Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The New Star Wars DVDs

A lot of people are wondering about how the new "Star Wars" DVDs stack up, what sort of extras are included, and what Luca$ has done to the films this time. So this is a handy guide to the three films and the changes made by Luca$:

Star Wars

1. In the 1997 "Special Edition," Luca$ changed the Han-Greedo scene so that Greedo shot first, which apparently causes Han to have some sort of digital spasm and then leisurely fire back. Fans objected that Solo had been made too "nice." In the DVD, the scene is "cleaned up" so that Han again ducks the shot, then ties Greedo to the chair and cuts off his ear while "Stuck in the Middle With You" is played by Sy Snootle and the Cantina Band.

2. All references to "Star Wars" are replaced with the words "Star Wars IV: A New Hope." This is to apply to all media in all countries. Thus, the Upright Citizens Brigade sketch about the guy who claims he had the "titular line" in Star Wars has been re-dubbed so that he supposedly says, "Man, I sure am sick of all these Star Wars IV: A New Hope." There has never been a time when the movie was simply named "Star Wars." We have always been at war with Eastasia.

3. To harmonize the movie with the three films that "precede it," all the good plot and characters are removed and replaced with drool-inducing crap.

Empire Strikes Back

1. The Colt .45 bottle digitally added to Billy Dee Williams's hand in 1997 has been changed to a Schlitz Malt Liquor bottle, to represent his changing sponsorships. Similarly, the Millenium Falcon now has a Nike "swoosh."

2. Moral ambiguity of film replaced with computer-animated weasel that sounds like Stepin Fetchit, who urges Luke to "stay the course."

3. Vader has a digitally-added pet Ewok that shows his "tender" side. New dialogue recorded: "Oh, Bobo. Only you know that deep inside this hideous armor, I yearn for the love I once knew while frolicking with my beloved in a digital meadow with weird pig-beasts."

Return of the Jedi

1. Leia's flowing bikini replaced with spangly Sean John hot pants.

2. The "celebration" music, which was originally a dippy Ewok song, and then was changed to a generic Braveheart ripoff in 1997, has been changed to a new song specially recorded for the disc by Justin Timberlake, Chingy and Michael Jackson, called "Let's Get This Ewok Started."

3. Attack on Death Star deleted, because there have already been too many damn Death Star attacks. Same with the chopped-off hands. Instead, film ends with wire-work swordfight lifted straight from "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon."

4. Ewoks now 32% cuter, 19% less annoying.

A Final Thought

You may be wondering, why now? I mean, for years, Lucas swore that he would never release the films on home video until he could release them as one set of six films.

Do not at all consider the fact that Lucasfilm is already preparing a six-video set in high definition, so that this release was clearly timed to have its impact before HD-DVD enters the marketplace next year. Do not remember the fact that he did the exact same thing with VHS and laserdisc.

And most of all, do not consider the fact that Lucasfilm still has deleted scenes from these movies -- the deleted scenes that fans have known about for years, including the one where Lando dies in the Death Star. Do not consider the fact that Luca$ has not included them in this version. Do not jump to the conclusion that those deleted scenes will be used to persuade people to buy yet another damn version of the films when they come out on HD-DVD.

Do not buy this crap.

Do not let Luca$ exploit your childhood memories of a fun set of movies that ended 20 years ago.

Do not go see Episode III.

Do not encourage this nimrod.

Do get a life.

 10:29 AM

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