Star Wars Getting Re-Edited Again? Good!

George Lucas didn’t rape my childhood. With all the furor and outrage over even more changes being made to the Star Wars movies for the Blu-ray editions, I know that I’m supposed to get all upset again that the movies are being taken even further away from the originals, but… I just can’t be bothered. No, even worse than that: I’m not sure I fully understand why people are getting upset about it.

The latest changes, in particular, are pretty ridiculous to get bothered by: Some rocks have been CGI-ed in front of R2D2! There are more TIE fighters in a space battle! Obi-Wan is making a different unintelligible noise to scare off the sand people! So what? None of these things really change any of the actual story or performances from the movies. I can understand people getting upset about whether Han or Greedo shoots first, because that does change a character moment (Not to mention establish that Greedo is a very, very bad shot), but everything else…? They’re really, really cosmetic changes. To get upset about them, I think, suggests a “can’t see the forest for the trees” mentality a little bit.

After all, which is more important: The experience of watching the movie, or the movie remaining exactly as it did when you initially saw it? There’s been a certain fetishization of the Star Wars movies in their original forms, as if the original trilogy was somehow perfect when it was first released and somehow holy and unchangeable – and that’s very definitely not the case. Yes, the movies were a lot of fun, and yes, the slight shabbiness of certain things within the movies is definitely part of the charm, but… What really makes the movie work is the central story and the performances of the main actors, and both those things survive any and all amount of re-edits and special effects upgrades. Every time I see people complain about the movies being “ruined” with all the tinkering, I always wonder whether or not it was actually the movie they loved, or a very specific idea of the movie that they want to impose upon the world.

The odd thing is, in some perverse way, I think that it’s good that Lucas keeps changing things up. There’s something oddly reassuring about the fact that he keeps on trying to “improve” the movies, bring them closer to some platonic ideal of Star Wars that he keeps in his head, for me; some weird “He cares! It’s not just something that he walked away from when he was rich!” Does that make sense? It would have been easy enough for him to just release DVDs, BluRays and whatever and keep the cash flowing in that way, but he keeps the movies evolving, even though it pisses off the hardcore and cuts off that particular revenue stream (If Lucas was really just being mercenary, he’d release the original versions of the movies on BluRay as well; that he doesn’t says to me that he’s still invested in Star Wars as his story, for better or worse). Even if you don’t like the changes he’s making, surely there’s still something admirable in that…?

I have the feeling that I am, surprisingly even to myself, in favor of all the edits and special editions and redos, when it comes to Star Wars. I may not be that invested in seeing them, and I may wish that Lucas would just make a new movie instead of tinkering with his old ones, but… I don’t know. Despite myself, I like the idea of Lucas obsessed with “perfecting” his movies, even if the audience wants him to move on. There’s something in that that speaks to the idea of his being an “artist,” instead of a hack.

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Comments

  • Wildstorm

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • Anonymous

    Adding more ships, or changing the language of the readout on the tractor beam control are not changes of major significance, and I don’t know anyone who finds them any more than an annoyance.  The whole “Han Shot First” debacle is another story entirely.  That’s an actual and definite change to a plot point, and as you say, an absolute softening of Han’s character.  It’s changes from a cold hearted smuggler to an Only defending Himself smuggler, which makes his move to Hero less of a trip.

    The other changes are window dressing, intended to drag that much more cash out of us for another technology level.  It softens the blow, ever so slightly, to the pocketbook.

  • Ryan

    I haven’t really heard people complain about things like the FX getting changed. Adding in a character yelling where a character used to not yell changes their performance, which is why people are getting upset.

  • Joblo

    the sound Obi wan now makes is akin to hearing someone getting raped in a tunnel, it is a horrible sound effect that did not need to be changed…

    nuff said

  • Redem10

    You know its a strange feeling when you kinda agree with Graeme but it happen

  • TheCommander

    Jesus Christ Graeme, did you somehow miss what all the fuss was actually about? Are you that dense? Given some of the tripe you write, I guess that’s a rhetorical question. No one gives a shit about the TIE fighters or rocks. They do give a shit about yet another character assassination, this time to Darth Vader, who has already suffered enough in the godawful prequel movies.

    And to kick more sand in the face of the fans, Lucas edits in something to the originals that everyone mocks and hates from the prequels, that being Vader’s so-corny-it-was-funny-and-sad-at-the-same-time “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

    Do a little investigation before writing next time.

  • Bob

    Slay them straw men, Graeme!
    How hackneyed is it to write about fan outrage, and then omit from your writing the one thing that’s causing the outrage (Vader’s Homer Simpson-esque “Nooooooooo!’ one of the most cringe-inducing prequel moments, being shoved into the saga’s most important scene) Pretend it’s all about CGI rocks if that makes you happy, but your intire premise is flawed.

  • Turtletrekker

    I agree that the “changes” in the Blu-Ray” are meaningless. In fact I also feel the the “who shot first” change is as equally meaningless all of the other “changes”, in that it changes absolutely nothing.

    Jesus, people! NO MATTER WHO SHOT FIRST, Han still murdered a sentient in a public place full of witnesses. He then calmly stands up, stares down the crowd, tosses the bartender some coin while apologizing for the mess and calmly strolls out as if it were an everyday occurance. He still cocked and aimed his gun while conversing and blew Greedo without hesitation. And you’re going to tell me that Han is somehow softened just because Greedo gets a shot off? Less badass? Bullshit. What else would Han have to do be badass in that scene? Eat Greedo’s corpse?

    Honestly people who (still!) get upset over something this inconsequential really do take the whole “Star Wars” thing WAAAAY too seriously. And I say that as a Star Wars junkie.

  • Bob

    intire=entire
    oops

  • TheCommander

    Shooting Greedo after having been assaulted is arguably self-defense. Shooting Greedo dead-bang before he even knows what’s coming is something else entirely.

    But I don’t expect an apologist to see something so simple, as the Kool-Aid can affect your better judgement.

  • Darkstream

    If George cuts some scenes of Jar Jar and adds more scenes of Darth Maul, he’d get more of my money.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    On an article that practically screams for fans to be in a murderous rampage, even.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    Edit button could’ve saved you from practically anyone knowing.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    I don’t care because I don’t even like the original trilogy.

  • Darthbryan

    Amen!!!  Absolutely love this article, and you hit the nail on the head.  I’m so sick of all the fanboys complaining…people should just stop watching them and buying them if they really hate them so much.  It’s just the “in thing” to bash George Lucas, and I’m sick of it.  I can’t wait for the Blu Rays to find the new stuff…I grew up with the original movies, and I *do* think of them as almost holy…but I embrace the changes and love the fact that I get new Star Wars with every new release.

  • Darthbryan

    Oh, and for the record, the “Nooooo” fits right in with the rest of the saga…if you watch them closely, almost every major character utters it at some point. It’s time to give up the thought you grew up with that Darth Vader was some kind of robotic bad ass.  He’s a tragic figure, someone who was tricked into the horror of his “more machine than man” existence, and his final realization that it was time to end the Emperor’s reign makes the “Nooo” very fitting.  As was the prequel howl after realizing that everything he gave up was for nothing, becuase Padme was dead.  It was perfect, and those who don’t see that just don’t really understand the story.

  • Adam Garcia

    Agreed.

  • Duskknight45

    Cool.

  • Shadowphax00

    I find it funny that every article I read where the author states he/she has no, or is not invested in the Star Wars movies, is of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with “tinkering” with them. I want to hear the opinion of a TRUE Star Wars fan defending Lucas’ changes. Someone that loves the movies. I may not agree with their opinion, but I can at least respect it. Any other person that writes about this subject should be as silent as Vader is SUPPOSED to be…

  • Gregsolo

    No.  Updating classic movies everyone loves every few years is incredibly lame.  Having the movie remaining exactly as it did when you initially saw it is everything if you enjoy memories and want to relive them whenever possible.  Well there is an exception.  I have some issues with the Wizard of Oz.  I mean that tornado could be MUCH more convincing.  Cooler looking stuff exist in video games after all.  A few takes were kind of weak so they should changed out.  And Toto’s barking wasn’t recorded very well.  Let’s record that again.  Oh and Emerald City.  It’s a cheeeezy painting!  Screw the dead artist who painted that.  CGI this thing so a living tin man, a scarecrow and a talking lion seem more..you know..real.  F-.

  • http://twitter.com/morph1138 Ron

    My only problem with the changes is that George Lucas doesn’t release the originals. Change it all the fuck you want, but at least give people the option of what they can watch. It’s all just so ironic that these changes come from a guy who in 1988 complained about people changing historically important films with things such as the colorization of old b&w films. Now that same guy is flat out changing story elements in movies. I used to love the Star Wars saga but as I get older, and he changes the movie I loved more and more, it’s just not my thing anymore. Will I buy them on Blu-ray? Yes. Will I watch them even a tenth as much as I watched my letterbox VHS set? Not a chance in Hell. It’s still a pretty good movie, it’s just not as good as the one I grew up with.

  • Hasdga

    Wow someone likes the edits and its Graeme McMillan. That should tell you everything you need to know. This guy is troll elite.

  • http://twitter.com/morph1138 Ron

    All the people who don’t understand why people are upset need to stop and think for a moment. If someone reworked or changed a story or film that you are passionate about, how would you feel then?

    Is Lucas screwing his fans? 100% he is. Think about it for a minute, without the original Star Wars (before it was A New Hope, I’m talking when it was just plain old Star Wars) where would he be? The fans who paved the steps up to Skywalker Ranch are the fans who Lucas is taking the most away from. The people who bought the toys. The people who begged their parents to take them again and again. Those are the people he is disrespecting with this.
     
    Don’t forget Star Wars is a movie on many “most-influential of all time” lists, including the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. There it is listed as “Star Wars (1977)”, not “Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977/(1997 Special Edition)/(2007 DVD)/(2011 Blu-Ray)”, and there is a reason for it. Star Wars was the film people loved. Star Wars was the film people cared about. Somewhere along the way Lucas has forgotten what mattered most, and that is the audience. To me it is not only a fuck you to his fans, it is also a fuck you to movie history and all those amazing talents who worked on the incredible sets, models and sfx.

    Fuck me? No George. Fuck you.

  • Lackshmana

    It is straight up bullshit to say that its okay for George Lucas to continually change the Star Wars films when HE TESTIFIED BEFORE CONGRESS THAT IT IS TANTAMOUNT TO A CRIME AGAINST OUR CULTURE TO ALTER FILMS, THUS PREVENTING LATER GENERATIONS FROM SEEING THE ORIGINAL WORK.

    The guy even said that in the end, all the stories belong to the public, which is why its so important that even the original artist can only hold the rights for so long. 

    I could sit here all day typing up reasons why he is a piece of shit, but no one has ever so eloquently eviscerated his every action quite so well as he did himself back before he became an arrogant, jealous, hack.

    And just to be clear about this, the son of a bitch is altering films that HE DID NOT DIRECT. Thus defacing the work created by other people in outright contradiction to his previously stated beliefs.

    With every single bit of due respect, fuck George Lucas.

  • Rene

    I could never understand some fans. Lucas can’t travel in time to actually alter the original movies. He can’t manipulate your memories of the movies either.

    I don’t like remakes and change versions either, but it’s very easy to deal with this. I prefer to enjoy only the classic trilogy. And it’s easy: I just don’t watch the Prequels and I don’t collect any of the clutter that has amassed after Star Wars became an industry unto itself.

    Yes, I wish Lucas had released the original version too, but the one I have here in my shelf is good enough, I can watch it again any time I want, and George Lucas will not sneak into my house to change it further.

  • Rod G.

    Personally I don’t mind Greedo shooting first, as long as Han gets him.

    Any so-called edits, no skin off my nose.

    Lucas owns the Star Wars saga, it’s his prerogative.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the thing. Ultimately Star Wars is George Lucas’s property. As much as we have loved, hated and embraced that mythos over the past 35 years (WoW), its not our franchise. But as long as people keep buying Star Wars products, he will keep doing what he wants to the OG Trilogy.

    So if you really want to stick it to GL, don’t just bitch about how he ‘raped your childhood.’ Don’t by anymore Star Wars products. Simple as that.

  • Mak

    This is like the 3rd blog in about a week’s time frame about George Lucas is Re-Editing Star Wars… I swear If I see another other one I’m going stab myself with a lightsaber at least 3 or for times.

  • Turtletrekker

    Right. As if anyone who doesn’t agree with you 100% is an apologist. Whatever. I’ll drink my “apologist” Kool-Aid and you can drink your “crazed-fan-boy-Lucas-raped-my-childhood-because-Star Wars–is-holy” Kool-Aid, It still doesn’t change the fact that the changes in the Greedo scene do ASOLUTELY NOTHING to change ANYTHING substantial in the movie. The scene is supposed to set-up that Han is a badass with a price on his head. The scene does that perfectly. Han is cold-blooded and ruthless. And even in the original version, Greedo makes it clear that he has no problem crisping Han, so it was just as much self-defense in the original as it is in the SE. Everything else is over-analyzing from obsessed fans with far too much time on their hands.

  • Rashad Doucet

    totally agree!

  • GrungeJedi

    I totally agree and the changes are great! Kudos to Lucas for keeping some “discoloured” lightsabers … why fix everything and lose the charm of old film fx as we remembered it as kids, both the good and bad?

    I don’t understand all the negativity …if you want to fix everything, LFL might as well CGI everything in the OT – CGI yoda, throw out all the spaceship models in favour of CGI, new CGI digital stuntment to replace actors in lightsabers … the list goes on.

    No, this is a great milestone in Star Wars history. Finally Star Wars in HD.

  • Evil_s2003

    So glad that the only thing I grew out of was Star Wars. They way they were originally are they way they should remain. It’s what made them the franchise they are. For whatever reason.

    Lucas is just trying to continue to make money off a dead horse. He has pretty much proven himself to be a one trick pony.

  • Jmcreer

    I agree with Graeme.  Well, it had to happen sometime…

  • Drawingbored1983@yahoo.com

    Dude… You clearly are a ra-tard. Name ONE classics movie that needed redoing….6+ times. None! That’s what makes them classic. When u make a movie… That should be it! The end. Good or bad. I see shit films like cat woman and dbz evolutions that would be better completely redone… But at least the director had balls enough to stick with the final product and say ” let the chips fall where they may”. Call me a fan boy if u want, but I’m not. I’m an intelligent person. And the more Lucas fucks with “his masterpieces” ( I mean everyone else involved in the movies but him), the more he embarrasses himself. And it’s sad he STILL doesn’t see it. Fuck u George! The more you”improve” star wars, the more you discredit yourself and prove you were not the brains behind star wars success.

    -pat!

    (I bet u George will never see this. And if he does, he won’t care. He will have made 500,000 while reading my “da boyish

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4HA324KRMXAUXUURV7D55PENII James

    To me the new Obi-Wan scream works very well.  Anyone would run away from that!

  • Jgjones

    Graeme McMillan —-  hmm cant someone re-do his article every week so they make sense or at least 
    This is a  Graeme McMillan article and he likes the edits…. i think s that says everything…
    Graeme McMillan the idiot savant of the fanboy world.

    CBR can you please  replace this tripe! Get a real writer  how many times do people have to ask—this guy isn’t popular!

  • Jmcreer

    Ali G in ‘da house.  LOL

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    Actually, his editorials probably get more hits than every other article posted on the same day combined. Ad based website + Highly visited page = Very good reason to keep him around.

  • Jmcreer

    This is one article that does make sense.  Just because it doesn’t correspond to your POV doesn’t invalidate it.  If you only want articles that agree with you POV then you need to set up your own website.  However, I hope you have a thick skin ’cause they’ll all probably think you’re a hack as well.

  • Jmcreer

    “This guy is troll elite. ”

    Are you really not seeing what you are doing?  Seriously?

  • Cjorg2

    “Will I buy them on Blu-ray? Yes. Will I watch them even a tenth as much as I watched my letterbox VHS set? Not a chance in Hell.”

    And this is why Lucas makes so much money.  Star Wars fans are so stupid.

    It’s like my brother once said, “I hated The Phantom Menace!  Even the 5th time I saw it, it sucked!”  And he’s got it on DVD.  I love my brother, but when it comes to Star Wars he’s a moron.

  • momaw

    My problem with the scene is the re-edited version just looks stupid.  Greedo misses from 3 feet away.  Yeah right.  I don’t have that much of an issue with it becoming a shootout (and the dialogue supports that conclusion also), it’s just the poor execution.

  • momaw

    Happy for George to do what he wants with the films.  Only request is that he preserve the original as well and give us the option of seeing it and/or his new directors cuts.

    In fact, I think he should release the original unaltered versions with a seemless branching library of all the changes made to date and people can assemble their own ultimate cuts.

    Everyone is happy.

  • Sadfran

    yeah yeah… merci George Lucas de continuer à bousiller notre mémoire cinématographique!!!

  • jgrantt18

    I only care because it’s George Lucas. He’s clearly a hack that got lucky once and then hooked up with the right people (Spielberg and Ford) for a second lotto ticket. He knows that so he just keeps making changes and keeps adding to/changing things in those franchises so he can bleed money out of them because he can’t do anything else to stay relevant.

    Ever notice how the Star Wars movie he had the least to do with is the best one?

  • demoncat_4

    like it or not. George is going to tinker with star wars till he feels he has gotten it to be the saga he always ment it to be . fans can either ecept Lucas will never be satified till he is done tweaking  his legacy of star wars into what he ment it to be or act like Lucas is out to destroy ones love of the saga by his improvements.

  • Wayne

    The main reason of course is that Lucas has given us no reason to think that the changes he makes will actually be improvements to the overall enjoyment of the movie. The ‘Holy Trinity’ are pretty much spot on perfect just as they were filmed. Almost none of the changes made for the special edition releases were worth it. All they did was make the films ‘busier’, not better.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/brianobx brianobx

    In the years following Lucas’s death, I predict that the debate will end. The original versions of the trilogy will produced and all the re-edits will be forgotten.

  • Jeff Kraschinski

    As Leonardo da Vinci adroitly put it, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

    George has echoed this in his own quote “Films are never finished, only released.”

    It’s the mark of any good artist to continually find fault within their work and seek to improve upon it. George is simply going back into his films and trying to bring them closer to the vision in his head as he wrote them, something he’ll likely never actually accomplish.

    The more rapid fans on the other hand, echo Anakin’s tragedy. As Shmi tells him “All things change. You can’t stop the change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” Anakin can’t let go of things he cares about, and never can the militant Star Wars fan.

    I love the Star Wars universe. Saw the original when it first came out at 7 years old. I’ve seen the OT many times in theatres, own both pan and scan and widescreen VHS, Like the prequels for the added depth they give the story, have Episode 1 on VHS and DVD, have all the films on DVD including the original versions of the OT, saw the Special Edition in theatres several times, have more books and comics than I can count. Even a vintage Vader helmet from 1978. I am a serious fan. Even have the Complete Saga Blu-Ray on pre-order. I can even live with Jar Jar… (Hell, I have Seasons 1 and 2 of the Clone Wars CG show on Blu-Ray)

    But I can accept the changes, even ones I don’t exactly think were essential. Rocks in front of R2 make sense, even if they are a bit too large. Vader saying then yelling “No!” as he chucks the Emperor down the shaft sounds slightly off to me in the performance, as if it doesn’t take into account what actions the character is doing, but it makes some sense. Han is still a cool, calm, badass even if Greedo is so inept he misses from 3 feet.

    As an artist myself I know how hard it is to let a piece go and stop tinkering with it. I’m not going to blame George for having the same temptations.

  • Another Ian

    I think my problem with all of the edits is this:  When I watch the original unaltered Star Wars, I watch the movie…when I watch the edited versions, I only see the parts that were added/tweaked/whatever.  So it takes me out of the movie.  For someone that hasn’t seen the movies before, it won’t matter to them at all.  There is a version out there for everyone…just deal with the fact that there aren’t any official Bluray versions of the original originals…just the old and aging VHS tapes.
    I must say though that I like the original songs at Jabba’s palace…and the original song the Ewoks sing…and that Luke doesn’t scream as he is falling down through Cloud City…and Han shoots first…and there’s no dumb scene with Jabba and Han stepping on his tail…and the original Force Ghost of Anakin wasn’t Hayden Christianson…but that is just me.

  • http://squidoo.com/retroblogs Atomic Kommie Comics

    Re-doing elements now, over 35 years later in the case of the first film, alters both the intent and thrust of the movie.
    If you look at the novelization of the first film (by Lucas and Alan Dean Foster from Lucas’ screenplay), many story aspects, including the Emperor, the Fall of the Republic, and the Luke/Leia relationship (you can’t believe they’re brother and sister in the novel or film) are vastly different than what resulted, decades later, in the prequels.
    That’s because Lucas himself is not the same person he was back in 1976.
    He’s changed.  In some ways for the better.  In some ways for the worse.  We all go thru it.  But when we have a mid-life crisis, we don’t have the money to change an entire universe to suit us.  He does.
    Imposing that current, altered, worldview on his earlier works seems…ill-advised.
    It was dumb when his buddy, Steven Spielberg, digitally-removed guns from goverment agents’ hands and replaced them with walkie-talkies in the video release of ET for no real reason except that, years later, he had little kids, and like any overprotective parent, he overreacted.
    It was character-altering when Lucas had Han shoot first, making him less of an opportunistic sleezeball than he was originally-shown to be…by Lucas himself!
    And, it was sad, that, instead of just “cleaning up” the Oscar-winning fx of the first Star Wars, he replaced the Oscar-winning sfx with digital work that, a decade later, looks dated.

  • http://squidoo.com/retroblogs Atomic Kommie Comics

     I’m getting old, it should be “Han shot SECOND”!

  • http://twitter.com/morph1138 Ron

    To say I’m stupid because I won’t watch them as much as I watched my old VHS is both ignorant and narrow-minded. Buying a Blu-Ray set so my kids can watch it and I can watch it once in awhile doesn’t make me stupid. I still enjoy the movie but I prefer the original version.

    Judging from your logic, I guess it’s not just Star Wars fans that are stupid

  • Cjorg2

    The opinion is not ignorant and narrow-minded at all (love how those two get chucked around so much on the internet as well.)  The truth hurts.  Your behaviour is stupid.

    It’s stupid to spend money buying something you obviously don’t like and/or don’t support.  Using your kids as a lame excuse to justify buying the Bluray is just, well, lame.  At the end of the day kids couldn’t care less if they watch Star Wars on Video, DVD (which you can get for a 4th of the price of the Bluray!), or occassionally on the TV when the films air.  You are using your kids to justify the purchase.  How do I know?  I’ve got kids myself and I’ve done it myself (not to buy something I’ve complained about mind you.)  Don’t kid yourself.

    This is typical Star Wars fan mentality, which is also found in the comics fanbase – complain bitterly about something, and then go right out and buy the very same thing you’re complaining about.  This is why the Bluray set will make millions – everyone complains bitterly about it but will still purchase it.  That is the definition of stupidity.

  • Jmcreer

    LOL.

    Sorry, but not long after George Lucas passes away get ready for the remake/ reboot of the franchise.  Trust me, it’s on the way.  It’s undeniable.  It will happen.

    Justin Beiber (or whoever is “Beiber” at that time) will play the role of Luke Skywalker.

  • Jmcreer

    The movies are nowhere near spot on perfect.  I’m a huge Star Wars fan and even I can see that.  The problem with Star Wars is that many fans can only critique them with the child-like eyes in which they first viewed them.  This accounts for much of the outrage here.

    Empire is, I grant you, a near perfect film in terms of the genre.  Although there’s certainly some inconsistencies with the timeframe of the film.  How long did Luke train on Dagobah, and how does that correspond with Han, Chewie, and Leia’s adventures on the asteroid and Cloud City.  That sequence still bugs me.

    Star Wars is basically a B-Grade film, with B-Grade acting (bar Alec Guiness and Peter Cushing) from Mark Hammil (he really is atrocious), B-Grade dialogue, B-Grade direction, but B-Grade special effects.  Star Wars is not generally regarded as an “excellently made film.”  It’s historic because of the way it changed the film industry.  But it is what it is.  As a Star Wars fan, even I can see that. 

    Return of the Jedi is, by and large, a shit film.  Lazy script that echoes and repeats the first film (a second Death Star? Fancy that?), lazy acting from Harrison Ford (phoning it in, not wanting to be there) and Carrie Fisher (so high she should be in Superman 2).  There are cringe-inducing moments in the script – Bob Fett’s death, the clunky “romantic dialogue” between Han and Leia, Han’s general pussy-like behaviour regarding Leia, and lastly Ewoks.  I’ll say it again.  Ewoks.  EWOKS.  Ewoks defeating elite stormtroopers with a variety of spears and booby traps, Ewoks sitting around listening to C3PO recount the first film etc.  The whole sequence involving Ewoks is absolutely atrocious and detracts from the seriousness of the Death Star sequence involving Luke and Darth Vader (which I love). 

    These films are what they are – but they’re certainly nowhere near spot on perfect.  That’s just deluding yourself.

  • Jmcreer

    * meant A-Grade special effects regarding Star Wars : )

  • Jmcreer

    No, young children demand to see things on Bluray now.  Just the other day I was at JB Hi-Fi and this father was telling his 8yr old that he was going to buy “Despicable Me” on DVD for him.  It was only $10!!!
    The kid slapped him in the face and said, “Dad you douchebag!  If it’s not 1080p with dts-HD Master Audio, and doesn’t contain special features exclusive to Bluray then DON’T WASTE MY TIME!!!!”  The father started crying and apologising for his mistake. 
     
    It was pretty scary.  I can see Ron’s point.  : )
     
    “True Story”

  • Kaite

    That’s like, taking a Pablo Picasso and moving the faces around to look like actual faces…. George Lucas ruins art….

  • Cwcomics

    Why doesn’t George Lucas just put out his revamped Star Wars, and the Original Star Wars on Blue-Ray? He’d make twice as much money if not more, since some die hards  would just have to have both versions!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    I feel like I just watched a deleted scene from How I Met Your Mother.

  • Paysonkimmel

    So if Jimmy Page or Paul McCartney decided to ‘update’ Beatles and Led Zeppelin albums to the point of changing lyrics, instrumentation and rhythms, removing some tracks and adding others, while trying to make the original versions inaccessible for legal sale and airplay, that would be cool with you? Or if painters took down their works once in a while to update cars and buildings, or to incorporate new techniques they have learned?  Hey, this shows that they care about their art enough to keep perfecting their work! As you would say, “Good!” 

    In one way, I do see your point. On the other hand, its not the changes that bother me so much as his refusal to re-release the original theatrical pieces, with their bumps and all.

  • Anonymous

    I was bedridden for over a week (mind you I was an adult at the time)
    when my friend got wind of the fact I had never seen a single Star Wars and insisted I watch all of them during that time of sickness.                 http://bit.ly/qnLq5X

  • Wyd2m

    You sound like Jason “Poe Ghostal” Clarke

  • Brian from Canada

    Star Wars isn’t perfect because Lucas was never a good director. By his own admission, he’d have gone to porn if Star Wars had failed, because then nobody would care if the filming techniques were good or not. He just wanted to be “a director.”

    More importantly, the real problem with Star Wars is not that many of the fans see them through the eyes of their childhood. The problem with Star Wars is that fans are sick of Lucas trumpeting that his work is exempt from all the rules that apply to the rest of the cinematic world.EVERYone else treats the released film as the final product — UNLESS the director was overridden by the studio to a point that intention did not match release, at which point those HANDFUL of films (Blade Runner, Touch Of Evil) get a release much later that’s identified as being a SEPARATE interpretation of the original film.

    But not Star Wars. No, for Star Wars the director can REPLACE the established version with a new print that completely alters the dialogue, score and visuals of the original — not to mention replacing performances with those by other actors (Vader’s ghost, Emperor between 5 and 6, etc.).

    And that’s what fans are upset about. They’re upset that it’s being called the same film when it’s not. They’re upset that it’s the THIRD time the original trilogy has been altered as well, all under the guise of “improved technology.” Digital, 1080p is not the ultimate in visual technology: true silver nitrate, the stuff that film was made of ORIGINALLY, is… it’s got resolution that puts the modern stuff to shame if you see an actual silver print.

    Differences between prequels and sequels happen all the time. Films become dated by their effects all the time. But they continue to be celebrated by the sum of their parts and the recognized creativity of those films.

    The only one who doesn’t want that is George Lucas. And Spielberg, doing it in E.T. looked like an idiot — an idiot, he appears to have realized, that needs to never do it again.

  • Joe S. Walker

    The only George Lucas film I ever liked was THX-1138, and the “updates” made to that ruined it utterly. They destroyed the thing that made the film interesting, its quality as a neurotic fantasy of its time.

  • Jmcreer

    No offense, but there are NO RULES whatsoever when it comes to cinema or any type of art/ media.  There are absolutely no constraints whatsoever on what an artist can decide to do, or decide NOT to do with his or her own work. 

    The problem here is that many people have expectations, or a joint “code of conduct” they expect artists to adhere to, and when that doesn’t occur, as in Lucas’s decision to tinker with Star Wars, they get outraged. 

    Fans can like it or lump it, but Lucas can, and should have the right to do whatever he wants to his own creation. And before someone throwns up the “Empire was directed by Irvin Kershner and Return of the Jedi by Richard Marquand so he doesn’t have the right with those films” I think anyone using that argument is fooling themselves into thinking that Lucas had little influence on those films. Marquand himself, on the set of ROTJ stated, “It is rather like trying to direct King Lear – with Shakespeare in the next room!”

    But at the end of the day, it’s not Lucas’s problem or issue.  It’s the issue of the fans who are outraged.  There are no rules, therefore Lucas isn’t breaking any.  He’s just decided not to adhere to what many (not all) believe an artist should or shouldn’t do with THEIR own work. 

  • Mwedmer

    Having Vader Scream or say Nooooo! at the moment before the Emporer kills Luke with Lightning, in no way changes Vader as a character, or the motivation of his character at that moment. It simply verbalizes his feelings to make more apparenthis feelings and the move to his eventual redemption.
    As for Vader’s NOOOOOO! at the end of episode 3 was appropriate to the character at that moment. I mean, what would your reaction be if you awoke from a near death experience to find you had been turned into a cyborg that could no longer look upon the world with your own eyes.
    It may have seemed cheezy to you, but maybe you failed to insert emotional resonance into your view of that scene.

    I agree with the author that the people that get overly worked up about what Lucas does, to HIS films to HIS story need to get over it and focus that energy more positively.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.schmitt#!/ David R. Schmitt

    Disagree. If you can’t see why it’s so unnecessary to keep tinkering with a project, any project let alone a cultural icon Graeme, I’m not sure you’re qualified to comment on it. Nice job in missing the key point that has fans riled up too, that everyone here has already pointed out.

    I’m all for cleaning up a film, maybe tweaking the scenery a little (Cloud City benefited the most from the changes). BUT Lucas goes too far and no one tells him that because they are scared of losing their jobs.

    He adds shit (both visual and audio) that has no reason to be there, he changes moods in scenes, he clutters the film, he replaces actors, he adds unnecessary scenes that changes the pace of the movie. It’s too frakkin’ MUCH! You REALLY can’t see that Graeme? REALLY? Take a course in a film appreciation program it would benefit your opinions and reviews.

    I’m now almost 100% convinced that Lucas had an uncredited co-director/writer for A New Hope because the proof is in the pudding after witnessing the poorly directed/written prequels and these “special editions.”

  • Chuck

    why all the uproar u people will  still buy it anyways you know you will so shut up already1

  • JonAS72

    Lucas didn’t ruin my childhood, my childhood was a happy place of watching one or more of the original trilogy almost every day, and on the days we didn’t do that, we played Star Wars instead, having “lightsaber battles”, or using our action figures and toys. What he did do, however, was tarnish the memory of those movies. I can certainly understand adding more TIE fighters or some rocks, but making Vader go “Noooooooo!” again, when all the fans hated it in the prequel? That just shows a deep lack of respect for his fans. Sure, Star Wars is Lucas’ property, but it also belongs to every Star Wars fanboy and -girl out there. Well, not that Lucas cares, but I’m doing the one thing I can do in this case; I’m not getting the Blu-Ray box, the DVDs will have to do for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1441710897 Mike Grant

    Pass!

  • Christy

    They are George Lucas’ movies and if he wants to change them, that’s fine. My argument is that he should give the public a choice. Release the original theatrical version on bluray, also. I would buy both. I bought the both the theatrical and extended versions of LotR on bluray. It can’t hurt anything – fans are happy and he makes more money. Win win!

  • Clements_01

    I think the original trilogy will forever bug George Lucas to his very core. The prequels were what he truly wanted to make and now there’s a glaring difference in style between the two trilogies which he will never reconcile (unless he outright remakes the originals). Frankly I think the prequels were evidence he never knew what he was doing in the first place and that the franchise should be taken away from him. George Lucas is most definitely…a hack.

  • Jason

    “I always wonder whether or not it was actually the movie they loved, or a very specific idea of the movie that they want to impose upon the world.”

    Yes.  I love the idea that a Sarlaac isn’t a giant pirahna plant from Super Mario Brothers and the world must see it my way!  And R2-D2′s beautiful body must not be obscured by rocks!  Hear me!

    My general distaste for the edit and the prequel trilogy is that Darth Vader used to be such a badass.  But they turned him into a whining pansy.  Of course, that has much to do with the kid that played him in PM and the horrible Hayden Christiansen in the other two. 

  • Wyltk75

    Kids like that need slapped across the face and sent to their room. This story is most likely fabricated anyway.

  • Wyltk75

    I have the original films, on DVD. Lucas didn’t come to my house and take them away…

  • Guest

    Way to play devil’s advocate to shore up hits, internet writer hack. I especially like how you chose to ignore the one thing that’s really making people upset and does change a performance and major moment, Darth Vader shouting “No” at the end of Jedi. Pretty convenient how that undermines your entire argument.

    And he’s not “improving” his own work here—let’s not forget he didn’t direct or write Empire or Jedi—gah! I’ve fallen in to your hackey internet writer hack plot! WHY AM I COMMENTING! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • Guest

    The “the old films still exist” argument is complete BS. VHS tapes will rot and degrade, and once those DVDs with the laser disc prints are gone, so are the pre-special edition versions.

  • Lead_sharp

    If the changes don’t do anything, why bother making them? Lucas is a money grabbing prick and THAT’S what people are pissed off about, not the changes.

    Lucas did indeed rape my childhood but it was the money he made from it that pissed me off.

  • Anonymous

    Star Wars films are a legacy product. Lucas has the right to make whatever “improvements” to them that he sees fit.

    With that said, there isn’t much cosmetic editing that can be done to improve the scripts of the second trilogy of films … and with THAT said, anyone who has watched Return objectively will admit it was at least as bad as Phantom Menace.

  • RunnerX13

    The thing with the edits is, they do not improve the movie is any way.  I’ve yet to see added CGI that flows naturally with the scene.  When does nothing more than take you out of the moments when there’s a dance number in Jaba’s palace, or Tie fights seeming appear on screen out of nowhere.  It’s hard to enjoy the original trilogy, when you constantly see new minor AND MAJOR changes to scenes.  

  • http://twitter.com/american_exile Abe Haynes

    It’s Star Wars, everyone without Hero blood in them misses their shots.

  • http://twitter.com/american_exile Abe Haynes

    I’d be satisfied if they just re-recorded the dialog of Jar Jar to sound less annoying. Maybe throw in some twenty minutes of new Fett footage that makes him actually seem like an awesome bounty hunter. I’ll never understand why he’s so cool. Neither Fett does anything remotely “bad ass”.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, for Pete’s sake, they’re JUST films, people!

  • DirtyD

    The experience of watching the movie is most important because the movie was so effectual when we all initially saw them. Those feelings are long and resilient for us, and now they’re long-suffering. There are innumerable nuances that George Lucas didn’t even know gave his movies distinct character until he decided they weren’t right. George Lucas changing his movies offends me. Changing them again tells me he’s always thought of them as crappy movies. The Remastered versions were perfection. The Special Editions look cheap. Lucas can go only further down the ladder from that point.

  • Hellmersjl

    If only they totally re-edit the child actor in Phantom Menace, that would be progress.  BTW, Han shot first, I don’t care how the try to doctor it to make is seem otherwise.

  • October_1939

    Except the changes to the dramatic, and very memorable scene in Jedi that do change the performances and the delivery of the story. The quiet ressurection of Anakin was always a great, pognant part of the series. Now he starts chanting “No” to suck out all the drama of the scene. 

  • Paul Penna

    I don’t mind the background changes, but having Vader shout ‘no’ or sticking Hayden Christensen at the end of ‘Return of the Jedi’ or replacing the Emperor in ‘Empire Strikes Back’ has nothing to do with bring Star Wars closer to Lucas’ original vision.

    I actually loved the 1997 Special Edition, it’s my favourite version but the later DVD release and now the BluRay are just trying to bring the original trilogy in line with the prequels.

    It takes the movies too far away from what they were for my tastes and I wish Lucas would just release all the versions, as was done with ‘Blade Runner’.

  • Richardcasey

    But a lot of it is unnecessary, the Darth Vader saying “NO!” in Jedi is bloody awful, it just looks/sounds cheap. 

  • Nahums_oracle

    Blah blah blah. How can you take this stance? You obviously do not understand what Star Wars is and what it has done for film and nerds for generations. You don’t ask God to make the holy grail more flashy with sequins because it’s the cup of Christ. Leave it alone! George Lucas is a fool for messing with his movies again. Just wait until he talks Steven into crapping all over the Indiana Jones movies.

  • http://twitter.com/morph1138 Ron

    Actually I am buying them for my kids because up until now I have been watching them on VHS but since I no longer have a working VCR and can only have so many things hooked up to the TV at a time, I’ll be getting it on Blu-Ray so my kids can still watch it. I’m not using that to justify a purchase to myself, I’m doing it because my son loves Star Wars as much as I did when I was a kid. I buy lots of things I don’t like or support for my children. I’ve bought them movies I can’t stand and sat through Hannah Montana / Justin Bieber movies at the theatre because they wanted to see them.

    This is not me having a “typical Star Wars fan mentality”, this is me doing something nice for my kids. If it was just for me I’d still be watching my VHS copies.

  • http://twitter.com/Normal_Nerds Chris Earl

    Agreed. If fans were really so bothered about the original trilogy in it’s original form, then they’d have kept them on VHS like I have. I’ll have both versions. So I can enjoy Han shooting first and a speeder without vaseline hiding the wheels.

  • nik

    I totally agree with this article. 

  • nik

    Yeah, I’m not comfortable with the feelings this brings up inside me.

  • Lead_sharp

    ‘Oh, for Pete’s sake’ Lucas is making millions and millions out of people re-buying THE SAME FUCKING FILMS over and over again. That’s not ‘just films’ that’s a greedy, burnt out, control freak bleeding a franchise dry that people have actually created a religion out of.

    I don’t even like Star Wars any more but it’s cultural impact as well as it’s influence in movie history is undeniable. If the original films were good enough to do as well as they did then why fiddle with them? Polish them up, add deleted scenes and 5.1 them sure that happens a lot but to digitally molest them as much as he did and then present them to his fandom over and over again is not just proving that he’s baron of talent but that he’s taking the piss out of people and not just Star Wars fans but anyone who re-buys the films.

    And if ANYONE presents the prequels as an argument against Lucas being a control freak who couldn’t direct a stream of piss make sure the straps on your special coat are done up really tight when the nurses put you to bed tonight.

  • Anonymous

    Like I said: they’re JUST films. I couldn’t give a rat’s arse what you or others think about these movies, whether they are seen as quasi-religious twaddle or dumb-as-crap wastes of time – all I’m saying is that, to me, they are just simply films. Who cares whether people are stupid enough to buy them over and over again? That’s their problem, not mine. Sigh…

  • Matt Dow

    Boba Fett is the baddest-ass in the galaxy, the sound of his name makes strong men weep…

    …and he gets killed by a blind guy with a stick.

    I never got it either…

  • Anonymous

    Best thing I’ve EVER read on Spin-Off!

  • Zevad
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HRQDHAIBMPN5V3KHKETMZQDZIU Jacob

    “He cares! It’s not just something that he walked away from when he was rich!” 
    if you have watched the prequel trilogy you can see he doesn’t care about star wars and he’s just in it for the money.  90% of the changes he has made are retarded and not needed, cgi yoda in phantom is a good change cuz he looked like crap in that one.  keep in mind that george will contradict anything he has said and does it quite often so when he says he loves star wars think twice.  he owns them so he basically gets all the money son, why do you think he want’s to keep making indy movies???  he get’s i believe 30% of revenue from the films, that being said that skull movie made $786,636,033.  he’s all about the benjamins…just saying.

  • Anonymous

    The saddest part to any satire is how easily it’s lost on so many. 

  • http://twitter.com/Andrewmated Andrew Mathieu

    Amen to this article.

  • Lead_sharp

    You cared enough to make a none comment. Now either your laying out flame bait (chomp chomp chomp) or simply take pleasure in watching people argue because you, like us have fuck all else to do on a Monday night. 

    This thread is a debate, it means something to the people on it, the flamers, the trolls and the geeks all vieing to make their points as valid as possible. So a geek site is not really the venue to stand up and say ‘I don’t care about this’ because it just kinda makes you look like the biggest cock at the orgy. 

  • Lead_sharp

    And as if this needed to be added…

    http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/

  • Franco

    If he was just re-editing to fix effects that looked primitive in the original movies- like removing the outlines from blue-screen footage- then nobody would complain. It’s because he uses the opportunity to make crass changes like Greedo shooting first, or Darth Vader bellowing ‘Noooooo’, that fans get outraged. Han Solo shooting Greedo under the table was not only a classic scene in it’s original form (and nodded to in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Jones shoots a mad swordsman), it introduces us to Han as a rogue and tells us that he can be dangerous. The re-edited scene not only diminishes Han, but it’s clumsy- despite state of the art effects, it looks shoddy and so obviously tacked on. Again, Vader choosing between his son and his master was powerful in it’s silence. Now, Lucas can ‘use new technology to realise my vision’ and dub on a ‘Nooooooo!’ which will no doubt turn it into a Simpsons-like howler of a scene.

  • Bob

    If Lucas wants tinker with his films, I wouldn’t have a problem with it – if he would keep the theatrical versions available for purchase.

  • Mmorris17

    if you don’t mind the changes then you simply aren’t a true fan, plain and simple. 

  • Mmorris17

    yes. I actually have the set that came out a couple years after they did the 1st dvd set that contained only the new versions and it actually had both movies in it so i’m pretty happy that I dont have to see hayden christensen at the end of jedi or the crappy sped up minor head tilt han did when greedo fires first. Maybe they will do that with the blue rays but if not at least I have the originals in a watchable format.

  • Jmcreer

    So true : (

  • Cjorg2

    Still cheaper on DVD, and you can still get the unaltered versions on that format as well.  Like it was already stated.  Sounds like you’re still making excuses

  • Cjorg2

    All the original versions are available on DVD without the added scenes and CGI.  It’s commonsense not BS

  • Cjorg2

    OR…
    … you are a true fan, but have a life.

  • Anonymous

    “Biggest cock at the orgy”, eh? That’s rich coming from a guy who a) wears odd coloured glass on his face, and b) doesn’t get what I’m saying in the first place.Yes, I’m on a site adding to a debate because I believe something – that these are JUST films… films that I don’t understand why people who are probably old enough to know better are getting so heated about. Really, why? As this is the third time Lucas has released the films amended why is this such a surprise and point of anger for everyone? If anyone is the “biggest cock at the orgy”, surely it is Lucas. He must be laughing his arse off over all the vitriol on sites like these because he sure as hell doesn’t take any notice of the fans. If he did he would have left well enough alone after the first misguided tweaking of the films, wouldn’t he? But he hasn’t ergo he doesn’t care so why should we? To him, these films are simply a pension fund; to me, they have become just films because their creator deserves no more from me.

    So in answer to your accusations: no, I’m not some troll throwing flame bait (whatever the hell that means because it certainly isn’t in Chambers English Dictionary!), and yes, I do have more to do on a Monday night but because of iPhone technology I’m able to enjoy a night out with real people while adding to the debate.

    For my money, these films stopped being Star Wars after the end credits of Return of the Jedi. Satisfied now?

  • Jmcreer

    I was waiting for some idiot to make a silly, stupid statement like this.  I’m surprised it took this long.  Congratulations.

    I saw all films back in the 70′s and 80′s several times at the cinema, as well as when they were re-released in the 90′s with my son.
    Back in the 70′s my brother and I once got busted by K-Mart security for “smuggling” Chewbacca out of the store in our shorts (I learned the error of my ways)
    I’ve got the original movies that I taped off the TV in the 80′s.
    I’ve got an audio-tape from the 80′s as well.
    I’ve got both the DVDs you’ve previously mentioned AND the original on Video.
    I’ve got Star Wars t-shirts, toys, books, cups, glasses, and comics.
    I’ll get the Bluray when it comes out on sale, and the changes by and large don’t bother me.  I’ll enthusiastically watch and rewatch the originals and updated versions as I’ve always done.

    But of course, you apparently are the only “true” fan out there. 

  • Haliwood1

    You know, I read through the comments.  And anyone who has a problem with the way Lucas has made changes to the original releases, I understand where you’re coming from.  However, to me, the changes aren’t that big of a deal.  If you really want to discuss what’s worse, Darth Vader screaming “NOooooooo” in a near laughable fashion, or a well-trained army that loses to completely inferior forces on the moon of Endor, I’ll tell you I choose the latter.  I’ll even state a case why even Jar Jar himself isn’t as much of a mockery as how the “Bad Ass” Han Solo became a campy shell of himself in Return of the Jedi. 

    Debate for the sake of fun, exchanging ideas and points of view, are all great, so long as they remain whey there should be.  When people take things so seriously as to insult others who don’t share the same point of view, or, worse yet, the man who created the films that you enjoyed so much when you saw them that you collected those movies, and other items, that are on your shelf, just because he’s decided he doesn’t like how a scene played out, and wanted to try something different with his creation…you need to step away for a moment, and rethink your priorities.  Heavens forbid you start sounding like a sports fan (which I am).  There’s never a valid reason to let a good discussion dissolve into name calling…unless, of course, someone is trying to tell you that George Lucas is the greatest writer of romantic dialogue in a Sci-Fi film, which is just laughable. 

    Again, if you want to discuss who’s the bigger whiner, semi-adult Anakin Skywalker, or stuck on the farm Luke Skywalker…or why you think it matters who shot first…or how thankful we all should be Lucas didn’t add more dialog when Vader grabbed the Emperor, like, “This is for Luke, and Padme, and Mace Windu, and all of the Jedi you slew or had me slay at your insistance!  Heck, you tell him to kill me to take my spot…in front of me?”…I think it’s cool to discuss any and all of Star Wars.  Just…leave the insults off.  Unless they’re from the movies, which means they’d be quotes.  Scruffy Nerf Herders.  :)

  • Vegetable Lasagna

    When I saw the headline, I knew this was a McMillan article.

    That’s all you’re good for, boy – cheap traffic hits. Keep it up.

  • Cjorg2

    My sympathies on the huge target you have just painted on your forehead.  Good luck.

  • Cjorg2

    “it just kinda makes you look like the biggest cock at the orgy.”

    Something to live up to IMO.

  • Whoiseyevan

    The only problem I ever had with any of the re-edits was when the holographic Palpatine head in Empire was replaced with a smaller, saga-accurate head. By making the head smaller, the emotion of the scene was drastically altered. Where as in the original, Vader was talking with an overbearing, disembodied head, much like in the Wizard of Oz, now he is talking with something smaller and hardly menacing. The size is important because it communicates that Vader is insignificant to the Emperor, in spite of how much Vader “looks up” to Palpatine. That’s Film 101 stuff.

  • Anonymous

    And what happens in 15 years when DVD-compatible players are not the norm for home viewing?  The argument goes beyond what’s available for the current generation.  Eventually, the original versions of the films will be unplayable to the general public and the real work that all the FX artists and puppeteers involved in the original trilogy will be sealed away in vaults, because you know eventually, every conventional FX shot in the OT is going to be replaced by CGI in an effort to justify re-releases and keep making money.

  • Who Dat Ninja

    My earliest memory is seeing star wars in the theater in the 70s. Have every release of the film including laser discs. I have no problem with the improvements and am pretty sick of the pure hatred the fanboys spew all over the net. A opinion is one thing but the utter disgust is just plain weird. So the ewoks blink instead of looking like they have eyes ripped off of a store bought toy. Big deal. So Han shot at the same time instead of first, kinda lame but not enough to make me want to hurt myself or others. More spaceships and special effects flourishes? Cool. Of course if Lucas didn’t make changes that inspired hours of screaming and crying how would fans fill their sad, sad lives? Flame on now angry mob, your anger will have no impact on my planning to buy the new blu set next as soon as it
    hits the shelf.

  • http://grantbridgestreet.blogspot.com/ Joe Bloke

    it may not matter to a lot of people, but, you know what? it matters to me.  what if they changed the song in Casablanca? would that matter? or what if they coloured in The Postman Always Rings Twice? would that be ok?  leave the films alone, they were fine as they were, or better still: why not pour all that effort into making something OTHER than YET ANOTHER Star Wars film?  Lucas’ tinkering with the films, despite what he would like to have us all believe, has nothing to do with “perfecting” or “making better” the originals, and everything to do with rinsing the living daylights out of the pockets of his fans. 

    George Lucas is not God, he’s a one-note hack businessman who hasn’t had a single decent idea in the last 30-odd years.

    & before anyone shoots me down for not being a fan, or being some kind of heretic, I’m fortyeight years old, and the first Star Wars film is still one of my favourite films of all time.

  • http://atocom.blogspot.com Atomic Kommie Comics

    Unfortunately, tech becomes obsolete and not everything from the previous generation gets updated.
    I had a kool Star Wars screensaver from Delrina. Art, schematics, animation, sound fx, music, the works.
    It’s on 3.5 floppies. They never even put it on CD, nor did they upgrade it to use on systems post-1995.  As a result, I have an old PowerMac 9600 (with a floppy drive) just to run System 8 programs that don’t exist today.
    Lots of material on vinyl still isn’t digitized.
    Lots of films and tv shows on VHS still aren’t on DVD or BluRay (and probably never will be)

  • John

    What of Vader now saying “No” and then yelling “Nooo” while throwing the emperor? Does that not change the dynamic of that scene on some level? Was it a needed change? Did it add to the movie? Did it take away from the scene?

    The examples you listed all either add nothing but take nothing…. or they add to a scene. The Vader one is just lame.

  • Bgh001

    I quite agree… Ridley Scott has expressed similar opinions about several of his works, Blade Runner included. Stephen King has done much the same with The Stand and Dark Tower and i suspect that someday Peter Jackson will do the same with LOTR!

  • Cforshaw67220

    Any change to a film that has been released is perfectly fine so long as it meets three criterion:

    (1) It isn’t a shameless exploitation of something people have grown to love by adding cosmetic changes to something that didn’t need them to be successful in the first place.

    (2) You don’t do it again, and again, and again, over a short period of time, essentially making every version of the film cheaper and more disposable because it is no longer a single definitive vision, but a skitzophrenic mess that seems less and less like the ideal the director once had.

    (3) It isn’t by the person who said adding colour to black and white films removed something essential from them.

    Lucas meets all three criterion because, (1) ‘Star Wars’ has become less and less a series of films, and instead now inhabits the same place as shows like ‘Pokemon’ or ‘Transformers’ – that is, it is first and foremost an advert which allows various products to be sold through associations with them to children. Whether you agree with this being a good thing or a bad thing is your call, but you cannot claim your work to be performance art when it consists of you making lude comments to prospectives customers on a street corners; (2) ‘Star Wars’ has seen changes made to it when it was first released (as originally, there was no, “Episode 4 – A New Hope” on the original credits), then when rereleased on video (the special editions), before further changes to the DVD releases, and now again for the Blu-Ray, and we have to expect that there will be even greater changes to the original trilogy for 3D. This has essentially devalued the original trilogy as a stand-alone work, without mentioning that the inferior prequel trilogy (which could do with a lot of changes) has been left largely alone; finally, (3) just shows the double standard within the film industry, best highlighted by Richard E. Grant’s pitch to Tim Robbins in ‘The Player’, and the film made from that pitch. I don’t blame George Lucas for selling out (even Alec Guinness was grateful for the money, as it allowed him to pick and choose his projects in future), or trashing a rather silly premise by dilluting the few things that really made it seem cool, but I do think that if you have been the poster boy for a particular campaign, to then forget all about it and do the exact opposite of it to your own fans is, well, a bit of a bad move.

    That said, the position of the above article is still nerd-baiting of the highest order. Had it been posted beneath an announcement for the new Blu-Rays, you would have rightly been called a troll.

  • Cjorg2

    My Bluray plays DVD movies.  Mine must be the only one then : P

  • http://twitter.com/TheRealJayNasty Jonathan Nathan

    In horrible quality, yeah, I guess. I mean, it sort of counts. But you don’t have a good-quality release. You have a release that was just taken straight from a crappy laserdisc.

  • Mechwarrior2k3

    i personally dont have a problem with more ships or some added rocks it is the nooooo they are adding. it is like they are toning down one of the greatest villains of all time but it aint just this it is Lucas rewriting the entire universe for one, the added lines to the movies for 2 and all the focus on the clone wars for three. I am sick of the clone wars now i want to know what happened after the death star went bye bye(yes i have read some of the books but the empire did not fall overnight) or what happened before the movies. The only people doing it differently is the created of the Old republic the video game, and some comics. They need to take their ques from them.

  • Tyrell Archer

    I recently saw a clip of the Vader “NOOOOO!” scene and… I liked it.  It follows Lucas’ philosophy of repeating themes and bringing things full circle (re: the “NOOOO” at the end of ROTS).  The other changes are cosmetic and really are fine tunings that I’m looking forward to seeing.

  • Kris R.

    I adore the movies, but this controversy is exactly why I LOVE Star Wars comics from Dark Horse and the books from Del Rey.

  • Seamuskeaneart

    I couldn’t disagree more. As an artist (im a painter and not a movie maker , but an artist so im goin to chim in) one of the things about been an artist , a real artist, is knowing when a piece is done, you could tinker forever with a drawing/painting/print, but been an artist mean making decisions and taking a step back and saying “yes, this piece is done”. George doesnt do this. Imagine id de’vinci keept going back an messing with the mona lisa, or if michealangelo kept chipping away at david, no, an artist knows when enough is enough.
    also, a real artist strives for the next piece,to move forward, to learn and grow in their field. Lucas hasnt done either of these things, he had one hit, one massive hit and then nothing. Howard the Duck, Willow, awful. if he wanted to improve his work he should start with his failures, not his success.
    I also dont like this Idea of “if you dont like it, dont buy it.” Im sorry, am I wrong to want the original film, as I fell in love with them, presented in the best possible quality? I dont think I am. If he wants to tinker and play with his movie, then let him, but he should also release the originals/ as the were origanally cut and present them in the best quality for the fans of the originals. If he really did give a damn for the fans then this is what he would do.

    But thats just my two cents.

  • Rick Diehl

    Continually re-editing films is normally a bad thing, and in my experience has never once resulted in a movie being improved by these additions.

    Star Wars, the film that came out in 1977 was brilliant. 

    Fun to look at, enjoyable story and likable cast.

    The sequel, The Empire Strike Back was also pretty good, but after that film, Lucas gave up on story and decided that effects were all that matters. So, I gave up on Star Wars in the middle of the third film, and only watched the first of the new trilogy before giving up in total boredom, right about the time baby Darth wins the space chariot race. 

    But my issues were not that the special effects weren’t “special” enough, it’s that the characters on the screen were increasingly dull and uninspired and that the story was predictable and really dull.

    Then again, I guess that is a problem that Lucas can’t fix with any amount of new effects and shiny lights.

  • Irondarkknight

    when someones is already holding a gun on you and telling u that he intends to kill you its still self defence reguardless if greedo shot first or not