More than 16,000 Star Wars fans have signed a petition calling for George Lucas to release a four-hour cut of his prequel trilogy movie Revenge of the Sith.
The petition, started by Change.org user Fraser Beitzel, asserted that releasing the “original” four-hour cut of the 2005 film would give the fans what is “rightfully ours”.
The version of Revenge of the Sith ultimately released in cinemas — to a box office haul of $868m (£703m) and mixed critical reviews — was 140 minutes long.
Read more: How well do you know Revenge of the Sith?
Fans, however, are calling for the release of the original, four-hour cut — with its existence seemingly based on a claim made on the movie’s IMDb trivia page.
Numerous scenes are known to have been cut from Revenge of the Sith during the editing process, including a group of senators — featuring Padme Amidala, Bail Organa and Mon Mothma — working against Emperor Palpatine and a sequence featuring Yoda’s arrival in exile on Dagobah.
The petition reads, in part: “We think that George Lucas should do the right thing and give the fans what we deserve and what is rightfully ours.
“We love democracy, and we hope he does too. By signing this you are letting your voices be heard.
“If this petition does go viral, then we will have unlimited power and if George does the right thing then he would be strong and wise and we would all be very proud of him.”
This new petition comes in the wake of the success of a fan campaign to secure the release of Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League, in opposition to the version completed by Joss Whedon that Warner Bros unveiled in 2017.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is now set to be released on streaming service HBO Max in 2021, following a spend of around $30m (£24m) to complete the movie.
Read more: Snyder unveils first look at Darkseid
In the wake of the success of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign, fan groups have also sought to secure the release of David Ayer’s cut of Suicide Squad and Josh Trank’s edit of Fantastic Four.
Ayer has backed the campaign, saying his cut would be “easy to complete” and would serve as a “cathartic” experience for him.
Trank, on the other hand, has gone in the other direction, with the Capone filmmaker telling one fan on Twitter there is “no need” for them to mount a campaign in favour of his cut.