The first installment of the six part Star Wars film series was released in 1977. Twenty five years later, in September 2004, the DVD's of the first trilogy ( Episode IV: A New Hope, EpisodeV, The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI, and Return of the Jedi) were released. These DVD's were not comprised of the "classic" film trilogy, but rather the "Special Edition" versions that Fox, Lucas Film and George Lucas released in 1997 (which were originally available only on VHS). Fortunately for fans who can never get enough of everything and anything Star Wars related, the DVD set is loaded with extra features. The four disc set includes a bonus disc highlighting an extraordinary documentary and never before seen footage from the making of the films. Each of the films included in the set has been digitally restored and remastered by THX. In addition to significantly enhanced picture quality, the three films are mastered in Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 EX, yielding amazing sound quality. The Star Wars trilogy can also be viewed by the deaf and non-English speaking as it is subtitled in English, French, and Spanish. All of these additions to the original films not only make the DVD's a worthwhile purchase for viewing enjoyment, but also an important addition to any serious film buff's collection.
The DVD release of the original trilogy (Episodes IV, V, and VI) represents a significant marker in the Star Wars franchise. The groundbreaking films have become an industry unto themselves and the DVD's are one more outlet through which to generate more profit. DVD's are the future of all film. The fact that one of the biggest money-making movies of all time is now distributed on DVD, with added special features, validates the importance of the DVD release. The release of films in DVD format allows the audience to watch movies multiple times. The format also introduces an entirely new audience to a film that may have been produced at a much earlier time. The possibilities for film enhancement, viewing pleasure, and portability all contribute to the significance of the DVD as it relate to the Star Wars franchise.