Star Wars: Revisionist History
George Lucas is a bastard! I’ve read this so many times now that it must be true. In case you haven’t heard, Lucas has taken creative license on HIS movies and altered them. 20 years after they were released. In 1997 he released Star Wars: Special Edition, which featured a number of “questionable” changes to the original trilogy. Again in 2004 when he released the trilogy on DVD he included said changes and even made more. Geeks throughout the universe have been up in arms ever since.
It seems the biggest complaint to the Special Edition Star Wars Trilogy is that people miss the old ones. They feel they’ve been robbed of nostalgia. Nostalgia is a powerful and cherished feeling and to lose it on something as popular and sacred as the “Holy Trilogy” is… well, sacrilege.
I’m 99% sure Lucas will release the unaltered original trilogy in the next 5 years. I’ve read posts by ILM employees on Amazon.com that have said this much. The demand is simply too great for ol’ Georgie-boy to not release them in their original form.
As for the changes, I must say that I support most of them. Obviously there are a couple that are horrible and downright blasphemous. I too feel robbed of nostalgia by the changes, but understand where Lucas is coming from. It’s his universe anyway. I’d probably buy both the Special Editions and unaltered trilogy when made available.
Obviously I support the enhanced sound and picture, as most anyone would. And I appreciate that this is Lucas’ vision. You have to trust him. To quote a line from LOST, “Everyone wants him to lead until he makes a decision that people don’t like.” He is trying to tie the first episodes IV-VI together better with the newer episodes I-III, which is pretty cool. And I believe necessary.
Here are my issues:
Greedo shooting first: Horrible, COMPLETELY changes Han’s character. This is blasphemy. Should be changed back.
Jabba scene in A New Hope: Not only is it unnecessary, but it really looked bad in the 1997 Special Editions. I haven’t seen the dvd version and hear it looks better. Storywise, If Jabba was there already, what was the point of Greedo in the previous scene? The dialogue is almost identical. Probably better taken back out. Besides, all of the talk about this Jabba the Hut builds tension before you actually seen him in Jedi. The payoff is better after waiting for two movies.
Dumb musical number in Jedi: The old musical number was better. This new one is plain stupid, horrible, terrible, dumb. It is unsuccessful as comedy, which was its purpose. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the original one.
Hayden in Jedi: Again, I haven’t seen this on dvd yet. I guess I could go either way. One of the big complaints I hear is that it doesn’t look right. Like his head is pasted on someone else’s body. I think seeing the older Anakin is just cooler. When you first see him, you aren’t quite sure who it is. Once you do realize its Anakin, you get that warm and cuddly feeling. And where is Qui Gon? He should be in this scene as well.
Those are really my only issues with the changes. The other stuff is good including more shots of Mos Eisley Spaceport and the Cloud City of Bespin. He also added more fighters to the space battles, which make them more exciting.
The new music at the end of Jedi with shots of celebration from other planets including Coruscant: Outstanding! The old Ewok music was silly and didn’t create enough emotion for what was going on. The rebels defeated the Empire! Love these included scenes. There’s an entire galaxy out there. This was great and frankly I hope he adds more. The new music is huge.
I’d also like a mention of Padme’ at least once in the original trilogy. Is that too much to ask? While we’re at it anyway.
@ end geekin’
I don’t feel very good about directors going back and revising their movies. As a film person myself, I can tell you that most of the time, you’re never happy with the completed project. There’s always something else you could do or try. It’s better to just commit it to history and move on to something else. The Star Wars saga is an extenuating circumstance. These changes tie the six movies together better and are for the most part transparent. I think that if he simply releases the original trilogy unaltered, all will be forgiven and everyone will be happy. Give us two versions. Original and Special Edition. Just do it George!