The Star Wars films are set to become more powerful than you can possibly imagine -- by finally arriving on Blu-ray. A bonanza of extras will join the original trilogy Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi with prequels The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
Galactic emperor George Lucas announced that the series will turn to the blue side late in 2011 in a chat with Jon Stewart at official Lucasfilm convention Star Wars Celebration V. The Blu-ray releases will be fatter than a Hutt at an all you can eat buffet, with extras includng documentaries, interviews, behind the scenes footage and previously unseen highlights from the Lucasfilm archives.
We don't know whether Lucas will be able to restrain himself from tinkering while the bonnet is popped on the films. During the major reworking of the original trilogy for the Special Edition release in 1997, Lucas added a number of jarring CGI inserts and notoriously watered down the scene where Han Solo insouciantly shoots villainous bounty hunter Greedo. Although if he could delete Jar-Jar Binks we'd all be much happier.
We do know that one scene deleted from Return of the Jedi will be on the Blu-ray, showing Darth Vader calling to a hooded Luke Skywalker as the young Jedi prepares his spiffy new green lightsaber. The sequence was cut late on, so unusually for a deleted scene has finished effects and music. Unfortunately a fan-filmed video of the clip has been removed from YouTube by Lucasfilm, but we imagine it'll keep popping up there if you search for it.
The arrival of Star Wars could be a major driver to Blu-ray uptake and will no doubt dominate the Christmas shopping of 2011. After that, no doubt we've got the 3D version to look forward to -- Lucas isn't averse to the idea, as James Cameron considers re-working the Terminator films in three dimensions.
For more Star Wars goodness, hyperjump over to our look at the making of the super-cute AT-AT Day Afternoon. You're all clear, kid, now let's Blu-ray this thing and go home.