Review: Star Wars, DVD Edition

So we sat down the entire family to watch a movie I first saw when I was seven years old. In fact, I watched it nine times that year, once in Spanish. It was probably the first major memorization piece I did, competing with the Preamble to the Constitution.

Misty and I were perhaps trying to reproduce the intense excitement we, as youngsters, had that summer. We experimented by doing “Family Movie Night” with seven-year-old Alana, and almost-five-year-old Ryan.

George's changes to the movies were subtly different from the old Special Edition, but dramatic from the original version, which I still have on Laserdisc. The cleanup of special effects artifacts is phenomenal, although I could still see discolored blotchy regions of reddish black around the Tie Fighters attacking the Millenium Falcon. No one else noticed. I believe everyone focused on the great picture and sound.

The golden standard of Family Movie Night is Finding Nemo. It's brilliant color and unusual location are hard to compete with for the four-year-old set. Even that movie in the theater had the occasional repetitive questions, dramatic outbursts and forgotten plot points. The only times where there was no fidgiting and asking the endless talking were during the space battles. Alana actually fell asleep for the final assault, although she often stays up that late on weekends.

For me, personally, it was a great rendition of the classic. For Misty I could tell she was annoyed with the family bickering (and possibly with my occasional direct quoting of lines as they were said) but says it was really cool. It was special for her since she hadn't seen it for decades and it was the first movie she saw ina theater. Alana says she didn't like the movie because it was violent. She says she prefers Star Trek, although she wasn't firm on that point. Ryan liked the movie, and even remembered the name the next morning. He especially liked “when that guy destroyed that big robot-ship.”

We'll see how it goes when we move on to the slightly more violent and definitely darker Empire Strikes Back.

Update: I forgot to comment on the music during the final battle. Yes, the music was dropped to an almost inaudible level. That disturbed me at the time. I should go review the laserdisc to see the difference.

The Star Wars soundtrack was one of the first movie soundtracks I listened to for its own sake. John Williams raised the statute of the movie with its soundtrack. It is another element that set the movie apart from its counterparts. Compare it to the music in V: The Final Battle for stark contrast.

Between the score for this movie and the vinyl rendition of The Hobbit I grew up a strange kid. I would have preferred to hear that score throughout the battle rather than during the quiet parts. links:

Josh Poulson

Posted Saturday, Sep 25 2004 09:10 AM

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