Don't Expect To See Star Wars On Blu-Ray Anytime Soon...

star wars Blu-rayYesterday at a Panasonic Blu-ray lunch, 20th Century Fox Managing Director Chris Dunn explained the process of selecting which movies from the back-catalogue are selected for Blu-ray glory, as well as hinting that it may be a while before we see the Star Wars movies on the format.

At the moment, all the successful Blu-ray movies are either action, thrillers or science fiction films, which is largely to do with the type of people buying Blu-ray hardware – early adopting geeks. But as time goes on and more households discover the benefits of Blu-ray, the back-catalogue will expand not only with movie selections, but also types of movies.

In order to select which movies make it to Blu-ray from the archives, firstly the studios gauge demand for the title. From there, they need to see if it's actually possible to do – the studios don't just take an old film and slap it on a Blu-ray disc. They remaster it so that it looks better than it ever has before. If the original film has been lost or damaged, it might not be possible to release the film on Blu-ray.

Then they need to get the rights. And some directors or producers may not be willing to give those up so quickly.

When asked specifically about when we can expect to see Star Wars on Blu-ray, Chris' response was that I'd need to ask George Lucas. But he did point out some lessons from the release of the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD. That release happened very late in the DVD format's lifecycle, at a point where DVDs were pretty much ubiquitous. Although he didn't in any way state that this was the case, it was pretty obvious that we can only expect the Star Wars films on Blu-ray when the format has a similarly high user base, so that Mr. Lucas can benefit from more than just nerds who want to see Leia's golden bikini in High Def...

In other words, we'll probably be waiting a while...

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