It looks like the Library of Congress is our only hope

There are a number of issues that must be resolved before Disney can release the theatrical version of Star Wars. First, Fox still holds distribution rights to 6 films through 2019. The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and the other three revert to Disney in 2020, but Fox will control A New Hope in perpetuity.

It does not seem there are few 35mm negatives left that Disney could use to restore the film. The National Film Registry does not even have copy.

But fans aren’t the only ones who want Lucas to release the original. Curators at the National Film Registry picked the 1977 version of Star Wars to preserve for history’s sake, but they still don’t have a copy in the registry. When they asked for a copy, Lucas refused, saying that he would no longer authorize the release of the original version. The Library of Congress does have a 35mm print of Star Wars, one that was filed in 1978 as part of the movie’s copyright deposit, but the registry, where films are meant to be preserved for history, is still without one.

It looks like the Library of Congress is our only hope.