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View Full Version : Changes to SW, Original Trilogy -- Your Opinions



Disinfo Agent
2005-May-16, 08:24 PM
PhantomWolf posted in another thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=370092#370092) a list of the major changes that George Lucas made to the Star Wars original trilogy in 1997. (In the DVD edition, he seems to have gone back on many, but not all, of those changes.)
I have mixed feeling about the changes. In many cases, I think they were for the better, but then there are a couple of them that were, IMHO, terrible ideas. Here is PhatomWolf's list, with my opinion in boldface:


1997 SE

ANH:

- Stormtrooper search in the desert was lengthened and more troopers added to make it a real search OK with that, AFAIK.
- Extra scenes of Java Sand Crawler added. Good.
- The fuzziness under the landspeeder was removed. O.K.
- Ben's home exterior modified. O.K.
- Speeder arrival at Mos Eisley reworked and extended O.K.
- Mos Eisley was given more characters and scenes as well as being extended. Rontos, droids and others were added to make it more crowded and bustling. Bad! Mos Eisley was supposed to be a small town in a backwater world. All that animation felt out of character. :evil:
- Greedo fires first. Lucas added this because he doesn't believe Han would have actually fired first. Bad! I wouldn't have really minded if Lucas had done the scene that way the first time around, but the change smacks of 'disneyfication'. :evil:
- Scene with Jabba added. This was alwys supposed to be in it, but ws dropped due to budget and time constraints. Lucas stated that the Greedo scene covered it anyways so he dropped it. Bad! While Lucas did originally intend to include this scene (it's in the novelization), it turned out to be an unnecessary scene. I think it's more interesting to postpone the audience's first encounter with Jabba to ROJ. Lack of resources had actually done a service to the story, here, but Lucas couldn't see it. :evil:
- Falcon escaping from Mos Eisley redone. Good.
- Alderran explosion. Bad! The imitation of Eta Carinae was pointless and cheesy, IMO. :evil:
- Han chasing the Stormtroopers arrives in a room full of them rather than reaching a dead end I'm not particularly fond of this one, myself. It makes Han's escape less believable... :evil:
- TIE explosions redone I don't remember what was changed...
- Biggs and Luke conversation added Not entirely necessary, but good. Later on in the film, Luke cries 'Biggs is here' when he meets him again at the Rebel Alliance's headquarters. In the original version, the audience had never even seen Biggs before. It all felt too sudden.
- X-Wing launch from Yavin 4 (including a toned down Yavin) Good.
- X-Wings passing Yavin has had the shots reversed and now pans through to the Death Star. This is the shot Lucas wanted all along but couldn't do with Models. Don't remember the change.
- Various X-Wing scenes have been reanimarted with CGI Don't remember the change.
- Death Star Explosion. See above my comment about cheesy and dated imitations of Eta Carinae. :evil:

ESB:

- Wampa added, more Wampa scenes (This was a budget problem being fixed again) Good.
- Partially Transparent speeder parts fixed in Hoth battle. Good.
- AT-ST's added into Imperial Attack on Hoth. Good.
- Falcon/Slave I flight extended Good.
- Longer arrival at Cloud City showing more of the city I loved this change!
- Interior of Cloud City opened up with windows. Very good.
- Evacuation Order of CC has extended shots. Very good.
- Extended scene as Vader leaves CC. Good.
- Hatch actully added to upper hatch of Falcon. Good.
- Vader's return to the Executor Good.


RotJ:

- Oola's dance extended Good. The original scene was a bit shortish. There wasn't enough time to get into the atmosphere of Jabba's palace.
- Musical number totally redone to portray Lucas' original idea for it (again lost due to budget cuts.) I don't remember well what changes were made.
- Oola in the Rancor pit Good, for the same reason as above.
- Bantha herd Indifferent.
- The Sarlacc reworked to make it better I don't remember the changes very well.
- Ropes added to hold Han to the Skiff. Probably a good idea.
- Extra Stormtroopers and soldiers added for Emperor's arrival Good. It was a bit disappointing how the emperor's welcoming party was almost as modest as Vader's in the original version.
- Death Star Explosion I think my comment above applies again. Rather than rehashing the old explosion-in-space cliché, I think it would have been more interesting to show the explosion of the Death Star as seen from the surface of Endor. Oh, well, maybe next time.
- Victory celebration scenes for Tatooine, Cloud City and Coruscant added. Bad! Completely unnecessary and takes away from the interest of the prequels. Wait -- forget I said that... :evil:

2004 DVD

ANH:

Speeder entrance to Mos Eisley revamped.
Greedo-Han shots revised.
Changed Jabba CGI character to better version (The 1997 one sucked badly.) Thank gooness. The one in the 1997 version looked awuful, and not at all like the Jabba we'd all come to know and love. I still think the scene was dispensable, though.
English words changed to SW alphabet. Excellent. (I didn't notice those words...)

ESB:

Reworded Conversation with Emperor For the worse, apparently. (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=397155&highlight=emperor#397155) :evil:
Revised Emperor to match Ep 1-3, 6 Not indispensable.
Redubbed Bobb Fett's voice to match Jango/Clone Troppers. If he must...

RotJ
Vader's eyebrws removed To make him look more like the young Anakin, or just cuter...?
Changed old Anakin spirit to young Anakin matching up with Ep 2-3 Bad. :evil:
Added Naboo to celebration scenes. Bad. :evil:
Jedi Temple and Galatic Senate added to Coruscant scenes Bad. :evil:


What are everyone else's thoughts? :)

Jorge
2005-May-16, 08:41 PM
I've only seen the 1997 release so i can't commen to much, i did see a documentary about it on NatGeo or Discovery(don't remember) and it was very informative about how they redid most of the changes.

Some tiny comment about the Mos Eisley sence i like you said it seems a bit to crowded, but the speeder blur fix is very good!

Kesh
2005-May-17, 06:42 AM
I much prefer the DVD versions to the theatrical SE ones (with the exception of Vader's revised dialogue in ESB and young Anakin in RotJ).

Lianachan
2005-May-17, 06:44 AM
What are everyone else's thoughts? :)

Pretty much exactly the same as yours, actually.

Lycus
2005-May-17, 06:51 AM
Redubbed Bobb Fett's voice to match Jango/Clone Troppers. If he must...
I would put a Bad there too. I liked the original Boba's delivery. The dub seems dull to me.

Crazieman
2005-May-17, 06:51 AM
All changes are evil.

Laserdisc version forever!

mid
2005-May-17, 08:21 AM
I'm really glad I have all three versions (first two on Laserdisc, new one on DVD, obviously), though I'd give up the '97 release first, definitely. Apart from the one inexplicable change of it being Hayden rather than Sebastian at the end of Jedi (and even that doesn't annoy my too much, as the reworked ending is already a dead loss in my book, thanks to the removal of the 'Lub Lub' song), the changes from '97 to '04 were all dramatically for the better. The other changes in Jedi, for instance, all make sense to me. We now know Naboo, and the Jedi Temple is established as one of the most important parts of the Coruscant skyline. As for Sebastian's eyebrows, it seems nuts that they were there in the first place, frankly - half the guy's limbs are missing from the events at the end of Ep. 3, and the rest of his head is horribly scarred.

Apart from the obvious Greedo situation, the one change that most annoys me, though, is the Darth to Executor bit at the end of Empire. Partly because there was so much anger in the "Bring My Shuttle" line that they replaced with the rather bored-sounding "Alert the star destroyer of my arrival", but mainly because the little pace change ruins one of my favorite moments in Williams' score.

Wolverine
2005-May-17, 08:44 AM
I despise the revisionism so vehemently that I'd violate the FAQ in adequately describing it.

mid
2005-May-17, 08:55 AM
Let me guess, those who hate it the most don't have the lovely THX (or Definitive Collection) Laserdiscs?

Sure, it's mildly irritating that I can't have the gorgeous cleaned-up transfer on the DVDs coupled with the best cut of the films, but when he's not capable of taking that cut away from me in the form I do have, it doesn't really wind me up that much.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-May-17, 09:26 AM
As long as you have it, then my grandkids can have it in 96.3 years, barring disneyfication of the copyright laws, so it don't wind me up either

mid
2005-May-17, 10:47 AM
Well, now you mention it, I am being rather snobbish about it. Not everyone has a laserdisc player.

Still, I do know of at least one set of DVD-Rs mastered from the Definitive Collection boxset, complete with the commentary tracks, that professional DVD mastering people did for themselves in their spare time, so if the US Congress stops extending copyright laws they'll get out eventually.

Yoshua
2005-May-17, 01:54 PM
I wasn't too happy with the revised versions. I really liked the originals the way they were.

That said, they are Lucas's movies. This is how he wanted to do them. He's not hurting for money, quite the opposite. So he's pursuing his vision. I don't much care for it, but I can appreciate that he wants things done the way he sees them rather than letting money direct the script.

JMV
2005-May-17, 02:21 PM
We now know Naboo, and the Jedi Temple is established as one of the most important parts of the Coruscant skyline.
I was wondering why would the Sith have left the Jedi Temple standing after they wiped out the Jedi. I would have thought the emperor had it torn down.

Disinfo Agent
2005-May-17, 02:49 PM
[Devil's advocate]The scene at the Jedi temple could have happened a couple of months, or years, after the destruction of the Death Star, I guess...[/Devil's advocate]

teddyv
2005-May-17, 03:19 PM
I wasn't too happy with the revised versions. I really liked the originals the way they were.

That said, they are Lucas's movies. This is how he wanted to do them. He's not hurting for money, quite the opposite. So he's pursuing his vision. I don't much care for it, but I can appreciate that he wants things done the way he sees them rather than letting money direct the script.

I can't see how changing the Han/Greedo incident is pursuing his "vision" of the movie. As mentioned elsewhere this is Disneyification, and the single worst change in my mind.

PyroFreak
2005-May-17, 05:17 PM
I thought the extended singing of the alien girl in Jabbas place was a terrible add-in. She sings for a long time (it seems) and it is outlandish and then the other guy sings with her, and overall it detracts from the movie. The original way was much much better.

Is it true that you can't buy the old version new anymore? [-X

Gillianren
2005-May-17, 07:01 PM
well, I haven't seen the DVDs, so I can't comment on that. (have I mentioned that I'm stone broke?)

the change that has annoyed me most about the rerelease ('97) was the Jabba scene. why? because Han shouldn't have survived stepping on Jabba! no way! since the Jabba concept had changed, obviously Lucas can change his "vision" fairly easily.

the change that amuses me most is the new end music to Jedi. why? well, obviously, the music primarily exists because they extended the scene, right? well, if you look, Lando's clapping along to the old "Lub Lub" song . . . which has a different rhythm than the new music. Lando no longer has any rhythm, which must be a terrible loss for poor Billy Dee.

Demigrog
2005-May-17, 07:46 PM
the change that has annoyed me most about the rerelease ('97) was the Jabba scene. why? because Han shouldn't have survived stepping on Jabba! no way! since the Jabba concept had changed, obviously Lucas can change his "vision" fairly easily.

Exactly what I thought when I saw it...



the change that amuses me most is the new end music to Jedi. why? well, obviously, the music primarily exists because they extended the scene, right? well, if you look, Lando's clapping along to the old "Lub Lub" song . . . which has a different rhythm than the new music. Lando no longer has any rhythm, which must be a terrible loss for poor Billy Dee.

It is "Yub Yub", technically. :)

One change that ticks me off is in ESB, after Artoo gets eaten by the swamp monster and spat out. In the original, Luke says "You're lucky you don't taste very good". They cut it in the revised edition (maybe the master was lost or too damaged?)

The song/dance in Jabba's palace in ROTJ is pure evil. It is the only change that I am actually angry about-- it almost ruins the whole movie for me.

Other than the one line I mentioned, the 1997 release of ESB is absolutely awesome; I can also live with the revisions to ANH (minus the sillyness with Greedo). I'll stick to the original RotJ though.

Jason Thompson
2005-May-17, 10:12 PM
Personally, I think if Lucas wants to make changes to the original films then fair enough. They are his films after all. However, what gets me annoyed is that he makes the changes but then removes the earlier versions from the market.

I saw and fell in love with the original versions of all three films (not in the right order, mind you; I was not born until 1979, so missed the first one when it was released and was not old enough to remember the others coming out). I want to add those three films to my collection, but I can't get them in the shops. All I can get is the revised versions, and I don't want them. I want the films I saw, not the films I saw with bits added or changed.

I feel that Lucas is almost biting the hand that feeds him, because it was the success of those films in their original forms that won him one of the biggest and most successful film franchises in history, and made it possible, quite simply, for him to be releasing the prequels twenty years later and still have them command the same following.

mid
2005-May-18, 11:28 AM
One change that ticks me off is in ESB, after Artoo gets eaten by the swamp monster and spat out. In the original, Luke says "You're lucky you don't taste very good". They cut it in the revised edition (maybe the master was lost or too damaged?)

Obscure geek fact: The difference is ancient - the line you remember was from the 35mm Dolby Stereo track, which was the one they did the original VHS and TV transfers from. The 'new' line was in the 70mm pressing's 5.1 mix all along, and they used it because the master was in a much better condition. That is also the source for many of the other little changes.

sidmel
2005-May-18, 02:49 PM
Being a hug Star Wars fan since I saw the first movie when I seven back in the seventies, I have to say I didn't care for most of the changes to the first three trilogy.

The only change that I really liked was the addition of scenery in Cloud City. They ran out of time during the initial release and ended up with gray walls. The cityscape view through the windows was always meant to be there.

And ugh, replacing Anakin in the last scene about makes me want to gag.

Superluminal
2005-May-19, 10:26 PM
I'd like to see Lucas redo the ending of ROTJ. Imagine Lukes surprise when he takes Vaders mask off and finds Jarr Jarr looking up at him! :o
"Now goezee before de death star go booma"