Taking Star Wars back from George Lucas, one edit at a time
September 17, 2011 8:13 PM   Subscribe

So you've come to terms with it: George Lucas doesn't give a shit about you. Maybe it was the minor edits to the re-releases, like Han shooting second, or one of the recent Blu-Ray additions with Darth Vader shouting Nooooo at the end of Return Of The Jedi, or maybe you liked the movies, except for silly characters like the Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks. However it happened, you are pining for the early version of Star Wars you remembered before all those changes, or maybe you're dreaming of a version without some of the schmaltzy stuff. Dream no more, the Fan Preservers and Fan Editors are making your wishes real.

It started before any Star Wars films were available on DVD, with Phantom Menace being released to VHS in 1999. Given this context, the online leak of Phantom Menace before DVDs were available was bad, but the distribution of an "improved" version of was unheard of. But it was out there, The Phantom Edit, tightened up by 18 minutes. The Phantom Editor, trying to remove the negative elements in the movie he otherwise enjoyed, started something bigger.

Along with the desire to improve the Prequel Trilogy, there was a desire to get Lucas to release the unaltered Original Trilogy on DVD. With The Phantom Menace in theaters in 1999, Star Wars was back in popular demand at the same time that DVDs were becoming a household format. The bootleg market filled the retail DVD gap for Star Wars, with the general range in quality you could expect from bootleg copies of LaserDisc movies, which were the highest quality versions of the original trilogy available at that time. Fans started as an online petition for the original original trilogy, the theatrical edition without the 1997 special edition revisions (and earlier edits). The petition site grew over time, adding a forum for restoration efforts by the fans themselves. In 2006, the original unaltered Trilogy (or original Original Trilogy, OTT) was released on DVD, but they were poorly done in the eyes of fans. But by this time, fan efforts to transfer audio and video from official Laserdiscs were under way, encouraged in part by the changes to the 2004 Special Edition versions of the original trilogy.

Some results are collected on the Original Trilogy forums, sorted into efforts to preserve the original original trilogy and fan edits to the six movies, akin to the original Phantom Edit effort to personally improve the various Star Wars movies. Since then, Fan Edit has come along and gathered "the greatest Star Wars fan edits", which is quite nice, because there are a LOT of Star Wars fan edits.

It's 2011, and Blu-Ray is the format to use. With the new format comes a new release of the Star Wars movies, and more changes to the films. But there's more digital material available to fans all the time, so why not make your own edition? Or you could make something that's altogether different, like the What's Up, Tiger Lily-like Geordie Star Wars.

The Videos:
- Preservation samples -
Original title and crawl
16mm test clip, from the Puggo Grande 16mm restoration effort

- Streamlined edits -
Star Wars Episode I.I – The Phantom Edit (with commentary) [by The Phantom Editor; fan edit information]
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Phantom (commentary) [by The Phantom Editor; fan edit info]
Star Wars Episode III: Dark Force Rising [by Kerr; fan edit info]

- And a ridiculous edit, for good measure -
Trailer and the first 12 minutes of a rough edit of Star Wars Episode I: The Ridiculous Menace

Star Wars: Episode I - Balance of the Force [by Magnoliafan; fan edit info]
Star Wars: Episode II - The Clone War [by MagnoliaFan; fan edit info]

The Original Trilogy forum members have found and put together an impressive collection of material. One noteworthy collection was previously featured on the blue: Star Wars Begins, the ultimate Original Trilogy documentary.

Random bonus documentary: The Mythology of Star Wars, 1999 documentary with Bill Moyers interviewing George Lucas
posted by filthy light thief (155 comments total) 146 users marked this as a favorite

 
A few things:

1) I wouldn't expect George Lucas to give "a shit about me." He doesn't owe me anything. If anything, as The Simpsons famously pointed out, I owe him. However, in a perfect world, he would give a shit about his work and his legacy and the fact that once you release a movie it does kind of belong to the audience and not you anymore.

2) My friend Ed has bootleg DVDs of the original three Star Wars movies the way theye were shown in the theatre, made from laserdiscs. I kind of want to get copies from him. It's absurd that movies that great are now essentially out-of-print.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:22 PM on September 17, 2011


A few years ago George Lucas made and ate a sandwich. To this day he's still throwing pepper and mayonnaise down his throat to 'improve' it.
posted by growabrain at 8:23 PM on September 17, 2011 [36 favorites]


Think of all of the cool projects that will never exist because George Lucas can't come to grips with the fact that works of art are never finished, just abandoned.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:27 PM on September 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I dunno, I think the Alderaan Shot First version has some merit.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:28 PM on September 17, 2011 [37 favorites]


He seems to want his characters to be black and white, but the story is more fascinating when they are shades of grey.

Even when you are a kid.
posted by gomichild at 8:29 PM on September 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ep 2 is easy to improve. Any time Padme and Anakin are on screen together hit the "next chapter" button on your remote. It leaves in all the cool action movie stuff, and Boba Fett and Obi-Wan and cuts out the painful love arc with that line about sand or whatever it is.
posted by markr at 8:37 PM on September 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


George Lucas Strike Back
posted by cjorgensen at 8:43 PM on September 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


Being a purist about the films is not just a matter of data sourcing.

[I just happened to be at Star Wars themed birthday party for an obsessed four year old today. I came out in a rented Vader costume to kneel and bestow his present, after declaring that the force was strong was this one. And there was a Death Star piñata.]

We watched RotJ afterwards on a big HDTV, with the added in Little Shop of Horrors sarlac, among other bullshit. What was far more annoying than the digital changes was the way it looked in HD with whatever motion smoothing algorithms the TV was using. It made the production value plummet to the level of a Farscape/Doctor Who crossover, and it couldn't be turned off.

There are serious problems with both the source of pristine data, and how the nature of technological "progress" changes how it is interpreted.
posted by hanoixan at 8:45 PM on September 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Force is strong in this plate of beans...
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:47 PM on September 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I just wanted to say that this is a very well-crafted FPP
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:56 PM on September 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Patton Oswalt's At Midnight I Will Kill George Lucas With a Shovel
posted by jonp72 at 8:56 PM on September 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Losing the visual symmetry of the TIE fighters coming in in the revisited 1st Death Star attack is a mis-step. More ≠ better.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:04 PM on September 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also I think they lifted shots of Luke from the proton torpedo sequence and used them in the subsequent dogfight to give him a kill vs the TIE fighters. Duplicating reaction shots is just bush-league.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:08 PM on September 17, 2011


Personally, I'm raising my son on the Adywan edit because Chewie deserves a medal, dammit!

That Ewok link is a bit WTF, comparing problems with ewoks to problems within religion. I must have been just the right age for them when they came out, because I liked them. Cute little things, sure, but they could build traps to take down an entire legion of imperial troops. And if they don't like you, they will eat you. You see an ewok using helmets as a row of drums, what do you think happened to the person inside?

On the other hand, Jar Jar could be improved by a little girl with a love of ponies.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 9:09 PM on September 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hey there are benefits to this advanced editing technology!
posted by Chekhovian at 9:13 PM on September 17, 2011


Maybe you have to born in 1959 to say this, but I can't say as I've ever really given a shit about George Lucas. American Graffiti was okay but, for a teenager who was 14 when it came out in 1973, I didn't exactly care about sock-hops and drive-ins. Sorry, man. Wrong decade. I was getting high and digging me some Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Led Zep. Come 1977 and Star Wars, I was starting university with punk rock erupting all around me and imagining the world to be a serious place -- who needed that kids stuff?

So anyway, just dropping in here to say that an entirely engaging and meaningful life can be lived without needing to care about George Lucas at all really. There are other (and far better) long ago and faraways ... but Empire Strikes Back and the first Indiana Jones flick were pretty fun.
posted by philip-random at 9:17 PM on September 17, 2011 [14 favorites]


I'm still waiting for Revenge of the Jedi
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:18 PM on September 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Losing the visual symmetry of the TIE fighters coming in in the revisited 1st Death Star attack is a mis-step. More ≠ better.

Yeah, no shit. There was no evident threat posed by the rebel attack, so they didn't bother to scramble legions of tie fighters. That swarm of tie fighters actually weakens the moments in ROTJ when you actually DO see swarms of tie fighters, because until that point, you'd never seen anything like that before. (At least, in the chronological release of the films and the way it affected me when I saw it opening day at 10am having skipped school to see the very first showing...)

Lucas really doesn't understand why we love(d) these movies, does he?
posted by hippybear at 9:19 PM on September 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


‘Turkish Star Wars’: Punk re-mix
posted by homunculus at 9:23 PM on September 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dear God how I hate, loathe and despise Jar-Jar Binks! Star Wars gradually got less and less cool, but J-J B was the nail in the coffin fir me.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:28 PM on September 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dear God how I hate, loathe and despise Jar-Jar Binks! Star Wars gradually got less and less cool, but J-J B was the nail in the coffin fir me.

For me the nail in the coffin was the revelation that Yoda was a nitwit.
posted by mikelieman at 9:32 PM on September 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


whatever motion smoothing algorithms the TV was using

I've noticed this on a lot of new TVs. God does it look horrible. It makes everything look worse, especially 24 FPS films, to which it gives the look of a cheap TV show.

I have no idea why or how the smoothing bothers me so much. I'll have to read more about it.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:36 PM on September 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Looks like this blog post covers it.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:42 PM on September 17, 2011 [15 favorites]


Lucas really doesn't understand why we love(d) these movies, does he?

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:45 PM on September 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Edits George Lucas Should Have Made to the Star Wars Saga
posted by homunculus at 9:54 PM on September 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


A bad motivator (via @siracusa on this week's Hypercritical)

One of the things mentioned above is that if copyrights were the original 14 years (renewable for another 14 years one time), Critereon could have released the original as-shown-in-theaters Star Wars original edition. The Han-shoots-first, no "NOOOOO!", no digital dinosaurs, no weird Han walking around Jaba edition.

But because copyrights are 90 years, its likely none of us will ever live to see Star Wars out of copyright, or at least be able to enjoy it.
posted by SirOmega at 9:54 PM on September 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


I've given up on the endless re-releases re-formats and re-edits of the films and instead have embraced Cartoon Network's The Clone Wars. I beg all of you to do the same. TAKE BACK THE LIGHTsaber!
posted by PapaLobo at 9:55 PM on September 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


The motion smoothing thing drove me nuts when I bought the new TV which doesn't seem so much like a TV as it does a giant wall of video that now takes up most of a wall. Does 3D. Has Netflix and Facebook built in. Full keyboard on one end of the remote. Did I mention it's huge? I'm afraid it'll fall over and kill me in the next earthquake.

Anyway, yeah, it's supposed to be some "feature" that makes pictures look better on cheap LCD screens (this behemoth ran $700) but instead made everything look like cheap videotape. On one hand kind of fascinating to imagine that this is probably what everything actually looked like when the scene was shot, but to think if Mad Men actually looked like that on purpose it never would've gone anywhere. It took me a lot of digging to find the setting to turn this horrid feature off.

It's sort of alarming to think that there are people out there who think that this is what film content is supposed to look like and won't that be fun when the generation who grew up with that starts making movies?
posted by dantsea at 10:00 PM on September 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Huh. I never actually watched the Phantom Edit before. I got about 20 minutes in before I realized edits or not, I'm not going to be able to endure the faux asian accents or Jar Jar's Stepin Fetchit speak, at all.
posted by yeloson at 10:01 PM on September 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


WhackyparseThis: That Ewok link is a bit WTF, comparing problems with ewoks to problems within religion.

That link was a bit of a random grab. I was looking for something to bring up the concerns with Ewoks, which I hadn't heard until after seeing Jar Jar Binks, and Ewoks were called the Jar Jar Binks of the original trilogy. That kind of baffled me, but they are like (insane, vicious) little teddy bears.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:02 PM on September 17, 2011


I've given up on the endless re-releases re-formats and re-edits of the films and instead have embraced Cartoon Network's The Clone Wars. I beg all of you to do the same. TAKE BACK THE LIGHTsaber!

I think you mean Cartoon Network's Star Wars:Clone Wars
posted by mikelieman at 10:08 PM on September 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyway, yeah, it's supposed to be some "feature" that makes pictures look better on cheap LCD screens (this behemoth ran $700) but instead made everything look like cheap videotape.

It makes everything look like it is a soap opera. It was the first thing I shut off on my TV. Sometimes I think it turns itself back on, but I check the setting and its off.
posted by SirOmega at 10:11 PM on September 17, 2011


Fuck George Lucas in his childhood optimism with a greenscreen.
posted by K'an at 10:18 PM on September 17, 2011


I can't believe that after all these years so few have noticed that the Sar Wars movies were not very good in the first place.

It's like arguing about the minutia of the Transformer movies in 2050. I'm tired of hearing about this ancient marketing campaign every timeI fire up the Internet.
posted by cmoj at 10:26 PM on September 17, 2011 [15 favorites]


Click the back button on your browser, young Padawan.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 10:30 PM on September 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


I'm tired of hearing about this ancient marketing campaign every timeI fire up the Internet.

Boy, it must suck to be forced to have read this post and then entered the thread to compose a reply.
posted by rodgerd at 10:30 PM on September 17, 2011 [18 favorites]


Why stop at fan edits when you can proceed directly to low budget Turkish action movies that straight up steal clips from Star Wars?
posted by tremspeed at 10:45 PM on September 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guys. Let it go. There are literally thousands of other movies to watch and obsess about.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:47 PM on September 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


If George Lucas remains committed to the ridiculous decision to not release the original cuts of Star Wars in a high quality format then I'm all for any project that makes them available in spite of his obstinacy.

At the same time though, regarding the fan rage surrounding Lucas's tinkering , I grant that it's a bummer Lucas decided what Jedi was missing was a big song and dance number and cgi Jabba would spice up New Hope and it's even more of a bummer he poured millions into a prequel trilogy little better than fan fiction and packed with racist stereotype aliens - yes, all of this is shitty on a galactic scale. However, with all the books, comics, games and so forth that have sprouted like mushrooms from the Star Wars mycelium, I think it's safe to say that the mythos has been bigger than the movies for some time.

For instance: I can still remember gaping at the podracing scene in Phantom Menace, no longer able to convince myself that I wasn't watching a bad movie. The prequels were terrible and it was such a letdown after all that buildup. BUT, right around that same time, KOTOR came out on XBox with a Star Wars story worthy of the legacy and it kicked ass like the prequels should have. We didn't get dope prequels but we've had stacks of dope comics. This is a mythos available in so many storytelling mediums that I reckon a person can build their own Star Wars from what they like and gleefully ignore what they don't. Nevermind episodes one through three, the Golden Age of the Sith comic is plenty prequel for me, thank you. I understand there's a novel where Luke fights a clone of the Emperor or something? Meh, not for me, I'll probably never read it - but in ETW Edition Star Wars, KOTOR is gospel. (The first one, anyway)

Getting too caught up in what is and isn't canon for everyone misses the point of enjoying fantastic tales and legends. They're all imaginary stories. There's a cut of Jedi out there with the ghost of Heyden Christiansen haunting the Ewok Victory Jamband scene - well, that's Lucas's business if he wants to release that but it ain't the Star Wars I remember or prefer so all that shit happened on Endor-2 as far as I'm concerned, in some bassakwards parallel universe with a Nazi Elvis and a Goatee Spock and whatever other silly shit Lucas feels like dreaming up in the ersatz Star Wars that's real to him. It's got nothing to do with mine.

In his, midichlorians are a thing that's real and in mine no one's ever fucking heard of them but every word of the R2 and Chewie Theory is true. Most of the X-Wing comics happened and most of Shadows of the Empire didn't. At this point, the only One True Star Wars I'm worried about is this one. It would have been cool in years past to see the movies I prefer to remember in their unaltered form, but it looks that gap is just about filled now so huzzah. Folks who enjoyed Lucas' tinkering and the baffling prequels are welcome to them. No one need call anyone else's space fight monsters and robots story false.

(All that said: Han shot first. That's not up for discussion)
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:53 PM on September 17, 2011 [18 favorites]


Is anyone else tired of Star Wars as a cultural phenomenon? We need new sagas.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:20 PM on September 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Well I don't think that people are going to be debating the long term legacy of Thor (the movie) anytime soon.
posted by Chekhovian at 11:23 PM on September 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Pruitt-Igoe: "It makes everything look worse, especially 24 FPS films, to which it gives the look of a cheap TV show."

I think it's just what you're used to. I play more video games -- which tend to update at at least 30fps and more often 60fps on the PC -- than I watch movies, and the 24fps film standard looks fake and ugly to me. I'm interested to see where James Cameron's push for higher framerates will take movies.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:24 PM on September 17, 2011


I was really pulling for the Matrix to become a trilogy that superceded Star Wars but it ... didn't ...
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:24 PM on September 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


but it ... didn't ...and how, just wow. Man the Matrix sequels almost make the Star Wars prequels look good.
posted by Chekhovian at 11:28 PM on September 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is anyone else tired of Star Wars as a cultural phenomenon? We need new sagas.

Maybe something with wizards...and broom soccer.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:30 PM on September 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


Is anyone else tired of Star Wars as a cultural phenomenon? We need new sagas.

Good news! We now have the Twilight movies!
posted by Rangeboy at 11:34 PM on September 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


Is anyone else tired of Star Wars as a cultural phenomenon? We need new sagas.


The Hobbit?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:53 PM on September 17, 2011


George Lucas would paint a mustache on the Mona Lisa.
posted by Cranberry at 12:05 AM on September 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Huh. I never actually watched the Phantom Edit before. I got about 20 minutes in before I realized edits or not, I'm not going to be able to endure the faux asian accents or Jar Jar's Stepin Fetchit speak, at all.

I had the same reaction. It was the thing that made me realize that there's badly-edited films, and then there's films that are fundamentally bad. No amount of editing can save the latter. The Phantom Edit resulted in a tighter, more smoothly-polished piece of crap, but a piece of crap all the same.
posted by Palindromedary at 12:23 AM on September 18, 2011


I'm watching magnoliafan78's edit of Ep. I right now, really enjoying it, especially the creative solution to the Jar-Jar problem.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 12:33 AM on September 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Guys. Let it go. There are literally thousands of other movies to watch and obsess about.

I'm currently working on a reedit of "2001: A Space Odyssey." In my edit, the tapirs attack first, like it was supposed to be.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 12:35 AM on September 18, 2011 [13 favorites]


Really nice (and timely) FPP.

I've been watching (simultaneously, in 3 windows) the Blu-Ray version, the Special Edition, and the "original, unaltered*" version of Episode IV for the past day, and making screen-shots of noteworthy scenes.

Apart from the obvious editorial changes, which most interested parties are aware of by now, there are some other apparent trends.

1. The color saturation (and "deepness") have been increased for each successive release.
2. They really went crazy with the "flash frames" to emphasize blaster impacts, etc. (there are some frames during battle scenes which are nearly 100% magenta now)
3. The "original unaltered trilogy" as presented on Laserdisc in the early 90's (and re-scanned for a limited DVD release in 2004) really looks like shit.
4. Although greatly minimized, there are *Still* "garbage mattes" around TIE fighters. (google "garbage mattes" if you're unfamiliar with the term.
5. The Blu-Ray discs sound absolutely fantastic. You can literally pick out individual trumpets from the orchestra during the openening fanfare.
6. The extra visual detail in the models, characters, almost makes the cringe-worthy changes worth enduring.
7. Han & Greedo now shoot pretty much simultaneously, for whatever that's worth.
8. The fan edit "Star Wars Revisited" by Adywan is very good, though he's as guilty as Lucas when it comes to using CGI to "improve" things.
9. The "Phantom Edit" didn't go *nearly* far enough in removing Jar-Jar.
10. If the self-link is OK, I've put up a set of screenshot comparisons for the first 10 minutes or so, if anyone's curious.

Also, if you're into fan edits, be sure too check out the "Grindhouse Edition" of Star Wars, as well as "Jaws: The Sharksploitation Edit" (the latter is worth it for Quint's U.S.S. Indianapolis monologue alone)
posted by ShutterBun at 1:01 AM on September 18, 2011 [22 favorites]


Forgot to explain the "*" in my above post.

Obviously, there is no such thing as an unaltered video of Star Wars (at least for Episode IV) The movie has been tinkered with since before it even made it to home video, and even the "definitive" Laserdisc edition has countless changes (particularly to the audio track) as compared to the original theatrical version. But for now, it's definitely the best quality "closest to the original" version available, so we'll go with that.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:06 AM on September 18, 2011


If you'd like to see screengrabs of some of the extreme lengths some of these fan edits have gone to to correct the changes Lucas made, this picasa album shows the changes made for one of the Despecialized Editions.
posted by SteveFlamingo at 1:46 AM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm really liking what I see in that Despecialized Edition, SteveFlamingo! I may have to check that out. Looks like the creator focused on a lot of the same shots I did.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:56 AM on September 18, 2011


I've noticed this on a lot of new TVs. God does it look horrible. It makes everything look worse, especially 24 FPS films, to which it gives the look of a cheap TV show.

There is nothing intrinsically 'cheap' about high framerate video. It's just that in the past low quality video was shot at a higher framerate then 35mm film. People need to get over these aesthetic associations
posted by delmoi at 2:35 AM on September 18, 2011


Is anyone else tired of Star Wars as a cultural phenomenon? We need new sagas.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:20 PM on September 17


YES! I"m a mid 30s male and amongst me peer group Star Wars was huge.. but somehow I've always found it a bit tedious.

I actually remember getting so sick of Star Wars one being on TV all the time when I was a kid and finding it really boring. It wasn't until high school that I discovered what a huge phenomena it was amongst everyone else.

I had the misfortune of watchign the Phantom Menace a few weeks ago and was shocked at just how terrible a film it is. if you are not 7 years old its barely watchable. cringe inducing.
posted by mary8nne at 2:36 AM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not a star wars fan particularly, but I do find all this interesting, because the question is: What went wrong - how can Lucas have made 3 good films and then 3 terrible ones. Its more than just the cgi, I think there are all sorts of storytelling problems with the prequels (as masterfully shown by redlettermedia). I've actually learnt a lot about filmmaking by reading peoples criticisms of the prequels.
posted by memebake at 3:00 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is nothing intrinsically 'cheap' about high framerate video. It's just that in the past low quality video was shot at a higher framerate then 35mm film. People need to get over these aesthetic associations

Replace "People need to" with "it would be nice if people could" and I'll agree. 30fps video just has a "cheesy" look to it, no matter what ya do.

At Comic Con this year some of the booths had monitors set up showing clips from mainstream feature films (Hangover Part 2, Inception) at (what appeared to be) 30fps,(or higher) and man, it looked WEIRD.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:06 AM on September 18, 2011


I can't believe that after all these years so few have noticed that the Sar Wars movies were not very good in the first place.

I think that if you were of a certain age when they came out and/or were exposed to them at a certain age, there's a lot to attach to, if, even at six, you completely ignored RotJ and the fucking idiotic ewoks.

Looking back, the campy awfulness is really rough for me to bear. I think I could manage a viewing of Empire simply because it's clearly the best thing going of the six, and the Duel of the Fates scene of Phantom is one of my favoriter things ever, but that has more to do with John Williams than anything else.

George Lucas's approach seems to trend towards some platonic ideal for three year olds. How many people along the production chain thought Jar-Jar Binks was a good idea? I'm guessing the number hovers around one. It's literally something Lucas's three-year-old grandchild could have dreamed up and begged to see in the next Star Wars. It's brutal. It's an affront to decency. But it's not much worse than a lot of the awful things George Lucas has done to us throughout the series and in his other films.

What's unclear to me is why Lucas's particular brand of camp became canonized. Perhaps it was the ILM effects—Lucas basically created the world's forefront digital effects house for Star Wars, so that it would reach out and captivate audiences, and from a visual effects perspective, it was unlike anything anyone had ever seen. The characters were somewhat lovable in their own ways, but honestly, the camp is just overwrought. Why anyone expected anything decent out of the first prequel when he ended things up to that point with the sixth chapter and EWOKS I will never know.

Lucas has infuriatingly jumped the shark at every possible opportunity and I'm really not sure how he's okay with the quality of work he's putting out, the changes he insists on continuing to make to things people love, or anything else he's doing. Is he just surrounded by sycophants who refuse to give it to him straight? That seems unlikely if he walked around the Crystal Skull set wearing a "Han shot first" shirt. It seems more likely that he just realized he lucked into a good thing and he's going to milk it until it's a shriveled, disgusting udder, blown up in HD, unwanted changes made because he feels the obsessive compulsive need to iterate and change any chance he gets.
posted by disillusioned at 3:31 AM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not really a big Star Wars fan, but I have one simple question: Do the original versions, as seen by millions in the 70s, still exist?
posted by Harry at 3:35 AM on September 18, 2011


I think that if you were of a certain age when they came out

Whether or not they're "good" is one thing, but there's no denying they had nearly universal appeal across MANY demographics when they came out. Forget about gross income, look at the "estimated number of tickets sold" for Star Wars. I think a lot of people nowadays were either too young to remember, or perhaps missed out on the MASSIVE cultural phenomenon that Star Wars represented at the time. There hasn't been anything even remotely similar since.

Do the original versions, as seen by millions in the 70s, still exist?

Erm...sorta. As mentioned in previous links upthread, the "original, unaltered trilogy" was released on DVD in (I believe) 2004, as a supplement to the Special Editions. They were of somewhat inferior quality (they used the same source as the "definitive edition" laserdiscs), though they're still far better than the VHS tapes you may remember from your youth.

The versions (as seen in theaters) have never truly been released on video (except for some very poor quality bootlegs) as the tinkering (primarily with the audio) began before they even hit the home video market (and indeed, while they were still in the theaters; there were, by necessity, several different sound mixes created, in order to accommodate different theater equipment)

And of course there are still 35mm and 16mm prints floating around out there, though that doesn't really count for the average viewer.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:50 AM on September 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


What was far more annoying than the digital changes was the way it looked in HD with whatever motion smoothing algorithms the TV was using. It made the production value plummet to the level of a Farscape/Doctor Who crossover, and it couldn't be turned off.

Your New TV Ruins Movies
posted by Thorzdad at 3:59 AM on September 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


Relevant: Half in the Bag (the guys from the 70min Phantom Menace review) have a discussion with Alexandre Philippe from "The People vs. George Lucas".
posted by ts;dr at 4:06 AM on September 18, 2011


memebake there are all sorts of storytelling problems with the prequels (as masterfully shown by redlettermedia).

Those reviews really aren't that masterful.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 4:07 AM on September 18, 2011


memebake: there are all sorts of storytelling problems with the prequels (as masterfully shown by redlettermedia).

WhackyparseThis: Those reviews really aren't that masterful.

From the article linked by WhackyparseThis: "They’re [the redlettermedia reviews] anti-prequel propaganda at its best."

Propaganda? Seriously? When did "expression of viewpoint I disagree with" become "propaganda"?
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 4:13 AM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I miss the original "close the blast doors!" "open the blast doors!" bit.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:45 AM on September 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can't believe that after all these years so few have noticed that the Star Wars movies were not very good in the first place.

My son is five, and obsessed with Star Wars (in particular with the (terrific) Clone Wars animated series). He's seen parts of the films, but there are some parts (particularly the battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan, and, in general, the entire end of the sixth film - killing of the younglings, all that) that we're just not ready for him to see yet.

The genius of the original movies is not that they're good or bad, but rather that they engage you in a story in a way that you really want to know what happens next - very much like the Saturday morning serials they're (allegedly) based on. Plus, when he's playing Star Wars, his imagination is fully engaged. He's created his own Jedi ('Ninedy-boo') and integrated him into the action. There is an entire universe of opportunities for kids (and adults) to explore. For whatever reason, this particular story engages the imagination of tens of thousands of people and spurs them to some pretty creative heights sometimes.

Also, for all the bad press Lucas gets, I'll point out that he could be issuing takedown orders all over the place for this stuff, and he's not. So, I'll give him points for that. I do wonder, however, if his reluctance to do so is going to cost him the copyright, eventually. Wouldn't that be amusing?
posted by anastasiav at 5:26 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


FWIW, there are plenty of examples of artists messing with their already-released work for the rest of their lives, especially in poetry. Those six movies are clearly what Lucas is going to be remembered for, and I can't blame him for continually tweaking them. I think it's admirable that he's leaving it at the six-film cycle he'd originally planned, with every movie telling a different & essential part of the story, instead of cranking out pointless sequels and reboots that are more or less remakes. (See: any other franchise ever.) I haven't seen the Blu Rays yet, but the added "no" makes perfect sense to me, and for my money, most (but not all) of the changes of the years have been improvements.
posted by muckster at 5:30 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


*over the years*
posted by muckster at 5:31 AM on September 18, 2011


Also, if you're into fan edits, be sure too check out the "Grindhouse Edition" of Star Wars, as well as "Jaws: The Sharksploitation Edit" (the latter is worth it for Quint's U.S.S. Indianapolis monologue alone)

As far as other fan edits go, I cannot recommend Terminator 3: The Coming Storm strongly enough. It removes most of the cheese and tightens up the movie into a taught thriller worthy of the canon. (IMO, Terminator 3 suffered from what I call "Nightmare On Elm Street Sequelitis", and I was happy to find a version of the movie which didn't have all the stupid jokes and stuff.)
posted by hippybear at 5:34 AM on September 18, 2011


Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and that's that.
posted by Decani at 5:51 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


YES! I"m a mid 30s male and amongst me peer group Star Wars was huge.. but somehow I've always found it a bit tedious.

I actually remember getting so sick of Star Wars one being on TV all the time when I was a kid and finding it really boring. It wasn't until high school that I discovered what a huge phenomena it was amongst everyone else.


It is a generational thing. People a decade older than you -- like me -- grew up before Star Wars. SF on screen then was limited to talky, sombre things aimed at adults (2001, Silent Running) or cartoonish schlock from the fifties (It! The Terror from Beyond Space, The Blob). If you were a kid who liked sf in the seventies, you read a lot of novels and watched syndicated reruns of Star Trek after school. When Star Wars arrived, it was like finding an escape from a cage you didn't know you had been in.

Note that even up until it was released, it was not evident this was going to be a success. I saw the trailer for Star Wars in front of Silver Streak months earlier and at nine, my estimation was "that looks kinda stupid." (The only clear memory I have of the trailer is R2 uttering a sad little beep as he falls over.)

And the idea of it being "on TV all the time" made me chuckle: Gen Xers are the last generation to remember movies being inaccessible. Home video was not priced for purchase until the the tail end of the eighties and video rental stores were not ubiquitous until the mid-eighties, so often your only chance to see something was on TV, and Star Wars was never on TV. The day that pay TV launched in Canada (February 1, 1983) the very first thing that one of the two pay-TV channels showed -- can't recall if it was First Choice or Superchannel -- was Star Wars and I recall getting up early before school to watch a jumpy, scrambled few minutes of it and listen to the audio about how Han had been from one end of this galaxy to the other and seen a lot of strange things. When the movie finally made its way onto broadcast TV on ABC in the late eighties, there was a lot of hoopla and was broadcast in two parts on two consecutive nights.

It is hard to articulate. I found the prequels mostly dismal and Lucas' endless tinkering with the originals is now just a bad joke, but the idea of Star Wars still appeals to me at some deep level, just because I remember the revelatory effect of the original movie. I suppose it is something akin to my grandparents being amazed by movies in colour, or their parents being impressed by the talkies. Later generations take this stuff as a given. I have seen a lot of movies in my life, but I doubt I will ever again be as astonished by anything as I was by that star destroyer thundering overhead in 1977.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:04 AM on September 18, 2011 [31 favorites]


Is anyone else tired of Star Wars as a cultural phenomenon? We need new sagas.

Star Trek
Babylon 5
Farscape
Battlestar Galatica (the newer one)
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:22 AM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


My favorite fan edit involves Darth Vader being a jerk.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:26 AM on September 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


There is nothing intrinsically 'cheap' about high framerate video. It's just that in the past low quality video was shot at a higher framerate then 35mm film.

The current smoothing algorithms continually switch on and off (off when fast action is on the screen, oddly enough) which is reeeeeally distracting. It's a bad introduction to the format.

Still, for me, 24 FPS will always be classic and classy, something around with one should not fuck.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:38 AM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those six movies are clearly what Lucas is going to be remembered for, and I can't blame him for continually tweaking them.

I can. It shows a lack of imagination and an unhealthy desire to control the perceptions of his audience. You get the feeling that he resents the fans making the movie their own or writing fanfic, and wants to show them that he's the one in charge of this story, and he can do whatever he damn well pleases with it, neener neener.

Artists should challenge themselves even after a great success. It's been several decades now, and he can't move on. That's either cowardly or shows he has nothing else to offer. And that last one would be fine if he stuck to rolling around on his millions or running his special effects company. But no.
posted by emjaybee at 6:50 AM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


What is easy to lose about Star Wars if you're not of a certain age is that when it hit the theatres in 1977 it was an entirely new thing. Looking at pre-Star Wars SF movies like Silent Running or Logan's Run or even 2001 and comparing them to the SF movies that came after, even total cheese like The Magnificent Seven In Space Battle Beyond the Stars is like looking at any movie that came before Citizen Kane and any movie that came after it. Lucas, like Orson Welles, showed us a new way things could look, and after that everything was different.

Lucas had to invent several technologies in the course of creating Star Wars; he was a genius (at least at one time) in this regard, and I remember some documentary where he told the camera that he invented a way of recording camera movements in realtime so that FX could be overlaid realistically because "a computer keyboard is a really unnatural input device." I thought that was pretty profound and smart. It's a shame he took that genius and sold it all out to sell toys.

The original SW (I still refuse to call it Ep 4) looks like crap because it was made with the very best technology circa 1977, and there's not much you can do with that when you're comparing it to circa 2010. But in 1977 it blew us the fuck away. I remember an entire packed theatre sitting in silent, rapt attention, awestruck and amazed. Yeah we keep going back to the well hoping Lucas will pull that rabbit out of the hat again but of course he won't, because you can only see a thing for the first time once.

Probably the only other movie that ever made me feel that way was The Matrix. And yes, those sequels were a bad idea too. However, I will forgive the Wachowski brothers for at least not doing anything so crass as replacing Wookies with Ewoks so they could sell toys.
posted by localroger at 6:51 AM on September 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'd just like everyone to know that you can find the original Laserdisc versions of all three movies on the Pirate Bay.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:56 AM on September 18, 2011


I'd just like everyone to know that I have an original Laserdisk of Star Wars, but no player upon which to play it.
posted by hippybear at 6:58 AM on September 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Blu-Ray discs sound absolutely fantastic. You can literally pick out individual trumpets from the orchestra during the openening fanfare.

The soundtracks themselves have also been heavily re-worked by the fans - i.e. the Imperial Audiophile edition of The Empire Strikes Back.
posted by Trurl at 7:13 AM on September 18, 2011


I can't believe that after all these years so few have noticed that the Star Wars movies were not very good in the first place.

Devoid of context, this is just a very silly statement. It's akin to saying that Pong or Pac-Man is "not a very good video game" or that The Exorcist "doesn't really seem that scary" or that Duck Soup "isn't funny at all" completely ignoring that 1. there was nothing- nothing like it before its time and that 2. almost everything that came after it with which to quantify as "better" would never have existed without its influence.

The reason Star Wars is so amazing and has such an impact on our culture is because of, well, how the movie was amazing and had such an impact on our culture. Lucas took an attempt to revive the old Flash Gordon serials of his youth and instead effectively created a genre that today we simply casually acknowledge. The reason the prequels- and to the same degree the edited originals- suck is because there aren't attempts at innovation or sparking a new genre there. I know everyone's seen the Plinkett reviews by now but some of his best points are the really simple ones- a great example being how in the opening of Revenge of the Sith, who cares about a three-minute opening shot that was done entirely on a computer? We know computers can make movies. Plinkett's best line in his reviews was about how Lucas went from using special effects to tell a story to using a story to tell special effects.

This is also why I find it funny/sad that the most popular "this has been ruined!" arguments after Star Wars these days seem to be Doctor Who, and yet the fanboy response is almost completely inverted- the modern fans scream "how can you complain about the piss-poor writing, debilitating over-emphasis of a single character to a god-like level, cringingly weak romantic angles and nonsensical plot points? The special effects in the original were awful!"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:34 AM on September 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


I generally loathe the prequels, but they've brought at least two good things into the world: the RedLetterMedia reviews and this.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:35 AM on September 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is anyone else tired of Star Wars as a cultural phenomenon? We need new sagas.

I'll settle for Futurama.
posted by warbaby at 7:52 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The best Star Wars movies are the ones I made in my head with my Star Wars toys (with help from my Legos, G.I. Joe and Transformers toys). I never wrote them down or recorded them in any way. I don't even remember them, but I still feel how amazing they were all these years later. Sorry everyone. If I could give them to you I would.
posted by wobh at 7:53 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite thing about The Phantom Menace is the song Weird Al wrote about it.

In other news, there's a new set of "Vintage Collection" 3.75in action figures that are really very nice. The articulations are particularly good, with ankles and wrists and actual ball-jointed hips.
posted by rlk at 8:01 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


SF on screen then was limited to talky, sombre things aimed at adults (2001, Silent Running)

How was Silent Running aimed at adults? Its main draw was those clunky robot things and the plot revolves around a biologist not realizing that plants need light to survive.
posted by Evilspork at 8:22 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd just like everyone to know that I have an original Laserdisk of Star Wars, but no player upon which to play it.

Yep, that's me too. I had a laser disk player back in the 90's. I had got it less for uber-movie action and more for the fact that tons of anime was available to rent at the asian video stores in Seattle on laser disk. Having the non-altered-altered version was a nice thing to pull out once in a while.
posted by yeloson at 8:30 AM on September 18, 2011


I think I may be the only person whom loves the Ewoks. You see, I first saw Star Wars on the unremastered VHS with my parents when I was in early elementary school. Like, grade 1 or 2, as I wasn't reading yet. I was *blown away*. I have Asperger's and Star Wars very quickly replaced Thunderbirds as my obsession of voice, and remand that way until, geeze, high school I guess.

Let me tell you: When you are six or seven and see cute cuddly animals killing Stormtroopers? Ewoks are awesome.

Star Wars also taught me to read: In grade 1 I was in the slow reader group at school. Then I found a old, beat up Star Wars book (Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson-- I still have it on a shelf), and asked my Dad to read it to me like he had the Hobbit, and he said I should read it myself. It took me ages to figure out that I had to make the scenes in my head, and I had to read the first chapter like, five times before I figured out what a scene change was (Ok, my Dad had to explain that it was like when they cut from the Millennium Falcon to Vader walking on the Death Star) and then I read the whole thing pretty fast. I never stopped reading after that, and was reading The Lord of the Rings by grade 5 or so, and at a high university level by grade 8. I don't read nearly as much fiction as I used to, due to reading a lot online, but still, Star Wars was my introduction to books, which is something no edit will ever take away from me.

Oddly enough it wasn't me whom named the (now late) family dog Wicket, after the Ewok in RotJ, it was my Mom. I love my family.
posted by Canageek at 8:54 AM on September 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


"an unhealthy desire to control the perceptions of his audience."

Yeah, that's a terrible thing in a movie director.
posted by muckster at 9:19 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just tried out the Phantom Edit, and got four minutes in before giving up.

3:19 Qui-Gon Jinn: "I don't sense anything."
3:55 Qui-Gon Jinn: "I sense an unusual amount of fear for something as trivial as this trade dispute."

Ugh.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:22 AM on September 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thast is, by removing the redundancies, they've just moved the contradictions closer together.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:25 AM on September 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


ArmyOfKittens: "I think it's just what you're used to. I play more video games -- which tend to update at at least 30fps and more often 60fps on the PC -- than I watch movies, and the 24fps film standard looks fake and ugly to me. I'm interested to see where James Cameron's push for higher framerates will take movies."

I don't share your reaction to 24fps at all, but I'm far from a luddite when it comes to these things, and I'm interested in how people's tastes will change as framerates go up. However, if a film was shot at 24, my television should never make it seem otherwise. I would file this in the same bin with colorization.
posted by brundlefly at 9:41 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh absolutely. I'd always rather watch or play everything the way it was originally made. I got surprisingly anal about getting our TV and monitors calibrated as close to standard as I could without professional tools. I don't particularly like 24fps and I'd love for it to fall out of fashion, but motion compensation is just nasty. When our sturdy old LCD TV finally kicks it we'll get the highest quality budget model we can, to avoid any of this modern auto-dimming, 240hz, dynamic contrast bollocks.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:51 AM on September 18, 2011


anastasiav: I do wonder, however, if his reluctance to do so is going to cost him the copyright, eventually. Wouldn't that be amusing?

That's trademark you're thinking of. Copyright endures whether you chase down infringers and sue them into oblivion or not. Trademark, on the other hand, requires active defense, or you'll lose it.
posted by MissySedai at 10:12 AM on September 18, 2011


I will always get a tingle on the back of my neck when Leia says “I love you” and Han says “I know.” It’s in my DNA.

That awesome moment wasn't even Lucas'.

Han was supposed to say "I love you too", but Irving Kirshner was the director, and he realized the Lucas had a tin ear for this moment, so went around him. Lucas had to be convinced to keep IK's version by the test audience reaction.

Then again, Empire is also probably the pinncle of all the SW movies.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:50 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So in my patient waiting for The People vs. George Lucas, I've been trying to track down some info on the rumor that Star Wars was "saved in the editing room". Allegedly, Lucas's cut was pretty flat and woefully paced, but was saved by others.

Anyone in thread heard that or have any links on it? The Google-Fu fails.
posted by butterstick at 11:09 AM on September 18, 2011


Note that even up until it was released, it was not evident this was going to be a success. I saw the trailer for Star Wars in front of Silver Streak months earlier and at nine, my estimation was "that looks kinda stupid." (The only clear memory I have of the trailer is R2 uttering a sad little beep as he falls over.)

I remember seeing that trailer, too, and having much the same response -- even to the point of thinking R2 looked awfully, awfully cheap (only slightly more impressive than the Daleks currently showing up in 70s era Dr. Who). And I suspect the rest of the theater felt much the same. To say we were uniformly underwhelmed is not an exaggeration.

Then, a few months later (things worked much more slowly in those days), the real hype began. Star Wars was popping up in Time magazine (with rave reviews) and there were new trailers hitting the theaters that were hitting a whole new level of sheen and cool. So by the time Star Wars finally came to town (Vancouver), it would've been at least four months since that first trailer ... and there were line-ups around the block waiting for it.

And then I was disappointed, but I said that already.
posted by philip-random at 11:13 AM on September 18, 2011


the fun part of having the laserdisks was getting to see the prominent role of scotch tape in the space scenes.

i enjoyed all the movies. i think if you're at the point of feeling like lucas has betrayed you, you're probably doing it wrong.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:38 AM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I still have my laserdisc player. If you are in NY and want to have a Metafilter laserdisc meetup, I would be very keen to help organize it.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 11:44 AM on September 18, 2011


Reading this talk about Lucas editing the old films reminds me of the Chinese idiom "to draw legs on a snake".

The glib summary of the story: there was a leftover bowl of wine at this party. To decide who gets the extra wine, they agreed to have an art contest: the first one to finish drawing a snake gets the extra wine. One guy was a consummate artist and finished drawing his snake super quick. He saw the others were still struggling to draw their crappy snakes, so he decided that he had time to fancy up his snake. He started drawing some legs on his snake.

While the artist was gussying up his snake, someone else finished their snake and claimed the extra wine. The artist though protested. "My snake was done way before yours was! And it's much more awesome than yours!"

The others protested: "No way! You're still drawing the legs on your... thing. Wait, it's not even a snake! Who ever heard of a snake with legs?" Everyone agreed that the artist was a dick and he didn't get any wine.

The moral: don't add superfluous things, and especially don't be an arrogant about it.
posted by cyberscythe at 11:48 AM on September 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


So in my patient waiting for The People vs. George Lucas, I've been trying to track down some info on the rumor that Star Wars was "saved in the editing room". Allegedly, Lucas's cut was pretty flat and woefully paced, but was saved by others.

No, you're thinking of the original John Jympson edit, which was never released. If there's one thing George at least has decent instincts for, it's editing.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:07 PM on September 18, 2011


Han was supposed to say "I love you too", but Irving Kirshner was the director, and he realized the Lucas had a tin ear for this moment, so went around him.

Lucas didn't write the script for Empire, so the tin ear wasn't his. Nevertheless, despite what you've heard, the exchange "I love you." "I love you, too." does not appear in ANY of the Empire Strikes Back scripts.

Leigh Brackett's original script contains no such scene (Han doesn't get frozen) and the closest Leia comes to telling Han she loves him is "Come back to me" as Han is about to leave on a new mission at the end of the film.

Larry Kasdan's first crack at the script includes the freezing scene. Leia says "I love you. I couldn't tell you before, but it's true." To which Han replies "Just remember that, because I'll be back."

This exchange lasted through the next draft as well.

The final draft contains the iconic scene, just as it appears on screen.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:57 PM on September 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Not a star wars fan particularly, but I do find all this interesting, because the question is: What went wrong - how can Lucas have made 3 good films and then 3 terrible ones

He didn't have as much to do with two of the original three. The Empire Strikes back was Directed by Irv Kershner and written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan. Revenge of the Jedi was Directed by Richard Marquand and written by Lawrence Kasdan and Lucas.
posted by Mcable at 12:58 PM on September 18, 2011


I don't know if it's possible to convey the impact Star Wars and its sequels had on my generation to anyone born later. (Or earlier.) It's like how the Bible was the basis of western literature - everybody who could read in medieval Europe knew the Bible, and understood references to it. Not only that, the dramatic structure of the parables and gospels and so on was the model that taught generations of people what a story was, and what storytelling could do.

Well, Star Wars was the basis for Generation X kiddie culture. It was our movie bible, that we saw over and over again, played with in toy form, and talked about in the years between chapters. I can remember getting together with friends on the front lawn to hash over a TV special on the special effects of the first movie. We were eight year olds straining to comprehend the details of motion control cameras and matte paintings, just so we could understand a little bit more of how the magic was made. We devoured every novelization and comic book, and we talked Star Wars with each other constantly because everybody felt the same way. And that common cultural enthusiasm carried over to the other great films of the 70s and 80s. We could geek out to films like Blade Runner and Aliens and Robocop because Star Wars had taught us how.

So now George Lucas has upgraded and changed the films again. And I'll probably buy them again, dammit. But it'll be worth it.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:13 PM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


And the first of the originals was largely saved by the edits of Marcia Lucas and Richard Chew.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:15 PM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not a star wars fan particularly, but I do find all this interesting, because the question is: What went wrong - how can Lucas have made 3 good films and then 3 terrible ones

That, plus the new technology Lucas developed for the prequel trilogy allowed him too much free reign both creatively and editorially. He could say "well, let's move these three people in the background over to the left 6 feet in the image" and they could do that. He'd (apparently) have daily screenings of work in progress and would demand changes as they occurred to him, rather than having a single unified vision of what the final product should actually be.

And, as with all art, strictures promote genius. Unlimited resources and freedom nearly always creates overblown schlock. (see Von Triers' The Obstructions)
posted by hippybear at 1:17 PM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Back in '83, my older brother's friend had a laserdisc player. Guy's dad was a hardcore computer programmer of some sort, this back in the days when that meant black magic and mainframes. Watching movies over and over, skipping scene to scene - it was like a Jetsons appliance come to life.

There were very few titles available on laserdisc at the time, so me and my brother spent a summer at this guy's house watching Time Bandits and A New Hope on a near-endless loop. At some point, my brother's friend discovered that if you put on Journey's "Separate Ways" just as the Rebel fleet is about to deploy for the final assault on the Death Star, it syncs up rather nicely. As I recall, it made it seem like the X-wing pilots were more or less singing the song, in the tradition of early 1980s MTV's "fake movie" style of music video production. (See for example Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf," the most sexually charged and sexually ambiguous Indiana Jones movie never made.)

Anyway, being able to "remix" pop culture in this way was wholly new to all of us and to the world, and we absolutely marveled at the accidental symmetry of Star Wars and arena rock. Minds=blown and all that.

I'd argue none of the changes made to the original trilogy since have been as worthwhile.
posted by gompa at 2:17 PM on September 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Losing the visual symmetry of the TIE fighters coming in in the revisited 1st Death Star attack is a mis-step. More ≠ better.

Yeah, no shit. There was no evident threat posed by the rebel attack, so they didn't bother to scramble legions of tie fighters. That swarm of tie fighters actually weakens the moments in ROTJ when you actually DO see swarms of tie fighters, because until that point, you'd never seen anything like that before. (At least, in the chronological release of the films and the way it affected me when I saw it opening day at 10am having skipped school to see the very first showing...)

Lucas really doesn't understand why we love(d) these movies, does he?


Hippybear, I think you missed part of that post. The clip comparing the two shots of TIE fighters is from Adywan's "Star Wars Revisited," not from anything Lucas did. (Adywan's addition of CGI shots in his version makes Lucas look downright restrained. Some of it is pretty fun, though.)
posted by ShutterBun at 2:42 PM on September 18, 2011


"an unhealthy desire to control the perceptions of his audience."

Yeah, that's a terrible thing in a movie director.


It is; part of any work of art is what the viewer/reader/listener gets out of it, that was never put there (intentionally) by the creator. A movie director can present his or her vision, but what the viewer actually sees/feels/connects with is their own. i.e., the whole Boba Fett thing, or all of fan fiction.

You have to let your creations go out and mean whatever they're going to mean, to whoever experiences them.
posted by emjaybee at 3:30 PM on September 18, 2011


Hey, the first half of that "Dark Force Rising" recut is pretty watchable.
posted by fuq at 3:52 PM on September 18, 2011


Hmm. Wonder where it was that I read that about the "I love you" scene. Damn you, internet!
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 4:51 PM on September 18, 2011


George Lucas doesn't give a shit about me.

But Charlie Sheen does.

Oh, wait. He doesn't either.
posted by stormpooper at 4:57 PM on September 18, 2011


The Matrix. And yes, those sequels

Those what now?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


George Lucas doesn't give a shit about me.
posted by stormpooper at 4:57 PM on September 18 [+] [!]


I'll just leave this here.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:59 PM on September 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I will also leave the word "this" here.
posted by Evilspork at 5:00 PM on September 18, 2011


Stop buying these! Stop watching them! Let's move on!
posted by clvrmnky at 5:20 PM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


i don't remember the trailer, but i do remember my 9-year-old self sitting in my room watching The Today Show's Gene Shalit review Star Wars on my little black-n-white TV. I was shaking with excitement at the escape-from-the-Death-Star scene. I wrote down Star Wars on a little sheet of paper so that i wouldn't forget it.

I would kill anyone on the planet to have that scrap of paper today.
posted by wester at 5:42 PM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


You really shouldn't kill people.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:47 PM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


ok. point taken.
i just really want that piece of paper.
posted by wester at 6:15 PM on September 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Of course George Lucas gives a shit.

He gave us The Phantom Menace, which is about the closest metaphor for "shit" that I can come up with that doesn't involve actual fecal matter.
posted by schmod at 6:53 PM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you could get that scrap of paper you would be surprised how little meaning it holds for you.

Memories have a way of expanding to dimensions that don't work in actual 3d space.

My Star Wars memory was of hearing that the opening was TODAY on the radio on the school bus on the way home. When I got home my parents were in the mood to see a movie but not sure what to see, so I mentioned I'd heard the DJ's talking about this "Star Wars" thing. When we got to the theatre there were maybe 30 people in line, which was pretty unheard of but manageable. This was for the 5:00 show. When we emerged, the line for the 7:00 show was four blocks long.
posted by localroger at 6:54 PM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK so the mythology is that Star Wars was this "out of nowhere" success but all the stories I've heard suggest that it was a smash from day one.

Seems like their had to be a little hype and push involved because that doesnt seem like enough time for word of mouth to do its thing.

Not that Im disparaging the holy trilogy or anything. I saw ANH in the theater when I was 3 and its one of my earliest memories.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:07 PM on September 18, 2011


You really shouldn't kill people.

He's only saying that because he has the paper.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:15 PM on September 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Seems like there had to be a little hype and push involved because that doesnt seem like enough time for word of mouth to do its thing.

I honestly don't remember any pre-advertising for Star Wars. I heard about it through word of mouth and on the news when they were reporting the lines which stretched around the block for days on end. (I guess that's a combination of word of mouth and hype, but the whole hype machine as we know it today really didn't exist until 1989's Batman, which was the first of the real movie marketing madness so common now.)

The summer it came out, I was 9 years old, just under the cutoff between "child" and "adult" admission at the local theaters, and could buy a movie ticket for 50 cents. I spent the entire summer doing odd jobs around the neighborhood and then taking my earnings and then riding my bike (across forbidden busy roads!) going to see Star Wars yet again. 59 times that first summer, all in the movie theater. It's remained a sickness with me ever since.

It's difficult now to imagine, but before Jaws, there were no blockbusters, and before Star Wars, there were no movies which had lines around the block for months on end. Believe it or not, Star Wars played for over a year in a lot of cities. OVER A YEAR IN THE THEATERS. What is the last new release movie which was around for more than 6-8 weeks? I can't even remember.
posted by hippybear at 7:23 PM on September 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


OK so the mythology is that Star Wars was this "out of nowhere" success but all the stories I've heard suggest that it was a smash from day one.

Seems like their had to be a little hype and push involved because that doesnt seem like enough time for word of mouth to do its thing.


Different time. I saw one TV spot the summer before and was obsessed until the movie showed up. It wasn't a complete surprise, no, but it took time for word of mouth and repeat viewings to add up. It did have the advantage of being able to stick around for *months* as it steadily built up audiences. If movies worked then like they do now, it'd have been pulled from the theaters after a few weeks and have become a cult classic.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:40 PM on September 18, 2011


Or what Hippybear said.

I'll add that kids in our neighborhood formed a Star Wars club and would pool our pennies until we had enough for us all to go, and then corral a couple of parents to drive us down. We saw it about twelve times over the course of several months. In between we would quiz each other about details from the program (movies would sometimes have programs available then. Look it up.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:43 PM on September 18, 2011


What is the last new release movie which was around for more than 6-8 weeks? I can't even remember.

E.T. played for over a year in NOLA, and I think to this day is the record holder for our metro area.
posted by localroger at 7:50 PM on September 18, 2011


E.T. came out in 1982. Nearly 30 years ago at this point. A different era, nearly a different lifetime.
posted by hippybear at 7:52 PM on September 18, 2011


Huh. I have an ok laserdisc player and the 1995 laserdisc releases. Maybe I should do a showing at work. "Hey, kids, come see Star Wars like you could have seen it when you were three years old, if your parents had been nerds like I was!"
posted by hades at 11:12 PM on September 18, 2011


Hades, the same transfers that were used to make the laserdiscs were used to make the DVD version of the "Unaltered Trilogy" which is available (used) from just about everywhere. The DVD's are progressive scan (laserdiscs are interlaced) and don't require getting up FOUR TIMES per movie to flip the disc over.

We saw it about twelve times over the course of several months.

I saw it 7 times during its initial release (despite getting a late start) Then in 1981, the unthinkable happened: my dad got a hold of a bootl---errr..., less-than-authorized copy of both Star Wars and Empire on Betamax. Guess who was the most popular kid on the block after that?
posted by ShutterBun at 11:45 PM on September 18, 2011


OK so the mythology is that Star Wars was this "out of nowhere" success but all the stories I've heard suggest that it was a smash from day one.

Both correct, sorta.

It was an "out of nowhere" success in the sense that theater owners refused to book it (it had already missed its planned Christmas '76 release date) and so Fox had to bundle it with "The Other Side of Midnight" (which was an anticipated hit) requiring theater owners who wanted to show the latter, to also book the former.

Also, there was a spirited "grass roots" campaign in the works. Lucas had sent representatives to Comic Con (then in its infancy) to promote the movie, and Marvel Comics had been contracted to serialize the story in comic form, which reached newsstands (remember those) a few months ahead of the film. The plan: get the geeks on board early, and let it grow.

Keep in mind: the movie opened on only 32 screens opening day (which grew to 40-something by that weekend) A fun way to lose friends and alienate people is to ask someone who *swears* they were there on opening day, and ask them what theater they saw it at. If it's not on this list, feel free to call them a liar.

Star Wars caught fire pretty quickly, so it's fair to say "it was a hit, as soon as it was a hit." But studio expectations were very low, so it was surprising to many.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:57 PM on September 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


A fun way to lose friends and alienate people is to ask someone who *swears* they were there on opening day, and ask them what theater they saw it at. If it's not on this list, feel free to call them a liar.

the world was bigger back in the day. Opening Day generally meant the day a big deal film came to your town.

In my case, it was Vancouver, October or November 1977. And yes, I was there, opening Friday, afternoon show to miss the crowds which were definitely expected ... and sure enough, there they were as we walked out ... all the way around the block.
posted by philip-random at 12:04 AM on September 19, 2011


It did have the advantage of being able to stick around for *months* as it steadily built up audiences.

Just to put this in perspective, Star Wars played at the Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood (probably the most prestigious single-screen theater on the planet) continuously from August 1977 until June of 1978.

One movie, playing on the most important screen in town, for over an entire calendar year. (it had been at the Chinese for a while, then moved across town, only to return a month later)

To anyone who wasn't around at the time (or perhaps not old enough to comprehend it) I can assure you that NO movie has so transformed the industry as Star Wars did (for better or worse).

(obviously I really enjoy talking about this topic, so I apologize for any thread-hogging)
posted by ShutterBun at 12:39 AM on September 19, 2011


Oh hey this comment is about Ewoks, ok

Of all the media properties to get the Ewoks "right", it was the Star Wars: Galaxies MMO that did it. Ewoks are supposed to be vicious, bloodthirsty killin' machines who would sooner rip your head off than be hugged. (And then sing cute songs to celebrate your beheading.) That our favorite band of Rebels was able to befriend them while keeping all limbs intact is a pretty big anthropological accomplishment, even if it took a prissy Golden Droid God to do so.

Anyway, the Endor moon in SW:G was a high-level zone and Ewoks were, appropriately, some of the most difficult creatures in the game. Your high-level group of players could land on the moon, nearly die fighting two (count 'em, two!) Ewoks, and then, while recuperating, get their shit completely wrecked by those Ewoks' buddies. It was hilarious to watch parties come running to the shuttleport with four or five tiny little teddy bear creatures in pursuit. Wasn't so hilarious when the teddy bears turned on you after chewing through the first group. Okay, maybe it was, in retrospect. Yub nub!
posted by Spatch at 2:14 AM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Re: Kershner & the :" Love You" line in Empire (And Lucas' tin ear):
One specific legacy of Kershner's, embedded within 'Empire Strikes Back,' is Han Solo's legendary "I know" response to Princess Leia's "I love you." The script called for Harrison Ford to reply with a simple "I love you, too," but Kershner's gut said otherwise.

"I shot the line and it just didn't seem right for the character of Han Solo. We were into the lunch break and I said to Harrison try it again and just do whatever comes to mind. That is when Harrison said the line, 'I know.' After the take, I said to my assistant director, David Tomblin, 'It's a wrap,'" Kershner told Vanity Fair. "George [Lucas] saw the first cut and said, 'Wait a minute, wait a minute. That's not the line in the script.' I said, 'I love you, too was not Han Solo.' Han Solo was a rebel. George felt that the audience would laugh. And I said, 'That's wonderful, he is probably going to his death for all they know.'"

Despite Lucas' initial dismay at Kershner's interpretation, audience tests proved the line a hit, and Kershner ultimately admits, "George was the best producer I ever worked with."
Bless you, Internet. ;-)
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:47 AM on September 19, 2011


So you've come to terms with it ... even the original movies weren't very good.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:33 AM on September 19, 2011


I never saw A New Hope in the movie theater. I saw Star Wars, dammit, and I saw it 10 times.
posted by whuppy at 9:19 AM on September 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Just to put this in perspective, Star Wars played at the Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood (probably the most prestigious single-screen theater on the planet) continuously from August 1977 until June of 1978.

One movie, playing on the most important screen in town, for over an entire calendar year.


I don't know where you buy your calendars, but you're getting ripped off.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:43 AM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eric Twin Pennsauken represent!
posted by whuppy at 9:46 AM on September 19, 2011


Keep in mind: the movie opened on only 32 screens opening day (which grew to 40-something by that weekend) A fun way to lose friends and alienate people is to ask someone who *swears* they were there on opening day, and ask them what theater they saw it at. If it's not on this list, feel free to call them a liar.

Every May 25 my facebook news feed sprouts its annual crop of fond remembrances by people recollecting "_____ years ago today I saw a movie that changed my life." My wearily pointing out that it was not even playing in Canada that day has done little to stem the tide. I am certain that these are the same people who insist that "Episode IV: A New Hope" has always been there above the opening crawl. Sigh.


Believe it or not, Star Wars played for over a year in a lot of cities. OVER A YEAR IN THE THEATERS. What is the last new release movie which was around for more than 6-8 weeks? I can't even remember.


Avatar, but point taken. As I pointed out on the blue once before, boxofficemojo.com is a fascinating read for a view of the way things have shifted in the last few decades. Beverly Hills Cop came out in December (!) and stayed at #1 in the box office for thirteen weeks (!!). For a point of comparison, the #1 movie the same weekend last year was Tangled, which was on DVD by March; at the same point 26 years earlier, Beverly Hills Cop was #3 at the box office.

It is not uncommon that I, having been raised in a more relaxed and civilized age, get a hankering to go see a movie that has been out a month and find that it is totally gone from living memory.

My favourite theatre growing up was a seven-hundred seat palace that seemed to play nothing but Star Wars, Star Trek, and Indiana Jones movies, seemingly for months on end. Once in a while something non-Roddenlucasbergian would slip in there (I saw The Untouchables there, and Fatal Attraction), but I doubt it showed more than three or four different movies in a calendar year.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:05 PM on September 19, 2011


Guys. Let it go. There are literally thousands of other movies to watch and obsess about.

I can't. I'm sorry, but I can't. I realized years ago that Star Wars was the single most formative experience of my childhood. Fuck Robert Fulghum and kindergarten and PBS -- Star Wars taught me everything I needed to know in order to prosper as a late Gen Xer.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, compares. Sure, Indiana Jones taught me that Nazis were bad. Close Encounters taught me that aliens were our friends. But Star Wars taught me about the difference between good and evil.

Episode 4 is my bible. Revisions, retranslations and sectarian debates matter to me.
posted by honkeoki at 12:20 PM on September 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Episode 4 is my bible.

THIS!

And yet, when we look past Ep. IV...
By now it's grown clear that George Lucas has an agenda, one that he takes very seriously. After four "Star Wars" films, alarm bells should have gone off, even among those who don't look for morals in movies. When the chief feature distinguishing "good" from "evil" is how pretty the characters are, it's a clue that maybe the whole saga deserves a second look.

Just what bill of goods are we being sold, between the frames?

* Elites have an inherent right to arbitrary rule; common citizens needn't be consulted. They may only choose which elite to follow.

* "Good" elites should act on their subjective whims, without evidence, argument or accountability.

* Any amount of sin can be forgiven if you are important enough.

* True leaders are born. It's genetic. The right to rule is inherited.

* Justified human emotions can turn a good person evil.

That is just the beginning of a long list of "moral" lessons relentlessly pushed by "Star Wars." Lessons that starkly differentiate this saga from others that seem superficially similar, like "Star Trek"...

The differences at first seem superficial. One saga has an air force motif (tiny fighters) while the other appears naval. In "Star Trek," the big ship is heroic and the cooperative effort required to maintain it is depicted as honorable. Indeed, "Star Trek" sees technology as useful and essentially friendly -- if at times also dangerous. Education is a great emancipator of the humble (e.g. Starfleet Academy). Futuristic institutions are basically good-natured (the Federation), though of course one must fight outbreaks of incompetence and corruption. Professionalism is respected, lesser characters make a difference and henchmen often become brave whistle-blowers -- as they do in America today.

In "Star Trek," when authorities are defied, it is in order to overcome their mistakes or expose particular villains, not to portray all institutions as inherently hopeless. Good cops sometimes come when you call for help. Ironically, this image fosters useful criticism of authority, because it suggests that any of us can gain access to our flawed institutions, if we are determined enough -- and perhaps even fix them with fierce tools of citizenship.

By contrast, the oppressed "rebels" in "Star Wars" have no recourse in law or markets or science or democracy. They can only choose sides in a civil war between two wings of the same genetically superior royal family. They may not meddle or criticize. As Homeric spear-carriers, it's not their job.
-David Brin,""Star Wars" despots vs. "Star Trek" populists: Why is George Lucas peddling an elitist, anti-democratic agenda under the guise of escapist fun?"
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:37 PM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Without even touching the film, Lucas was able to change A New Hope by 'revealing' Luke and Leia are (spoiler alert, metafilter!) siblings. He's been doing this forever.

But really, which sequence generates more DVD sales:

1) Release the originals on Blu-Ray, then later release the 'enhanced version'
2) Release the enhanced versions with the orginals as a b-side
3) Release this enhanced bullshit for christmas 2011, then the originals in 2012

I'm think #3 offers the biggest payout, so that's what he's doing.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:12 PM on September 19, 2011


I'm think #3 offers the biggest payout, so that's what he's doing.


They said that with the DVDs too and it never happened (yes I know about the bonus discs, but since pretty much everyone has a widescreen TV now, those are pretty much useless)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:46 PM on September 19, 2011


One specific legacy of Kershner's, embedded within 'Empire Strikes Back,' is Han Solo's legendary "I know" response to Princess Leia's "I love you." The script called for Harrison Ford to reply with a simple "I love you, too," but Kershner's gut said otherwise.

This story can be quite easily debunked by reading ANY version of the script, most of which are available online. (the internet can be good for discovering the truth, just as well as perpetuating fabricated showbiz lore.)

The simple fact is that "I love you too" never appeared in any version of the script, whereas "I know" was in the final script, not improvised.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:29 PM on September 19, 2011


Just to put this in perspective, Star Wars played at the Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood (probably the most prestigious single-screen theater on the planet) continuously from August 1977 until June of 1978.

One movie, playing on the most important screen in town, for over an entire calendar year.

I don't know where you buy your calendars, but you're getting ripped off.


It opened at the Chinese at the end of May 1977. After one month, it moved down the street. After another month, it moved back to the Chinese. Out of a 13 month period, it played at the Chinese theatre for 12 of them. Perhaps not the according-to-Hoyle definition of a calendar year, but it works for me.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:33 PM on September 19, 2011


The simple fact is that "I love you too" never appeared in any version of the script, whereas "I know" was in the final script, not improvised.

The simple fact is that many an online script is the work of " ... somebody in the office" whose job is to take the shooting script, compare it with what ends up on screen and then make any necessary adjustments.

I'm inclined to side with Mr. Kershner on this one.
posted by philip-random at 3:19 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Numerous (scanned) copies of different revisions of the script exist, many with hand-written notations. There are at least 4 versions that are readily available for viewing. Find ONE that contains the line "I love you, too."

At any rate, it's important to note: George didn't write the script. It's become very fashionable these days to paint Lucas as some sort of hack who fell ass-backwards into success due to the talents of others, while with the other brush blaming him for any shortcomings of the films (real or invented).

Kershner is giving Harrison Ford credit for improvising the perfect reply. But as we've seen previously on the Blue, oft-told Hollywood stories (especially those concerning Harrison Ford's improvisation skills) are quite often the bunk.
posted by ShutterBun at 9:05 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Close Encounters taught me that aliens were our friends.

...also, they were terrorists and kidnappers. But they do appreciate a good game of Simon, so they must be all right.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:05 PM on September 19, 2011


Close Encounters also taught us that "tampering with a film via editing and new footage" is sometimes OK. Roger Ebert had an awful lot of nice things to say about Spielberg's changes, as well as some historical justification.

(speaking for myself, I prefer the original version, which has more "crazy Dreyfus" and less 'OK, fine, we'll show you what the inside of the ship looked like.'")
posted by ShutterBun at 1:32 AM on September 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Nothing, and I mean nothing, compares. Sure, Indiana Jones taught me that Nazis were bad.

The Indiana Jones trilogy compares pretty well (I'd say it's better) with Eps. IV-VI. Raiders > Star Wars; Empire > Temple of Doom; Jedi == Last Crusade. Then we all can pretend none of the other movies ever happened.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:10 AM on September 20, 2011


I do wonder whether someone could edit the two Matrix sequels into one movie, that *isn't crap*.

I don't know if it's possible, but I do know you could at edit at least half of each of the movies out, without losing *any* content. :P
posted by Elysum at 11:51 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Shutterbun, kindly do an FPP on the Star Wars trilogy or some aspect of it. I, and I'm sure many others, would really enjoy it.
posted by Sutekh at 7:19 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Elysum: I do wonder whether someone could edit the two Matrix sequels into one movie, that *isn't crap*.

I haven't seen these, but these came up quickly in a search for fan edits matrix:

1. The Matrix DeZIONized (143 minutes) - This combines Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions to one improved movie, leaving out all scenes on and about Zion. A worthy sequel to a masterpiece.

2. The Matrix Evolutions (280 minutes) - To develop a better “Matrix” story out of the sequel films which used the concepts and philosophies present in the first film.

3. Matrix Hacked Revolutions (111 minutes) and Reloaded (96 minutes) - Matrix Hacked is the most daring cut of the sequels ever, disregarding the existing storylines of the originals for a whole new approach.

4. Matrix : Regenerated - A re-edit of all 3 MATRIX films (and The Animatrix), plus additional scenes, that makes signifigant changes to the story.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:39 PM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


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