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A Galaxy of Bootlegs:
A Look at Pirate Star Wars DVDs

Well... we all know that the Star Wars films are in production for DVD, at least according to Lucasfilm. And we know that they've all been released on laserdisc previously. DVD fans are dying to have these films on their favorite format. But while they wait for authorized copies, they ARE getting them on DVD... bootleg DVD that is. After seeing a bootleg copy of Episode I recently (and seeing so many different bootleg covers online), I got to wondering just how many pirated versions of these films there were. So I started investigating... and the result surprised even me. As of last count, I've seen no less than ELEVEN different DVD bootlegs of the various Star Wars films, all made by digital pirates in Asia. I don't believe, by any means, that that's all that there are. And many of these discs are mastered from the authorized laserdisc editions, so they have fairly good picture quality and even Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

What follows is a look at the discs we've found. This is not to be considered akin with our normal DVD reviews. Let me make this perfectly clear - we don't condone these discs in any way. But the sad fact is that a LOT of people are buying them. They're available on Ebay and at a slew of websites online. All it takes is a good search engine and some patience to find them. That being the case, we think people need to know what they're getting into. While some of these discs are of fair quality, some of them are downright awful. And you're gonna pay $20 and up per disc. So, in the spirit of Caveat Emptor... here's a closer look. You'll find scans of the covers of these discs in a separate gallery below. We did that, because the cover doesn't in any way indicate which physical disc you're getting. We got several with the same cover, and never twice got the same disc. To look at the actual discs, all you need to do is click on a "version" listing below the name of the Star Wars film of your choice.

Bootleg DVD Cover Gallery

Star Wars Bootlegs

Version A
Version B
Version C

The Empire Strikes Back Bootlegs

Version A
Version B

Return of the Jedi Bootlegs

Version A
Version B
Version C

Episode I: The Phantom Menace Bootlegs

Version A
Version B
Version C

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