Too bad to check: Lucas now adding painfully cheesy edits to “Return of the Jedi” too

posted at 5:35 pm on August 31, 2011 by Allahpundit

So help me, I saw this clip last night at Ain’t It Cool and then this post by a guy who said he’d confirmed that it’s a real, honest-to-goodness new edit added to the Blu-Ray version of ROTJ — but I didn’t post it because I simply couldn’t believe it. Granted, Lucas is the man responsible for the Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks. And yeah, he’s proved that he’s willing to urinate on his earlier masterpieces by re-editing the Han/Greedo scene in a way that literally everyone in the world except him thought was terrible. But surely he must retain some basic sense of what made his classics classic. In fact, there was good reason to believe this was a hoax: The Darth Vader “nooooooo” scene from “Revenge of the Sith” was itself so famously cringe-inducing that it’s been a running joke on the ‘Net since the day the film came out. Lucas must know that, no? Even if his filmmaking instincts are now so demented that he looked at this scene with Vader and the Emperor and thought, “This could use a few ‘noooos,’” the fact that people have been laughing at the same scene in “Sith” for years surely would have given him pause.

But … noooo:

Previously, it was reported that the version of “Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace” included in this release would replace the puppet version of the Yoda character with a computer-generated creation. Then on Tuesday, an online report by Devin Faraci suggested a revelation almost as troubling as the news that Luke and Leia had been brother and sister all along: in a climactic scene from “Return of the Jedi,” when Darth Vader hurls the evil Emperor to his demise on the Death Star, he would now shout “No!” (In all previous versions of “Jedi,” Vader has committed this crucial deed in silence.)

On Wednesday, a press representative for Lucasfilm confirmed that this change will be included in the Blu-ray release, writing in an e-mail: “Yes — Darth says NO.”

Say what you will about Paul McCartney’s later work, but his ear’s still sharp enough that he knows not to go dropping accordions into a new remaster of “Abbey Road.” If GL’s going to go this far, he might as well start adding fart noises to that Vader/Obi Wan lightsaber battle in Episode IV. So reluctant am I to believe this, in fact, that I’m searching for some sort of ulterior motive. Maybe Lucas, ever the master merchandiser, is screwing with the originals in anticipation of releasing the unedited originals on Blu-Ray (or whatever the next cutting-edge medium is) down the line? “Star Wars” fanboys will buy this edited version no matter how bad it is, just so that they have a complete collection. So everyone will grumble now, and then when the unedited originals come out later, everyone will buy those too and there’ll be a new cycle of “wasn’t the original trilogy amazing?” appreciation.

Bottom line: The only good news here is that this guy has some new material.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Why the hell can’t Lucas his own masterpiece alone and let it just stand as is?

This is like the descendants of DaVinci continually doing touch up on the Mona Lisa eons after the painting has been hanging in the Louvre.

Leave Star Wars alone, George and go find something else to do with your time and money and souped up tinker toys!

pilamaye on September 1, 2011 at 7:24 AM

Lucas:
If I can just…squeeze…a few more dollars..out..of..this…

SKYFOX on September 1, 2011 at 7:35 AM

His preciousssss isn’t perfect… he always wanted to make the films perfectly and he won’t stop until they are…. perfect….

Star Wars was shot on a tight budget, with hard time constraints, with actors who couldn’t believe the lines they were saying, with Dykstra just coming off of Silent Running… now compare that to Sith where Lucas got to say how long every scene was, had a huge budget, gonzo SFX… and worse dialogue, worse characters, a story that would have been hard to sell in the era of serials because it was so bad.

You tell me where Lucas shines: kept starving on a shoe string having to pinch pennies and get the most bang for his limited buck, or swimming in cash to produce a sub-mediocre work that is lavish on the outside and hollow on the inside. I LIKE the original SFX of Star Wars To Empire with all the film-on-film work and puppets and all of it because it is the perfect capping to one era of sci-fi films and the introduction to the next. As a transitional work it stands out not only for the tightness of the plot but the technical accomplishment it embodied.

Don’t worry, Lucas will make them perfect just like he always wanted. And ruin the perfection he as already created.

ajacksonian on September 1, 2011 at 7:49 AM

I heard DaVinci was tempted to add a unibrow on the Mona Lisa.

John Deaux on September 1, 2011 at 8:50 AM

I quit worrying about Lucas a long, long time ago.

So long in fact it was:
Director #films
George Lucas 4
Steven Spielberg 238

Now George DID pay the fine and told the guild to F*&^ off over having the credits at the beginning…props for that.

orbitalair on September 1, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Comment pages: 1 2