My apologies, but I have to nerd out here for a minute. Real nerds probably heard about this already, but I just discovered it last night.
Let me start off by saying that one of my nerd-facets is that I love the original three Star Wars movies. Love them. And I hate the prequels with a passion. And I also hate all of the “enhancements” to the original movies that have been going on since 1997 when the “special editions” were released in the theaters. I have no problem with digital enhancement–I don’t mean the changes where he went in and changed the footage of the old movies to make them look all CGI-ified–I mean like the versions in the 1995 VHS release that were cleaned up and THX-ed and looked really good. If those had been released in widescreen format they would have been perfect. I don’t like CGI-ing the old technology, which was amazing in its day. I don’t like Jabba appearing in A New Hope. I don’t like Hayden Christensen being digitally inserted into the “ghost” scene at the end of Return of the Jedi instead of old-Annakin. And I definitely don’t like Greedo Shooting First.
But this newest change, made for the blu-ray release of the Star Wars movies, has hit a new low. There’s a key scene at the end of Return of the Jedi where the Emperor is electrocuting Luke, and then Darth Vader silently watches before getting up and using all of his strength to pick up the Emperor and throw him over the ledge. When you’re a kid and you’re watching that for the first time, you have this moment of “what’s he going to do?” when he stands up that is just so powerful (shut up, it is). And you can even sense some of his pain behind his mask. And it’s just awesome. If I have kids someday I want them to have that experience. What I don’t want them to see is this:
Yes. George Lucas, in his infinite wisdom, has seen it fit to add dialogue to Darth Vader in this scene, so that he now cries, “Noo… nooooo!” before saving his son. WHY??? I do not understand this. No doubt his is trying to parallel this scene from Revenge of the Sith, when Annakin has just transformed into Darth Vader only to be told that his wife has died:
And I can totally hear George Lucas in my head saying, “See, it flashes back to that the scene where Padme died, only this time he can change things” and thinking that he’s being SO DEEP. Why doesn’t he employ a staff of people who will slap him upside the head and tell him when something is a stupid idea? That scene from Revenge of the Sith is laughably embarrassing, but the prequels are just awful as a whole so it’s not as egregious. But when he messes with the classics, it just makes me so angry. STOP RUINING MY CHILDHOOD. STOP RUINING CLASSIC FILMS THAT HAVE HISTORICAL VALUE. HOW ARE YOU THE SAME PERSON WHO MADE STAR WARS AND AMERICAN GRAFITTI AND INDIANA JONES??? NOOOOOOO!
I didn’t buy the 2004 dvd releases when word came out that they would be further cleanups of the “Special Edition” versions from the late-90s. I refused to buy them until the original theatrical releases came out, which George Lucas said would never happen because they allegedly don’t exist anymore. But a few years ago he DID release them on dvd, though they were included as “bonus material” on what was marketed as “your chance to purchase each movie as an individual dvd rather than in a box set.” And Best Buy sold them in a collector’s tin, so it feels like a box set, so fuck you George Lucas. But the originals were taken from the laserdisc version, so while you do get the entire picture rather than the pan-and-scan fullscreen of the 1995 VHS tapes, it’s not dvd quality. But it’s the best I can do right now. I keep hoping that this is just a phase, kind of like how for awhile there was a phase of colorizing old black-and-white films before people realized that the original black-and-white has value and is better. But I seriously think George Lucas has lost his mind. Hire a writer, you dumbass.
*For those who may not understand where the title for this blog comes from, see the origin of the “do not want” meme, from a Chinese bootleg copy of Revenge of the Sith: