs are here to stay.

          • April 14, 2016 at 12:59 am

            But Lucas has no say in the matter any more.

          • April 14, 2016 at 1:51 am

            Perhaps there is a small glimmer of hope for the Mouse House to release proper pre OT SE digital versions of Empire and Jedi. Fox perpetually owns physical and digital rights to ANH and still owns physical rights to V and VI for 4 more years . Meaning, a DVD/BR release of all 3 unaltered and bundled requires corporate glasnost to happen between Disney and Fox. Probably won’t happen until all 9 Episodes can be shilled as a home video box set.

          • April 14, 2016 at 3:54 am

            I don’t think does own the distribution for ANH in perpetuity. In any event though, if Disney comes to Fox and offers them a cut of some release they want to throw together, for zero cost to themselves, Fox is going to take THAT deal rather than..nothing. For Disney’s side, they’re sitting on 6 films they really reaaaaaaaly want to milk – they’ll bite the bullet and play nice with Fox.
            As far as unaltered releases, I really don’t think there’s any option for Disney BUT to do so. The SEs were created in 1080p, the masters were scanned at 1080p. They were barely suitable for DVD, if we’re being honest, unsuitable for BD, and if Disney EVER wants to sell these movies again to the home market, they NEED new masters that will hold 4k resolution and whatever future formats are coming up in the next decade or so. Their options are, regardless, do a new restoration of the negs and a proper, modern scan to create a new master and then 1) Spend a bunch of time and money to recreate the SE shots at a higher resolution, pissing off the die hards and getting a big shrug from everyone else except for Lucas, who may not even care if rumors about the SE primarily being a tool to avoid paying Marcia any more than he had to after she left him are true or 2) NOT recreate the SE shots and just release the original films, saving money, delighting the die-hards, and really not affecting anyone else in any way. If I’m Disney, guess which way I’m going with that?

          • April 14, 2016 at 5:25 am

            Actually, Fox does own A New Hope in perpetuity. There’s a reason that it was the only digital release to keep the fanfare. And 1080p was barely good enough for DVD and not good enough for Blu-Ray? What?

          • April 15, 2016 at 5:06 am

            First, I was pretty sure it’s distribution, not ownership of the film. Second, how is that confusing? The MASTERS are 1080p. Not only that, they were scanned on early to mid ’90s hardware – twenty year old scanners at this point. Taking a master and encoding it to whatever output format you need means you inevitably loose fidelity (unless you’re encoding lossless, but that’s not really applicable here). It could have been worse, I suppose (I dunno, master at 480p?), but really not ideal as a source. Taking that same master and encoding for BD just means the limitation of the source become more apparent at higher resolutions of the output destination format. These films need a new master done from the negs, at least at 2k, preferably 4k or higher (you can always toss resolution away if you don’t need it, you can’t add it back in if you do for some future release). They ALSO badly need someone to colour time them to something approaching the theatrical presentation rather than some shitty early-2000’s notion of punchy video.

          • April 16, 2016 at 7:32 am

            I totally agree. Hopefully Lucas didn’t destroy the original negatives when he made the SEs like the rumors say.

          • April 14, 2016 at 2:08 am

            Perhaps no continued say, but I’m am 99.9999% positive he placed it in his contract when he sold it to Disney. Im betting that’s also the reason they are releasing the 1997 version in theaters and not the original, which would net them more money I’m sure.

          • April 15, 2016 at 3:20 am

            Unless he put it in his contract.

    • April 14, 2016 at 7:07 am

      People won’t stop complaining, Marsha. (Something which you, ironically, do all the time)

      Lucas f**ked up his own movies, and people want them unf**ked. And having some shitty VHS doesn’t count.

    • April 14, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      Amy, those Original versions is what made people get into Starwars and thats why we still get these movies (or are at least a big part of the reason why we get these movies). I do understand where you could come from, but there is a reason people want those originals. Maybe not all, but a lot of people grew up with something that was simply better then what the SE are.

  • April 14, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Could they plz rerender that Jabba the Hutt. They must have used the same designer as they used for the first Ep1 Yoda (although that was a puppet, but puppets get designed as well).

    • April 15, 2016 at 4:56 am

      Nope, Steve ‘Spaz’ Williams – great animator headed up that sequence of shots. While the model was weak, ironically the animation and weight of the first CGI Jabba in that shot is far better than when they re-did it with the TPM digital Jabba.

  • April 14, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Just as my mother going to see Star Wars as a child changed her life, so too did mine when she took me to the 1997 re-release, and we re-lived it when I, now an adult, and she recently suffering a stroke, took her to see The Force Awakens. I envy any parent or child who gets one more chance to see this in theatres; you can say what you want about Star Wars but it’s a life-changing experience that brings people together.

  • April 14, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    yeah lets whats that 1997 jabba again. Cmone Disney 😉 hehehehe

  • April 14, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Special editions? Great. Can’t wait.

    • April 16, 2016 at 7:30 am

      Please be joking.

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