Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reel Facts & Opinions: STAR WARS blu-ray

FACT: As reported and blogged about last week, it seems that the blu-ray release of STAR WARS in September will include even further tweaks to the original trilogy. Today, it was revealed that Vader’s effective silent turn back to the light side (in Episode VI) has been replaced with a “Noooo”, as he tosses his master into the chasm.

OPINION: As someone who once had the privilege of creating his own film, this blogger can understand filmmakers’ need and desire to make changes even years after the fact. Series creator George Lucas has been tweaking his films since nearly Day One in an effort to complete things he couldn’t do in the early days, and make what he considers to be improvements. It’s an effort to make things better, and whether or not the changes accomplish that is the real debate; not if the filmmaker has the right to do so, because they surely do.

Here is a reality check for all: Fans do not own the films. They like to think that they do, especially when they’re the ones shelling out the dough for special editions over and over again. The filmmaker owns it; it’s na├»ve to think otherwise. Fans (this blogger included), tend to sentimentalize certain films and want them preserved in their memories the same way forever. Lucas may have forgotten that, and that’s probably his biggest sin.

It’s worth mentioning that special editions and directors cuts can be hit-or-miss. Just look at the pieces-of-shit SUPERMAN II, THE ABYSS, and E.T. turned out to be when they were tweaked and changed. Then again, they can work fine; like the director’s cut of ALIENS, and the expansion of Bespin in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

This blogger won’t curse Lucas for making the changes. He owns it; he has to live with it. Whether or not he is making things better, or over-thinking things is the real question.

What say you?

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