A long time ago (well, almost nine years ago) in a country not too far away, 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm Ltd. (LFL) released the six existing films of the Star Wars saga in the high-definition (HD) Blu-ray disc (BD) format for the first time in several iterations of box sets.
The centerpiece of the first wave of Star Wars BDs was the nine-disc Star Wars: The Complete Saga box set, which hit store shelves or was shipped to customers who preordered it via Amazon and other online stores on September 16, 2011. This box set was pricey (its original manufacturer suggested retail price, or MSRP, was $139.99, but I paid less than that on Amazon; I believe my set lightened my wallet by $89.99), but it featured the then-complete Star Wars saga (Episodes I-VI) and a Star Destroyer’s hold worth of extras in nine discs.
Fox and Lucasfilm also released separate box sets for the Prequel and Original Trilogies, but even though I tend to be a completist when it comes to Star Wars home media releases, I passed on those. At the time, I was up to my forehead with stressful situations and lots of homeowner’s expenses as a result of my mother’s final illness, so I never even gave any thought to buying them anyway.
I love the design of the original 2011 Star Wars: The Complete Saga DigiBook, especially the juxtaposition of the two Skywalker protagonists of the first two Star Wars trilogies on the cover art by Drew Struzan. I also like the engineering and artwork for the “pages” that hold the discs and protect them from dust, dirt, hair and other contaminants that will cause pixelation during playback.
I’m not sure why I decided to spend $79.99 in 2015 to buy the “Darth Vader” reissue of what was then still called Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Perhaps I wanted a backup to my original 2011 set in case one or more discs were lost, damaged, or even destroyed, I’ve had the unpleasant experience of replacing several BDs due to accidental damage, most notably in 2013, when I had to get a new copy of Superman: The Movie because it somehow got scratched and could not be played.
When I ordered the 2015 reissue of Star Wars: The Complete Saga, I reviewed it on the now defunct website Examiner, where I had this to say as the Miami Blu-ray & DVD Examiner:
Fox’s success with this reissue may baffle those fans who demanded – without much luck – that George Lucas would include the pre-Special Edition versions of the original trilogy along with the enhanced “official editions.” To be sure, some of the changes Lucasfilm added to the films – including previously unseen rocks in front of the cave where R2-D2 hides during the Sandpeople attack in A New Hope – are baffling and unnecessary, and many viewers have noted that there are flaws in the color palette.
Nevertheless, Star Wars: The Complete Saga is still a worthy addition to any home video library. True, most fans who already have the 2011 box set don’t need the 2015 re-issue unless they want a backup set. However, new fans who are learning about that galaxy far, far away via J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens will probably love this set. It contains the complete heroes’ journey taken by both Anakin and Luke Skywalker in Episodes I-VI, and the bonus features showcase the creative effort that went into the making of the original Star Wars saga. (From a 2016 review for Examiner, which I subsequently posted on my original A Certain Point of View blog)
Then, of course, we come to the latest addition to my Star Wars Blu-ray box set collection. This is Buena Vista Home Entertainment (the home media distributor of The Walt Disney Company) and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, a 27-disc collector’s edition box set that presents the nine Episodes that comprise the Prequel, Original, and Sequel Trilogies in two Blu-ray formats:
- Star Wars Episodes I-IX in 4K ultra-high definition (UHD)
- Star Wars Episodes I-IX in 1080p high definition (HD)
- Bonus discs for each film, nine in all, in 1080p high definition
I have already reviewed Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga here in A Certain Point of View, Too, so I won’t repeat my thoughts on this massive box set. If you missed reading my write-up about the pricey (with a MSRP of $249.99 plus sales taxes), you can check it out here: Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Best Buy Exclusive review.
As you can see, Dear Reader, I have a decent collection of Star Wars Blu-ray box sets. It’s not complete; I deliberately skipped the separate Trilogy sets, as well as the 2012 Blu-ray/DVD combo box sets that Fox and Lucasfilm offered between the two Complete Saga editions. However, I am happy with what I have, and I am looking forward to trying out my 4K UHD discs on the happy day that my new TV and Blu-ray player combo are finally set up.
That, in the immortal words of Lord Darth Vader, will be a day long remembered.