look on the bright side – Greedo still misses

Starwars fans upset with Lucas, again? Nooooo!

Seriously, who is surprised Lucas made additional changes to the Starwars Trilogy for the blu-ray release? Are they really worse than the initial changes made to “A New Hope” and “Return of the Jedi”? Are all of the changes so inexcusable? Changes in this release include adding a single, shouted “Nooooo” to Vader’s dialog in the final battle with the emperor in Return of the Jedi, as he saves luke and sacrifices himself. Other changes were to replace the ewok eyes with CG rendered eyes, and a jarring change to the sound Obi-wan makes in A New Hope to scare off the sand people.

Fans have been particularly critical of the changes Lucas made to the Starwars trilogy, even though the business of changing movies for a re-release is not new business at all. There are FIVE versions of Blade Runner in the collectors edition. Lion King has been changed three times. Rob Zombie changed the entire ending of the newer “Halloween 2” in the DVD release. Peter Jackson changed his Lord of the Rings once between the theater and DVD and again for the butt-numbingly long (but good) extended editions (nevermind the changed between the print and his retelling….).

Don’t like it? When in doubt, don’t get your wallet out.

I am among the fans who did not like many changes to the original Starwars trilogy – my favorite catch-phrase after all is “Han Shot First”. I didn’t like the additional, poorly done scene with jabba the hutt, nor the changes to the hologram of the emperor and dialog. I am indifferent to the changes to the spirits shown at the very end of Return of the Jedi. (put your pitchforks down, guys). On the other hand, the numerous subtle improvements to image clarity and cleanup of special effects glitches were actually a big improvement, notably in the epic battle of hoth and pretty much every space battle scene in all three episodes. The sound is better in the new(er) editions – and being a bit of an audiophile it is hard to pass up the 7.1 stereo enhanced effects in favor of the barely two channel classic just in the name of protest.

I won’t get the blu-ray editions, but I’m not roasting Lucas and the franchise over the recent changes either. I am content with the DVD set that included both the special editions and original format bonus disks. If I want to relive A New Hope as it was meant to be seen, I can. If I want to enjoy my newer TV and stereo equipment, I’ve got the updated version. That’s good enough for me.

Concerned fans should speak with their wallets.

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