Noah Robischon
February 20, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

If you feel a disturbance in the Force, there’s good reason: After years of anticipation, the classic Star Wars Trilogy will be released on DVD Sept. 21 — quite a shift from the original plan to hit stores after Star Wars: Episode III’s arrival in theaters next year. This comes in the wake of other news from the Empire:

— Recently leaked behind-the-scenes footage from Episode III gave a glimpse of Darth Vader in his ”Luke, I am your father” getup. Back in black? All right!

— The Cartoon Network’s George Lucas-sanctioned Clone Wars shorts will introduce a villain who’ll also appear in Episode III. Look for it in Clone Wars’ Episode 20, coming up.

The four-disc Star Wars DVD set will comprise the 1997 special-edition versions (now on VHS), and will rename the original 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. (After all, the latest films are prequels.) And if the $50 million-earning DVD release of another retro set, The Adventures of Indiana Jones, is any indication, the Trilogy will be an earnings force to be reckoned with.

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