Long Live the Original Trilogy, Pt. 2

In part one, I tried to maintain a calm (if dorky) voice of reason. Now that we're getting down to the nitty gritty, expect a little more vitriol.

First off, let me say that a lot of the changes made to Star Wars over the years make complete sense. Correcting continuity goofs, cleaning up matte lines, etc.—fixing minor stuff like this serves the saga well in my opinion. But where does this slippery slope end? A tweak here, a polish there, and pretty soon you're saddled with the major revisions below that detract from the overall viewing experience. (Hold on, I still sound a little too calm and collected. Allow me to channel that geek rage.) You wanna know where it ends? When I torch a pack of Ewoks on the front porch of Skywalker Ranch, then ring the doorbell and walk away from the flames in slow motion.

Mos Eisley Spaceport Expanded // A New Hope

Problem: Due to budgetary constraints, the original setting didn't match George Lucas' vision of a bustling spaceport.
Solution: Clutter the screen with as much crap as possible. Like, say, pointless robot slapstick and floating widgets buzzing around stormtroopers. Plus, a giant CG lizard should saunter right in front of the camera and block the entire frame for several seconds.

Jabba the Hutt Deleted Scene // A New Hope

Problem: A scene was shot with a human stand-in for Jabba the Hutt. Special effects limitations didn't allow for Jabba to be properly realized, so the scene was cut.
Solution: Superimpose a CG Jabba over the human actor. Throw Boba Fett in there to cover up the fact that all the pertinent information of the scene was moved to Han Solo's confrontation with Greedo. Then have Boba turn to glare into the effing camera as the scene ends. You know, for the fans.

Greedo Shoots First // A New Hope

Problem: Han Solo is too much of a badass.
Solution: Wait, who thinks this is a problem?

Darth Vader Shuttle Ride // The Empire Strikes Back

Problem: Even though Darth Vader tells his men on Cloud City to "bring my shuttle" after his duel with Luke, it isn't totally clear how he ends up on his Star Destroyer a few scenes later.
Solution: Splice Darth's leisurely shuttle ride smack dab into the middle of the film's climax, intensity and rhythm of the sequence be damned.

Jabba's Palace Musical Number // Return of the Jedi

Problem: The rubber puppet for Sy Snootles, lead singer of the Max Rebo Band, isn't lifelike enough during the big musical number.
Solution: Wait, why is there a big musical number in a Star Wars movie?

Mouth of the Sarlacc // Return of the Jedi

Problem: The Sarlacc Pit (or Snarkak Pit as Kristen calls it) leaves too much to the imagination.
Solution: Add a nondescript CG beak within the Sarlacc's already tooth-lined mouth. Who knows, maybe the Sarlacc swallowed the space slug from The Empire Strikes Back. It takes a thousand years to digest after all.

Young Anakin Ghost // Return of the Jedi

Problem: The elderly ghost of Anakin Skywalker (Sebastian Shaw) isn't creepy enough.
Solution: Replace Shaw with Hayden Christensen, young Anakin of the prequels. I'm going to let Obi-Wan field this one: "You mean he killed younglings and set the galaxy back generations, but his ghost still gets to keep that ominous gaze and fabulous head of hair? I had a pretty groovy Jedi mullet once upon a time too, you know. I am so pissed at the force right now."

Final Thoughts

Jurassic Park is widely regarded as having heralded in the CG era, thus paving the way for George Lucas to make his Special Editions (and the long-promised prequel trilogy). But Lucas was apparently so smitten with the realistic dinosaurs on the screen that he neglected to listen to Dr. Ian Malcolm: "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn't stop to think if they should."


Jess said...

I thought your final thoughts paragraph was super.

Krissy said...

What? No pic of Sy Snootles, the pregnant elephant?

And my beef with changing the ghost at the end to Hayden Christensen isn't that he's creepy or that they didn't change the others. It took me long enough to figure out who the weird old dude was in the first place, then they change it. How does Luke even know who that creepy young guy with fabulous hair is? He's never seen him looking like that, after all. They also should've added in some flash-back sequences so Luke could see Anakin in all his evil glory: "You turned her against me!"

Lastly, I don't understand how anyone can keep all those weird space creatures' names straight -- snarkaks, womp rats, rankors, ballchinians, space slugs, and George Lucas all look the same to me.

Dave said...

You forgot mynocks, gundarks, and the legendary Yak Face.

Anonymous said...

With love...

It's just a movie...and a pretty bad one at that.

Just teasing!...kind of

Jessica said...

I would assume in light of the release pringles has also released Star Wars themed chips.