GEEKERY: Star Wars Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes Edition


George Lucas is ever perfecting his vision… whether we like it or not.

I’m not sure if I want to know how many viewings and much time it took Marcelo Zuniga to make these side by side comparison videos… he notes everything from color correcting to added frames to typos through the multiple versions that have been released.

Without further ado – the interesting, or childhood crushing, edits to the original trilogy…

Which choices do you think were the best… or the worst?

  • Horus84cmd

    tbh I don’t really have a problem with any of the “changes”. Alot of the changes to the actual pic is cosmetic to make the footage look right on modern tv (ie the colours etc…). Most the added stuff just adds to the rich Star War World on the whole.

    The big changes like on the whole “Han Shot first” moment are a little irksome – but on the original, I alway thought it was never clear “who shot first”

    The who extra RotJ party seen at Jabba Palace is ok – the song possibly a little much, but he had plans for the scene originally (and story boards) but not the money at the time to do it when filming it.

    Now I’m possibly gonna get lambasted for this, but I don’t particularly mind the alteration of Anakin in RotJ either. I understand plenty of people don’t like it and all there reasons for their gripe. However from a continuity it can make sense that he returns in image when he as Anakin knew himself when he was a good man and not as Darth Vader – they are not meant to be person on one level, just two side of the same coin

    • Erik Setzer

      Some of the alterations I do have an issue with. The young Anakin at the end of RotJ bugs me because that’s not what Anakin looked like when he died (and he died as a good man). Similarly, replacing Boba Fett’s voice with Jango Fett’s voice makes him sound less menacing. Han shooting first shows that he’s not exactly a “good” guy, even though his morals improve as it goes on.

      The celebrations at the end of RotJ only bug me when they hit Coruscant (the addition of Naboo later is “meh” but, whatever, he had to push those prequels hard). The idea of people getting word on Coruscant already and tearing down a statue of the Emperor, like the war was suddenly won? There’s no way the Empire would allow people to know the Emperor was dead that quickly. They did a great reference to that in one of the novels (I think one of the X-Wing novels?) where a character mentions relatives being there for that celebration, and then the Stormtroopers show up, and they just start mowing down the crowd… because that’s how that “happy ending” would have really ended. Luckily, the new trilogy seems to understand the war wouldn’t have ended overnight.

      Adding in things like scenes they’d already filmed, okay. Color correction? Sure, fine. Changing scenes, actors, and voices? Nope.

      I hope Disney makes the right call and brings back the original theatrical version. Heck, I’d even accept it being remastered to look and sound better, as long as it’s still the original actors.

      • crevab

        The one that gets me most is Han stepping on Jabba. That kinda disrespect to a mob boss? Seems kinda like something that gets you shot

        • Joyous_Oblivion

          Unfortunately they had no choice. Back in filming, Jabba was played by a very large man…and at one point during the dialogue Ford walks around him. This was before they planned him to be a giant slug worm. At least they edited him walking up and over and not phasing through it lol.

          • crevab

            I saw the Making Of too, they had plenty of choices up to and including not adding the scene

          • davepak

            They HAD plenty of choice – they just lacked intelligence or creativity.

            They could have EASILY moved to far shot, a stock shot, or anything else (i.e. show a picture of the hanger, a picture of the ship, a close up of a blaster, the face of one of the thugs, etc.). Total lack of creativity.

            It was pathetic.

          • Joyous_Oblivion

            Wow, so BOLS commenters actually hate everything, not just 40k and fantasy, lol.

        • zeno666

          I agree, I really hate that scene. It was removed for a reason.

          And of course, Han shot first.

      • For a while I always wondered if there was some New Coke twist to the lack of a DVD release of the “original” versions, as though they were building suspense to make a “might buy” release into an absolute must for even casual fans. Maybe Disney are the company to see the profit in such a thing–for the cost of just pressing and distributing something already filmed and on ice, why not?

      • Actually, I interpret the whole young Anakin blue ghost change to clearly indicate that Vader did die still evil, as it reveals that when he killed the emperor to save Luke he did not mean to sacrifice himself in the process, but instead he meant to remove the emperor from the picture so he could ‘rule the galaxy as father and son’ with Luke. When he realized that he would not survive his wounds, he determined that he needed to die as a ‘good guy’ in his son’s eyes, since if he died a villain to Luke then he would never follow in Vader’s footsteps, which is what he wanted to happen whether he lived to see it or not.

        Basically, Vader was evil and he died evil. He never had a change of heart and was only acting as a good guy in an attempt to manipulate his son post-mortem.

        If this isn’t the case, why didn’t the other blue ghosts revert to younger versions of themselves?

        Also, if you take episodes I-III as canon (even though they are not), Anakin was basically a dick his entire life. At no point in any of the movies does he act like a good Jedi. Not even as a child. So why does he become a blue ghost at all? I think Lucas is clearly trying to paint a picture of a sociopath/psychopath who with power simply decides to be away with the pretense of being a decent person.

      • deuce1984

        Spot on

    • Jeremy

      ‘I alway thought it was never clear “who shot first”‘…

      In the original, Han shot. Greedo never fired.

      The objection I have to this is that scene is establishing for Han’s character. He’s a scoundrel, a smuggler, but most of all he’s a survivor – because sometimes he dumps his cargo to avoid Imperial trouble, and he always shoots first – especially when it’s painfully obvious the bounty hunter facing him is going to kill him.

      “He may only take your ship.”
      “Over my dead body.”
      “That’s the idea. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.”

      Greedo just told Han he intends to kill him. So shooting first is self-defence anyway, and identifies Han to the audience as a survivor. Later, his character arc proves him to be a hero.

      • Snord

        Sadly (and it is sad, because this issue is the essence of geekiness), I agree with this analysis. When we first saw Star Wars, that was one of the defining scenes. It made Han unscrupulous and “real” (remember his only interest in helping Luke at that point is to get his debts paid). The film actually comes to life at that point – which says as much about Ford’s charisma as anything in the script.

    • calmsword

      … you’re everything wrong with aging fans… “wasn’t clear who shot first” please.

  • Valeli

    I have no problem with most of the edits. … although having Han shoot second made me a bit sad.

  • euansmith

    These were not the alterations I was looking for…

    • Horus84cmd

      “Alright, move along, move along”

    • petrow84

      Han shot first! I mean, he shot alone! so we can say… Han shot Solo! YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHH!

  • Agent OfBolas

    So shame you did not included Biggs Darklighter / Luke scene… it’s really important for the movie and story but unfortunately was cut off from final movie version.

  • AKOF

    I just want a time machine, so I can go back to circa ’93 and murder George Lucas with a shovel.

    • Jeremy

      *waves hand* “You don’t need to make these alterations.”
      “I don’t need to make these alterations.”

    • lonestarr777

      We need to make this happen. Patton Oswalt will save us all.

  • Atogrim

    Han shot first. ’nuff said.

  • JP

    I have a better question.