4 Things 'Star Wars' Fans Need to Accept About George Lucas
Last weekend saw the rerelease of the prequel of one of the Star Wars movies, because apparently no one's gotten tired of that shit yet. Rejiggered to now be in 3-D -- because no one's gotten tired of that shit yet, either -- a number of other changes are evident in the film when compared to its original theatrical release. There's a new Yoda now, some tweaked special effects and, probably, an extra 28 hours of scenes set in the Galactic Senate. This is fairly typical for the Star Wars franchise, which has a long history of "special editions" and "rereleases" and something called "laserdiscs," all of which feature movies that are slightly different from each other. People who always have a little bit of fudge on their faces have tracked these changes exhaustively and, as is their way, at times have even gotten quite upset about them. News that Lucas was planning changes again with this latest rerelease even prompted threats of a boycott from these folks, news that delighted scientists who had created a device capable of measuring extremely small threats and were looking for something to calibrate it with.
"0.08 microPescis. Incredible!"I'm not actually going to get too condescending here, because I am more or less a Star Wars fan myself. I've seen the films, I've played the games, I even went through a regrettable Star Wars novel phase in high school. (The phase was what was specifically regrettable, although the novels are no things of glory, either.) I know all about Han shooting first, and I know the logical explanation for the Millennium Falcon making the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs (it makes so much sense when you think about it). I am, for lack of a better word, a tremendadork. What I'm not, though, is upset about the changes Lucas keeps making. Here's why:
Because They're His Damned MoviesAn obvious point, but it needs to be stated clearly: Star Wars fans don't own the Star Wars movies. We just like them. If they get changed and we don't like them anymore, that's perfectly cool, because we don't have to like them anymore. That's the deal. All sorts of creative works come in multiple editions, director's cuts, abridged versions, expanded versions. Lucas appears to be far more into this tinkering than other filmmakers, but he's hardly unique. Take Blade Runner:
Currently available in 12 different cuts, the most recent of which implies that Deckard was a ghost the whole film.Really, if Lucas wants to fix something he thinks was a mistake in an earlier film, that's his business. Our lives aren't affected in any serious way if he changes it, nor does he have a contract with us to preserve
But it turns out that not
He Might Actually Make the Movies BetterAmong all the hair-pulling about Greedo shooting first, or that new Jabba scene with an ambulatory beanbag chair clumsily CGI'd over a fat guy ...
... it's been forgotten that a lot of the changes actually kind of improved the films. Here's a small one:
Oooh, who's a sexy little torus? You're just a dirty old space orifice, aren't you?And here's another ...
It Gives Us Something to Complain AboutLet's take a holistic look at the whole Star Wars experience:
"I'm an AARB-certified Master Complainer, and I've been out of a job since 2007 when the Revenge of the Sith hate petered out, and what are you going to do about that, Mr. Lucas?" -- thunderous applause, chants of "SUCK MORE, SUCK MORE, SUCK MORE"
It's Just The Phantom MenaceCome on, fellas. It's The Phantom Menace we're talking about here. This one just isn't worth getting that worked up about. Save your real fury for when he puts an R2-D2 flying scene in the next Episode IV revision.
Because you know it's coming, and you know it will make your blood shit.