Friday, November 16, 2007

Trilogy Special Edition 1

The other day, I went to Target, and I ran into my old Film teacher. He had, more than any other, infuriated me with his opinions, while enlightening me with them as well. He was the teacher I most think of when I go back in my mind to those days, and I remember how much he hated STAR WARS and how he'd constantly bring it up, either to get a rise out of the fanboys or just 'cause he despised it that much.

It was a little over ten years ago now, when the "Special Edition" just came out, that I saw him on campus and thought I'd ask him what he thought of the changes Lucas had made. He said, "I haven't seen it. What did you think of the changes?" I told him parts were really cool, but there was nothing wrong with the film in the first place, and I wished that they'd just left it alone. He then smiled and said, "So, how many times have you seen it?" "Three times," I told him. "Three times," he repeated. "So do you think Lucas really cares what either of us think?"

That was one of those reasons I despised him, but also one of the reasons he changed my thinking. He was the one who would always say, "You vote with your dollar."

So it was all the sadder that I bludgeoned him to death in the Target parking lot.

Okay, that part's not true, but I did think about the countless discussions my friends and I used to have about STAR WARS and Lucas's tinkering with them, and how much joy mixed with despair that used to bring me.

What's funny is, though I loathe the Prequels quite a bit, it's the Special Editions that bother me the most. I shouldn't still be so irritated, since it's now relatively easy to get a copy of the original versions (though not in nearly as high quality), but it was the SE changes that most rattled me, especially those that change the characters or tone of the Original Trilogy, still my favourite films of all time.

So, here are my five BEST additions to the Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition (but this was really difficult. When I think of all the silly, stupid changes, like removing blaster hits on Imperial officers or switching "You're lucky you don't taste very good" to "You were lucky to get out of there," I get half angry and half sad):

1. Nice new X-wing/TIE Fighter visuals
2. Addition of Biggs reunion scene (well, most of it)
3. A couple of extended congratulations scenes at the end of JEDI (involving Wedge and Lando and Chewie and Pruneface)
4. Vader's lightsaber is red as the blast doors close
5. I don't know, a nice, realistic Wampa in a couple of shots?

I then asked my friend Beta Ray Charles for his list as well, and this was his response:
1. Improved shots of Cloud City
2. Biggs Scene reincluded
3. Tractor beam controls no longer English
4. Cleaned-up lightsabers in ANH
5. Improved land-speeder effects in ANH

I also asked my cousin Ryan, who you could call a Lucas apologist, for his five best and worst changes. He honestly said he could not come up with five bad ones*, but here are his five best changes:

1. Removing Palpatine's scream from Luke at Bespin
2. No Nyub Nyub/celebration additions.
3. Wampa
4. Cloud city scenes
5. Sarlac improvements - I guess.

I put the good ones first because . . . well, I don't really know. I don't really know why I do a lot of things.

Rish "Future Serial Killer" Outfield

*Funeral services will be held Saturday, from 10 to 1.

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