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Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want

May 13th, 2014 - 9:48 am

Han-Shot-First

Want to see a potential good result of Disney milling the Star Wars universe for everything it’s worth? Read:

Unadulterated, “pure” versions of the original Star Wars films are difficult to come by. Except for one sad, low-resolution release on DVD in 2006 (which we’ll discuss in a moment), the films have only been available in their modified “Special Edition” forms since 1997, when George Lucas re-released the films to theaters with a series of changes. Some of those changes aren’t bad at all—the fancy new attack on the Death Star in Episode IV is perfectly cromulent—but others are absolutely terrible. In Return of the Jedi, Jabba’s palace gains an asinine CGI-filled song-and-dance interlude. Dialogue is butchered in Empire Strikes Back. And in the first movie, perhaps most famously, Han no longer shoots first.

Each subsequent release has piled on more and more changes, culminating in the Star Wars Blu-ray release, which now has Return of the Jedi climaxing with Darth Vader howling “NOOOOOOOO!” as he flings the Emperor into the shaft (spoiler alert from 1983, I guess). For every round of changes, the fan outcry for an unedited original release has grown. And now that Disney has its hands wrapped firmly around the Star Wars steering wheel, the company seems to be in the perfect position to give the fans what they want.

It all depends on the analog source material, which the story reports is “actually in pretty terrible shape.”

Better start restoring it now, is all I have to say about that.

All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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I own the sad, low res release from 2006. It's the only version I've let my kids watch.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know it's out there, but I'm rooting for something far less likely from the acquisition: I'm hoping they'll retcon I, II, and III. Just straight up drop the ones Lucas made and do it again, new cast, new scripts, new non-sucky plots, new everything.

Realistically, even speaking as someone who self-admittedly dislikes most everything Disney makes, the only way they could make the prequels worse is if they set out to do so. And I feel like Disney likes money more than it likes trolling that audience with dreck (though, granted, a viewing of "Wreck-it Ralph" is sufficient to prove that the two are not mutually exclusive).
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sure, that'll happen. Right along with "Song of the South".
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have the original in widescreen.....on VHS for all the good that does me.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Same here.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
The original source was restored by Lucas ages ago. The Mouse most certainly has them, and as they will release anything that has a remote chance of turning a profit, I would be rather suprised if they didn't.

You don't blow $4 Billion on something without a pretty solid plan to recoup that investment.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Um, no. The full linked article was quite informative.

The biggest obstacle is that Fox has permanent distribution rights to the first movie. Unless they get a cut, it's off the table. One only hopes they don't let greed ruin everything for the rest of us.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wait. Fox let a good sci-fi series continue without cancellation?

Give them time, they're only at episode 6.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I worked for the Mouse for many years. If they want to do it, they will, and it's very unlikely they paid what they did for the franchise without an intention of doing so.

The Ars article is entirely speculation. I know how that particular company works quite well. They would not have paid what they did if they didn't have clean, original prints and either the rights to do whatever they want with them, or a fairly minimal legal/financial pathway to doing so.

Disney is many things. Stupid is not one of them.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I admit it. I own a "Han shot first!" shirt that I proudly wear when not working.

Please, oh please, let me get a DVD of the original movies. I have a VHS cassette with the original film on it, but I no longer have a VHS player. My last one started eating cassettes 15 years ago, no way I was going to put my Star Wars movies in that.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not exactly a "fan" of the franchise…

The First Release was an Epic Event of my childhood but by "Return" I was leaving for Boot-Camp and the Ewoks told me loud and clear I was too old to be in that theater anymore without a little cousin or nephew next to me…Yoda had annoyed me previously, I only went to “Return “ to see the trilogy through to the last chapter (or so I thought!)

I was completely unaware of these geek-dom battle-lines over the changes made until just this Christmas, when I finally thought my Son was old enough to REALLY enjoyseeing that First Star Wars movie with me...I was looking forward to it for years, and was kinda disappointed…

Besides the ruination of the Wow Factor by kids over-exposure to special effects in EVERYTHING they’ve ever seen (a cereal commercial has better effects than the original Star Wars) I gotta say the changes and add-ons (Greedo, Jabba the Hut) thoroughly pissed me off.

One question…why? This was The Holy Grail of Futuristic Action Movies, in its raw and un-corrupted perfection…If you think you’re an “artist”, just leave it alone when youre done…hang it on the wall and let people appreciate what you created with the tools you used, warts and all. A Hologram Mona Lisa? Seriously?

I guess Lucas looks at Star Wars like I look at my Vintage Race Bikes…Mine to tinker with, change and modify whenever I get bored with what they are. Always planning whats “next” to make them “better” and faster because THAT’S what I enjoy about them…the joy of the process… they are not museum pieces, they are my own personal contraptions.

And I don’t charge admission to my garage, or call myself an “artist” either.

But I AM gonna buy a couple of those shirts!

10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
The DVDs of the unaltered trilogy which Lucas begrudgingly released about ten years ago with the Special Edition DVDs are of such poor quality that it was hardly worth the effort of ripping them.

But I did rip them, and I'll never delete them.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Aren't there fan-edits of the films that fix most of the problems anyway?

I watched the modern BDs of the Trilogy and honestly it wasn't that bad.

Also, the BD release has the 2004-version edits and Han Shoots First.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
The new releases of the "big three" are All Effed-up..

I havent seen any of the "newer" ones, so at the end of "Return" you see the spirits of Yoda, Ben and...who is that young kid?

I was trying to introduce my son to the story as I remembered it, and its not working
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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