Star Wars: The Complete Saga is set for a return this month, for the first time ever in state of the art high definition Blu –Ray – and like with preceding re-releases there are some noticeable changes to our beloved Saga..
To set the scene – A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away – a man named George Lucas had a revolutionary vision to bring original and innovative space-bound settings and a diverse collection of colourful characters and creatures to the big screen in a trilogy of movies the likes of which had never been dreamt of before.
Using state of the art animatronics and scale model constructs, the original Star Wars Trilogy – later dubbed Episode IV, V & VI – Lucas weaved the story of intergalactic civil war and the timeless battle between the forces of good and the evil Empire of the tyrannical Darth Vader. This combined with compelling friendships and relationships captured the imagination of generations of children and adults alike, and continued to be a spectacle through the late 70s and through to the early-90s.
Jumping to light-speed, and with a view to things past, LucasFilm announced that a ‘new’ Trilogy was coming to fill the void of events which occurred before Episodes IV, V & VI and telling of the corruption which shaped a farm boy from Tattooine into the evil Lord Vader.
To bring things up to speed and in boarding the flying freighter of CGI, George took the opportunity to fine tune some of the ‘dated’ effects of his original Trilogy removing some of the tired looking puppetry and animatronics and replacing them with shiny new computer-generated effects, as well as adding some scene-shaping elements which were previously unimaginable.
These were not unreasonable adjustments. But as the new ‘old’ trilogy – Episodes I, II & III – unfolded between 1999 and 2005 even newer versions of Episodes IV, V & VI, were released, with Lucas tweaking the Saga again. This time around, his perfectionism bordered on a maniacal Dark Side.
Purging the Saga of many inconsistencies including classic voiceovers of masked characters being replaced (Briton Jeremy Bullock exchanged by New Zealander Temuera Morrison as the iconic voice Boba Fett), the older ghost of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker being switched for the younger Anakin from the prequels (Sebastian Shaw dropped for Hayden Christensen – making no sense) and most shameful of all, the removal of Darth Vader’s helmet in the final Death Star scenes saw Anakin’s eyebrows digitally removed, so he more closely resembled the burned fallen Jedi from the climax of Episode III.
Now it’s come around again. With the highly-anticipated release of Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-Ray on September 12th, Lucas has again had an opportunity to reign in new alterations, and this time not even the prequel trilogy is safe. See for yourself in this collection of some of the changes from the once more re-revised Saga.
The classic “rubbery” Master Yoda as he appeared in earlier movies (or later Episodes) is no more in Episode I, now the green guru is entirely replaced by CGI in The Phantom Menace.
It seems nothing can ever be settled about the whole “Han Shot First” debate, but at least in this latest tweak to A New Hope – he shoots back faster!
One of the more cringe-worthy moments in the prequel Trilogy is revisited in this voice-over make-over in the Blu-Ray version of Episode VI. We once knew Lord Vader as the most fear-inspiring entity in the galaxy, but since he was demystified as a bit of a cry-baby in the early Episodes, it’s okay if he gets a bit emotional during the final battle of Return of the Jedi..
Thanks for the Blu-Rays, George.
Now please, leave it alone.
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Video Source: WideAsleepFilm (YouTube)