First it was Greedo firing first against Han Solo, then Yoda's puppet is sadly replaced by CGI, now Vader is being forced against his will to bellow his trademark cry as the Emperor tortures poor Luke. Stop the insanity!
George Lucas, as lord commander of all denizens in the Star Wars universe, is at it again for the Sept. 16 release of Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray set. He's inserted two instances of dialogue unheard in the original Return of the Jedi. Why? Because he can.
Not content with the continuity between one trilogy and the next, Lucas continues his fiddling march toward digital perfection by altering more scenes to the detriment of the films. It was bad enough hearing Vader's pathetic howl of woe at the end of Episode III. Well, it's back in black with a vengeance.
In the climactic Episode VI scene, Vader stands impotent to the Emperor's crackling lightning-storm assault of his son Luke, The internal conflict seethes within him until, in a SILENT moment of brute strength and paternal love, he hoists Emperor Palpatine over his head and chucks him into the abyss. His decision to triumph over his blackened heart needs no emphasizing underscore. Two-year-olds comprehend his dilemma and need no further explanation. Now he screams "NO"—twice!
And a second audio change has been discovered, the switching of Ben Kenobi's Krayt dragon call in Star Wars during the Tusken Raider trashing of Luke's landspeeder. The 2004 edition altered it from a dewback's wail to a shriller alarm. Huh?
Here are the leaked audio clips synched with existing video of both. Check out the needless aberrations ...
This endless manipulation to account for every imaginable continuity error or emotional motivation is something that will be debated for decades. Lucas began these alterations with the 1997 special-edition release of Star Wars: A New Hope at a cost of $10 million. Its original budget was only $11 million in 1976! The changes continued to appease political correctness, trilogy flow errors and his sense of completing the films as he intended and envisioned, even though he only directed one of the first three Star Wars movies.
Destruction of the organic nature of the holy trilogies seems to be causing a major disruption in the Force, namely the galaxy of fans who are being robbed of viewing the films as they were presented in the theaters, products of their time, glories and gaffes and all. This incessant polishing and tweaking brings to mind shades of the superstitious Sara Winchester and the endless construction of her obsessive Winchester Mystery House. What do the spirits foretell for the Lucas Empire?
There's a disconnection somewhere. We like the puppets, we like the disco-era explosions in space. They're an integral part of the nostalgia and the natural fabric of the film, the imperfect connection that surrounds us and penetrates us like Obi-Wan's hokey religion.
Lucas claims the other, older versions will disappear, leaving only these DVD versions for people to remember 100 years from now. What about our generations, the ones that etched Star Wars into our collective culture and made many rich beyond belief?
The nine-disc Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray box set will offer full 1080p video presentations of the films, DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 surround tracks and more than 40 hours of special features, including never-before-seen content from the legendary Lucasfilm archives. No doubt the collection will be an instant success and the must-have HD goodie of the year.
Some changes are a necessary good. Okay, the revamped Wampa creature was bloody cool in The Empire Strikes Back. No argument there. But there must be some limit to the madness. Some restraint for the sake of the children ... and adults.
What do you think? Should Vader stay mute, or turn up his iron lung and display his emotions? (Even conflicted Dark Lords need to vent sometimes.)
Yes .... or Nooooooo?