Han shot ... well, you know
August 14, 2015 7:49 AM   Subscribe

 
Shoutout for the Despecialized Edition!
posted by phunniemee at 7:53 AM on August 14, 2015 [16 favorites]


Yeah, I'm surprised no mention of the Despecialized Edition. I suppose probably because it isn't legal, but: if your goal is to watch the original 1977 version of Star Wars, it's as close (and as good quality) as you're going to get unless Disney decides to un-do decades of Lucas' revisionism.
posted by tocts at 7:56 AM on August 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


So it is just now occurring to me decades later that the Hildebrandt poster looks like Luke is coming up behind Leia to chop her head off.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:58 AM on August 14, 2015


The theatrical versions included on the 2006 DVDs are a non-anamorphic letterboxed transfer with a 4:3 aspect ratio, meaning there are huge back boxes on all four sides of the screen if you’re watching it on a widescreen.
That's the version I have/watch whenever I want to watch Star Wars. It sucks. Really, it's just a bad transfer and I can use VLC to zoom into the frame but then everything is blurrier still. And yet I think it's the only extant copy that isn't one of the Roll Your Own Star Wars fan versions floating around. The Despecialized Edition is nice, but it's still cobbled together, not a cleaned-up 1:1 transfer.

I'm still holding out hope that Disney cashes the check George Lucas never wanted to and re-issues the original trilogy transferred from the original reels. I think some ownership stuff precludes that -- Lucas still, personally, owns Star Wars the film if I am not mistaken -- but it's a dream.
posted by griphus at 8:01 AM on August 14, 2015


More than once in interviews Lucas has made some variation of this point:
What compels us to exhume originals, as if whatever it was about that purest precedent somehow represents an ideal version? Lucas himself hinted at this before the Special Edition release: “There will only be one [version of the films]. And it won’t be what I would call the ‘rough cut,’ it’ll be the ‘final cut.’ The other one will be some sort of interesting artifact that people will look at and say, ‘There was an earlier draft of this.’ The same thing happens with plays and earlier drafts of books. In essence, films never get finished, they get abandoned.
And yet, somehow, almost every other artist, writer, and filmmaker in the world somehow manages to release a work and then move on to the next one. I would very much like to see Lucas film the War Against the Chtorr books: the combined energy generated by Lucas and Gerrold both perpetually revising things could be harnessed and end our dependency on foreign oil.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:06 AM on August 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


There is only the Despecialized Edition.

Anything else is a poor simulacrum or Lucas' epic "Quest for even more money" motivation
posted by Hasteur at 8:07 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]




It's nonsense to say that "there's only one version" and then claim that it's like what happens with books and plays. There are plenty of books that get published in different versions, but we don't all sit back and go "well the 1831 version of Frankenstein is the real one, the 1818 one is just an interesting artifact." Well you could, but then my wife would get angry and shout at you, because she has Feelings.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:17 AM on August 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Good lord this again? Is this what it's like to feel old, to roll your eyes at yet another generation of movie fans writing complaints about 20 year old edits to a 40 year old film? Real fans find new movies to obsess about. I nominate Mad Max: Fury Road for 2015.

That side by side Han Solo / Greedo clip is handy though, in that it shows both sides of this stupidity read the scene wrong. It's not "Is Han Solo a cold-blooded killer" or "did Han Solo fire back in self defense"? It's effectively a simultaneous shooting, the important thing being that Han Solo has better aim. It's a throwback to western movies, the quickdraw. The best part of that scene is where Han Solo eases the gun out of the holster under the table, smooth like a cat. At Lucas had the decency not to edit that part.

Also for true purists annoyed at Lucas meddling, be aware of the two different 1977 theatrical versions. Porkins' death: teach the controversy.
posted by Nelson at 8:18 AM on August 14, 2015 [19 favorites]


Porkins' death: teach the controversy.

That scream is the warrior cry of the true hero of Yavin.
posted by drezdn at 8:27 AM on August 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I thought that the import laserdisc version floating around on the torrents was the closest to the original theatrical cut with the best picture quality.
posted by dr_dank at 8:30 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


There is absolutely no possibility of my seeing the original Star Wars again, because I'll never be thirteen again.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:35 AM on August 14, 2015 [15 favorites]


My experience of the original movie in the theater included my father snoring through the whole thing. This is hard for me to replicate [wonders if there is a youtube ambient snoring soundtrack - of course there is ].
posted by srboisvert at 8:42 AM on August 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Was it only a rumor that there was going to be a release of the original, original, really I mean it original movies on DVD or Blu-Ray? I feel like I read that sometime back.

There’s no way to see Star Wars on actual film. Even if they’re somehow shown in public, Lucasfilm reportedly confiscates the reels when they surface.

Citation needed? Is this the usual behavior? Is the key that the film is shown in public? So one can own the reels, but never show them for public consumption?
posted by aureliobuendia at 8:43 AM on August 14, 2015


Don't we have this thread like 3 times a year? is there really something new to say about this?
posted by the bricabrac man at 8:45 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Do the film reels actually belong to Lucasfilm / Fox? Under what authority can they confiscate them?

Also, Han didn't shoot first. Han shot. To say otherwise would imply that Greedo got a shot off before Han let him have it under the table... :-)
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 8:48 AM on August 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm over Star Wars at this point—it's just ridiculously oversaturated, and I was always more of a Trek nerd anyway—but I totally sympathize with the sentiment.

When I watch a movie—especially an older movie, and especially one that's had as much cultural impact as Star Wars—part of what I want from the experience is to understand what it meant to audiences when it came out, and how the technology, culture, and economics of filmmaking at the time influenced its creation. I'm watching primarily to be entertained, sure—but I also want to appreciate the movie in its historical context.

Besides, there's a certain charm to old-school special effects, even if they're clumsy compared to modern CGI. More photorealistic effects aren't necessarily better. I haven't looked too hard for the original versions of Star Trek: TOS episodes, so I don't know whether they're as hard to find as the original versions of Star Wars—but all of the TOS episodes I've encountered online have all of the space shots replaced with awful CGI versions. And, man—I like the old practical effects. They're as much part of the series' appeal as the rubber monsters and Shatner's paunch. Whether or not the original episodes were everything the creators wanted to achieve, it's what they did achieve with the resources that were available to them—and how an artist chooses to respond to limitations is as important to appreciating and understanding that artwork as what their idealized vision was. Leave it alone.

Star Wars goes beyond that, though—Lucas actually tweaks the story. It's hard to imagine why he does this—it does nothing but annoy die-hard fans, and more casual viewers aren't even going to notice.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:54 AM on August 14, 2015 [19 favorites]


I remember seeing the original at the Galleria in Houston with my cousins. Little did I realize it would be a moment, lost in time, like tears in rain.
posted by TedW at 8:55 AM on August 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


More on the Despecialized Edition for those who care. So, so, so worth it. For the children. If you have children. And you are a huge, giant, goofy Star Wars nerd. Like me.
posted by The Bellman at 9:04 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


escape from the potato planet has it. George Lucas is famous for two reasons: 1) he made some good art. 2) people liked the art enough to pay to see it, and the toys, and lunchboxes, and everything else. Call me a socialist or something, but the artist shouldn't get to take the art away from the people who loved it so much it made him a billionaire. If Lucas wants to make special editions, fine. Make 50 different versions from the same source, but it is obscene that he can keep us from seeing the thing that made him who he is in the first place.
posted by nushustu at 9:05 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


the rubber monsters and Shatner's paunch

Is there any chance you haven't yet seen the Musicless edit of the famous fight scene between Kirk and the Gorn from Arena, TOS 1x19? Because if you haven't seen it yet, you're in for a treat.

(I have a friend who hung out with ILM people during the Special Edition work. His read on why the CGI is so awful is that it was everyone's chance to make themselves famous, to insert some original work of their own into the classic Star Wars film. So of course virtual Jabba in the background stares right into the virtual camera; this was that animator's big chance at fame! Everyone was so wrapped up in how successful the new movies were going to be they didn't see how their work was going to add up to something so cynical and disappointing.)
posted by Nelson at 9:05 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh man, those TOS CGI updates are terrible. The planets are so ugly! They are plainly the result of commonplace procedural texturing techniques. I imagine the originals were hand-made by matte painters. Couldn't they put in the same level of artistry when it came time to remaster them? Why was that even necessary?
posted by a dangerous ruin at 9:11 AM on August 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Porkins' death: teach the controversy.

Yavin was an inside job!
posted by nubs at 9:14 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Considering I'm a much bigger Blade Runner than Star Wars fan, I don't think that a director revising his work a few years later to fit his own vision as opposed to studio compromises is wrong.
But how Lucas goes around that is a completely different matter. A lot of it is sloppy (bad CGI insertions, the color changes that amateurs fix as a hobby), others unnecessary (ghost emo vader) or bad retcons because he hires shitty writters, etc etc etc. And unlike Blade Runner, Lucas was fighting against technological limitations, not the studio demanding a noir-style voice over with Harrison Ford telling the story as it happened (listen, it has to be Ford, I heard he loved it on BR) and an happier ending with them on the trees dancing with fuzzy bears (oh, that was Lucas, fuck him).

Of course the 1977 movie might look dated now, and a lot of people remember the 1997 versions as opposed to the original film, but at a time he should have made a digital transfer of the original films with just restoration work. It would be an exercise in good faith that at least would have prevented people like me from purging SW stuff and having no interest at all in the new films because Lucas is an asshole and the constant nerd-outs on the internet were patience drainers.
posted by lmfsilva at 9:15 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've got the original editions on VHS, and will happily rent them to this guy for the right price.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:20 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I literally (in the real world sense, by 30-odd minutes) just finished watching the Filmuementary (2.6GB).

I am not a fraud.
posted by Mezentian at 9:23 AM on August 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


My objection is not to Lucas tinkering. I don't like the tinkering much, but ok. My objection is to his decision to deny people who liked the original access to it, his belief that the original was a vile thing to be stamped out, and his mean spirited attitude that anyone who would like to see the original is a bad person who must be enlightened and taught the error of their ways.

With Blade Runner, to take the other oft edited sf film people love to talk about, the other versions are available. The people who own Blade Runner haven't gone to great lengths to eradicate them.

I do hope that Disney will chose to undo Lucas' spite and release all the versions. I'm doubtful they will, and maybe they can't, but it would be nice if they could and would.

Otherwise, I haven't looked, but I really hope one of the people who own the original film will transfer it and release it as a torrent. It'd be illegal as hell, but fuck Lucas, I want to give him my money in exchange for the original, if he won't take my money than I see nothing immoral in piracy.

And I also object to his framing of the who shot first question as Han being a cold blooded killer or not. He was clearly acting in self defense regardless of whether Greedo shot or not. Greedo explicitly said he planned to kill Solo.
posted by sotonohito at 9:26 AM on August 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Maybe buy a Laserdisc player and get the Laserdisc?
posted by persona au gratin at 9:28 AM on August 14, 2015


Maybe buy a Laserdisc player and get the Laserdisc?

Look at the time traveller!
posted by Mezentian at 9:30 AM on August 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Nice Guy Mike: The physical reels of film are owned by the studio that manufactured and distributed them, and leased to a theater for public performance, after which they are supposed to be returned to the studio and usually destroyed. Legally, no one else can own the reels.

This doesn't stop many films from falling into the hands of private collectors. And generally studios don't care that much because usually after so many years they no longer have a financial interest in them (the physical reels). As long as they get their license fee from a public performance, they're happy, and don't particularly care where the theater gets the film from.

Lucas, however, cares deeply that the earlier versions not be shown theatrically, and asserts his completely legal right to take possession of the film.
posted by Devoidoid at 9:33 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can take or leave Star Wars, but IMO the greatest tragedy of the Special Edition is that it stomps all over the incredible vintage effects work by ILM. It's possibly the single most groundbreaking film of the analog VFX era, but officially it doesn't exist as such.
posted by neckro23 at 9:39 AM on August 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


If I knew it was going to be so difficult to get legal copies of the originals I would've never donated the VHS version of the original trilogy I had as a kid. But I assumed it was hopelessly outdated and surely the DVD version would be released. I was so young and naive.
posted by schroedinger at 9:42 AM on August 14, 2015


If I knew it was going to be so difficult to get legal copies of the originals I would've never donated the VHS version of the original trilogy I had as a kid

Difficult?
Does Lord Internet not provide?
posted by Mezentian at 9:45 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


And I also object to his framing of the who shot first question as Han being a cold blooded killer or not. He was clearly acting in self defense regardless of whether Greedo shot or not. Greedo explicitly said he planned to kill Solo.

I agree with you to an extent -- I don't think it's really a question of "cold blooded killer", so much as, "perceptive and capable of reacting to imminent danger". However, I do want to point out that as much damage as the edit does to Han's character (in that it really downgrades his status as a quick-thinking man of action), what often gets overlooked is how badly it also screws over the character of Greedo.

In the original cut, the worst you can say about Greedo is that he gloats too much. For all we know, he could otherwise be a totally competent guy, with an interesting history and backstory. He and Han have some history, maybe they worked together, or against each other, or ... who knows.

With the edited version, though, all those possibilities kinda fall away sharply, because we're really left with a single character trait: Greedo is the worst shot in the history of firearms. Full stop.
posted by tocts at 9:50 AM on August 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Mezentian: Maybe buy a Laserdisc player and get the Laserdisc?

Look at the time traveller!


More like a bitter owner of an RCA VideoDisk player.
posted by dr_dank at 9:56 AM on August 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Look at the time traveller!

From the past or the future?
posted by griphus at 9:59 AM on August 14, 2015


Greedo is the worst shot in the history of firearms.

Considering the average stormtrooper accuracy in the same film, that's a significant point.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:02 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was twelve when Star Wars came out, and I saw it twice that year in theaters. I should be the prime demographic to be a Star Wars superfan, but to be honest it was just a cool special effects movie and not even the best film I saw that year (that would be Smokey and the Bandit).
I couldn't care less who shot first or what scenes were modified.
posted by rocket88 at 10:32 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh man, those TOS CGI updates are terrible. The planets are so ugly! They are plainly the result of commonplace procedural texturing techniques. I imagine the originals were hand-made by matte painters. Couldn't they put in the same level of artistry when it came time to remaster them? Why was that even necessary?

I am not sure I understand the premise of your objection. Are you exalting the same level of artistry that in the sixties thrillingly produced the same brownish-red sphere used variously as fourteen different indistinguishable brownish-red planets?

Or I guess if you didn't care for the brown planet, you could rejoice in some of its numerous appearances through a blue filter, or perhaps the green filter is more your thing. Of not that there is the weirdly cloudless Earth (poorly rendered clouds optional), or if sir prefers a cloudless Earth through a green or orange filter, we can also oblige.

Eventually, with only so many uses of a bowling ball and a globe, the special effects department got around to creating an original planet with new continents, which got used many times, then later a second one of just clouds, which got run through the filter itself a few times.

Revisionism of old material has many possible objections, and I still grimace at the extended song and dance number in Return of the Jedi, but frankly I am okay with this giving way to this.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:32 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


With Blade Runner, to take the other oft edited sf film people love to talk about, the other versions are available. The people who own Blade Runner haven't gone to great lengths to eradicate them.

I think the difference is the BR crew knows that they went through hell to make the movie and end up cherishing the difficulties as a testament to their own abilities and vision, and in the end, even the voice overs, the Shining-footage ending, etc are an unseen part of what makes The Final Cut great.

On the SW side, I have very little doubt that with time, Lucas would make them full CGI, make Luke look like this, and have Obi Wan doing some sweet backflips dueling with Vader and R2 jetpacking his way out of problems.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:34 AM on August 14, 2015


True purists know this is the best, most true-to-original version of Star Wars that's out there.
posted by phunniemee at 10:40 AM on August 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Note that ricochet biscuit's links are being 403d by that site as an anti-hotlinking maneuver; you can copy and paste the link into the url bar to get one to load.
posted by cortex at 10:46 AM on August 14, 2015


True purists know this is the best, most true-to-original version of Star Wars that's out there.

Warning that everything in that link is the terrible. Except DJ Lobot, I kind of liked DJ Lobot.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:59 AM on August 14, 2015


Warning that everything in that link is the terrible.

If by terrible you mean the best.
posted by phunniemee at 11:06 AM on August 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


We should all get used to phunniemee's link; that's actually Lucas' next revision of the movie.
posted by el io at 11:08 AM on August 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Han shot danced first.
posted by nubs at 11:10 AM on August 14, 2015


Greedo shooting first doesn't bother me as much as Greedo choosing to shoot Han with a walkie-talkie.
posted by delfin at 11:17 AM on August 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


"I'm sooo haappy that the Carbonite's gone.... I'm movin' on..."

How can you not love that :)
posted by AGameOfMoans at 11:18 AM on August 14, 2015


omg what did I just watch that can't be a real thing what the hell

brb gotta plaster the link all over facebook
posted by cooker girl at 11:21 AM on August 14, 2015


[...] the 1977 original itself, which, because of Lucas’ prequel plans, would later be relabeled as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, an inelegant heresy.
So is it an implanted memory that that the "Chapter IV" actually appeared at the top of the scroll in the opening of the original theatrical version? Because I was sure that this conceit, that we're coming in during the middle of the story, was present in the original.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:22 AM on August 14, 2015


If you didn't notice it the first time, please go watch it again and pay attention to the names of the dance moves.
posted by phunniemee at 11:23 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


The needless additions seemed only to address Lucas’ personal hangups with his own work — and, not coincidentally, line his pockets anew.

Stuff has come along far enough technologically that there should be additional hangups with revisions that were done years ago (if Lucas still had a say; that "new" sarlac pit is cringe inducing). Also, if it's about lining pockets, there's enough "wanting what you can't have" going on that you could make a gabillion dollars releasing the original and saying it's "The version no one has seen since 1977!" I'd buy the entire trilogy, and I haven't bought even one of the revised versions.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:25 AM on August 14, 2015


If people want a real suggestion for Star Wars franchise video games, there's an extremely satisfying attention to detail in Lego Star Wars.
posted by phunniemee at 11:26 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did someone say Sarlacc Pizza?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:29 AM on August 14, 2015


So is it an implanted memory that that the "Chapter IV" actually appeared at the top of the scroll in the opening of the original theatrical version?

Yes. That was added for a reissue in 1979 or 1981; I forget which.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:32 AM on August 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


If you didn't notice it the first time, please go watch it again and pay attention to the names of the dance moves.


Oh, I noticed all right. It was glorious. And really, really strange. And disturbing.
posted by cooker girl at 11:37 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, if you didn't pester your parents into driving you 45 minutes to some crappy theater (in my case in Port Jervis, NY from where we lived in Newburgh) that was playing it when it first came out in 1977, you're a _total_ poser, generic webzine article writer guy.
posted by aught at 11:42 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yavin was an inside job!

Palpatine allowed the Death Star to be destroyed!
posted by FJT at 12:03 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Note that ricochet biscuit's links are being 403d by that site as an anti-hotlinking maneuver; you can copy and paste the link into the url bar to get one to load.

To save people time, it is screenshots from several dozen episodes of the Enterprise model composited in front of the same goddamn bowling ball over and over again.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:08 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


So is it an implanted memory that that the "Chapter IV" actually appeared at the top of the scroll in the opening of the original theatrical version?

Yes. That was added for a reissue in 1979 or 1981; I forget which.


1981. The recovered memory of "Episode IV" being there from day one sits alongside people's memories of the line-ups around the block on May 4th, 1977.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:14 PM on August 14, 2015


All Changes Made to Star Wars: A New Hope (Comparison Video) 1
All Changes Made to Star Wars: A New Hope (Comparison Video) 2
All Changes Made to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Comparison Video)
All Changes Made to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (Comparison Video)

Watched these a few weeks back and now being the biggest 'Wars fan I'm kinda amazed by just how much some of the stuff (esp Han shoot 1st, 2nd, same time, whatever) has been dicked around with over the years.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:26 PM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I saw it in the theater in 1977 and don't remember any lines.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:02 PM on August 14, 2015


From someone who seems nuts about Star Wars, he doesn't seem to know much about it's release history.
posted by broken wheelchair at 3:23 PM on August 14, 2015


I would very much like to see Lucas film the War Against the Chtorr books

This is perhaps the best recent example of Lucas' reference to abandonment.
posted by Tanizaki at 4:18 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


This Tiny Princess Leia Rides a Rocking Speeder Bike

I think we can all agree:
What the fuck?
Starbuns Leia does NOT ride a speederbike.

Worst parents ever.
posted by Mezentian at 5:10 PM on August 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would very much like to see Lucas film the War Against the Chtorr books:

Hulllllloo! Meesa you uncle Ira! Meesa muy muy delighted for meet you!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:15 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


That is to say, I don't remember queues. I remember tons of lines.
posted by persona au gratin at 7:00 PM on August 14, 2015


I saw it five times in 1977 (I was a junior in college). There were some lines, at least later in the summer. And I really, really remember being impressed by the "Chapter IV" at the start of the crawl, thinking, "wow, this is part of something bigger."

But then I am getting old...
posted by lhauser at 7:22 PM on August 14, 2015


My parents took me to see Star Wars in the drive-in theater when it was first released. The narrative of this story is that I couldn't stay awake while they were trying to get me to watch the trash monster scene (I look back at that now and think, what the heck, I was four). But I clearly remember the feel and emotional texture of the movie before I fell asleep more than I remember the details. I remember viewing it through the windshield of a 1977 Ford Fairlaine station wagon with the back seat down so I could lay down and watch popcorn at the same time with parents who loved me and were excited about Star Wars. Funny how a feeling will stick with you for life and create expectation for what comes after.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:44 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


And I really, really remember being impressed by the "Chapter IV" at the start of the crawl, thinking, "wow, this is part of something bigger."

Memory is a funny thing.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 8:42 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Memory is a funny thing."

I remember seeing the crawl for ESB (having missed the crawl for Star Wars), knowing enough roman numerals to know I was seeing part 5 of a SAGA and asking my dad about it.

Whatever answer he gave, in my mind episodes 1-3 ended up being old RKO/republic-style B&W films. It wasn't until the press for ROTJ that I realised those films never existed.

Secretly, part of me still wants to reshoot the prequels (with, er.... modifications), on sound stages, in glorious black and white.

With a young Alec Guiness as Obi-Wan.

And, you know, the tech is getting close that before I die, that could probably happen.
posted by Mezentian at 1:35 AM on August 15, 2015


I saw it five times in 1977 (I was a junior in college). There were some lines, at least later in the summer. And I really, really remember being impressed by the "Chapter IV" at the start of the crawl, thinking, "wow, this is part of something bigger."

The in medias res opening was kind of daring at the time. Now it is axiomatic in scriptwriting to start the story as late as possible in the action, but forty years ago not so much.

Probably the best indication of how very much there was not an Episode IV subtitle in 1977 was the review by Jay Scott in The Globe and Mail. The G&M is Canada's national newspaper, as it reminds everyone every day, and Scott was a tremendously insightful writer and reviewer. I really believe that if he had lived into the full-on digital age, he would be regarded as being as influential as Roger Ebert (he died in 1993). Anyway, Scott praised the thing for trusting audiences to fill in the back story, and his explicit point was that the movie felt "like part 6 of a serial."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:47 AM on August 15, 2015


Best SW version ever
posted by Tom-B at 1:00 PM on August 15, 2015


Fanedits worth checking out:

There are the Adywan versions of the original trilogy that match the original reels. Star Wars Revisited - He's done a hell of a lot of work getting them right.

Then there are the L8wrtr versions of the prequels which have been reedited using suggestions from a massive Star Wars online community to improve pacing and story a great deal. Well worth checking out (if you can find them).
posted by guy72277 at 8:29 AM on August 17, 2015


« Older haha look out your window   |   On becoming African-American Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments