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Ah, George … What Are Ya Doin’?

31 Aug, 2011 By: John Latchem

So, I thought the whole point of the “Star Wars” special editions was so George Lucas could update the films so they’d be as he intended them if he had the technology when he made them. So how exactly does making Darth Vader say “NOOOO!” as he throws the Emperor down a shaft in Return of the Jedi fit that model? It’s not like you need technology to make a guy say “No.”

But that’s one of several changes made in the latest re-release of the “Star Wars” films, this time for Blu-ray Sept. 16.

I can kind of see how Lucas got the idea. See, Vader screams “NOOOOO!” at the end of Episode III when he learns his wife is dead. So I guess Lucas decided that having Vader say it again as Luke is being attacked by the Emperor makes it clearer his motive for turning against his master — that Luke is the last connection to his wife. So by strengthening that connection, Lucas thinks he’s tightening the saga as a whole. Except, well, he didn’t need to. Anyone with half a brain who is a fan of the franchise made that connection before they walked out of the theater after seeing Episode III six years ago. But I’d love to see some footage of how the guys at Lucasfilm are sitting around thinking up new ways to change the films, as they seem to do with each new home video release nowadays.

The latest rumored changes also include some rather innocuous alterations, such as CGI blinking on Ewoks and a digital Yoda that should actually improve Episode I a bit.

I for one think that if Lucas were at least to restore the “Han Shooting First” scene in Episode IV, fans would be a lot more tolerant of his other changes. But it seems that Greedo still gets a shot off in the Blu-ray … so much for that wish.

Anyway, Lionsgate is looking to capitalize on all the hoopla with its Oct. 25 release of The People vs. George Lucas on DVD ($27.98). The documentary explores the fans’ love affair with “Star Wars” since the beginning and why the alterations have been so negatively perceived (one of the extras is a music video called “GL Raped Our Childhood”). It hits on-demand Sept. 27.

For more on Lucas’ ongoing relationship with his films, I’d recommend the book The Secret History of Star Wars by Michael Kaminski. It’s quite an illuminating read.

As for the "Star Wars" Blu-ray? Yeah, I still can’t wait to see it.

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