January 23rd, 2012
|04:18 pm - Yub nub!|
So ol' Mr. Egroeg Sacul has gone and announced he's become tired of all these star wars in part due to those rotten Internet miscreants who keep speaking out against his special brand of film revisionism.
“On the Internet, all those same guys that are complaining I made a change are completely changing the movie,” Lucas says, referring to fans who, like the dreaded studios, have done their own forcible re-edits. “I’m saying: ‘Fine. But my movie, with my name on it, that says I did it, needs to be the way I want it.’ ”If the "script notes" he's referring to are the Red Letter Media reviews, well, it's heartening to know he at least saw 'em. They do an excellent job of deconstructing the prequel films, devoting an hour to each and explaining exactly why the storytelling failed, when they're not busy stopping the review cold to continue their storyline. (The crazy reviewer character Mr. Plinkett has a great voice and delivery, but the serial killer angle is a digression I just don't get. I do love it every time he offers you some pizza rolls if you email him on his webzone.)
Lucas seized control of his movies from the studios only to discover that the fanboys could still give him script notes. “Why would I make any more,” Lucas says of the “Star Wars” movies, “when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?”
Moving away from pizza rolls, my position on George Lucas' fiddling with the Star Wars series has always kinda been that while I find it kind of sad that a man who once spoke out against film revisionism himself then decided to start making changes to what some folks thought were perfectly good movies to begin with, it's honestly his prerogative. Creative types will always want to tinker with their babies. He has a right to be angry with fan edits, though that's half copyright and half pride there. The films ultimately have his name on it, even if he didn't direct Empire or Jedi (and sadly neither Irving Kirschner nor Richard Marquand are around any more to speak up, if they felt the need.)
It's a matter of adopting new attitudes as time goes on. Lucas' kids came up with the bantha poodoo jokes in the prequels, among other things. And why not? He was making the film for him and his family. Spielberg fiddled with E.T., gave the FBI dudes walkie-talkies instead of guns because he disliked promoting violence in a family movie, but has since reconsidered. He's now restoring the guns for the next release.
So if Lucas decided he didn't like the idea of Han Solo shooting the bounty hunter Greedo in cold blood after all, once he had the technology in the late 90s he could do something about it. Among other things. I thought some of the enhancements were neat but I didn't like other changes such as Greedo and the removal of the Yub Nub song at the end of Jedi (I liked it; haters gonna hate) but I didn't feel insulted. I felt as long as there was still the ability to see the original films as I remembered them in the theaters, I'd be fine.
I still felt that way, though through slightly clenched teeth, when I saw Hayden Christiansen saying goodbye to Luke as a ghost instead of Old Anakin Guy saying goodbye to Luke as a ghost. Okay there was something to do about all that lava scarring and stuff, but you'd think Luke would recognize the older guy (whom he just saw with his mask off, all corrupted and stuff) much more easily than the younger dude hanging out as a blue glowie along with Yoda and Obi-Wan.
Then I defiantly felt that way when I learned the next Blu-Ray release of Jedi is going to have Vader scream "NOOOOOOOOO!" when grabbing the Emperor in the climactic fight scene. Of course. Add the single-most mocked part of the prequel films, beating out Jar-Jar even.
But as long as I still had a way to see the original films as I remembered them in the theaters, I'd be fine. (I was too young to see Star Wars on its original release, but I sure as heck caught both Empire and Jedi first-run. Jedi on opening weekend, even, and it was one of those amazing movie experiences where the entire theater just banded together to cheer everything. Anyway.) Then I realized I didn't know how I could see the original versions (or "as close to", blah blah) again, since I don't have a laserdisc player nor the moxie to try and track down discs. That's the part of revisionism what sucks. Each new Star Wars release is now film canon. Brilliant. Why release several versions and have 'em floating around at the same time? O ALL IS LOST said I, and went to go be all nerd-complainy about other science-fiction franchises such as Doctor Who LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I REALLY THINK ABOUT RUSSELL T DAVIES.
But lo! Salvation. As it turns out there was a 2006 DVD release of the trilogy that did just that and it completely flew under this here radar. Had no idea that had come out! At least, I'd have thought that if I knew, I'd have gotten 'em.
Don't matter now, cause on Saturday I got 'em. Turned out to be a decent present, eh. The first opens with just "STAR WARS"--no Episode IV, no A New Hope--and Han shoots first (heck, Han shoots only.) And later on in the trilogy Luke still air-kicks the dude off the sand barge. All throughout the bad mattes are still there, the missing lightsaber effects on some frames are still there, it's not shiny CGI, and that's how I like it. These releases are as scruffy as the universe they show us. So now that I can go back and see my copies whenever I want, Lucas can do whatever he wants with his copies. Force you, got mine!
Sebastian Shaw approves.
PS. What's the story behind Threepio's silver right leg? I completely forgot.
|Date:||January 23rd, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)|| |
Yeah! *solidarity fist*
George Lucas comes across as so precious in interviews, so closed and defensive. He has said several times that he listens to no criticism because he has nothing to learn from other people's opinions.
I thought Threepio's leg was from Bespin, when the droid dungeon torturers were messing around with him.
Threepio actually has the silver leg right from the start. I noticed it while he was tottering around the Rebel blockade runner. He has it in the oil bath on Tatooine and he even keeps it through to the end when he's been polished up at the award ceremony. Looks like it was a production decision to keep it silver, and gosh I'd love to know the story reasons behind it.
|Date:||January 23rd, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)|| |
Ohhh. Wikipedia says:
In the comicbook series "Droids" from Black Horse Comics, there is a chapter in which 3PO's leg is replaced with a silver leg, containing a virus-bomb, giving him an entirely new personality program. This virus is later deactivated and removed by wiping his memory. In the end of the comic, 3PO tells R2 that he has no recollection of the events from that chapter, and asks why his leg has changed colour. What is unlcear from the comic though, is that when the virus is removed, it seems his leg is also replaced back with his original golden leg. This is not consistent with his question though, so I suspect the artist coloured the comic wrong... In following comics, his leg is also gold again, which would not be consistant as well, but AFAIK, this still is the best explanation for his silver leg in SW IV-V-VI. Sjeng. 220.127.116.11 (talk) 19:19, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
That's a very interesting backstory and gosh, it's sad that Threepio's memory has been wiped so many times.
I don't remember the 3PO action figure having a silver leg, but I might just have not noticed cause I was too busy having awesome Star Wars adventures with all of the action figures and the cool-ass Hoth playset that could collapse when the Empire attacked.
|Date:||February 16th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC)|| |
Do you have any idea how many times I've seen Star Wars and not noticed that 3PO has a silver leg?
Also, have you heard of the "Despecialized Edition?" Someone went to the trouble of creating a 720p Blu-Ray version of the original trilogy with all the Special Edition stuff removed but with some of the worst effects glitches cleaned up. He used a really light touch on fixing things. The bad mattes are gone, but R2D2 still has black panels in the space scenes, for example. It's a thing of beauty.
|Date:||January 23rd, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)|| |
These releases are as scruffy as the universe they show us.
. . . Would you be willing to provide pointers to this grail?
(I suppose it's too much to hope for a similarly unbastardized version of THX 1138 . . .)
Yes. I would love if you would do that too. I have the VHS tapes, but am trying to convert everything to DVDs. I've been afraid to with Star Wars, because I want the canonical version, dammit....
|Date:||January 23rd, 2012 09:57 pm (UTC)|| |
|Date:||January 24th, 2012 06:24 am (UTC)|| |
Here's a link to it on Amazon
|Date:||January 23rd, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC)|| |
Oh, yes a thousand times. My radar was tuned a bit lower than yours, and I picked these up shortly after they came out. I've watched the discs with the original versions several times. The updated versions have never left the cases.
My problem with the constant changes—-other than the references to the sequels and my opinion that the changes almost all hurt rather than help the story--is that it's like being told a story by someone who can't decide what the story is while he's telling it. "So, the smuggler says 'I bet you have!' and shoots Greedo. No, wait! Greedo shoots at the smuggler, but misses, and the smuggler shoots Greedo instead! And, oh, I forgot to mention that there was a big banta when 3PO and R2D2 didn't like the looks of things, and there was this other bit with Biggs I forgot to mention, and, hey, I just thought of this funny thing about Jabba..."
Sure, it's Lucas's story, but that doesn't mean I have to like him changing the story all the time. Tell the story and move on; stop tinkering with it. The prequels are abominations, yes. But, Jar Jar aside, the biggest complaints about the prequels aren't that they're intrinsically bad (although, lord, they are), it's the extent to which they muck with the mythos of the original series. Midichlorians. "Padawan." Yoda as someone whose use of the force would ever be in the form of physical violence. These are the things that infuriate fans of the original series, even though the prequels, divorced from their impact on the original trilogy, probably aren't any worse than, say, "Howard the Duck."*
*FWIW, I liked "Willow."
Actually, Biggs' cut subplot is the one thing I miss from the original theatrical release. I didn't see Star Wars
for many years, but I had the giant story book, the really awesome one with gorgeous stills of the film. Those images were ingrained in my mind long before I actually watched the movie in full.
The storybook contained the Biggs subplot, as book adaptations often do. I also had a novelization of The Goonies
which contained actual deleted scenes from the film, such as Andy taking the Goonies oath (just as everybody finding leeches all over 'em) and the octopus that the gang fought just before boarding the pirate ship.
Do they even mention the Goonies oath in the film? It goes like this:
I will never betray my Goondock friends
We shall stick together 'til the whole world ends
Through heaven and hell and nuclear war
Good friends like us will stick like tar
In the city, in the country, in the forest or the boonies
I am proudly declared one of the Goonies
Um, anyway, I never knew the scene with Biggs on Tatooine was cut until I actually watched the darn thing and couldn't figure out if I'd just missed it or what. Where's Biggs?! From a story perspective they work very well, reinforcing Luke's desire to get off Tatooine just like all his friends, but I'd have to watch the SE again to see if it kills the pacing. It happens just before Threepio's oil bath, I'm pretty sure (and there's a heavy fade right before.)
The cut gives Biggs' death in the Death Star run less impact, but they don't dwell on it much. He buys it just as Porkins and Red Leader do.
But not Wedge. WEDGE ANTILLES IS IMMORTAL AND HE IS MY FAVORITE STAR WARS CHARACTER PERIOD.
|Date:||January 24th, 2012 06:25 am (UTC)|| |
WEDGE ANTILLES IS IMMORTAL AND HE IS MY FAVORITE STAR WARS CHARACTER PERIOD.
I always liked Captain/Admiral Piett.
Hee hee hee, Admiral Piett. I wonder if his men called him Ol' Peter Principle.
I attended an all-day screening of the trilogy my freshman year in college in a lecture hall filled with fans. We watched all three off laserdisc and it was glorious. I apparently sat in front of the Wedge Antilles Fan Club, apparently, because they cheered every single time he appeared on screen. The enthusiasm was infectious and I started cheering Wedge, too. At some point between Empire and Jedi I asked them why they loved Wedge so much--it couldn't possibly have been ironic cheering, hipsters hadn't been invented yet--and they explained because Wedge is a survivor. He's the only secondary character who appears in all three films and lives. He wasn't as much of a hero as Luke or Han or even Lando for that matter, but he did his part and fought the Empire and his presence enriches the story universe.
By the end of Jedi I too was a member in good standing of the Wedge Antilles Fan Club. Thanks, Wedge. Thwedge.
|Date:||January 25th, 2012 07:08 am (UTC)|| |
I wonder if his men called him Ol' Peter Principle.
You know they started a betting pool on his life expectancy the minute Vader called him "Admiral." No wonder he has Kenneth Colley's shadows under his eyes.
He wasn't as much of a hero as Luke or Han or even Lando for that matter, but he did his part and fought the Empire and his presence enriches the story universe.
That's fair. I have similar reasons for liking Piett. He's the first break in the facelessness of the Empire: he's an officer on the Emperor's flagship, so he's almost certainly not a very nice person, but he's doing his job, it's one of the more unenviable jobs in the galaxy (yes, nobody wants to be a garbage collector on Coruscant, but at least you won't get Force-choked for turning up late to a staff meeting or telling your boss something he doesn't feel like hearing, never mind what happens if you really bollix an assignment up), and he doesn't look as though he gets a lot of sleep. I couldn't tell you a thing about him before his field-promotion, but he's a person on the other side of the war and I take my shades of grey where I can find them.
Also he has an impressive amount of fanfiction dedicated to him, which embarrassed me slightly when I found out. I'd figured I was in the minority, but he's got fangirls.
|Date:||January 25th, 2012 03:24 pm (UTC)|| |
Denis Lawson, incorrectly named Dennis in the credits of ANH and ESB!
|Date:||January 24th, 2012 05:09 am (UTC)|| |
I am so in solidarity with you, my brother. I did a similar search, last fall, after realizing what hell has been wrought, and acquired a copy of the laserdisc transfer.
I am very very happy with it. Watched 2/3 of the trilogy last week. 1/3 left. :D
This, after deciding that yeah, I should watch the new Blu-Ray, just to SEE what is up there.
And, after seeing it, I was VERY happy, to know, that I have the original product.
I've decided that this will be the year I attempt to end my long-standing grudge against Star Wars (brought on by the fact that I have the same first name as the central character, and I have met approximately eleventy billion morons who say "I am your father" and still think it's clever.)
I haven't seen the films in any form since college. I haven't seen the prequels either, apart from about half an hour of Phantom Menace and a few fight scenes, but I don't care about those.
This is excellent news! A friend of mine downloaded the laserdisk versions years ago and burned them to DVD for me, which I have been holding as archival treasures ever since.
I guess I'll have to track down the DVDs now.