Oh, You Wacky George Lucas, You’ve Done It Again


If it is indeed true that George Lucas has dubbed in Darth Vader saying “NO!” as he commits regicide, there are two things to note about this, apart from the obvious. (The obvious point is that this is a terrible idea, but this is George Lucas – him mutilating one of his Star Wars films is not, in itself, surprising news any longer.) Update: It’s confirmed.

1. Lucas’s revisions, bad as they have been for the movies creatively, have probably increased their popularity. This has been going on since those “special edition” reissues, and reissues of movies rarely become big news. By wrecking the Han Solo scene, Lucas made the original Star Wars into an object of controversy. Instead of a reissue of that fun movie you saw in the ’70s or ’80s, it was a major debate that went beyond the fan base of even the most popular movies. Every time Lucas changes the movies, or refuses to release the originals, that becomes news. He’d never get this kind of coverage for a straightforward re-release of the original. Now, I’m not saying he’s an evil genius who is doing all this for publicity. He might be, but I’m sure he really believes that he can improve movies with the perfection of modern technology and the wisdom of age. However, I think the effect has been to give Star Wars a surer place in pop culture than Carter-era movies normally have. In a 1996 episode of NewsRadio, Dave could be considered a geek because he knew who Boba Fett was. Only a year later, everyone would be talking about the original Star Wars trilogy, and what had become of it, with a passion and fury normally reserved for new movies.

2. If the re-dub is a callback to Revenge of the Sith, it’s a reminder that we’re going to be eventually seeing a split between two types of Star Wars fan, if this hasn’t happened already. Understandably, many fans consider the original trilogy to be the only “real” Star Wars movies. But it’s been long enough since The Phantom Menace that there are new fans who were raised on the second trilogy, and consider the whole thing to be of a piece. I wonder if those fans would be more welcoming of the attempts to connect the two trilogies together. Maybe not.

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Oh, You Wacky George Lucas, You’ve Done It Again

  1. The “Nos” in RotJ are not egregiously awful – if they hadn’t been pointed out to me, I probably would have thought they were always there.  Unnecessary, yes, but they do not ruin the movie or anything.

    On the other hand, the “NOOOO!!!1!” in RotS is just plain ridiculous.  Coming at the end of a movie that a lot of fans wanted to like – if only because we hoped there would be some sort of transition from the major disappointments that were TPM and AotC to the Original Trilogy – it just pulled you away, as if it were a sudden slap to remind you that, yes, you were watching late period Lucas schlock.  It is the epitome of Lucas’s failures in RotS, just as Jar Jar Binks is the epitome of his failures in TPM.  

    • Come to think of it, if he digitally edited that scene in RotS to remove the audio of the “NOOO!!!1!”, while keeping everything else as is, it might make it more watchable.

  2. There’s another interpretation: Lucas’s luck ran out after The Empire Strikes Back, and his true creative abilities have been exposed ever since.

  3. I came over to the ‘he’s got to be doing this on purpose…for some reason’ camp a long time ago.

    It’s impossible that he’s oblivious to the criticism…but he keeps doing it. There has to be a good reason….right?

  4. Just found this clip on youtube with even MORE changes to the Jedi ending.  http://youtu.be/TzEMrXKnWn8

  5. If the re-dub is a callback to Revenge of the Sith, it’s a reminder that we’re going to be eventually seeing a split between two types of Star Wars fan, if this hasn’t happened already.

    It’s happened already.

    I suppose sales may be increased by the publicity surrounding the new controversy, but I wonder if we can be certain that the increase will be enough to mitigate for the many hardcore Star Wars fans who won’t be buying the bu-ray for precisely this reason! 

    I’m a huge Star Wars fan, but I knew MONTHS ago that I wouldn’t be getting the blu-ray.  I’ve already got the only DVD release that has the original theatrical releases included (the 2006 version, if you’re looking) and it was made clear long ago that these would not be improved upon (they’re not quite up to normal DVD standard in terms of image and audio quality unfortunately, but frankly, that’s besides the point to me) nor will the theatrical releases be included AT ALL in the blu-ray release.  I would have thought that all of the hardcore fans already knew this long ago, and decided back in May or whenever not to purchase the blu-ray, but more publicity, it seems to me, only broadcasts more widely to fandom that these are not the droids…err, movies… you’re looking for.

    Han shot first dammit.

    Oh, and Free Hat!

  6. I can’t wait for Lucas’s “Porgy and Bess.”

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