Star Wars Blu-ray Changes: What Do You Think?

Yes, fellow Wars fans, I am sure by now you’ve heard. With the official release of the Blu-ray edition on Sept. 16th, George Lucas and friends will once again attempt to ‘rectify’ the Star Wars saga. Most of the changes you can expect to see, such as the addition of Wicket the Ewok’s eyelids or swapping out Obi’s Krayt Dragon sound for something from the Silent Hill soundtrack, are small enough to be shrugged off or ignored (arguably). But fans everywhere are crying out in anger -possibly even shame- at the changes made to the final Jedi scene involving Luke, Vader, and the Emperor, in which Vader finally decides to turn on his master in order to save his son.

That once beautifully crafted -and silent- scene where we watched the internal debate and conflict going on within Vader before he finally redeems himself has now been given some minor auditory additions. Vader now defiantly proclaims ‘NO!’ as he moves to pick up the Emperor, not once but twice. I suppose Lucas and friends assumed audiences everywhere, prior to this new enhanced Blu-ray addition, had been confused about Vader’s motives in this final, epic, widely popular, and memorable scene. You see, contrary to what you might have believed after your first dozen viewings, Vader didn’t want Luke to die at the hands of the Emperor, and picking the screaming Palpatine up over his head and hurling him into a bottomless pit was actually an act of defiance.

Just so we are all on the same page, you can view this change bellow:

In truth, I have grown quite accustomed to taking Lucas’s current work and decisions with a sort of optimistic, though at times somber, sense of acceptance. I respect George Lucas for all the work he has done in both the present and the past, with A New Hope especially, so I have always found it hard to completely discredit the man. Like the rest of you, I have never held the prequels in high esteem, but part of me also likes them for what they are. I also agree with the unanimous notion that the original movies were better before the addition of CGI and child friendly table shooting manners, but I was willing to move past it out of love for the original trilogy.

This new revision, on the other hand, is a completely different animal than what we have seen before. To me, adding sand lizards, or special effects for space battles has always been a minor issue that was easily ignored, or labeled as ‘fluff.’ It was something to complain about when there was nothing else readily available. But adding a line of dialogue to such a crucial ending scene that has been imprinted in the minds of every Star Wars fan on the planet is taking things a little too far. It seems like such a mindless and foolish addition that I honestly thought it was fake the first time I saw it.

I said NO damnit!

So finally we come to the heart of this article. The point, if you will. Because as the days passed by, I couldn’t help but wonder (yes, these are the types of things that I worry about…) if there are people out there who actually like these changes? After all, someone at Lucas film must have thought it was a good idea. I would like to think that there must have been a good or strong reason that George finally gave this the okay, aside from money. It’s not like Star Wars on Blu-ray wouldn’t have sold like hot cakes without this change. So why make it?

If you had never seen Star Wars before, and someone was to show you this new version first, and then the original some years later, would you prefer the new version? If so, may I ask why? I ask because I can’t decide if this change angers me because it tampers with the Star Wars experience as a whole, or if it’s because it tampers with what I have already grown so attached to. Though, I somehow feel like it isn’t just nostalgia I’m clinging to.

I know we all loved Vader's 'NO!' in Episode III...

How about veteran Star Wars fans? Are there any of you who liked this change? There must be some of you out there… If so, don’t be afraid of the trolls. Speak up! Tell us why you like these changes, or why you think they could benefit future audiences. Or, alternatively, you can tell us why you hate these changes and brag about how you won’t be purchasing this version of the saga because of it.

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  • Habashi_apoch

    CGI additions to Star Wars films are totally fine. Great even! I saw the Special Edition Star Wars trilogy in theatres and loved it. Still do. Sure, Greedo shot first. But – he missed! So why care? I liked Han’s badassery a little better when he was the only one with a gun, but que sera sera. I’ve been in theatre a long time now. And the thing that gets me is not ewok eylids or Obi-Wan. But Vader. Vader doesn’t NEED to yell “No!” He’s freakin’ DARTH VADER. But being in theatre the really irking thing is that he yells wrong! No one yells like that. Try it sometime. If you scream your inflection goes upward! Not like a siren. No one has a semi-high pitched scream that goes down in inflection. You have a scream that goes up in inflection. Next time your upset at your mom or spouse or whomever try it. Scream. Darth Vader, the Lord of the Sith, is now voiced by an actor unlike James Earl Jones. J.E.J. knew how to voice act. And he was a stutterer! Simply put, George you can go ahead and change the little things; it’s okay. But if you get voice actors, make sure they know what they are doing. Bring in the specialists to double-check. If you had, Jar Jar would never have been the way he is, nor Vader-to-come.

  • Ajchimaera

    I’m a fairly hard-core SW fan in terms of both the movies and EU, but I can’t say this bothers me too much. It is slightly irritating in that, as you pointed out, I can’t figure out who would have even thought that particular change necessary, and why they’d bother going through with it. It is almost like they were just looking for more things to tinker with rather than leaving well enough alone – and even then it would seem far down the list of priorities to me. But that said, it is not like it is going to ruin the entire experience of watching the movies for me; I’ll probably completely forget about it until it happens, and then I’ll get over it pretty quickly afterwards.
    I wonder if there is any director commentary, and if George addresses his reasons for the change as the scene approaches; that would be interesting.

  • There is no way to know if the NoOOoooOo would have bothered us originally.  I don’t like it, but I’m not gonna worry about it.  I usually just watch Empire over and over and over anyway.

  • Utalken_2_me

    See thats the the problem with this country we get stupid fucks who worry bout movies and the addition of a little bit of dialect instead of worrying about real problems so I think it is a bit ridiculous find something else to bitch about

    • Hobodahobo

      see that the problem with this country, we get idiots who worry and complain about people who worry bout movies and the addition of a little bit of dialect instead of worrying about real problems so I think it is a bit ridiculous find something else to bitch about

  • Utalken_2_me

    See thats the the problem with this country we get stupid fucks who worry bout movies and the addition of a little bit of dialect instead of worrying about real problems so I think it is a bit ridiculous find something else to bitch about

  • Concered Guest

    So,here it is.  I know why George added the ‘no’.  He loves recurring themes between the two trilogies.  In Ep. III Vader yells ‘no’ to the Emperor for what, in the end, is the same reason, only in ROTJ he is finally in a position to do something about it, which was what he was recruiting Luke for in Empire.  As a story-teller and writer, I like that.  On its own though, the scene is better silent.  As for Greedo shooting first, I liked that part growing up.  I thought Han Solo was so cool because Greedo had is gun on the table pointed at his head.  Solo kept his cool and held his head there up until he egged him on, at which point he shifts his head, causing Greedo to miss.  Unfortunately, when I was growing up, I always missed the first half of A New Hope on TV and I really don’t remember the original version at all.

  • Test

    Maybe it is a deliberate reference back to the scene depicted in the comic scan you’ve got there. In that light it shows that from start to finish of his life as Darth Vader, Annikin is resistant to being so. Not that that would not be the case were the Nos not added, but it highlights extremely clearly for an unthinking audience what a deeper thinking audience might pick up on anyway. It is a very common literary device translated to the screen.

    Repeating the dialogue of an earlier part of the story brings the audience’s mind back to that earlier scene.

  • Thatsbob4u

    Eh, I’m indifferent….and I’ve been a SW fan since the original in ’77. It seems like the CG upgrades were necessary to allow the original series to compete with the prequel trilogy. To me, the reasoning there was obvious….but hey, if you like the originals, have at it. I can appreciate that.

    Now, about this freak fringe SW fan contingent….I’ve never seen more comments on Amazon about a movie release than with the SW Blu-ray, and can’t believe how many fans are upset. I’m all into the light sabers, Jedi robes, and Buddhist-based Jedi philosophy…it’s very cool and appealing….but at some point you need to draw a line on it and, well, get a life.

    I find the pissing contest between this angry mob and Lucas both ludicrous and laughable all at once. For purposes of my own amusement, I hope he made this DV “No!” change just to upset the mob further….he probably did and is rolling on the floor tickled to death laughing. I would be to. Next thing you know the mob will be setting fire to theaters and looting DVD stores. For God’s sake, get over it!

    • Jamesallen92

      I’ve gotta say I think you’re right. I did consider doing a re-edit that put the ‘NOOOOO’ into all three originals to see what kind of hornets nest it stirred- but Lucas has beaten me to it! What does baffle me, however, is the furious reaction to the 2006 original release. We wanted them completely unaltered, and that’s just what we got. But everyone bitched that it wasn’t restored properly (I.E. altered) I dunno.

  • Xavier79_79

    I’m 32 and I’ve been watching these movies for about 25 years.  I have no problems with Lucas adding CGI to the original Trilogy and that’s the only reason why I’m buying this set because more changes have been made.  I’ve already seen the originals a millions times before; they’re archaic.  And even though a lot of fans complain, I’m sure there are those that feel as I do.  So I doubt your negative opinions about the changes are “unanimous”.  The change is done and there’s nothing any of you can do about it.

  • Katie

    Well I think the reason he changed it was to parallel Vader and the Emperior’s scene in episode III when Vader finds out Padme is dead he yells nooo! So Lucas put that in there to make “the circle” more complete.

  • Prying4deth

    Lucas makes me sick. I have my original unedited versions of the triology and that is all that exists for me. The rest is just crap!

  • Aseely

    A fair article, and I give credit for the desire to hear from fans who applaud Mr. Lucas’ changes.

    I am a 41 year old fan, who grew up with the originals, but have enjoyed Mr. Lucas’ additions that deepen the saga (yes, I’m also OK with Greedo shooting first.)

    But back to the new Vader “No!” in “Return of the Jedi”….

    It is definitely a post-prequel change, or “saga”
    change, and after directing Episode III, Mr. Lucas probably stepped back and wanted
    a syllable of humanity in that second before he lunges for Sidious, to hammer
    home that, under that helmet, it’s Anakin’s (no longer Vader’s) decision to
    return to the light in that pivotal scene in Episode VI, one that parallels an equally pivotal scene in Episode III… 

    Anakin’s internal decision when he was by himself in the Jedi council,
    and shedding a tear staring out at Padme’s apartment knowing he will do
    anything to save her in Episode III was also in silence…… As is that
    moment where Vader stares out at the Endor forest after Luke says “Then my
    father is truly dead…”  Notice the dolly shot in “Jedi” where Vader is staring
    at Luke in pain right before the new “no”, Vader is still silent……that is where the true internal struggle lies for Anakin.  By the time the first “no” is heard, we know the decision already.

    Here’s something to remember…when it came down to the exact moment of making the decision to cut off
    Mace’s arm and save Palpatine- Anakin yelled “NO!!!”….that’s why, I think, Lucas, post-prequels, made the
    change, to remind us that this whole time, he was the Chosen One, imprisoned by the Dark side, and he wanted a
    verbal payoff of a father objecting to the torture of his own son, and the
    rejection of his Sith identity…..and he wanted to do it with the word “NO!!!”
    again – but now with different context and meaning – to destroy
    Palpatine.  Lucas has always talked about the “symphony” of Star Wars where
    scenes and themes repeat themselves with different interpretations and
    outcomes, and this revision certainly plays right into that.