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Discussion What is your opinion of the Star Wars Special Editions and other edits?

What is your opinion of the Star Wars special editions and/or any other changes that have been made?

  • I don't like them.

    Votes: 2 5.7%
  • I don't mind them, but wish the theatrical versions were more readily available.

    Votes: 17 48.6%
  • I don't care either way.

    Votes: 7 20.0%
  • I like them/think they are better than the theatrical versions.

    Votes: 4 11.4%
  • Nobody cares, nerd.

    Votes: 2 5.7%
  • What's a Star Wars?

    Votes: 3 8.6%

  • Total voters
    35
Master of Knowledge
Character
This may only be interesting to people who like filmmaking/movies, but since I happen to like both filmmaking/movies and Star Wars, I'm gonna survey y'all's opinions on the matter.

For those of you who are unaware of what the Star Wars Special Editions are, a quick explanation: Ever since the 1997 re-release of the Original Trilogy, the Star Wars films have been subjected to various edits with every re-release to home video. These range from cleaning up the special effects and removing mistakes, to weird and/or pointless additions, to heavily altering the contents of a scene. The picture has been tinted with different colors, which in some shots made Vader's red lightsaber look magenta. Shots and lines of dialogue have been changed or re-recorded with a different actor, deleting the original actor's entire performance. Puppets, models, and miniatures have been replaced with CGI. Most infamously, the cantina scene in A New Hope was edited so that Greedo shoots first rather than Han, apparently because George Lucas thought it made Han seem too violent.

Anyway, there have been a lot of changes made over the years, so here's a few videos which go into detail on the edits:






And finally, here is the Wikipedia page dedicated to this topic.

Plenty of fans have done plenty of complaining about these changes over the years, and there's also been backlash from people calling said fans "entitled" and saying that it's George Lucas' movies and he gets to do whatever he wants with them. So for the sake of brevity, I'm only going to stress one thing here: none of this would matter if the theatrical cut of the films were readily available. As of right now, the only way a film collector can buy personal copies of the Original Trilogy without all the tampering is by getting a special box set that includes both the special editions and a "theatrical edition" of each film, the latter of which is taken from a crappy low-quality LaserDisc transfer. You might also be able to acquire VHS tapes of the movies at a thrift store, but it's more likely to be the 1997 special editions. What about streaming on Disney+? Those are based on the 2011 Blu-rays, which contain even more edits. The fact that Disney now owns Star Wars hasn't changed anything. In fact, some people believe that the original film negative of the films was somehow lost or destroyed during the process of making these edits, which effectively means that there is no Star Wars, lmao.

Alright, I better wrap this up, since I'm starting to sound a little hysterical here - I just can't believe that this is an actual problem with one of the most popular film franchises ever. It aggravates me all the more because I care about film preservation and I collect movies, so it's just... sad and frustrating. On a lighter note, there is hope in the form of the various "Despecialized Editions" out there on the Internet, which compile various sources together to create high definition version of the theatrical cut.

But anyway, please vote in the poll and give your opinions in this thread, if you like.
 
D E A T H
Character
I don't personally care one way or the other which version I see, the edits are just visual/aesthetics, but I also don't think it should be so difficult to get original cut versions, either.
 

Listib Hibin

Character
Factory Judge
Honestly, I wish I can see all the takes of it in order with each change. There is something special when looking at the first effects for the Star Wars: New Hope movie which was only called Star Wars at the time.
 

Algarus

It's Better This Way
Writer
Honestly, I grew up with the VHS copies of Star Wars. I have only had issues with the newest cut for one reason, the dumb 'nooooooo' track they added to Vader turning on Palpatine triggers me. Completely ruins the scene. I honestly have no idea how that was thought to be a good idea. Other than that, yea, it doesn't bother me too much.
 
The Dark Heretic
Character
Honestly, I grew up with the VHS copies of Star Wars. I have only had issues with the newest cut for one reason, the dumb 'nooooooo' track they added to Vader turning on Palpatine triggers me. Completely ruins the scene. I honestly have no idea how that was thought to be a good idea. Other than that, yea, it doesn't bother me too much.
This. So much this. I don't care about most of the edits, but this was such a head scratcher of a moment. It kills literally all of the power of the scene.

As a whole, the edits don't bug me. As a film student and a screenwriter/filmmaker, I will say that Lucas probably needs to learn when something is finished, but I can also understand having technology at your fingertips that you didn't have before. Idk, I've heard people throw fits about making Ewoks blink or whatever, and I don't care about that stuff. It's fine.

Han shot first though. Sorry to anyone who may think otherwise, but he did. Him shooting first was a great introduction to him being a shady, yet practical guy at the beginning of the story, and helps to solidify his growth throughout the course of the film.
 

Algarus

It's Better This Way
Writer
I'm actually alright with the changes to ESB (in the most part). Mostly minor visuals that make cloud City feel more light and airy.

The other two are travesties. The Jabba scene is terrible, Hayden in RotJ will always irk me.
I've always skipped the Jabba music scene crap. That stuff is just a travesty.
 
The Dark Heretic
Character
I'm actually alright with the changes to ESB (in the most part). Mostly minor visuals that make cloud City feel more light and airy.

The other two are travesties. The Jabba scene is terrible, Hayden in RotJ will always irk me.
On the note of the Anakin thing, I actually forgot about that change. Not a fan. If Vader was redeemed, and that's when he connected with the Force on the level of becoming a Force ghost, then he should look like older Anakin. At least, that's my train of thought regarding that. It just made no sense. Obi-Wan and Yoda are both old, so why tf is Anakin not?
 

Gren Blidh

Laughing Shall I Die
Character
Let's take a quick inventory here. All the edits range from completely unnecessary to literally ruining the scenes they're inserted into. I don't think anything more clearly demonstrates George Lucas' inability to understand his own creation.

The problem is Star Wars' creator is both obsessive-compulsive and a tech nerd. Someone needed to keep him away from an editing room 30 years ago for the good of humanity. Every time a new piece of film technology comes out, this man has a compulsion to retroactively insert it into Star Wars, despite the fact that it's just going to look dated in 10 years anyway. And so the need for more edits continues, resulting in an increasingly deranged Frankenstein product that barely resembles the originals and -- surprise! -- still looks like crap!
 

Decimus

Viceroy of the Duumvirate
Character
The victory celebration music at the end of ROTJ is WAAAAAAAY better than Yubnub. Feels more fitting/appropriate. I'm in favour of the edits tbh.
 

Matt the Radar Tech

ꜰɪxɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴏꜱᴇ ʀᴀᴅᴀʀꜱ ᴀɴᴅ ꜱᴛᴜꜰꜰ
Writer
I like the subtle enhancements. Like adding aliens in the background, or ships, or creatures. Just the small, not-the-focus stuff.

Example, I got a little giddy when I saw the YT-2400 Outrider above Mos Eisley.

The blatant replacements or edits, I can take or leave. I understand some are improvements, like the CGI Yoda over the prequel puppet (which seemed worse than the original trilogy puppet, somehow?), or fixing errors with transparent shadows or elements that shouldn't be - like the structural frame on Luke's snowspeeder, where you can see the AT-AT walkers legs passing behind it.

Other that that... eh?
 
The Restless
Character
I am fine with most edits. Considering I have been around the edits since the time I was born. Love changes like adding the prequel worlds towards the end of Six. The Emperor having his usual appearance replace the god awful first before Jedi.

I will say the edit that irritates me to no end and was never ever needed, was the Vader “No” scene for Jedi. I can appreciate how it worked in a Frankenstein way in ROTS. In the last film however, it was best that Vader was silent when turning on his Master. Every time I hear that thrown in “No” I cringe.
 
FOREPLAY!
Character
The only real edit I took issue with was Hayden Christensen replacing Sebastian Shaw, yet over time I grew not to mind it so much. The rest of the edits where tolerable to great improvements.

 
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