Star Wars Blu-ray hands-on

Rarely have we been so excited about three 30-second video clips as we were at the Digital Entertainment Group Europe event held in Disney's offices last night. For the first time on UK soil, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment played actual footage of the forthcoming Blu-ray editions of the Star Wars movies.

Admittedly, we didn't see much. And because of its exclusivity and sensitivity, we weren't allowed to take photographs or video footage of the screen itself (just wide shots). But what we did see was enough to get us as excited as a 7-year-old given his first Darth Vader costume on Christmas morning.

The first two clips we saw were from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (featuring Yoda and some clone troopers flying over the battlefield during the Battle of Geonosis), and the Obi-Wan Kenobi / Anakin Skywalker final fight in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Obviously, as both movies were filmed and stored digitally, they look absolutely perfect - taking full advantage of the crispness afforded by the 1080p resolution of Blu-ray. It depends on the TV's calibration, but on the new Panasonic plasma at the DEGE event the colourfields of both scenes offered, perhaps, the greatest initial impact.

Whatever your thoughts on the content of the prequel trilogy, it is unlikely that you will ever have seen them look more vibrant (and we include HD runs on TV and, even, a majority of cinema presentations).

The pièce de résistance, however, came with the clip from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Taken from the opening sequence of the Special Edition version of the movie (where the Star Destroyer engulfs Princess Leia's starship), the moment when you first see C3PO in full 1080p is stunning. His golden shell gleams with such fine detail and shine that you'd swear the movie was made this year rather than 1977.

In short, from our fleeting but much welcomed previews, Lucasfilm has done an awesome job with the Blu-ray transfer. 12 September is rapidly becoming a landmark date.

We'll bring you more on the Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray as its release day approaches.

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What do you think? Are you as excited about the forthcoming Star Wars Blu-ray box sets as we are? Let us know in the comments below...