The big news of the day, in case you’ve been a coma for the last hour or so, is that Disney has reportedly been in talks over the past several weeks to purchase most of 21st Century Fox. And sure, normally we’d be cautious about giant, powerful corporations becoming even more giant and powerful, but a healthy dose of speculation about Marvel actually publishing Fantastic Four comics and the FF and X-Men joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe does seem to work wonders for making us forget about the dangers of uncontrolled capitalism.
But another long-standing rumor about how Fox owning movie rights is totally ruining everything has to do with their perpetual ownership of the distribution rights to the original Star Wars. If Disney had full control of the property, might they finally release a restored, high-definition copy of the original trilogy’s theatrical releases, unfettered by George Lucas‘s meddling revamps from the Special Editions?
Well, probably not. Working out a deal with Fox to distribute the original Star Wars movies hasn’t been an issue so far for Disney, and there’s no reason to believe that Fox would have any problem with working out such a deal with them for an official despecialized edition. The real question is whether Disney believes it’s worth the money to restore the original films when Star Wars fans will continue to buy the altered versions anyway, no matter how much they complain about it on the internet.
The answer to that question, so far, has been that it’s not worth it. It might be worth it one day, once Disney has sold all the Blu-ray box sets of the altered editions they’re likely to sell and are ready to force people to buy the movies all over again. But whether or not Fox is involved at that point will likely have nothing to do with the decision.
In short, for the foreseeable future, Han and Greedo will continue to have both shot at the same time.