Monday, September 20, 2004


Big Day Tomorrow

So, the original Star Wars trilogy is hitting the stores on DVD tomorrow. All three movies are in the set and each has commentaries by George Lucas, Carrie Fisher and others. A fourth disc contains an assortment of goodies including a 2 1/2 hour documentary, a preview of Episode III and some other odds and ends.

And I have never read more stuff complaining about something than this.

Now don't get me wrong, I love the Star Wars movies. I still remember seeing the original for the first time at the old Centre Mall theatres back in the summer of 1977. The only time I ever cut a class in high school was ditching my Grade 11 accounting class to see the 4:00 showing of Return of The Jedi on opening day in 1983 (I actually got permission from my teacher to miss the class. GEEK!!!). I have the original films on laserdisc, the 20th anniversary edition on VHS and, in less than 48 hours, I'll have the latest version on DVD. Hello, my name is Brian and I am a Star Wars geek.

But not like this.

There is a number of articles written about how the films have been "damaged" by George Lucas and his changes. Apparently, the biggest problem is with the confrontation between Han Solo and the alien bounty hunter Greedo in the cantina on Mos Eisley. In the theatrical release, Solo fires first, effectively establishing him as a cutthroat badass. Later releases are altered to have Greedo fire first and Han firing to defend himself. Seems like a minor point to me. Other things include the addition of Jabba to Star Wars, more consistent images of the Emperor (using the same actor) in Empire Strikes Back and Jedi, and changing the face of Anakin Skywalker at the end of Jedi from Ian McDiarmid (who was the actor in the Vader suit when Luke took off the mask at the end of Jedi) to Hayden Christiansen, who plays Anakin/Vader in Attack of the Clones and the upcoming Revenge of the Sith. Supposedly Lucas will employ a Jedi mind trick in Revenge to explain why we get young Anakin alongside very old Obi-Wan and Yoda.

Lots of stuff. None of which will change my enjoyment of the films. But it's affected a few folks with WAY too much time on their hands. Visit There, you will find a petition with 62,645 signatures asking Lucas to release the films in their original format.

Some folks need something better to do. I think I may fall into that category.