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'Star Wars' jumps to Blu-ray: Finally, deleted scenes from the original trilogy!

I feel a great disturbance in the Force. The kind of feeling I get when asked to shell out for new Star Wars reissues. But you’d have to be as tight-fisted as a Toydarian not to get excited about the Star Wars Blu-ray box sets (out Sept. 16). Today, in honor of Star Wars Day (“May the Fourth Be With You!”), Lucasfilm finally released closely-guarded details about the saga’s jump to Hi Def, including the new Blu-ray cover art. You can choose to buy all six films in one nine-disc set, or the two trilogies separately. You can check out larger images of the box art below:

Though the nine-disc brick boasts 40 hours of special features, a lot is rehashed from previous DVD editions, including the original audio commentaries from George Lucas & Co. (There are new commentaries featuring archival interviews with the cast and crew.) Others seem practically redundant, like a 91 minute documentary on Star Wars spoofs – I’d rather pick up power converters at Toshi Station than have to watch “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “American Pie”/Phantom Menace mashup “The Saga Begins” again.

That said, fans would brave the frozen wastes of Hoth to check out “A Conversation with the Masters: The Empire Strikes Back 30 Years Later,” a half-hour documentary shot last year that reunites Lucas, director Irvin Kershner (who died last November), screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, and composer John Williams as they reminisce about the most beloved installment.

But the real reason to pick up the set, aside from the chance to see Salacious Crumb in HD, is the collection of deleted, alternate, and extended scenes from the Original Trilogy, most of which have been completely unavailable to fans. One, an alternate opening to Return of the Jedi showing a brooding Luke Skywalker finishing his lightsaber in a Tatooine cave, screened at Orlando’s Celebration V last August. Another is rumored to be the five minutes or so that initially ran near the beginning of A New Hope, showing more of Luke Skywalker’s home life on Tatooine.

Padawan readers, are you planning to open your purse strings for Star Wars on Blu-ray? And, if so, what’s the draw? Some of these never-before-seen Original Trilogy moments? Or the chance to ogle Princess Leia’s bikini attire in HD?

Originally posted May 4 2011 — 7:55 PM EDT

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