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.
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.
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.