The History of George Lucas’s Star Wars Rerelease Cash Grab

LAS VEGAS - MAY 29:  Actress Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia Organa character and actor Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker character from "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" are shown on screen while musicians perform during "Star Wars: In Concert" at the Orleans Arena May 29, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The traveling production features a full symphony orchestra and choir playing music from all six of John Williams' Star Wars scores synchronized with footage from the films displayed on a three-story-tall, HD LED screen.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images Photo: Ethan Miller/2010 Getty Images

Last weekend a newly reformatted 3-D version of Star Wars, Episode I — The Phantom Menace opened in theaters, adding another $22.5 million to the billions that George Lucas's endlessly repackaged space opera franchise has already taken in through its many forms. (3-D versions of the rest of the movies are supposed to be released annually over the next five years.) The history of and rationale behind Lucas's tweaks and highly touted revised editions — whether in theaters, on DVD or Blu-ray — is as twisty as a Princess Leia hair braid. But for all those Jedi fans who want a refresher course on the many ways in which they've spent their money over the years (each time assured that this is the definitive version!), click on to see this history in a form just perfect for Star Wars lore.

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