By Ryan MacDonald
Every time there’s a change made to the original Star Wars trilogy it hurts. And it should because over time we’ve all treated the original trilogy as a person. Think about it, you’ve spent money on it, you’ve spent nights with it, you’ve probably even fantasized about certain parts, but I’m not judging. The point is we’re all emotionally invested in Star Wars and I get it. I get the rage and the calls for boycott, I get it. This man came into your home and got in bed with your woman. And now she’s changed and you can’t look at her the same anymore.
Plain and simple, George Lucas is a home wrecker.
I’m going to take both sides on this, however. On the side of the fans, we’ve been dealt a cascade of disappointments ever since that faceless pipe droid smacked the other droid out of the sky in the
Special Edition of A New Hope. Following that we were given the prequel trilogy and introduced to possibly the second most annoying character in film history, topped only by Jonathan Lipnicki in Jerry Maguire. There’s a list of war crimes I’ll address individually in a bit, but for now, let’s leave it at “cascade of disappointments”
On Lucas’ side of the fight, these are his movies and he can alter them as he sees fit. If we love it or hate it, we can deal with it because if we want it on DVD or Blu Ray so bad we can deal with
whatever changes Lucas wants to make. That’s the only argument I can come up with for him. Seriously, hasn’t this man ever heard of multiple releases?
Ridley Scott only put out 68 versions of Blade Runner, and most of us bought all of them. Peter Jackson and his 11,000 hour edition of Lord of the Rings. It’s not like it’s some secret that we, geeks, nerds, and the casually obsessed will buy as many versions of anything that we love en mass quantities. If there were original theatrical versions, special editions, 2nd edition directors cuts, and final end all be all ultimate versions of Star Wars available the millions upon millions of my saga-loving brethren would indeed buy each and every version available.
It’s not that hard, Han shot first, that Jabba the Hutt scene in A New Hope is the EXACT same scene the Han/Greedo exchange with the exact line delivery from Han. we liked the oil slick under the land speeder, we didn’t need a dewback, we didn’t need more Jawas, droids, or slapsticky comedy there didn’t need to be more rebel fighters in The Battle of Yavin. There really didn’t, it means something SO much more when a small renegade group of freedom fighters goes up against the big bad with so few numbers and wins. And that’s not even half of what was wrong with the special edition of A New Hope.
George Lucas did one thing right. He put out the theatrical editions of the original trilogy on DVD so that we’d have them for when he really went and botched things up. I stand by my sentiment that a sound effect and a line aren’t much to get all ragey about. If you think about it, Vader needs as many speaking parts as possible. Being that he has no face to emote with, we have no way of REALLY knowing what’s going on in his head while the Emporer fries his son in front of him. I know the argument that his body language says everything, but it really doesn’t. He stands there and looks as though he’s zoned out wondering if he left the gas on. Then suddenly, decides that there’s no way he could have natural gas in space, picks up a crusty old man and throws him down an poorly placed chasm in the middle of a throne room. Some of the other changes I feel similarly about. Replacing the puppet Yoda with a CG one in Phantom Menace I get. Even when I was 15 and naive I thought the puppet Yoda looked bad. Making him CG in Phantom Menace makes sense as he’s CG in Episodes 2 and 3 as well. Giving Ewoks eyelids, I get that, there’s a clip on YouTube of
Wicket meeting Leia and eating the cookie she gives him and the blinking was off-putting at first, but you’ve gotta realize these are living creatures and if they don’t blink they’re eyes will get dry and
I don’t think Ewoks have established a CVS on Endor yet.
Backing off the defense here and getting mad about something, I did finally listen to that “sound effect” change. Obi-Wan’s Krayt Dragon call as he approaches the sand people who are ransacking the landspeeder and I have to say, that it’s awful. What was wrong with the siren-like noise he made originally? Maybe it was destroyed over time and couldn’t be salvaged. Maybe someone thought the Jackovasaur from South Park was a much better model to design a wooping call after.
Look, everyone, put down your pitchforks and stop screaming blasphemy in regards to these changes, it’s completely unbecoming of us as civilized geeks. Lucas’ crimes are great and he’s yet to answer for any of them, he still has Greedo shooting first in the Cantina. But the fact of the matter is, this is all we’re going to get. No amount of any of you boycotting the release of the blu-rays with these changes is going to stop it from shipping. It’s all we’re getting, for a long time. Shell out your 90 dollars and enjoy Star Wars in glorious 1080p. Besides, if you’re any kind of fan you own the
theatrical releases on DVD and VHS.
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