Tomorrow is the best unofficial holiday on every geek’s calendar: MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!!! In anticipation of our yearly celbration of Quatro de Mayo, and in keeping with running through some of my favorite YouTube channels for interesting and informative videos, I thought I’d post What Culture’s 10 Changes Made to Star Wars that Were Completely Justified.
George Lucas’ tinkering, perhaps more than any other issue, split him off from the fan base that had previously worshiped him without question. For those of you hoping that Disney’s stewardship would involve a release of the the unaltered trilogy, the latest word is that Disney has no plans to ever restore or alter the Original Trilogy from its current form. So we’re stuck with that fricking muppet nightmare musical number in Jabba’s Palace and Han kinda sorta shooting first. Both of which were NOT completely justified changes to the Saga. What do I personally think about What Culture’s choices?
- The Wampa Overhaul – I have no problem with any of the changes Lucas made to ESB. Beefing up that monster wasn’t necessary, but if you could make it scarier without detracting from the scene; I see no problem with it.
- Cloud City Windows – None of the changes where city streets were made busier, or more life or character were added to the setting by giving them more surrounding life are bad. So, no, it’s not a bad thing that we get a run up to Leia and Han’s window in ESB, as well as windows to ramp up the grandeur of the city.
- Oola’s Demise in the Rancor Pit – I don’t think this is necessary. Oola falling into the pit was bad enough and her demise was clear from the reaction of the onlookers. The Wampa is a rare example of showing more of a creature making it scarier. The first time we should have seen the pit was when Luke goes down to face the beast.
- No More Cardboard People at the End of ANH – Yes, this is a fine example of a no brainer use of tech to fix a cheap solution that was the only one at hand when they filmed the original Star Wars, no issue.
- Enhanced Lightsaber Effects Especially in ANH – Yes, a thousand times yes. All three of the films had their lightsabers spruced up, but the pre-special edition ANH lightsabers were particularly drab and the rotoscoping used for them especially dodgy. If you can make the signature weapon of the series look as good as in the other films, that’s a perfect example of a GOOD change.
- Close the Blast Doors, er, OPEN THE BLAST DOORS – This is such a minor change, but it’s in keeping with the first trilogy’s depiction of stormtrooper’s as serious morons. The First Order’s definitely scrubbed that image in the sequel trilogy, but whatever, these are the same group of people that were defeated by teddy bears.
- Biggs Darklighter – This addition makes sense because before the readding of Biggs’ cut scene, all you had were random mentions of Luke’s friend from Tatooine and then a grimace from Luke when he eats it on the Death Star run. Closes a story hole; good addition. Plus, unlike Ooola’s scene, this wasn’t newly shot, this was cut from the 1977 film.
- ROTJ Galaxy Wide Celebration – This does NOT include this:
THIS is an inexplicable abomination and we won’t dwell on it. No we’re talking about new John Williams score accompanying shots of a galaxy-wide celebration of Palpatine’s death. We get to see Coruscant for the first time, Tatooine, and other planets rejoice in the blissful ignorance that things are going to go horribly wrong and require another trilogy to set right. Remember, before this change, the entire Saga ended with the “Yub Yub” song. The “Yub Yub” song.
- Now there are 500 of Us – Han’s chasing a small group of Stormtroopers down the corridors of the Death Star doesn’t make a whole lot of sense even by their wussy standards, until you realize now that they were leading him to what seems like Ye Olde Stormtrooper Pub & Grille where hundreds of them give Solo a dead eyed stare before he wisely takes off in a fix that makes more logical sense and delivers a needed laugh given what’s about to happen to poor Ben.
- Swapping out Faux Emperor for Real Emperor in ESB – Ian McDiarmid is Palpatine, and no matter what you think of the prequels, it’s only logical to have him as the hologram of the Emperor with whom Vader communicates in ESB.
Nine out of Ten agreement! See, not all the changes were bad…just that the ones that are bad are SO bad that you tend to forget good ones. I would add the Death Star’s much more spectacular explosion to the list. I could probably find even more, but the longer I think about this topic, the more likely “Jedi Rocks” is likely to start playing on my mental iPod and that’s not going to be good for anyone. Get your lightsabers ready for tomorrow and find ways to work “Utinni!” into conversations. MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!!