‘Star Wars’ Poll: Episode II – The Final Straw

We previously ran a poll on this subject back when it was first announced that the ‘Star Wars’ saga would be coming to Blu-ray. However, now that new details have emerged regarding the further changes that George Lucas has imposed on the original trilogy, I feel that it’s worth revisiting the topic. Are you still planning to buy ‘Star Wars’ on Blu-ray next week, or have you finally had enough of George Lucas’ revisionism?

The last time we asked this, the results shook out that the majority of voters (43%) were planning to buy the whole “Complete Saga” six-film set. Just behind that at 29% were people who insisted that they wouldn’t buy the movies on Blu-ray until Lucas finally releases the original, unaltered versions of the first trilogy. I wonder if those percentages will still hold up.

After giving this a lot of thought, I’ve decided that I’m burned out on ‘Star Wars’. I find George Lucas’ behavior to be reprehensible. The ‘Star Wars’ trilogy were incredibly groundbreaking and influential films that changed the cinematic art form (for better or for worse). By systematically dismantling and disfiguring them the way he has, while refusing the preserve their original presentations that made such a profound impact on both filmmaking and popular culture, George Lucas is destroying an important piece of our cultural heritage. Until he restores these movies to their original forms, I will not buy them again on Blu-ray or any format. Screw George Lucas. He’s an asshole.

Are You Still Planning to Buy 'Star Wars' on Blu-ray?

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  1. Baked waker

    I really want to not get this set, because I find GL to be such a pompous clueless whorejerk, as much as I really want to get the original trilogy. I have a young son who is still 2-3 years from getting the full-blast Star Wars effect, and I know that, GL be damned, the prequel is also very popular with kids, so I will be getting the whole set (which I had not really planned, but, it’s for the kid) regardless.
    However, I do have time and I will be buying this for way cheaper than retail in a trade shop or ebay. If you keep your eyes open, they do go show up from time to time.
    GL fell ass-backwards into movie immortality, yet he is a one-trick pony who’s mighty steed is losing some of its mighty-ness due to rider blunders. We love the original trilogy so much, we put up with his despicable meddling, but the more they change, the lesser the bond.

    • Jane Morgan

      Penis Breath!

      Steven Spielberg just publicly fucked George Lucas in the ass.

      The E.T. blu-ray will be the theatrical release. Says Spielberg, of the 2002 special edition, “I realized what I had done was I had robbed people who loved E.T. of their memories of E.T.”

      Coming soon to blu-ray, in original form: E.T., Jaws, Indy, et al.

      • Drew

        Jane, who is that in your new picture? I asked you the other day. You may have responded, but if so, I missed it.

  2. When I saw The Phantom Menace in the Galaxy 9 theater in Garland, Texas when it was first released in 1999, the biggest house they had was THX certified, had a massive screen, and was clearly tweaked by the THX folks right before the release date. Consequently, it was the best theater presentation I had ever experienced, before or since. Never mind the fact that the movie was crap, I didn’t care. It was so amazing. That is why I will buy the Blu-Ray discs. Love it or hate it, the Star Wars saga is still a massive cinematic achievement, and I want to enjoy them in all their glory.

    If they decide to release a different (better) version, I’ll sell the first Blu-Ray release and buy the better version.

  3. Picknicker

    It may be breaking news to you, Josh, but George Lucas shot Star Wars to make money.

    He never claimed, neither in the 70s nor now, that Star Wars was supposed to be work of “cinematic art”. You may believe it, and millions of other “number one fans” may believe it, but GL never made such claims.

    • I’ve never heard of a director who writes and shoots a movie to make money…

      Sure, they would like to be paid handsomely for their effort, but what person goes to film school to learn to make movies just for the sake of making money?

      • Picknicker

        Uhm, the same bunch of persons who go to any other school to learn a profession and get a job, maybe? You know, to make a living and that stuff.

        Really, this is starting to become weird. Contrary to some folks here, I actually lived at a time when SW was being shown at the theatre. And I vividly remember the merchandise that was being produced at the very same time, stuffing shop by shop.

        Seriously, folks, by your standards, 20 years hence and Cars 2 will be hailed as a work of cinematic art that is forbidden to be re-rendered and altered.

        It’s a money-making venture. Let it go.

        • Josh Zyber

          Your argument holds no water. Almost all art is made with the intention of being sold. By your logic, no movie can ever be considered art. In fact, no art can be considered art either.

          • Josh Zyber

            To elaborate on this, regardless of whether the movie was produced as a commercial money-making venture or not, it is indisputably also a work of artistic expression. These things are not mutually exclusive.

            If George Lucas had only ever cared about making a lot of money, he would have become an investment banker, not a filmmaker. He became a filmmaker because he wanted to tell stories and entertain people. By definition, that makes him an artist, and means that his films are art. Whether you personally like his art or not doesn’t mean that it’s not art.

            Further, the young George Lucas, the one who made the first Star Wars movie, was clearly not solely interested in making money. If he had been, he would have sold his services as a studio hack, and dutifully directed whatever was assigned to him. Instead, he produced Star Wars independently, and had to fight to get the first movie made the way he wanted with little studio backing or support. Because he cared about it. Because he had a story that he wanted to tell. Because he wanted it to be good.

            Good or bad, made “for kids” or any other audience, Star Wars is indisputably a piece of art. There is no argument to be made otherwise.

        • Drew

          Your argument is utterly ludicrous! ‘Star Wars’ had a profound impact on cinematic art! It is a crucial piece of United States culture! It altered filmmaking forever!

          What you say here is so preposterous, it’s hard to believe that I’m actually reading it.

          ANY and ALL significantly important pieces of art, regardless of which medium they are from, must be preserved with the utmost care, in their original form.

          You are really trying to say that ‘Star Wars’ doesn’t matter simply because you believe it was made for profit? It doesn’t matter why it was originally made. The resulting consequence is much more important! Regardless of why ‘Star Wars’ was originally made, it still had an undeniable impact on popular culture and cinematic art. It remains one of the most influential and game changing pieces of cinematc art ever made. This fact alone proves, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that it must be preserved in it’s original form. There’s no opinion of the contrary that can even be considered. Any other opinion is flat-out incorrect! We are not discussing opinions vs. other opinions here. We are discussing true and false, fact vs. fiction, wrong vs. right.

          You are wrong! Anybody else who states the facts is right!

          • Drew

            By the way, I was replying to picknicker, not you, Josh.

            I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say in your response!

          • Lets go back to this shall we, you state right here that nothing can be said and no matter what is said if it doesnt agree with your OPINION about Star Wars being preserved, they are automatically wrong.

            Nothing you said is fact, which leads me back to WHY it does matter what George can and wants to do with his own work, just because YOU feel “beyond a shadow of a doubt” that the original trilogy MUST be preserved because its part of our culture, DOESNT MATTER, you can feel that all you want to buddy, it makes no difference, so NO you are NOT right and everyone else is wrong. In the end I AGREE WITH YOU, I thought I’ve made that clear, but the way things are with George owning everything about Star Wars, he DOESNT have an obligation to anyone….sorry but its true

      • Scotty

        I just don’t understand your augment.you sound like the bunch of socialist in Washington.they claim that capitalism is evil and people that make profit is evil.the fact is you would do the same damn thing if it was you

        • Drew

          That is one of the most asanine remarks I’ve ever seen!

          No! we wouldn’t do the same thing! First and foremost, he could make MORE PROFIT simply by restoring the original unaltered editions and selling them as well. Moreover, trying to effectively erase an important piece of art history is indefensible! There can be no argument to the contary made!

    • Josh Zyber

      Yeah, and Michaelangelo painted the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel because the church paid him a big fat commission to do it. Most art is commercial by nature. That doesn’t mean it’s not art.

      • Picknicker

        Back in the time, Michelangelo’s work indeed was recognized as a work of art.

        However, such is not the case. GL never intended to create a piece of art. He intended to make money. To achieve this, he told a story that resonated well with the audience at the time.

        You might now know this, but the script for Apocalypse Now was in fact offered to GL, and he refused to shoot the flick because he considered the topic too risky for his commercial aspirations. So the script went to FFC, and GL instead chose to tell the same story wrapped in a colorful, easy sci-fi narrative.

        There is no art in this. It’s a story of the time, filled with hairy sidekicks to mask the political, even incendiary nature of the script.

        That is all there is to it.

        • Drew

          It doesn’t fucking matter whether he intended to create a piece of art or not!

          You just don’t get it! The reason behind it, or the intention behind it is completely irrelevant!

          If the Mona Lisa would have been created by a child, while they were finger painting, it would still be a profound piece of art!

          Stop considering whether or not ‘Star Wars’ was intended to be art. Whether it was or not doesn’t matter!

          Even if ‘Star Wars’ was the result of a complete accident, it remains one of the most influential pieces of cinematic art ever produced.

          It absolutely must be preserve in it’s original form! Any comment or opinion contrary to this is utterly wrong!

          • Jane: I’m not sure what your retorical point is supposed to be. Blade Runner is now the poster boy of how a movie with multiple versions should be treated.

            Back when the studio refused to release the original version, the situation was pretty much the same as with Star Wars, with the minor difference that fans actually liked the changes in the director’s cut.

          • It’s not that Blade Runner changes it’s that the audience wanted the original version and didn’t get it. Until very recently. Despite which version of Blade Runner you enjoy the most, (Frankly I love all of them for their own reasons) the studio and the director finally arrived at the right decision, restore the movies disparate versions to their best film and audio quality, while at the same time making a definitive directors version.

            They didn’t pretend that we are all idiots and that the original movie was “unavailable at this time” or was “destroyed to make the new cut”, they also didn’t make even more lame ass statements like “The audience prefers the new version and doesn’t want to see the old version as DVD sales show” or even worse “It would cost too much money and time to restore the original version”.

            George has basically lied to his audience time and time again. You’re gonna tell me that the man who’s company helped usher in CGI (“Young Sherlock Holmes” is stated as the first feature length film with an integrated CGI character) doesn’t have a digital backup of the original master before he trashed them to make the new extended editions?

            If that’s true than George Lucas is even more batshit insane then I thought he was. And his IT guys should be FIRED for not making sure there wasn’t a tape backup of the data, before George went crazy and started putting digital scissors to one of the most important films in cinematic history.

          • Josh Zyber

            Tim, one problem here is that the last scan of the unaltered footage was done for the 1995 Laserdisc, and that master was only done in standard definition resolution. Only the Special Edition versions, created after he started slicing into the negatives, have been scanned in high definition.

            However, Lucasfilm should still have the original film elements that were cut out saved in its archive, as well as preservation interpositives and internegatives of the whole movies. If there’s one thing that Lucasfilm is actually good at, it’s saving EVERYTHING. They’re obsessive about that over there. They may not want US to see it, but they absolutely have every frame of celluloid in a vault.

            If nothing else, George will want to keep that stuff around so that he could use it as the basis for more changes.

            Every trim is still there, stored away. Lucas just refuses to re-integrate them into the movies.

          • Jane Morgan

            How many versions of ‘Star Wars’ should be in this blu-ray set? Five?

            The theatrical edition. The pre-special edition. The ’97. The ’04. The ’11. With all of them being of equal HD quality?

            In seven years we’ll have to add the 3D releases, with and without the ’12-’17 changes.

            In ten years, in the 4K versions, do we need all the previous editions, along with the new ’21 edits?

            When holographic television hits mass market, do those ‘Star Wars’ versions need to be holographic editions of all nine previous releases?

            Because, to be fair, all niche fanbases should be treated equally.

          • Drew


            I know that your comment is cynical, sarcastic rhetoric, but I believe you are STILL missing the point.

            Obviously, as home video standards change, new releases of ‘Star Wars’ are going to be debuted. Regardless of what innovations come along down the road, the original theatrical editions must be preserved.

            All of your nonsense about the many other editions is, just that, NONSENSE. Release the theatrical editions each time a new video format debuts, and release whatever the latest, “Director’s — I’ve always wanted them this way — Cut” is. None of those other editions matter. Each time they are changed, Lucas tells us that the new versions are the definitive ones. He tells us that these new versions are the way that he always intended them to be. Even if the facts completely prove otherwise, this is what he tells us.

            The theatrical editions are a crucial part of cinematic art history. They absolutely must be preserved and restored to the latest standard (which is always evolving). That’s how cinematic art history works. It’s completely different than restoring a painting, or any other type of art.

        • Sure, Star Wars was made to make money. It was put together as a piece of entertainment. It’s a big budgeted MOVIE, financed and distributed by a big movie studio. You say GL turned down Apocalypse Now because it was too risky. Well, probably so. But remember, at the time, Star Wars was a huge risk and everyone, including 20th Century Fox, thought it was going to fail. This is what I remember hearing in a couple of “making of” docs I’ve watched.

          I’m no GL apologist (I’m not buying these damn movies again, especially with all of the new edits), but back in the day, he took a lot of risks making this movie.

    • I think both Picknicker AND Josh are right.

      Lucas has stated that he wanted to create a new mythology for kids who weren’t getting any new stories in the 1970’s. See the most excellent “The Making of”: “A New Hope” and “Empire Strikes Back” for much, much more on this topic.

      Also, in those same volumes, are his insights into his brilliance to hold on to the merchandising rights, because HE KNEW that he had something hot on his hands and he could merchandise the Hell out of it. R2-D2 cookie jars anyone? He made $2 BILLION (with a “B”) on the promo tie-in to PepsiCo in 1996 for the prequels alone).

      So, you all are really both correct. George made the flicks to give kids something fun to watch that became part of our national pop culture, AND he did it to make a TON of money (partially to allow him to make those “experimental documentaries” that he was always talking about).

      • Drew

        No, they are not both correct. Only Josh is correct. Picknicker is saying that the fact that ‘Star Wars’ was made for kids means that it isn’t art. That is patently wrong!

        Josh is saying that regardless of why ‘Star Wars’ was made, or who it was made for, it remains an important piece of cinematic art that changed the landscape of filmmaking forever. He is absolutely correct!

  4. Picknicker

    In fact, you start to remind me of a sequence in Life of Brian.

    You know, the one where Brian loses a shoe, and suddenly his fellowers take theirs off because, surely, a shoe in the hand is meant to be a holy rite that must be followed.

  5. Barsoom Bob

    Voted for “buying begrudgingly”. most of the changes have not disturbed me very much, I think the blinking eyes on the Ewok is actually good. But altering the Han Solo scene to make it P.C. and now, dumbing down the the climatic moment of the whole 12 hour saga with the totally unnecessary “Nooooo”, George should really be ashamed. But there is way to much fantastic imagery and action to write the whole thing off.

    This may go off topic but, I too have young ones to introduce to the saga, (grand kids) and I am debating the order to show the movies in. There is the chrono 1-6, or the release order 4-6 1-3 and then there is the very tempting 4-5 1-3 6 order. This sets the hook with the arguably two best episodes, preserves the reveal of Darth Vader as the father, tells Annakin’s story, then pick ups from the Han Solo cliff hanger to finish out the resolution of Luke and Annakin’s story. Anybody ever try that and how did it play out ?

    • Dan P.

      If you got kids who haven’t seens SW yet, then yes, do it in 4,5,1,2,3,6 order. You wan’t to preserve the full effect of “Luke, I am your father” (assuming he still says that on the BD, or maybe he’s Luke’s uncle now. I don’t know…).

      • Drew

        “Luke, I am your father.” Is uttered in ‘Empire’ – episode 5, not ‘Jedi’ – episode 6. Screening them this way would only delay this moment for a film and a half.

        • Barsoom Bob

          Who said anything about it being revealed in Jedi.

          The point of the 4-5 1-3 6 order is to preserve the impact of the reveal on an unsuspecting Luke and us as an audience. It could be argued that the 1-6 order gives us this piece of information in the birth of the twins at the end and then we are concerned for Luke finding this out for the next movie and a half and then the confirmation. For sheer dramatic impact, I think blindsided reveal in 5 should come first.

  6. i will be buying star wars on blu. not next week , but i will be down the road. he’s a perfectionist. he is able to take his story and polish it. i love the “he’s doing this for money” bit. we all do it for the money. if he was really doing it for the money there would be 9 to 11 discs coming out next week. and lets say there was no episode 1 ,2 or 3. and the original’s intact. han shoots first. a lot of people would say it’s dated. it hasn’t aged well. the print hasn’t aged well. so it’s six in one hand half a dozen in another.

  7. I don’t understand how the revelation of these “new changes” makes a bit of difference to those who don’t like any of the revisions. If you didn’t like the first batch, the third (or fourth, I’ve lost count) shouldn’t matter a hill of beans. If you don’t mind the first changes, then the new ones shouldn’t be a big deal. I’ve learned to live with the changes, so I don’t mind buying this set any more than I did before.

  8. Dan P.

    Another way of looking at the whole “NOooo” thing… David Prowse doesn’t say anyhing at all in any of the movies. He just shakes his head a lot so James Earl Jones can get dubbed in later. No lip sync issues with the mask either. I think George planned it that way so he can “re-program” the dialog any time he wants to. Damned brilliant.

    • Just so you know, David Prowse spoke during his scenes as Darth Vader. They replaced his voice with James Earl Jones’ in post-production.

      In the scene when Vader reveals he’s Luke’s father, the dialogue that David Prowse spoke was completely different (about Luke and Vader ruling the galaxy, etc) then at the premier when they saw the movie, Prowse asked Lucas, “Why didn’t you give me those lines? I would’ve acted differently”. Lucas said that he wanted it that way and was happy with his performance.

      • Lucas didn’t have Prowse do the line “I AM your father”, because he wanted to wait until he was for a close up of Mark Hammill. Then, for the first time, James Earl Jones voice over was piped in so Mark Hammill’s authentic reaction of horror could be captured on film.

  9. August Lehe

    Don’t forget the creators of DUNE got the critical brush off from most EVERYONE. Yes, I find this part silly, and that part overdone, but I love DUNE, like the 1954 War of the Worlds, still. Remember, H.G. Wells supposedly called METROPOLIS (1927)”quite the silliest film.” What did he know?

  10. I’m getting the complete set primarily for the bonus materials – and I’m assuming there’s a lot of fans in the same boat with me. Yes, I’ll watch all six of the films, but I’ll get most of my enjoyment from the extras…and since the one bonus disc only comes with the complete set, I’m getting the complete set.

  11. The only reason they’re including an exclusive disc with the complete set is so people will buy it just for that and won’t end boycotting the release or settling for the original trilogy.

    I am not buying the set, I’ll borrow my friends copy to watch the exclusive special features.

  12. Jane Morgan

    My three young kids (11-9-6, BBG) have never seen the Star Wars films. Nor do they own any merchandise. Nor have they played the video games. I am unsure how to introduce them to the universe.

    Children, in my observation, regardless of the entertainment medium, don’t care about the imperfections of the drama.

    The visual artistry, on the other hand, of epic science fiction cinema, can elevate their young dreams, giving them new building blocks to tinker with.

    I vote with my wallet. But what would I be actually purchasing?

    If I turned the sound off, I would own 10,000 pieces of iconic sci-fi art, to hang on the wall. Playing in a stream. Images that loosely tell a story.

    Maybe I would keep the volume on, as the music is not too shabby.

    I purchase picture books and video games, with awful clunky storytelling, as the drama is only one element of the entertainment.

    I’m leaning toward, waiting six months, buying these blu-rays used.

    No money for the evil empire.

    No reason to punish the kids for George Lucas’s leadership failures.

    • TWO versions. The ORIGINAL ’77-’83 versions, PLUS whichever version is currently Lucas’ “vision.”

      BTW, for those of you keeping track, that’s THREE versions less than what’s in the Blade Runner set. 🙂

  13. Tony

    I’ll Netflix the blu’s eventually but not purchase.

    In my mind I can still see the movies as they originally were and the changes don’t bother me too much for my own personal viewing. I wish I had the original versions on blu-ray to show my kids, who didn’t grow up with the original versions. I’ll show the kids the ’06 dvds on a small TV first before we watch the blu’s on the projector.

  14. motorheadache

    I’m the guy who voted the prequel trilogy only, and I’m gonna wait till its cheap. The prequel trilogy will likely be a good release, and just about the best quality you’re going to see those movies. Not that I think they are good movies, but I still have some kind of weird attachment to them anyway.

    I’ve already said this a few times, but I’ll say one more time– The “NOOOOO” alteration to one of my favorite moments in RotJ is one alteration to far for me, so I absolutely will not buy that version of the OT.

    • Donat Torres

      If the leaked screenshots are an indication, The Phantom Menace has been DNR’d Patton-style in some scenes. Jus’ sayin.’

  15. Jane Morgan

    I wonder if these movies play better in non-English countries.

    Is the subtitled dialogue less awkward? Is the spoken dialogue more exotic?

    Should I have my kids watch these for the first time, dubbed in Portuguese?

    • Luckily, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium doesn’t dub foreign movies, so I can’t comment on that. As far as subtitled dialogue goes, I always watch my movies with English subtitles.

      I did see them in the theatres (back in 1997, 1999, 2002 & 2005) with Dutch subtitles, which made the movies’ dialogue no less awkward.

    • Subtitles can make the dialogue even more awkward (and in some cases amusing). Especially when the translator has an off day.

      In the theatrical release of Star Wars special edition in Norway, the line “This is your father’s lightsaber” was actually translated to “This is your father’s lightweight saber”.

      Also, in Attack of the Clones, Palpatine’s comment to Anakin, “In time, you will learn to trust your feelings. Then, you will be invincible” was translated to “In time, you will learn to trust your feelings. Then, you will be invisible”.

      The second error is an easy mistake to make, and one could argue that it was the best part of the movie. But the first one has always baffled me. Star Wars had been around for 20 years at the time, and I really don’t understand how someone who translates movies for a living has managed to avoid understanding the “light” in “lightsaber” does not refer to its weight for all that time.

  16. I saw Star Wars back in ’77 at the age of 4 and have always loved the Original Trilogy. I hate to see George keep revising these movies. It’s unnecessary.

    I have a LaserDisc scan of the OT on DVD, but would still love to see it on Hi-Def.

    That said, I WILL be buying them on Blu-Ray, because I fear the unaltered versions will never be released. I live in Santa Clara, CA, and the standard of living here is so high that my gf and I can’t even do lunch for under $40, so to pay $70 (Amazon price) for 9 Blu-Rays isn’t a big stretch. I doubt I’ll spin the Prequels, unless I want to see specific scenes.

    No more Jar-Jar. Never again.

    On a side note, I steadfastly refuse to see any of the Prequel 3-D conversions. I’ll check out A New Hope and if I like it, I’ll likely hit the other two once they’re released.

    Thanks for a great poll and topic, Josh!

  17. Samuel

    This might get lost amongst the barrage of comments, but I get the impression that in the USA there has been no DVD release of the original trilogy in their original form, is that correct?

    The reason I ask is that here in Australia I bought a 6 disc set of the original trilogy on DVD about three years ago and for each film disc one was the ’04 DVD special editions and disc two was the unedited and unembellished original cut. In other words, I got the original cut. Did that never get released in the USA?

    • That did get a worldwide release, but a lot of Star Wars fans are unhappy with how it turned out. The three originals are non-anamorphic LaserDisc ports, that are not up to 2004’s DVD standards.

  18. Brian H

    I recently watched the first three Star Wars Dvds with a friend from another country who had never seen any of the Star Wars films. I cringed every time cgi scenes from the past tens or so years showed up. I find them incongruent. One analysis that I have heard, described George Lucas recent directing with a characteristic that requires various scenes to be packed with way too many characters, buildings, etc. it just becomes noise. The scene in A New Hope with Jabba and Han Solo is both terrible on several levels and just does not fit with the narrative or the visuals.

    So without having to consider new changes, I won’t be purchasing any Star Wars blu rays.

    If at some point, the first three are released without changes for $60 or less on blu ray, then I’ll be glad to purchase them. I don’t expect that will happen anytime soon. If I feel compelled to watch the altered versions, then there is Netflix. Netflix is good for blu rays of films that I don’t want in my collection.

  19. I will still be buying the blu-ray box set. It’s star wars on blu-ray after all. If fans want to complain and wine about the changes let them. The changes to the films don’t bother me one bit. And this whole I won’t buy it unless the original cuts of the OT are on blu-ray let it go that ship sale’ed a long time ago.

  20. BlueJello13

    I will be purchasing begrudgingly. Like many others I worry that these will be the only versions George releases. In this age with technology the way it is, it is almost unreasonable to not present us as consumers with every version of the movie available to us. With plenty of examples like Blade Runner, Close Encounters (seriously get Spielberg to call Lucas and verbally smack him over the phone), Terminator 2, Avatar, the Alien series, almost every “unrated” movie, and tons more, the discs can either be broken up into one for each version or via seemless branching. Let us as viewers choose which version we want to see. Some may enjoy the newly revised versions others may want the “unraped” unaltered versions.

    It just seems odd that the cost of remastering the originals would be too expensive when they can spend money making insane changes like adding rocks to cover R2 in one scene or making Ewoks blink. Where will the money we shovel out for these sets be going? Can a small amount be set aside for remastering? Can Criterion or someone jump in there and get a hold of an original print and independently remaster them? In this day and age there has to be options.

    Also I’d like to quote George Lucas from his 1988 address to congress regarding film being art. I believe it is art, and so does he. Here are some of the parts of his plea that strike me as ironic.

    “People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians, and if the laws of the United States continue to condone this behavior, history will surely classify us as a barbaric society. These current defacements are just the beginning. Today, engineers with their computers can add color to black-and-white movies, change the soundtrack, speed up the pace, and add or subtract material to the philosophical tastes of the copyright holder. Tomorrow, more advanced technology will be able to replace actors with “fresher faces,” or alter dialogue and change the movement of the actor’s lips to match. It will soon be possible to create a new “original” negative with whatever changes or alterations the copyright holder of the moment desires. The copyright holders, so far, have not been completely diligent in preserving the original negatives of films they control. In order to reconstruct old negatives, many archivists have had to go to Eastern bloc countries where American films have been better preserved. In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be “replaced” by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society.” and this really drives it home.. “Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten.” Also “The public’s interest is ultimately dominant over all other interests…. Attention should be paid to the interest of those who are yet unborn, who should be able to see this generation as it saw itself, and the past generation as it saw itself.”

    His hypocrisy is amazing. I get that his point is that the art needs to remain in the control of it’s creator. But he seems to have forgotten or changed his ideals, which may be the saddest part of this. If he were simply releasing the series with the originals included in some form I’m sure that all this debating and outrage could be easily avoided. Oh well.

  21. that1guypictures

    Minor changes (or major) depending on how you look at it… I don’t mine changes made to a film by the original creator. I enjoy Star Wars for the music first and foremost, and I’m not going to get all hot and bothered by changes we all knew were coming and should have fully expected. I can enjoy the higher quality of these versions on Blu-ray and then stick my old unaltered DVD’s in if I want to compare and contrast. While i understand why people want the originals, I have never understood why people get so angry about it.

  22. I don’t really understand people jumping ship now, after all the previous changes. I’ve had a long time to get used to the idea that GL loves to change StarWars and I’ve made peace with it.

    I’mm not going to kid myself with a moment of consumer delusion of grandeur and think if I boycott this movie that I’ll get the perfect version that I want. It would be nice, but really it’s about owning it or not owning it, those are my choices. and I don’t see how anyone with a semi-decent home theater can’t own the highest fidelity version of Star Wars.

    Maybe I’m a Jedi now, but the changes just don’t elicit an emotional reaction to me anymore. I can chuckle at them and still have a good time.

    I’ll probably eventually snag a fan edit of them to have a version with HD picture and sound, but with most of the weird additions cut.

    I’m fine with people not buying them, although I suspect a lot of people will be saying they are boycotting, but end up buying it. I mean come-on, it’s Star Wars on blu-ray.

    People all have their minds made up. The amount of time spent debating with people who will never change their minds is pretty hilarious. But hey, the nerd battles generate web-hits. so I guess it’s good for sites like this to stoke the Star Wars paper tiger rage.

    • Josh Zyber

      I don’t think the phrase “the highest fidelity version of Star Wars” applies to these Blu-rays. 🙂

      My stance is actually consistent. I didn’t buy the altered versions of Star Wars on DVD either. The only copies I own are on Laserdisc.

      • I did cave in and buy the special edition original trilogy on DVD, but I’ve never even put the discs in the player. Then I bought it again when they were rereleased with the unaltered versions as bonus discs.

        I’m very curious about the 3 bonus discs, and they’re the only reason I’m even considering buying the Blu-ray set. However, unless I get it for about $20, there’s no way I’m buying the altered versions again.

  23. I’m all in.

    I pre-ordered mine in January, and as the day comes closer, I’m more and more excited to see these.

    Sure, if I want to see Han shooting first, if I want to not hear Vader say “No!”, if I want a Sarlacc without a beak, if I want no Jabba ’till Episode VI, if I want no ring around exploding Death Stars… I watch my 2006 discs. They don’t look too bad through my AppleTV, and the lower quality gives them that nostalgic vintage appeal that really takes me back to my childhood.

    But if I want to see those amazing space battles and lighstaber duels, in glorious 1080p with lossless 6.1, I’m getting those Blu-Rays out. Not to mention all of the extras.

    Yeah, I’m looking forward to it.

  24. Ok Josh, what’s the highest fidelity version out there? HDTV version? DVD?

    Do those have lossless audio?

    Are they the same or better?


    Now sure you can argue the content is of lesser quality, but not the picture and sound.

    • Josh Zyber

      “Fidelity” is not the same thing as “quality.” Fidelity means faithfulness. What’s encoded on these discs isn’t faithful to Star Wars in the slightest.

    • Drew

      Josh was teasing you, and being humorous about your “highest fidelity” comment.

      He wasn’t arguing whether or not they were superior.

      You can’t use the term “high fidelity” when discussing Blu-ray, or high-def in general.

      He was just having fun with you.

    • Ok we are talking a few scenes and dialog/CG added in a couple of places, how does that make these not faithful to Star Wars in the slightest? Most of the original trilogy is unchanged with only scenes that were added to enhance the movies, sure there are other changes that dont do that, but stuff like the planets celebrating at the end of Jedi was a great addition IMO, so 90% or so of the trilogy is exactly as it was before…so I think that remark is total BS

      Is it me Drew or are you attached to Josh at the hip now? Everything he says or does you seem to love without question, as for the “argument” that cant be argued about art and preserving it, yes it can be argued and the fact is, Lucas owns the property, he doesnt have to do anything he doesnt want to with it, simple as that, he doesnt have to bow down to your wishes or anyone elses, sure I hope he puts out the unaltered trilogy too, but I dont keep some crazy idea like you that he’s REQUIRED to do so because its art and must be preserved, LOL

      • Josh Zyber

        If you painted a mustache on the Mona Lisa, that would amount to, what, a 5% change to the painting. Most of the painting is still intact, so it’s OK. In fact, you have a little leeway, so let’s add both a mustache and a beanie hat with propellor. That’d only be a 10% change, leaving the other 90% untouched, which falls safely within the range of acceptability.

        Now, let’s be sure to do this to the original copy of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, and then withdraw all other copies, reproductions, or prints of the original version from circulation. In fact, if anyone asks, the official story is that this is how the Mona Lisa has always been. If anyone remembers the painting without a mustache or beanie hat, what they must be talking about is an unfinished work-in-progress that was never intended to be seen by the public, because it never represented the artist’s true intentions for the painting.

        Unfortunately, the paintbrush technology of the time didn’t allow for the artist to add a mustache and beanie hat as he always wanted. Oh, and a big hairy mole on her cheek. Let’s not forget that. And, now that I think about it, she was always intended to be standing in front of a waterfall as well. With a unicorn prancing under a rainbow in the distance.

        Wait a sec, I almost forgot that the whole painting was also always intended to be in “Magic Eye” style 3D too.

        What, you want to see what the Mona Lisa used to look like before all these “corrections”? Well screw you. It’s not your painting, and you have no right to question the current owner about what he’s doing to it.

        • Jane Morgan

          If Leonardo da Vinci painted a mustache on the Mona Lisa, after the painting’s debut, just because he wanted to, despite outrage from the art world… Is that not the artist’s right?

          And if he had painted Mona Lisa With A Mustache, I bet it would be just as famous a work of art, or even more so. Because he’s Leonardo fucking da Vinci.

          Without George “child rapist” Lucas, there would be no Star Wars. The man has earned the right, in his old age, to piss on his own legacy.

          We, as fans, have only earned the right to watch, and wince.

          • Josh Zyber

            Picasso painted something like a thousand variations of his “Portrait of a Woman.” If da Vinci had wanted a Mona Lisa with a mustache after he’d already finished and debuted the original version, he could paint another copy. Once the work is finished and unveiled to the world, it becomes part of the cultural history.

            George Lucas can make all the changes he wants to Star Wars. He can remake the movies completely if he chooses (which I’m sure will happen eventually). But he also has a moral obligation to our cultural heritage to preserve the original version. Even George Lucas made this very point himself in his speech to Congress in 1988. Unfortunately, he turned into a tremendous hypocrite some time after that.

          • Drew


            You are, once again, missing the point. Why do you keep arguing about whether or not it is the artist’s right?

            Whether it’s the artist’s right or not is irrelevant. Lucas can change the shit out of ‘Star Wars’. Nobody is arguing that it isn’t his right.

            We are saying that as he continues to change it, the original, unaltered, version, must still be made available, and restored with proper care and respect to whatever the current standard is.

        • Drew

          This post — the one Josh makes about changing The Mona Lisa, just in case my reply gets lost in the shuffle — gets my vote for post of the motherfuckin year!

          I’m sorry anybody and everybody else that feels otherwise. You’re flat out wrong! And this post is the absolute best way to prove that to you! This was easily the best comment I have ever read on HDD or the bonus view blog. This is the end all, be all of comments regarding the massacre of ‘Star Wars’. There is simply no other way to look at it.

          Thank you, Josh! I hope everybody who feels differently reads this comment and understand just how wrong they are!

      • Ok lets quit with the Mona Lisa and painting references, they really have no weight in this argument, Star Wars isnt a piece of painted art, its a freaking movie, while I’ve said numerous times I would love to have the originals, there is really no argument that matters to how this is working out. George owns Star Wars and everything about it and you cant do anything to change that, everyone can bitch and complain and moan and not buy his box set or anything else related to Star Wars and it wont make any difference.

        If he doesnt want to give you the original films, well thats something you will have to live with, it doesnt matter if its considered art or not, he has the rights to do what he wants with his own stuff, plain and simple and some people just wont let that sink in.

        • Josh Zyber

          The point you’re failing to recognize is that just because someone CAN do something, doesn’t mean that he SHOULD. If I were a racist skinhead a’hole and really wanted to, I could get a tattoo of a swastica on my forehead. I’d have the legal right to do that, and nobody could stop me. That doesn’t make it a good idea. If I did that, I shouldn’t act surprised that people might be offended by and upset at my decision.

          I’ll stop using the Mona Lisa analogy when it stops being appropriate to the situaion, which will be the day that George Lucas restores the films to their original state.

          Can I force George Lucas to restore the films? Unfortunately, no. That doesn’t mean I’m going to suck it up and pretend that I’m not deeply offended by what he’s doing.

        • Drew

          Bullshit! “They really have no weight in this argument.” Are you kidding me?! It’s an apples to apples comparison! It’s perfect!

          Stop trying to argue, and convince us that it is Lucas’ right to do as he pleases!

          Nobody is saying otherwise!

          We are saying that Lucas, Da Vinci, Picasso, or any other artist, in any other genre, has an obligation to keep their original art intact, and preserve it with all due, and proper respect.

          Lucas can do whatever the fuck he wants with ‘Star Wars’, but he can’t try to ignore his original art, and pretend like it never existed.

          • Ok, I’ll do that when you stop replying and sucking up to Josh with every post he makes….

            Again George doesnt hold any obligation to keep the original Star Wars intact, besides fans wanting it because they grew up with it, it makes no difference, he HOLDS NOTHING TO YOU, thats my point, your moral compass has no affect on what he’s going to do with his work.

            Lets say I started out an early music career with a horrible CD, I made it, got it out there and moved on to another point of view on how I wanted to create my music, I have every right to not condone any one listen to that CD and I have every right (if I owned the rights mind you, which George DOES to Star Wars) to never remaster it or re-release it again if I dont want to, I’ve moved on to another type of music, music that might have made me more popular and got me more recognition and more money to live on and be successful, I dont want that original CD around anymore, sure I cant stop people from obtaining original copies or passing it around to others if they want to, but I have NO obligation to you or anyone else to do anything new with that content if I, the artist, doesnt want to. I dont have to reproduce it, remaster it or anything that I personally dont want to do with it, because I simply dont like that CD and dont play that type of music anymore.

            Simple as that, the arguments you are making about the Mona Lisa and paintings and such, have just been counter-argued.

            Obviously George hasnt been a fan of the original Trilogy for some time since making his prequels and no matter how much you whine and bitch and think its morally wrong to you to not give you the originals, he doesnt have to, do I agree with it, NO I DONT, but you really have no argument here beyond what YOU believe and what moral standards you seem to follow

          • Drew

            This isn’t a difference of opinion! It’s right vs. wrong.

            I am right. You are wrong.

            Anybody who states that the original trilogy must be preserved it correct. You are incorrect.

            It’s as simple as that.

            This is not a discussion about morals. Discussing whether or not it is morally righteous to try and erase the original trilogy is futile. It’s also utterly irrelevant.

            Stop thinking of this in terms of morals, whether he has the right to do it or not, and whether he should or shouldn’t. None of these ideas matter one bit.

            This is a discussion of correct vs. incorrect, right vs. wrong, yes vs. no.

            You, and anyone that agrees with the nonsensical drivel that you are spewing, are simply wrong. Anybody who takes the opposite stance is right.

            Yes, it IS actually that simple.

          • Drew

            By the way, your comparison of ‘Star Wars’ with some obscure, little heard album is wholly inane.

            ‘Star Wars’ is an important part of an entire society’s cultural heritage. It’s one of the most profound and vital pieces of cinematic art history to ever come into existence.

            If the original Star Wars trilogy would have made zero impact, and never reached the status of actually being considered a crucial piece of cinematic art history, it would be fine if the creator decided that they wanted to try and erase it from existence.

            The example of ‘Star Wars’ is actually the exact opposite of the asanine one regarding a little heard album from an artist who later strikes it big.

            The original trilogy is and always will be Lucas’ biggest success. None of the prequels, or anything he has worked on since have attained a fraction of the following that the original trilogy did. Nothing he has worked on since has had comparable impact on cinema as an artform.

            He’s trying to erase a profound piece of art history (his “masterpiece”, if you will)), from existence, in an effort to make it more like his inferior, and superficial work.

          • Drew

            And no, the arguments made about the Mona Lisa, Da Vinci, Picasso, and other creators of profound pieces of art history haven’t been “counter argued” as you so (in)eloquently put it.

            You’ve done nothing to present a counter to those arguments.

            You used an example in which the art in question wasn’t really art at all. Your example doesn’t refer to anything that would ever be considered “art”, let alone a vital piece of art history.

          • LOL, really buddy? You’ve got some serious issues, you are right and I’m wrong? Simple as that? Ok, explain to me why you are so right and I’m so wrong. Yes Star Wars is a big part of a lot of people’s cultural history its a worldwide phenomenon, no one is saying otherwise, but again we go back to George having the right to do what he wants to with his intellectual property, past that it doesnt matter what you believe, what morals you have, if you think you are right or I’m wrong or anything in between, for some reason you just cant grasp this simple notion. Your personal opinion on what he should do with his stuff, or Josh’s opinion, or anyone elses for that matter, has no bearing on what he HAS to do

            If he wants to erase what he made back in the day and continue turning the original Trilogy into what you see today, he can do it, with no obligation to history, society, you, me, God, Zeus. IT DOESNT MATTER, what is the major problem in not understanding this?

            My example works perfectly fine by the way, it doesnt matter if that original work wasnt hugely popular like Star Wars was, its still a piece of art, in my example its a piece of art that wasnt a big hit, but it has its followers who really enjoy it and wish that I would continue making music like that, but I’m not and I dont have to no matter how much they beg me to go back to my “roots” so to speak. How is this any different with what George is doing with Star Wars, people clamoring for him to go back to his “roots” and release these movies unaltered, no more continuing on with what he’s doing. It all makes perfect sense and this I’m right your wrong BS really needs to stop.

            Saying that the example I used isnt really art at all just undermines most of what you’ve said, according to everyone in here, it seems that everything like this is art, music, paintings, movies, that right there just takes you down a notch in your logic, also your logic about this one:

            “If the original Star Wars trilogy would have made zero impact, and never reached the status of actually being considered a crucial piece of cinematic art history, it would be fine if the creator decided that they wanted to try and erase it from existence. ”

            So now you are saying that its ok for a piece of art to be pushed back and forgotten just because it didnt receive a lot of success? Well again you’ve thrown your whole argument out the window, after these few replies I’m not sure why I should even bother trying to get through to you since now you’ve regressed to “I’M RIGHT YOUR WRONG” for your replies, congratulations on taking a step back in the evolutionary process

          • Also let me point you here


            Take a look at which trilogy holds the biggest piece of the pie when it comes to the overall earnings of the whole Star Wars saga, to actually go and say this:

            “The original trilogy is and always will be Lucas’ biggest success. None of the prequels, or anything he has worked on since have attained a fraction of the following that the original trilogy did. Nothing he has worked on since has had comparable impact on cinema as an artform.”

            Really holds no weight when you compare how much following and money he’s made with the prequels over the original Trilogy, Star Wars is still going extremely strong WITH the prequels and WITH the changes, sure Star Wars was revolutionary in 1977 when it came out but saying that the prequels had no impact on cinema is totally wrong, the leap in CGI FX for these films was amazing, the attention to detail in every minute explosion with amazing sound FX and awesome musical scores have no impact on cinema as an art form?

            Sure, die hard fans dont see the prequels as being on the same level as the original trilogy, but Star Wars is just as popular now as it ever was and the prequels certainly didnt hurt anything

          • Drew

            There you go again, arguing whether he can do it, should do it, or whether it is morally right to do it.

            You really must have some kind of an impediment, so I’ll leave you alone.

            There’s just no other reason that you would keep talking about whether he can do it, should do it, or whether it is ethically right to do so, when none of that matters one bit.

            Moreover, you try to say that because I said that if a work of art makes zero cultural impact, and means nothing to art history, it would be okay to try and erase it from existence, that it somehow means that I’m throwing my argument out the window. Well, again, you’re comprehension and understanding are clearly retarded, for that has been the point all along. (I’m not saying that in a non-politically correct way. I’m saying that you’ve let ‘Star Wars’ or Lucas’ brainwashing retard your comprehension and understanding of this. Your compehension has been obstructed.)

            If ‘Star Wars’ was not a significant and profound piece of art history, changing it wouldn’t matter. It goes back to the old cliche, “If a tree falls over in the forest, and nobody hears it, did it really happen?”

            The entire reason why it matters so much is due to the impact ‘Star Wars’ made on filmmaking, and cinematic art history. If it was a meaningless dud of a film, changing it simply wouldn’t matter.

            None of this detracts from the original argument at all. It’s actually quite sad that you can’t understand this. I feel bad for you. I hope that I never let any film franchise retard my learning or comprehension of something that truly matters.

          • Drew

            Your link to which film in the saga has made the most money is irrelevant. Tickets cost about five times as much when the prequel trilogy came out. I would certainly hope at least one of them would make more money. Attendance is what really matters. They didn’t come close to reaching the attendance of the original films.

            Anybody with a shred of common sense would never try to imply that the prequel trilogy had a fraction of the impact on filmmaking and cultural heritage that the original trilogy did.

            Just like the fact is, that I am right and you are wrong, it’s as simple as that.

          • “There you go again, arguing whether he can do it, should do it, or whether it is morally right to do it.

            You really must have some kind of an impediment, so I’ll leave you alone.

            There’s just no other reason that you would keep talking about whether he can do it, should do it, or whether it is ethically right to do so, when none of that matters one bit.”

            Ok, explain to me why none of this matters…..what are you even arguing with me about if absolutely none of that makes no difference, if none of those things means anything to the conversations we’ve been having then this whole argument goes right out the window, there isnt even an argument if you completely ignore all of that. So what have you been trying to say exactly if George has the right to do what he wants but that doesnt matter? Just because its such a huge cultural icon its automatically a fact that he has to preserve it? What warped world do you live in? You keep saying I miss the point but I’m not the one continuing an argument with absolutely nothing.

            As far as the prequels go, I know box office doesnt mean something is better than something else, but even with as much attendance as Star Wars had, the prequels did very well and has kept Star Wars going whether you like it or not, The Clone Wars animated show is on Season 4 now, the Lego Star Wars games are some of the most popular family titles out there, kids love Star Wars and to say none of that has had no impact on Star Wars as a whole or Cinema or anything else is whats retarded. I’m glad you can just deny all of this and keep arguing about something that you arent even making any sense on now, it has nothing to do with me understanding or not, you’ve simply gone off the deep end

            I’m glad that you can resort to personal insults to get your point across, way to be an upstanding member of this board.

      • Pretty much it works out that when George is dead, you MIGHT get something cooler out of Star Wars, but until then I’m going to keep enjoying it in whatever incarnation is there