Changing Star Wars, Again

While I'm still waiting for my pre-ordered Star Wars DVDs to arrive from I have been looking around on the web to see how the DVDs turned out. I ran across this story at CNN about changes Lucas made to the movies, again, since the special editions. A visual comparison appears here a the Digital Bits.

I wasn't pleased with the special editions, especially the infamous “Greedo shot first” problem, so I'm pleased to see that some of the more hinky computer generated images (CGI) changes were improved and that Greedo and Han shot a little more simultaneously. Little touches like Imperial fonts instead of English and redoing the rotoscoping job on the light sabers are nice too. Tweaking some of the characters so they merge smoothly with the prequel trilogy is fine, too, like a minor voice change for Boba Fett.

However, big changes like having Anakin Skywalker played by Hayden Christensen in the finale of Return of the Jedi may indeed be hard to take. I'm also less fond of the Han and Jabba chat in the new version of the original movie. I'm extremely less fond of the enhanced explosion of the Death Star.

Other items I'll have to comment on when I see or hear them, like this comment from the review at the Digital Bits:

There is, however, one change I can't stomach, and it has to do with the music. During the first part of the Death Star battle at the end of the film, John Williams' score has been reduced in prominence in the sound mix. This is particularly obvious right as the X-Wings make their dive down to the surface to begin the attack—the familiar “Force Theme” trumpet fanfare is now almost inaudible. Lucasfilm says this was a deliberate creative decision and I absolutely hate it. Ah well... seems like there's always something to dislike when George tinkers with these films.

The third film has always been weakest for me, maybe because I got older and didn't like the cuteness or maybe because the ending fell flat for me. However, it looks like I will like the changes to have Hayden there even less. The prequel trilogy has been a must-see for me, of course, but has not been as compelling as that summer in 1977 that redefined a genre in Hollywood.

Josh Poulson

Posted Wednesday, Sep 22 2004 12:40 PM

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