Lucas Abuse

by Kieran Healy on May 4, 2006

I feel bad for _Star Wars_ fans, I really do. Most of them are in a kind of “abusive relationship”: with George Lucas. I see “via John Gruber”: (a Vader-codependent himself) that, prior statements notwithstanding, Lucasfilm will “release the first three remastered Star Wars films unaltered”: on DVD, together with the original theatrical release of each. This is the fake kiss-and-make-up period: now that everyone has bought the currently-available retroactively-reprocessed collection, and cried about that for a while, they can all go out and buy them again. “See.” they will say, “I _told_ you he was a good man!” Nine months from now he’ll announce an Ewoks/Gungans musical or something — “The Wizard of Endor,” maybe, or “My Fair Leia” — and the whole process will start over again.



Ginger Yellow 05.04.06 at 5:07 pm

More likely The Cherry Orchard on Coruscant.


Fabio rojas 05.04.06 at 5:39 pm

As a recovering Lucas co-dependent, I avoided all the DVD releases and just stuck to my old VHS copies. I knew that the originals would be released one day. Thankfully, they have and I don’t have to go pirate on this one.

For you naysayers, I’ll sacrifice a little computer generated polish in exchange for Han “Shoot First” Solo. And the Ewok anthem. Yes, I know it’s lame, but I’ll take the Brazilian-street-music-meets-the-Smurfs ditty over the Enya inspired drivel any day.


Alan Green 05.04.06 at 6:21 pm

yub nub, fabio, yub nub.


Keith 05.04.06 at 6:48 pm

Someone dangled cash in front of him, I bet. Not that I care, becaue I’ll finally have my childhood back.


boos 05.04.06 at 8:04 pm


C.S.Strowbridge 05.04.06 at 9:06 pm

Everyone knew this was going to happen, and many people held off buying the re-release version because of this. So it’s hardly abuse.

If you want to complain about fandom abuse, talk about how many versions of Aliens there are on DVD. Or Terminator. Hell, they release a special edition version of Crash about 6 months after the original came out on DVD. So singling out Lucas is intellectually dishonest.


Kieran Healy 05.04.06 at 9:14 pm

I know, I know … other guys treat you even worse. It’s OK. We can talk about it.


Zain 05.05.06 at 1:21 am

R-#6: Yes, but Lucas is probably the most shameless exploiter.


ArC 05.05.06 at 3:10 am

9 months from now is the dip, which then implies that another 9 months after that will be fall 2007, when (I believe) the Star Wars TV series debuts, so then that’ll be good!

For the record, I strongly disapprove of DVD “double-dipping” (releasing a “special” edition within a year of the first to suck extra money from fans.)


Ugh 05.05.06 at 10:15 am

The worst part is that the original theatrical version is coupled with the DVD versions released in 2004, so if you bought the 2004 version and want the originals, you’ll have to buy the 2004 editions again. Further, I can’t tell if the original theatrical versions are the ones with or without the special effects cleaned up (e.g., where they removed the matting and outlines around ships but didn’t actually change any of the story line).


Grand Moff Texan 05.05.06 at 11:30 am

Aside from the “Greedo shot first” atrocity, I can understand why Lucas wanted to redo the effects (aside from the fact that it was a money-maker).

The original effects for Star Wars, I’m sorry “Episode IV” were done in a few weeks because the company he’d hired wasn’t doing it’s jobs. The effects on Hoth in Episode V were a disaster due to the limitations of matte technology at that time (black space = good background; white snow = very, very bad background).

Imagine being famous for something you hated. Hell, Cobain killed himself for that.


No Nym 05.05.06 at 2:17 pm

Personally, I’m holding out for the theatrical release with the embossed foil cover. With special pony holograms!


Gary Farber 05.05.06 at 9:17 pm

“Nine months from now he’ll announce an Ewoks/Gungans musical or something….”

Well, there’s the 3rd DVD of Clone Wars coming soon, and the live-action tv show with all new characters, set between the two trilogies, still promised for about a year and a half or two from now.

Plus more games, of course.

“Further, I can’t tell if the original theatrical versions are the ones with or without the special effects cleaned up….”

Without; that’s part of the point (as I understand it). (I’m not entirely sure if the title will be restored to “Star Wars,” though, rather than “Episode IV” and “A New Hope.” I’m guessing so, but it seems unclear as yet.)

“The original effects for Star Wars, I’m sorry “Episode IV” were done in a few weeks….”

Also, for about twenty bucks. No one knew the movie wouldn’t be a complete failure; it wasn’t remotely a big budget movie.

Myself, though, as well as the famous Greedo triple-play, I hated the added scream of Luke falling at the end of Empire Strikes Back (arguably the best of the original three) in the later edition; what the hell was the point of that?

But the visual effects in the later ones, I have no problem with, myself, other than the whole Greedo thing, which wasn’t changed to look better, but for moronic reasons of alleged characterization.

My own suspicion is that Lucas authorized this release not for money — he’s swimming in the stuff, and doesn’t live a grossly luxurious life, after all, and neither am I aware of his companies needing a cash infusion — but simply because fans have been screaming for it for so many years, and the ill-will build-up was becoming overwhelming.

I could be all wrong, of course.


huxley 05.07.06 at 3:07 pm

Nine months from now he’ll announce an Ewoks/Gungans musical or something

I hope it has “Luke Be A Jedi Tonight” in it …


garymar 05.07.06 at 6:31 pm

Was it in Crooked Timber that I first read about the infamous “Star Wars Christmas Special” of (?)1978? Han Solo and Chewbacca toasting chestnuts by an open fire, or something like that. That is the Star Wars release I want to see!


a 05.09.06 at 11:26 am


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