Harmy’s Despecialized Edition is a fan-created film preservation of the original Star Wars trilogy films: Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). It is a high quality replica of the out-of-print theatrical versions created by a team of Star Wars fans, with the intention of preserving the films, culturally and historically. The project was led by Petr Harmáček, an English teacher from Plzeň, Czech Republic under the online alias Harmy.
The original Star Wars trilogy was created by George Lucas and released theatrically between 1977 and 1983. For the “Special Edition” theatrical re-release of the films in 1997, Lucas introduced noticeable changes to address his dissatisfaction with the original cuts. These included additional scenes and altered dialogue, and new sound-effects and computer-generated imagery. These changes were included in subsequent releases of the films for home viewing. As of 2020 the original theatrical releases are not commercially available, and have never been released in high definition.
The original Star Wars trilogy was released in cinema by 20th Century Fox for Lucasfilm between 1977 and 1983. As the films were released on home media formats such as VHS and DVD, versions were changed that were original films. The first were the “Special Edition” editions of 1997, which changed the films significantly, including adding new scenes and using computer graphics in old scenes. These new releases received mixed criticism in their time. The original films are no longer available from official sources, so the only Star Wars films still sold are the editions that have been reworked.