Turns out that Fox actually has more clout, when it comes to Star Wars, than George Lucas does. Or maybe, George still needs a few more millions in the coffers before he closes the bank on the Star Wars debacle.
In any case, recent news is that the original Star Wars Trilogy will be released in their theatrical versions. This, in spite of the statements by Lucas that the special editions were definitive, and that he had no intention of re-releasing the original versions.
This new set of DVDs does not constitute “George changing his mind,” says Lucasfilm’s Jim Ward. “What we’ve always said is George viewed the revised versions of the films as the definitive versions.”
Fan attachment to the originals is strong. The movies topped entertainment website IGN.com’s recent chart of Top 25 Most Wanted DVDs.
“People want the option of having the movies that they remember and people are opposed to George Lucas’ revisionist tendencies,” says the site’s Chris Carle.web.archive.org/usatoday
I can’t speak for the rest of the fans but this SciFi buff wasn’t wasting a dime on Lucas’ watered down version of the original, original film. Like his buddy Steven Spielberg who digitally removed the guns from the hands of the gov’t goons in his DVD version of ET:
Next year, “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” will turn 30. (Oh, and seriously: Steven Spielberg made “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “E.T.” in consecutive years. Like, in the span of a few months.) That’ll be its own new Blu-Ray DVD, and what’s most noteworthy is a change that Spielberg won’t be making. Or, more accurately, changing back. He is, thank heavens, getting rid of the walkie-talkies he digitally inserted in the hands of the government baddies, and giving them their guns back.yahoo.com
Only to put them back in for the Blu-ray, George Lucas decided that being a shoot first ask questions later, rough and tumble, more realistic pirate was the wrong image for Han Solo. He consequently altered one of the most powerful scenes in the original movie, Han blowing out the chest of Jabba’s henchman Greedo from underneath the table (Sorry about the mess) in order to escape Mos Eisley with his skin intact.
I was okay with the rest of the changes George made. I could look past the suddenly populated desert planet (don’t ask where the food and water come from) appreciated the improved space effects and soundtrack, but that revised scene was so jarring that I still take out the Special Edition Laserdisc (that’s right folks. Laserdisc) at that scene and replace it with the Original Theatrical release version LD, just to watch it done right. I was beginning to think I was going to have to produce a version of my own (similar to the LOTR Purist edit) for my own personal DVD use.
I’ll never understand the magnitude of self-absorption involved in the decision to modify a film that is the contributive effort of hundreds of people, a film that was more successful than any other film of that year (a kind of success that you can’t create even if you plan it, the last three Star Wars films being a case in point) a film that inspired a whole new series of films on the same subject; and somehow you, the rights holder, can make it better.
Please, enough meddling. Can I just have my old films back? Thank you. Government agents carry guns, and pirates don’t wait for their enemies to shoot first. No amount of wishing for a kinder, gentler world is going to change that.
As I was splicing in a quote from the story that is only available from the Wayback Machine I was struck by the amusing irony (one might even say hypocrisy) of editing an article that derides the authors of other works editing their own material. However I checked with the readership (me) and I conferred with the author (me) and I even went so far as to talk to the entity that keeps this blog live (also me) and they all agreed I could make these changes. So there you have it.