Thursday, 1 September 2011

Star Wars Blu-ray edits confirmed by Lucasfilm

George has gone and done it again. After tinkering around with the original trilogy of Star Wars films for their DVD release in 2004 (where, yes, Greedo shot first), Lucasfilm confirmed today that rumours circling the web about further changes to the upcoming Blu-ray release are indeed true. And, much like the original edits with the first DVD releases, these are unlikely to be welcome.

I find myself dismayed at the majority - take the closing scenes of Return of the Jedi. The DVD special editions already had a young Hayden Christensen spliced in as Anakin Skywalker, yet now Lucas has decided to take the destruction of sci-fi's greatest villain one step further.

Following Vader's horribly dramatic "No!" at Revenge of the Sith's closing moments, in anguish at supposedly causing his wife's death, the director has now attached a further (though slightly less emotional) cry to the Dark Lord's redemption upon killing the Emperor. Check out the YouTube video here to witness this crime to cinema for yourself - one of the most powerful moments of the entire saga, as Vader silently observes his master and son, the latter dying by the former's hand, and makes his choice, has been almost destroyed.

There's another audio edit here, when Obi-Wan scares away some sandpeople with some freaky sounds. Though that might be a slight understatement now. It's stretching belief that a man of his age could make such a sound, even for a wise old Jedi.

There's a couple other heinous changes here and there (Ewoks now blink?), but the worst of the rest would probably fall to the replacement of puppet Yoda in Phantom Menace with dafter looking CGI Yoda (see above). That puppet was one of the last strands of continuity with the original films, from the days before CGI controlled the world (or at least Lucasfilm) - even in 1999. But no, even the little green man's been decimated now.

It's about time someone mutinied against George Lucas, and just said 'stop'. I did see one insightful tweet on the subject this morning, though I can't for the life of me remember who it was by (sorry!):

"...the more changes [Lucas] makes, the more I'm led to believe the original films happened by a bizarre accident."

Sums it up nicely, I think. At least give us the original, untouched versions in the special features, Lucasfilm. Or will you be charging extra for that, in a mega, ultra deluxe box set two years from now?

Photo (Yoda): Collider


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