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'Star Wars' Trilogy Debuts on DVD

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by SteveSDCA, Sep 15, 2004.

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  1. SteveSDCA

    SteveSDCA Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Diego
    SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - George Lucas never figured on a 30-year career as a space pilot. Once "Star Wars" shot into hyperspace, though, he found it hard to come back down to Earth.

    Making its DVD debut Tuesday, Lucas' original sci-fi trilogy — "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" — began as an experimental foray into old-time studio moviemaking for Lucas, whose first two films had been far removed from usual Hollywood sensibilities.

    Lucas' sci-fi satire "THX 1138" had been a commercial dud, but the energetic "American Graffiti" with its driving soundtrack and multi-character point of view scored with audiences, giving the director clout to try something bigger that had been on his mind.

    "I'd already started this other idea, which was to do a kind of a classic action adventure film using sets," Lucas said over lunch at his 2,600-acre Skywalker Ranch. "I'd never worked on a set, I'd never worked at a studio. Never made a traditional movie. So I said, `I'm going to do this once, just to see what it's like, what it's like to actually design everything, work on a soundstage, do an old-fashioned 1930s movie.

    "And I'll do it in that mode from the 1930s Saturday matinee serials, using kind of 1930s and '40s sensibilities, and I'll base it on sort of mythological motifs and icons. I'll just put it together in a modern form, and I'll have fun. That's how I got into that. I did it because it was an interesting move into an area that I thought I'd never go into."

    Three decades later, Lucas is preparing to launch the last of his six "Star Wars" films. Next summer brings "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith," completing the prequel trilogy that tells the story of young Anakin Skywalker's metamorphosis into the villainous Darth Vader of the original three films.

    Fans have eagerly awaited the first three "Star Wars" films on DVD, a release Lucas initially intended to delay until he finished "Episode III."

    Some will be miffed that the original theatrical versions are not included in the "Star Wars" boxed set, which features only the special-edition versions Lucas issued in the late 1990s, with added effects and footage, including a scene between Harrison Ford (news)'s Han Solo and crime lord Jabba the Hutt in the first "Star Wars."

    AP: Why did you change your mind and decide to put the original three movies out on DVD now?

    Lucas: Just because the market has shifted so dramatically. A lot of people are getting very worried about piracy. That has really eaten dramatically into the sales. It really just came down to, there may not be a market when I wanted to bring it out, which was like, three years from now. So rather than just sit by and watch the whole thing fall apart, better to bring it out early and get it over with.

    AP: Why did you rework the original trilogy into the special-edition versions in the late 1990s?

    Lucas: To me, the special edition ones are the films I wanted to make. Anybody that makes films knows the film is never finished. It's abandoned or it's ripped out of your hands, and it's thrown into the marketplace, never finished. It's a very rare experience where you find a filmmaker who says, "That's exactly what I wanted. I got everything I needed. I made it just perfect. I'm going to put it out there." And even most artists, most painters, even composers would want to come back and redo their work now. They've got a new perspective on it, they've got more resources, they have better technology, and they can fix or finish the things that were never done. ... I wanted to actually finish the film the way it was meant to be when I was originally doing it. At the beginning, people went, "Don't you like it?" I said, "Well, the film only came out to be 25 or 30 percent of what I wanted it to be." They said, "What are you talking about?" So finally, I stopped saying that, but if you read any interviews for about an eight- or nine-year period there, it was all about how disappointed I was and how unhappy I was and what a dismal experience it was. You know, it's too bad you need to get kind of half a job done and never get to finish it. So this was my chance to finish it.

    AP: Why not release both the originals and special editions on DVD?

    Lucas: The special edition, that's the one I wanted out there. The other movie, it's on VHS, if anybody wants it. ... I'm not going to spend the, we're talking millions of dollars here, the money and the time to refurbish that, because to me, it doesn't really exist anymore. It's like this is the movie I wanted it to be, and I'm sorry you saw half a completed film and fell in love with it. But I want it to be the way I want it to be. I'm the one who has to take responsibility for it. I'm the one who has to have everybody throw rocks at me all the time, so at least if they're going to throw rocks at me, they're going to throw rocks at me for something I love rather than something I think is not very good, or at least something I think is not finished.

    AP: Do you pay much attention to fan reactions to your choices?

    Lucas: Not really. The movies are what the movies are. ... The thing about science-fiction fans and "Star Wars" fans is they're very independent-thinking people. They all think outside the box, but they all have very strong ideas about what should happen, and they think it should be their way. Which is fine, except I'm making the movies, so I should have it my way.

    AP: After "Episode III," will you ever revisit "Star Wars"?



    Lucas: Ultimately, I'm going to probably move it into television and let other people take it. I'm sort of preserving the feature film part for what has happened and never go there again, but I can go off into various offshoots and things. You know, I've got offshoot novels, I've got offshoot comics. So it's very easy to say, "Well, OK, that's that genre, and I'll find a really talented person to take it and create it." Just like the comic books and the novels are somebody else's way of doing it. I don't mind that. Some of it might turn out to be pretty good. If I get the right people involved, it could be interesting.
     
  2. GregY

    GregY New Member

    Location:
    .
    Yeah, because no one actually liked the original films.

    I was going to pick apart the rest of his illogical answers but what's the point?
     
  3. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    Location:
    NY
    satire???? :confused:
     
  4. fjhuerta

    fjhuerta New Member

    Location:
    México City
    Yeah, Georgie! You da man! You are the one who knows what we want, not us! We don't know!

    BTW, can you please revisit your original trilogy so that the son of Jar Jar Binks, Jer Jer Boinks appears as comic relief, and can you please change Darth Vader's voice for Anakin's whine for continuity's sake, and can you please make the original trilogy as bland, boring and STUPID as the new trilogy, just so that both seem to be the same product? Better yet, why not replace Alec Guiness with a Backstreet Boy, so that modern audiences can connect with him?

    :mad: :mad: :rolleyes: Lucas is crazy :rolleyes: :mad: :mad:
     
  5. fyrfytrhoges

    fyrfytrhoges New Member

    Location:
    wisconsin
    i love these responses, i couldnt have said any of them better... so i wont!
     
  6. LtPepper

    LtPepper Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    :shake:
     
  7. dcooper

    dcooper New Member

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    If I were interviewing him, I would ask him, "What is the difference between what you have done to the trilogy and someone colorizing a b/w film? I'm sure if color film were available back then, most directors would have used it, just as 99% of directors use it now, even though b/w technology is still available."
     
  8. GabeG

    GabeG New Member

    Location:
    NYC

    I think the difference is that if he had filmed star wars in black and white, as the creator, it would be his right to colorize it and he'd be the one making the technical decisions.

    Like it or not they're his films, not ours.
     
  9. GregY

    GregY New Member

    Location:
    .
  10. Anthology123

    Anthology123 Senior Member

    If Lucas wanted to make the films the way he wanted, then he should have done what Hitchcock did, make a whole new film and leave the original intact.
     
  11. GabeG

    GabeG New Member

    Location:
    NYC

    But Lucas is the creator of these films, the people colorizing the Three Stooges are not.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have the originals, but Star Wars is Lucas' baby. If he decided to keep star wars out of the public's reach alltogether it would be his right. He wrote them, directed them (or oversaw direction) and ultimately financed them. They are his, it's not Fox and it's not Lucas's kids, wife or girlfriend doing this - it's Lucas himself. He has every right and we can't do anything about it.
     
  12. dcooper

    dcooper New Member

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    What's this?! A Lucas defender?!! Let's get 'em boys!
     
  13. GabeG

    GabeG New Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Heh heh. Not really, only his right to do what he wants with his creation. I don't agree with most of it.
     
  14. ACK!

    ACK! Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
    People,

    Trust me, the originals will be released some day - just you watch. Once Lucas has exhausted the re-releases and format changes for these tweaked versions, he will announce restored and remastered versions of the original cuts.

    :)
     
  15. fjhuerta

    fjhuerta New Member

    Location:
    México City
    Yep. Lucas WILL release the originals on DVD. He knows people will buy them. :(
     
  16. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, CA
    Doesn't mean we have to agree with him though, or buy them. :mad: I have the laserdisc originals but he's not getting my cash for this years' version. In my opinion, Directors 'r' nutz. :righton:
     
  17. fjhuerta

    fjhuerta New Member

    Location:
    México City
    I said to myself the same thing, and guess what???? I bought the DVD set yesterday. My LD's look soft and blurry, and since I now on a widescreen TV, they also look stretched.

    I guess I'll frame them, or something, get the DVD's, and ignore the new digital Jabba and stuff.
     
  18. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    So, George understands that people are really attached to the original versions and yet feels that he should deprive them of the pleasure of watching them on DVD?! :rolleyes:

    If only he would offer the people what they actually want - full marks to Steven Spielberg for releasing the original ET along with his new edition :agree:.
     
  19. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Good on you George. I like your style.
     
  20. daveman

    daveman Forum All Star

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I'm lucky -- as a very casual fan, I won't even notice the changes. I won't be buying this set right away, but I will pick it up sooner or later.
     
  21. Michael St. Clair

    Michael St. Clair Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funkytown
    I think you owe everybody who watched in 1977-1983 half of their money back.
     

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  22. RickHunter

    RickHunter New Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    These are all very interesting points of view. Each with their own merit. Now here's mine. I can understand Lucas's determination to create his ultimate edition utilizing the best technology of today. (remember, today's standard of special effects originated from Lucas and Industrial Light and Magic) According to him, he has always felt that the original movies were never fully realized with the limited technology of the era. Even though this may be true, Lucas and his team pushed the envelope back then with new and innovative award-winning techniques. It wasn't until recently that current practices allowed him to achieve his original vision. The same goes for many artists. Countless creatives look at their works and feel the need to change something because they feel it could be done that much better. You shouldn't punish Lucas for going a new route. I think it's galant of him to spend so much time and money to finesse the original trilogy. Apparently he has heard the concerns of the fans regarding the Special Edition, so he has debugged most flaws of those films this time around. I do, alas, agree with some of you on various scenes in the new films. (Greedo, young anakin, etc.) Why can't he leave the original story alone? Graphics and special effects are one thing, but to change the storyline doesn't digest very well. Of course, in the end, I will shell out more cash to buy yet another version of this film just because it has the name "Star Wars" on it and it's new. For those of you who are purists and demand nothing but the original cuts, go out and purchase the Definitive Collection on laserdisc. You won't be disappointed. Laserdisc players can be purchased for next to nothing on ebay and you will finally have the best version of your favorite film on a 9-disc glorified THX widescreen extravaganza! :agree: "You cannot escape your destiny." "The emperor (Lucas) has already won." Now just sit back and enjoy another cool dvd set. :righton:

    And now boys and girls, the ultimate ORIGINAL cut!!!!!!
     

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  23. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Active Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    So with your reasoning the descendants of Da Vinci should paint a halter top on the Mona Lisa?
     
  24. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, CA
    :laugh: :thumbsup:

    If this is the Star Wars Trilogy that Lucas wanted then why didn't he have Greedo miss Han Solo at point blank range (with a laser gun that leaves no marks whatsoever on the wall before han blasts him into a smokey corpse with his own laser gun) in the original movie? He didn't need today's technology for that. That was obviously the way he wanted that scene to play out in 1977 but he softened over the years. I pretty much have no problem with fixing visual or audible flaws such as the cobra reflection in Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark on the DVD release (although they missed a later reflection) or the metal rod attached to the huge boulder when Indy is trying to get out alive with the idol but don't know why Lucas had to add everything but the kitchen sink to Mos Eisley with CGI. The Jabba scene looks ridiculous when Han is digitally made to look like he's walking over Jabba's tail. :shake: Couldn't they have shown something else when he walked around him instead? It was only a few seconds of film. I don't mind the scene otherwise. Anyway, I could go on but I won't...getting too angry... :realmad:
     
  25. GregY

    GregY New Member

    Location:
    .
    I've yet to see his reasoning for this. Nor why he would add Luke's scream in 1997 and then take it back out. I guess the limited 1997 technology forced him to add it in and only now, through our more advanced computers, is he able to take it back out, to be exactly the way he's visioned it since birth.
     
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