Now that Lucasfilm has officially announced that the entire ‘Star Wars’ film series will be released on Blu-ray later this year, I have to ask whether people are still willing to give George Lucas their hard-earned money after the way he’s treated fans over the years?
On September 18th, the ‘Star Wars’ cycle will be sold in three variations. You can choose to buy just the Original Trilogy (Episodes IV – VI), just the Prequel Trilogy (Episodes I – III), or the entire 6-film Complete Saga. The latter will also include a bunch of exclusive supplements that you can’t get in the smaller box sets.
As many of you probably already realize, I’m one of those disgruntled ‘Star Wars’ fans who hates all of the changes that George Lucas has made to the original trilogy. I hate every new piece of footage he added, and every stupid CG effect he plastered on top of footage originally shot in the 1970s or 1980s. I understand that Lucas has a right to change whatever he wants to change, but I think he also has an obligation to fans and to cinema history to restore the original versions of these movies to the best possible quality. Instead, the last official release of the unaltered movies we got was a set of crummy non-anamorphic letterbox DVDs that featured decade-old Laserdisc transfers.
Lucas claims that it would be “too expensive” to restore the original movies. That’s bullshit on a lot of different levels. First off, Lucas is sitting on a personal fortune in the quadrillions of dollars. He has no right to complain about anything being too expensive. Further, 90% of the restoration work was already done when he made his stupid “Special Edition” versions of the movies. All he really still has to restore is the other 10% of footage that hasn’t been replaced with CGI. And, it’s not like Lucas would actually be the one paying for such a restoration, anyway. When the 1997 Special Editions were created, Lucas convinced 20th Century Fox to pay for all the restoration work, as a condition of the distribution contract for the prequel trilogy. He could no doubt easily strike up a similar arrangement now. No, the real reason that George Lucas won’t restore the original trilogy is that he hates those movies and hates all of his fans who want to see them.
Will I buy the ‘Star Wars’ Blu-rays this September anyway? I haven’t decided yet. How about you?
This is a no brainer blind-buy for me…
Been waiting on this for years… even though I dislike giving Lucas more money, I cannot resist the Power of the Force!
The force is dead, long live the Midi-chlorians.
The only change that really bothered me in the updates is Han shooting first because A) it changes the character of Han and B) it was done so poorly that even if it did not change Han, it still wouldn’t make sense.
Other than that, I can live with the rest. The original unedited movies will not be released until Lucas dies and someone else puts them out, so instead of sticking with inferior VHS or crappily put together DVDs, I am going to buy the original trilogy on Blu-ray.
I am debating whether to get all six movies though. On one hand, it would be great to have the complete set, on the other, I find the new trilogy to be quite poor. I own all six on DVD, and while I watch the original trilogy from time to time, it is rare I watch all six.
Its is unbelievably stupid, because not even a child, much less an experienced bounty hunter like Gredo could possibly miss a shot at that distance.
I really hated the new films, but it wasn’t until Red Letter Media came along, I realized just how truly awful they are. It’s like the first is not a movie at all but a CGI demo with crappy dialog. The second is a parody of a romantic movie. And in the third is a Darwin Award show, as the Jedi seem to posses no intellectual capacity at all.
Patrick A Crone
I’ve always found it a horrible injustice to the fans of Star Wars and the character of Han Solo to alter that scene. Why after 20 years would you feel the need to change, very poorly I might add, a scene that defined such an iconic character? Han Solo didn’t shoot Greedo because he was a blood thirsty killer. He shot him because he was backed into a corner with a blaster in his face. It was a homage to classic westerns. Shoot before you get shot. It shows how closed minded George Lucas is when the backlash went unanswered when the films were released on DVD. Lucas thought the backlash was because the scene looked bad. So instead of restoring the shot to it’s original state, he “fixed” the shot so it looked better.
I’m most annoyed with Jedi. They changed the song in Jabba’s palace, and they changed the end of the movie. And the adding of Jabba to the first movie. Most of the other changes didn’t bother me too much. In fact, i less-than-three Empire Special Edition!
“I’m one of those disgruntled ‘Star Wars’ fans who hates all of the changes that George Lucas has made to the original trilogy.” Oh, so your an insufferable bore. Another annoying twit who thinks Lucas owes him something. Let me guess, you hate the prequels, you hate Jar Jar, you hate Hayden Christensen, and you stay up at night in a rage because you know in your heart that Han shot first. Your a walking cliche. If you hate this stuff so much, go away and stop bothering people.
Let ME guess: You love the prequels, you find Jar Jar utterly charming and hilarious, you think that Hayden Christensen is the greatest actor of his generation, and you stay up at night reminiscing about how romantic Anakin’s “You’re not like sand” speech to Padme was. Am I close?
I hate the sand!
Patrick A Crone
George Lucas can alter the original films all he wants. Hell, he can replace every single actor with a cg replica for all I care, just as long as he has enough respect to fans of the original releases to remaster them along side his extra special editions. And yes, if I’m going to give the man money I expect to get what I want. And yes I hate the prequels. The films will be forever a reminder of what a closed minded film maker George Lucas has become. Calling someone an insufferable twit because they don’t like poor film making is like telling a restraunt critic he’s a twit for not liking McDonalds. The only thing that could improve the prequels is completely remaking them. If you loved the prequels and Special Editions JMC, then more power to you. You’ll be as pleased as punch on September 27th. But insulting readers because they want the original films doesn’t make you clever. It makes you a douche bag.
George Lucas has indicated the fans are owed something: he testified to Congress, “In the future it will become easier for old negatives to become lost and be ‘replaced’ by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten.” Was he lying?
I was bemused that Lucasfilm’s January 6 press release claimed that the three upcoming Blu-ray releases “meet the needs of every ‘Star Wars’ fan”, when surely they know how many fans feel about the pre-Special Edition cuts. But then, if Lucas doesn’t give a damn about committing the federal crime of contempt of Congress, surely he’s not above falsehood in advertising.
What I especially dislike about the 2004 Editions is that the they have become “infected” by the prequels– Boba Fett’s voice has been changed to match Jango, Naboo and Jar Jar make a tiny appearance in RotJ, and worst of all, young Anakin as a ghost at the end.
These changes are fine I guess if you’re watching it as a complete saga (I-VI), but for those of us that would rather forget the prequels when we’re watching the OT have a problem.
George? Is that you?
I haven’t watched Star Wars IV-VI since the special editions hit theaters in 1997.
I never saw them on VHS. I never saw them on DVD. I doubt I will ever watch them on Blu-ray.
Maybe if they get 5-star video transfers, my inner videophile will overpower my stubborn cinephile, but I’m predicting 4.5-star scores.
On the other hand, I have already watched, on blu-ray, Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’ fourteen times, and I’m itching for another hit.
To relive my childhood, Bioware’s ‘The Old Republic’ is my only hope.
I am in for all six on day one. I will only watch eps 3 – 6 but you have to have them all even if the first two are tripe.
I agree – 3-6 here! Oh, and the opening chase scene in 2, that was cool. But Phantom Menace will probably never get opened.
I have all six preordered on Amazon
I’m in for the full set – primarily for the bonus materials, and primarily because my favorite film of the six – THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK – is the one original film that has been tampered with the least by Lucas.
I don’t think fans have an issue with Lucas wanting to make changes to his movies as much as they do with his insistance on acting like the original versions don’t exist. I mean, Spielberg updated ET, but he was smart enough to release his original version as well for those who wanted it.
The idea that we’ll see the original versions after Lucas has passed on is rather naive. I guarantee he’s already made sure in his will that no one tampers with his material after he has died.
At least Lucas won’t be able to tinker with the Indiana Jones movies when they are released on Blu-ray…Spielberg still has final say in anything that happens to those.
One of the two of them already replaced that shot in Raiders of the truck driving off a cliff with a new CG version for no reason at all.
There was a reason…the original looked horrible…and that definitely was Spielberg who corrected that because he always complained about how fake it looked.
The CG version looks every bit as fake.
I agree. I had no issues with the 5 versions of Blade Runner or the three Versions of Close Encounters, because the originals were included. In fact, depending on my mood, I will watch different versions of the film.
I also liked how in It’s A Wonderful Life, we had both the B&W and colorized version. It gave me a choice. As I grew up with the colorized version, I prefer it, but I completly understand people who prefered the original. I was actually VERY disappointed that Miracle on 34th Street did not include the colorized version.
I’m not saying to burn the Star Wars Special Editions – I like them (well, except for putting Jabba in episode 4 and changing the songs in Jedi), but I do want to see the originals from time to time.
You forgot Hayden Christiansen’s cameo in Return of the Jedi!
Truthfully, I probably never would have noticed if someone hadn’t pointed it out to me. I never would have caught the “Han shoots first” thing if someone hadn’t of pointed it out to me. I swear, I thought I knew these movies well until I started hanging out in these forums!
Patrick A Crone
Blade Runner is a case of the theatrical release being inferior because of studio tampering. The final cut is THE best version of that film. The CG added, unlike Star Wars, was unintrusive. But Warner Bros and Ridley Scott still respected the fans of the original cut to remaster it and include it in the blu ray release.
I’m not sure that provisions in George Lucas’ will would have any bearing on what happens to the “Star Wars” movies. If I’m not mistaken, the films legally belong to Lucasfilm, not Lucas. I suppose he could transfer their ownership to himself before he dies, though.
in day one. :). listen it’s no dune but then again what is. 🙂
Truthfully, I don’t know how often I’d rewatch them. Can’t even bring myself to watch them all the way through ever since they started playing almost non-stop on weekends on Spike TV. I’ll probably end up getting them, but I’ll wait.
Sorry, but I’m back into the guilty pleasures of my youth…Day the Earth Stood Still, Paramount’s War of the Worlds (can they really do a three-strip Technicolor transfer that will mostly eliminate the cables?) OTHERWISE give me SHANE in BluRay…YESTERDAY! And I’ll die happy!
i wonder if they could remove the rv thats driving in the background in shane?
day one, for sure. day zero if i can get it early.
yes, i want the 3d versions, and the original versions, but what i want most is to have SOME fucking edition in my collection, regardless of which one it is.
Yes an obvious buy for me for the whole shebang.
Yes some of the changes pissed me off at the time, but I’ve had a very long time to get over it and make peace with it. I actually enjoy most if not all of the restoration and fx work. I wish there was a version with just that, but all the severe changes left out. Anything that adds or takes out a character or changes what they do.
Life is too short to stay mad at this stuff. and there’s still too much to enjoy about the series to dismiss all for a few annoying changes.
I don’t get the aggression for either side of the Lucas debate. To each their own, having someone disagree with you does not invalidate your feelings.
As I grow older I try to gravitate further from cycism and closer to finding enjoyment where I can. and the kid in me is still screaming STAR WARS ON BLURAY!!!!!
That being said, once a JarJar free edit of the Episode one blu-ray comes out, I’m downloading the hell out of it.
If by some miracle the ORIGINAL originals are included, then I’ll happily buy them. Otherwise, pass.
The prequels are dreadful and having seen each of them once, I have no desire to ever see them again.
The CG updates to the originals are completely jarring – seeing digital effects randomly inserted into films that otherwise scream late 70s/early 80s is a complete non-sequiter.
Already pre-ordered the whole thing. I have my issues with the changes that have been made, but in the end it’s still an immensly entertaining series to watch. Plus they’re some of the few science fiction movies out there I can watch with my kid and not have to worry about them seeing something they really shouldn’t.
Yes I’ll buy them. No I’m not proud of it.
Honestly I couldn’t care less about the movies. I own them already on DVD and that’s fine for a disc I’ll pull out so rarely. I’m more in it for the glut of special features. I’d love to know more about what went on during the making of the prequels.
“I’d love to know more about what went on during the making of the prequels.”
Crystal meth and S’more Schnapps.
Count me among the begrudgingly in. As much as I’d love to boycott these releases, not buying Star Wars on blu ray seems pretty stupid. And I’m not all that big of a fan of the series either, I probably never would have noticed the music changes, and Han shooting first wouldn’t even have occurred to me if the revamped scene didn’t look so terrible. I don’t have the same level of hatred for the prequels that many do, yes Jar Jar is an abomination, granted, and “No it is I who love YOU!” “Hold me like you did on Naboo.” or whatever nonsense makes me puke in my mouth. But from a purely visual, popcorn munching aspect, they’re entertaining enough.
Zero votes so far for “Only the prequel trilogy” or “Waiting for the 3D conversions.”
Jake Lloyd might be the only person on earth who only buys the prequel set. That release doesn’t make any sense (I’m guessing there will be a lot more original trilogy sets pressed than prequel trilogy…if not, FOX is probably going to have a lot of stock on hand).
Actually, I saw an interview a while back with a much older Jake LLoyd in film school, and he seems a bit resentful towards the film and the reputation for it he has to carry. He also said he hasn’t watched the movie since he went to the premier. I actually felt kind of bad for him.
At least he has Jingle All the Way to look back on fondly.
Patrick A Crone
I saw the same interview on youtube. Apparently he didn’t walk away very well paid either.
What’s so bad about seeing “The Phantom Menace” no more than once?
I’ll pick them up in 3D, but as I don’t see the entire set being available in 3D for some time, I am not going to hold my breath waiting for them.
Think I will go home today and watch A New Hope in HD. The entire trilogy has aired on HBO and other channels, and were really good transfers – that is – IF you can stand watching a movie encoded in DD5.1 at 384kbps
I pre-ordered the six disc set because there are rumors that some of the “deleted scenes” may be unaltered scenes from the movie. Plus, I can (somewhat)legally own HD copies of the Star Wars Revisited series that way.
Series? I thought the only one he did was New Hope. BTW, Star Wars Revisited is like the best fanedit EVER!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAZUHXB_SRs&feature=related (I doubt this link will be up for long – actually surprised it has not been flagged already)
Hmmm, looks like he released a trailer for Empire, but I haven’t seen the final product yet. Wonder if he’s done
you left out how Star Wars steals from Hidden Fortress
I feel that blu ray is the last physical media for film that we should expect, and thereby “planning to purchase” should include things that we wish to preserve and exhibit. In the case of Star Wars, it is tough to find people who have no idea what it is all about. There are so many excellent films that don’t suffer from so many varied versions and unnecessary sequels/prequels/Christmas specials, and thusly deserve a “plan to buy” status.
Just imagine if Chris Nolan or Daren Arnofsky undergo a severe trauma and start pumping out revisions… It’s like, “Hey, don’t be Tim Burton. Use your talent for good, and we will buy blu rays of your work.”
“Not until Lucasfilm restores the original, unaltered versions of the first trilogy” is the only correct answer.
I don’t understand how the Lord of the Rings blu ray set gets a 1.5 star rating on Amazon for not including the extended editions to encourage an eventual double-dip (don’t get me wrong, it totally deserves it; I rated the set a 1 star) but the Star Wars set currently has 4 stars. If anything, what’s happening with the Star Wars set is even more bogus and offensive, because at least we know we’ll eventually get the extended LotR movies on BD. The original theatrical Star Wars movies will probably never see the light of the high-def day.
And you know what? I almost don’t care. Star Wars is one of the few movies where I care so much about the content of the movie that I almost don’t care about the picture and audio quality at all. My main issue is the fact that we’re stuck with these non-anamorphic DVDs. I don’t mind zooming in so the picture fills the screen without violating the aspect ratio, but that means the subtitles are cut off at the bottom of the screen when characters speak Huttese or whatever other languages they speak. It’s a real fucking pain in the ass.
All I want are anamorphic editions of the original theatricals. Really, that’s all I want George. I’ll pay.
“I don’t understand how the Lord of the Rings blu ray set gets a 1.5 star rating on Amazon for not including the extended editions to encourage an eventual double-dip (don’t get me wrong, it totally deserves it; I rated the set a 1 star) but the Star Wars set currently has 4 stars. If anything, what’s happening with the Star Wars set is even more bogus and offensive, because at least we know we’ll eventually get the extended LotR movies on BD. The original theatrical Star Wars movies will probably never see the light of the high-def day.”
I think the difference is, as far as I can remember, that LOtR is simply extended, not altered. Well, I mean the opening credits seem to be placed over a different backshot, but its not like the extended edition of LOtR changed special effects, scenes or anything like that. Its simply 40 minutes longer. Unless I completely missed something.
If you know anything about the theatrical and extended editions, the theatrical cuts ARE Jackson’s preferred versions, the Extended cuts were done just for the fans that wanted more, while I prefer the Extended Cuts as well, I got the theatrical set for $35 and that will be perfectly fine until the Extended Editions come out around the time that The Hobbit does (supposedly), I still have my Extended Editions on DVD and thats fine with me, but the transfers for the theatrical ones look too damn good to not watch anymore (Fellowship was very iffy in many places but overall still looked really nice)…..People who are bitching probably know nothing about what I just said and for me what the director wanted the most is what I like to watch, even though for this I love the Extended Editions more but thats simply because it gave me more of one of the best Fantasy Trilogies (and Fantasy movies in general) ever made
No. I’m complaining because both sets are incomplete. In the case of LotR, they didn’t include the extended editions so they could justify doing a double dip. In the case of Star Wars, they didn’t include the theatricals because Lucas has gone mad and hates the fact that people like the originals and not the special editions.
The publishers have to realize what the fan preferred versions are (extended for LotR, theatrical for SW) and be sure to include them. I guarantee you that there would have been absolutely no shit-storm if Lucas had announced that the SW set would include ONLY the theatricals, or if New Line announced that the LotR set would include ONLY the extended editions. Give the people what they want, man.
Ridley Scott obviously prefers the final cut of Blade Runner over all the others, but every possible version of the movie (to my knowledge) in that blu ray set. Most fans agree and prefer the final cut, but even if they hypothetically didn’t, they still have the option to watch it anyway because WB isn’t grubbing for money and Scott isn’t ashamed of showing people the original edition (at least, not ashamed enough to take it out of circulation).
Well since no one knows for sure why the theatrical versions of Star Wars arent available, I wouldnt get too upset here, whether you believe Lucas or not is up to you, but after SO much fan clamoring about these and he still hasnt released them by now I’m tending to think that the originals arent available anymore to remaster properly like he said when the special editions were first redone, depending on how things were kept and the quality of the original films it could have been the last time things could be cleaned up properly, they specifically talked about this when the new ones were put out to the theaters, but will we ever know for sure about that…..probably not, so in my case, I just suck it up and still enjoy Star Wars
But we do know for sure why the “original originals” aren‘t being made available: because George wants it that way. True, the reason behind that is open to speculation (is he merely an obsessed, self-deluding perfectionist? is he a raging megalomaniac? is he cleverly building up a pent-up demand so great that fans will pay utterly ridiculous prices when he finally releases what they want “for a limited time only”?); but his ever-shifting explanations of terribly low plausibility are pretty clear indicators that he has not been telling the truth. I wouldn’t believe him if he said water is wet.
what kind of a Star Wars fan doesn’t know Huttese?
Ignoring the Greedo shoots first scene, even in Mos Isley when the troopers are questioning Luke and Ben. There are so many distractions of ships and creatures in this scene you don’t see the characters in the scene. The whole SE thing is OVERdone. I will reluctantly buy them again, GRRR
You know, I used to be in the same camp as Josh for a long time… Then I saw Avatar, and read a lot of the moaning about how much better it was than the prequel movies and even the original trilogy. It got me thinking…
I finally bought the prequel trilogy after seeing them on offer, and decided to watch all six films in sequence again, over a few evenings. It’s been so long since I saw them, it was like seeing them fresh (in some respects) and without any expectations. I ended up enjoying them all enormously. Sure, some of the special edition changes are annoying, sure, quite a few elements of the prequel trilogy are a bit naff, and will never be as good as the originals… But I realised that even the Phantom Menace is an incredibly creative, imaginative and well plotted film in comparison to most special-effects blockbusters, albeit with some bad choices in the character/script department…
So in essence, Avatar’s shocking mediocrity helped me once again capture and enjoy the magic of Star Wars!! 😀
As such, I’ve already ordered the full 6 film set off Amazon! 😀 Not bothered with the eventual 3D versions though… the only good thing about them, is that hopefully they’ll provide another chance for 2D showings on the big screen, at the same time.
There’s nothing like lowered expectations to turn garbage into gold.
” the Phantom Menace is an incredibly creative, imaginative and well plotted film in comparison to most special-effects blockbusters”
There’s no way you could possibly mean this. Aside from the whole ‘finding Anakin’ thing I can’t tell you what was going on in that movie. There was a trade dispute or something?
Yep, I mean it! 😉 And don’t get me wrong, I’m not blind to the films flaws, and I’m not remotely saying it’s perfect. But for the “creativity and imagination” just look at the production design, and the ideas behind the various elements. If so much of it hadn’t been done as ‘fun’, and instead filmed seriously, many of those elements wouldn’t have received anywhere near as much criticism or dismissal. Lucas’ biggest flaw was writing an (overall) adult plot, but aiming it far too much at the kids. He seemed to learn again, film-by-film, but it was a bit late by then…
As for the plot, put the 3 prequels together, and the first film is essentially about Palpatine’s political manoeuvring to gain power. Even Jar Jar, if you just look at his character arc, would’ve been quite good if played differently. Harmless Fool who gains a position of respect and power he does not deserve, and is then easily manipulated to bring down an entire system of government. Yes, I know, I’m reading it in the best possible light… Jar Jar was terribly implemented, and the story was seriously damaged by some very childish elements. But it’s there. 🙂
If you’re wondering what my thoughts were, I wrote ’em all on my blog…
I’m not saying saying they’re perfect by any means… but once you get past the flaws, there is more to them.
There are things I like about the prequel trilogy: Maul’s pacing behind a force field like a big cat trapped in a cage, “Duel of the Fates”, Christopher Lee, the continuation of the “bad feeling about this” running gag, and quite a few things more.
I’m aware of flaws in my favorite movies; I think there are always things I think could have been done better. Still, even with their imperfections, they click for me. There are other movies that I think are pretty good but fail to click for me, and I’m often at a loss to explain the difference. The Star Wars prequels, however, don’t even come close.
I’ve sometimes revised my opinion of a movie in its favor, and I don’t begrudge you your doing the same for these movies, if it’s really your honest opinion. (Sometimes I’ve wanted to like movies more than I really do…) But I challenge all lovers of cinema to hold films and filmmakers to high standards—even if those standards differ from person to person and are difficult to define—rather than to accept mediocrity as “good enough” just because excellence is so hard to find.
But hey—if you really like Jar Jar, then have a maxi big time with him in Blu!
It’s not that frequent, but I do find I warm to some movies more on repeat viewing.
I’ll usually give most major movies a couple of chances, even if I’m not impressed first time round (Unless I out-right hated it). Because there are always times when you find you weren’t in the right mood/company/setting to enjoy a film the first time round.
Like I said, I’m not blind to the prequel trilogy’s flaws. I’m never going to rank them in my all time favourites as I do with the originals, or class them as great works of science fiction like Dune, Alien or Blade Runner. But I can enjoy them as good fun, with some interesting ideas and incredible production design/visuals. For example, I can enjoy Transformers or Independence Day, but I’ll never class them as wonders of the movie world, or pretend they’re more than switch-your-brain-off eye-candy.
As for Jar-Jar… Nope, I never said I liked him!! 😉 I said I thought his general character arc was reasonably interesting. I pretty much hate Jar-Jar with everyone else lol!
I doubt I can want to own a movie and watch it over and over again if I recognize that I hate a major element of the movie. I certainly don’t mean elements like a “villain you love to hate”, because in such a case you enjoy the villain—you might hate such a person in real life, but you are pleased by the character’s inclusion in the film and do not hate the villain in that context. I gather that you, Thulsadoom, hate Jar Jar in the more usual sense, not like a villain-you-love-to-hate, even if you do not consider the Jar Jar character 100% ill-advised. Although I keep failing to come up with examples, I suppose it’s possible I might truly hate some brief minor elements of a movie while still liking the movie enough to consider it a must-have. But as major a presence as Jar Jar is in The Phantom Menace, I have trouble relating to the position of wanting to repeatedly experience that movie for my own enjoyment while detesting the Jar Jar character. And I don’t mean to harp on that particular character or that particular movie. While it’s true that I greatly dislike both, what I’m puzzled by is what to me is a tremendous incongruity between the emotions and the conclusions based on them.
Sorry, I don’t mean to pick on you, your tastes, or your choices. I just find the differences in approach interesting. I don’t entirely understand my own tastes, and I sometimes find it illuminating to compare and contrast mine with other people’s.
Got my whole set pre-ordered on Amazon, definitely buying this, I’m a gigantic Star Wars fan (hell my whole Christmas Tree is every Star Wars Hallmark ornament ever made, with a Star Wars Tree Skirt and a Yoda tree topper :))
Sure I hate some of the changes, Han shooting second is bad because of how it changes his character, he developed over the series into the trustworthy hero he was meant to be, he wasnt a “good guy” in Star Wars, he was a scoundrel and a smuggler and its this that makes his arc so great throughout the movies and now thats completely thrown out the window, having Jabba in the first film is fine with me because its actually a real deleted scene and was never included because of what they decided Jabba was going to be and they couldnt make it happen back then, a lot of the added FX, creatures and footage was originally planned but the budget and FX at the time didnt make it possible. Because so many of us grew up watching the originals its hard to like changes to those, but myself I really dont have a problem with most of what changed besides the complete negation of Han’s Character development….and that dance/sing number in Jedi IS pretty bad too
the Prequels I like for the most part, Clones has some really bad acting but its bearable because of everything else for me, I personally had no issues with Jar Jar and felt The Phantom Menace is the only one that kept the feel of the original Trilogy the best, plus Darth Maul is one of my favorites now 🙂
Either way I’m all in and cant wait to get this set! Only thing I would really wish for for this set is that Lucas doesnt use Dolby TrueHD and went with DTSHD instead, but thats very wishful thinking I’m sure
I guess I’ll buy the complete set.
I actually like the prequels as well. Sure, the acting is bad, and the plots make no sense, and the cgi is excessive, and the direction is lazy, and there’s that Jar Jar guy, and…
Wait. I freaking hate the prequels. Never mind.
Patrick A Crone
The largest problem with the Prequels is the fact that you never really care about the main characters at all. Anakin is unlikable from the get go. Obi-Wan seems annoyed by Anakin and at having to be his mentor. He’s pretty much a cold character in general. Padme’ just comes off as a bit stuck up and cold as well. I got ahold of a story treatment for the prequels way back in 1992. I was always skeptical if it was genuine or not. But after the first film came out I recognized character names and plot points. The biggest difference was that in the 30 page treatment I cared much more about the characters than I did watching 3 complete films. The biggest differences were the ages of the characters. Obi-Wan was already a Jedi Knight and in his mid 30s. Anakin was about 17 as was Padme'(although her name was Arcadia in the treatment)This was key because Anakin and Padme’ fell in love at first sight. There was no Qui-Gon Jin. As a matter of fact, Obi-Wan was the one to discover Anakin on Tatooine and had many of the characteristics of Qui-Gon. In the 17 years I had that treatment, I was excited to see it fleshed out on screen. Unfortunately, Episode I didn’t live up to the treatment. It seemed much more concerned with galactic politics and special effects than character development.
Last night I decided to take a page from Thulsadoom’s book and try a “second chance” experiment. No, I didn’t watch the prequel trilogy again—just as I wouldn’t drive rusty spikes into my eye sockets even if Thulsadoom did and said he liked it—but I did give the 2004 version of The Empire Strikes Back a chance. I saw the 1997 Special Edition version once in the theater, and as I recall it was the episode least affected by the changes. I hadn’t watched the 2004 DVD revision—except once to listen to the commentary track—and I resolved to view it and try to give it a fair chance. If the 2004 revision were the only version of Empire available on Blu-ray, would I be willing to add it to my library?
Empire is one of my top favorite films, and I’ve seen it a zillion times—so, it was inevitable that I would get distracted by the changes. Still, I tried to avoid focusing on the differences, instead experiencing the film holistically. For the most part I think I succeeded. Overall, I felt the film still worked pretty well. Some changes were arguably better, particularly some effects corrections. I felt some of the alterations were negative, but none were tremendously negative.
Conclusion: I still would prefer to own a pre-Special Edition cut on Blu-ray. However, I could consider purchasing a revised cut on Blu-ray if my preference is not available. If I did, I’m sure I would still watch my non-anamorphic pre-Special Edition DVD fairly often. Assuming the pre-Special Edition cuts are not on the upcoming Blu-ray sets, it’s unlikely I will buy those sets, at least at anything near current asking prices; while I’ve not tried the experiment on Episodes IV & VI, I’m quite certain that the more flagrant alterations those films underwent would continue to annoy me far too much. However, if a revised Empire ever becomes available singly on Blu-ray, I might purchase it.
Glad you enjoyed it! 😉 I have to say, I would prefer the pre-Special Editions as well. I especially hate that musical number in Jedi.
Most of the edits/additions to Empire were fine, I think, but I always thought that addition of Vader arriving on the Executer at the end was pointless and interfered with the timing/pacing. A couple of the CGI shots of the Falcon arriving in Bespin should’ve been kept to angles/movement that could have been done back in the day. They stand out too much at the moment. I rather liked some of the background replacement in Bespin though, opening it up with window views and such. (Not so sure about one rotoscoped corridor shot becoming an exterior during the final escape, though.)
On the whole, nothing truly bad in Empire (luckily). If only IV and VI hadn’t been messed with so much!
While I understand the impulse to make Vader’s return to the Executor more explicit, even as a ten-year-old I understood Vader’s getting from point A to point B well enough without the spoon-feeding. Still, I think there’s a better motivation for including the transit scenes, and that is to ratchet up the suspense—a sort of “Oh, no, here comes Vader after the good guys!!” However, such suspense is undercut by the musical choice: the exciting action music underscoring the Falcon’s escape is interrupted by a rather languid rendition of Vader’s theme. Another selection could have made the inserted footage much more interesting. As it is, I agree that the insertion interferes with the pacing instead of adding to it.
Another altered sequence in which I think suspense was not well understood is the wampa’s lair, in which the wampa is more extensively seen in the newer cuts. I don’t believe the altered sequence is bad, taken on its own terms. But in comparison to the original, I think the new version is less effective. Somehow the wampa was more menacing when its threat was a little less explicit. Still, I think the new version of the scene does work well enough. If I had never seen the original version, I probably wouldn’t complain about this one.
When I learned that Ian McDiarmid would portray the Emperor in replacement footage for Empire, I didn’t balk—it seemed natural enough. But I dislike the results. In the original version of Empire, the Emperor was a more shadowy figure; in the 2004 version he is more clearly visible, undercutting the mystery and suspense of the character. (Of course, by the time you watch The Empire Strikes Back, the Emperor character is much less mysterious if you’ve already watched Episodes I–III.) As with the wampa, it’s more a matter of degree than a matter of good filmmaking vs. bad filmmaking.
“Wow,which part is 70s and which is 90s? It’s SO VERY SEAMLESS!”
Kenny Kraly Jr.
I will buy all 6 films. like star wars and all 6 of the films and consider ESB the best of the entire series with ROTS being the best film of the prequel trilogy. But what get’s on my nerves is when some fans say they like star wars but sometimes all they do is complain , Mon and gorn about bad the prequel trilogy is and the add on’s to the special editions of the OT are bad and where’nt made for the better. The add on’s to the special editions of the OT where made for the better and the prequel trilogy is not that bad.