Attention nerds! Get your Jedi costumes out of the wardrobe and knock the dust off that plastic lightsaber; this is not a drill.
Ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens this Christmas, fans can re-watch the entire saga as the first six films in the series will be available to purchase as digital downloads from this Friday (10 April). A number of platforms are currently taking pre-orders – including Google Play, iTunes and Xbox Video – with discounts being offered to viewers who buy all six in a bundle.
This latest release marks, by my estimation, the 1,247th time the original Star Wars trilogy has been repackaged. Although Disney and Lucasfilm have not been specific, it's assumed that the new digital download editions will be George Lucas's latest re-edited versions of the films, meaning fans will have to deal with the unfortunate digital changes made a few years back, like Han shooting second and Hayden Christensen's fiendish-looking appearance as a ghost in Return of the Jedi.
Included in the package will be a numbers of all-new bonus features, including documentaries, deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes snippets. Which is amazing, consider the bevy of extras featured on the DVD releases a few years ago.
“Since the debut of the first film nearly 40 years ago, Star Wars has become a worldwide phenomenon with legions of fans from every generation,” said Alan Bergman, President of Walt Disney Studios, in a statement. “It’s only fitting that audiences enjoy this legendary saga and its many fascinating behind-the-scenes stories on a wide variety of platforms, and we’re very excited to finally bring all six films to Digital HD for the first time.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is due for release on 18 December. A trailer released a few months back almost caused the internet to cave in as fans of the series jammed social networks to post their reactions to the 90-second clip.
The film is the first big-screen, live-action depiction of Lucas's universe since Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) and picks up after the events of the original 1970s-1980s trilogy, with actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford all reprising their roles.
And if you haven't heard of Star Wars, allow The Thick of It's Malcolm Tucker to explain.