George Lucas is a jerk.
Every format has at least one massive Star Wars collection, and even though we fans have purchased them twice over, we end up buying them, set after set, without fail. Well, yesterday the Blu-ray Complete Saga set (as well as individual Original and Prequel Trilogy sets) was released, and, being the unabashedly loyal Star Wars fan that I am, I scooped it up today (expending most of my pay in the process). Do I have three copies of all the films now? Yes. Is that annoying? Yes.
But when I walked out of Best Buy with the set in hand, there was a sense of giddiness that rarely accompanies such purchases – this was Star Wars. It didn’t matter how many times I had seen these films, how many times I had bought them or paid for tickets to them – it was Star Wars, and I may as well have been seeing them for the first time.
The set itself is actually pretty nifty.
The outer box is a sleeve, inside of which is a nice cardboard book.
The nine discs in the set are housed on separate pages with a small cutout and a nice bit of panoramic artwork.
I popped Episode I into the player tonight, and it looks incredible. I was rather surprised to see the Yoda puppet that was originally used in Phantom Menace to be replaced with a full CGI model, like the one seen in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith – and this brings me to my next point.
Each set that Mr. Lucas bequeaths upon us comes with the caveat of a host of new changes to the classic films. While they range from the good – the CGI Yoda model in Phantom Menace – to the bad – the funk music scene in Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi – and even further to the very bad – Greedo shoots first – they are rarely seen as an overall good thing. Lucas is mangling the original films with these changes.
In this incarnation, the only notable change to the prequels was the Yoda model, which is good. The original trilogy, however, has a lot of changes. Obi-Wan’s call that scares away the Tusken Raiders has been modified – change rating of “meh”. No big deal. Luke’s lightsaber has been returned to its original color, albeit more in line with the look of the rest of the series’ saber effects – change rating of “good”. Wicket’s eyes in Return of the Jedi are now CGI so he can blink – change rating of “thanks for the nightmares”. Vader now screams “NOOOOO!” a la Episode 3 when he tosses the Emperor over the railing in Return of the Jedi – change of rating of “this is why we all hate you Lucas”. Seriously? It’s the goofiest, cheesiest thing I have ever heard in a movie that takes itself seriously. Sad, Lucas. Sad.
I haven’t watched the originals in their entirety yet, but plan to. There are also eight new documentaries to watch, and I certainly will be doing so.