So Long As It’s Star Wars Week

One of my biggest gripes with Special Editions is that they bulldozed the efforts of the original special effects team.

Today everything is done by CGI but that wasn’t remotely possible in 1977. The work that John Dykstra and his team did for George Lucas was nothing short of heroic. But because George got a wild bug up his ass in the late nineties, a lot of their work has been struck from the official record and now resides only in pirated versions of the original trilogy.

Honestly, it’s bullshit. Those guys are artists too and their work should have been respected.

6 thoughts on “So Long As It’s Star Wars Week

  1. 14-year old MrUNIVAC thought all the CGI and changes were pretty rad in 1997, but soon-to-be-37-year old MrUNIVAC prefers Harmy’s despecialized editions. I’m still glad to have gotten to experience the OT in a theater, mangled though it was. I didn’t even realize how much I missed all those old scenes until I watched them again a few years ago, and now I can never go back.

    I’m less attached to A New Hope, so I find those changes mostly inoffensive – even the Greedo one, which is more stupid than rage-inducing to me. The Empire ones really just extended existing scenes until further tinkering was done for the DVDs, so again, inoffensive. Jedi’s changes really piss me off. I swear Lucas only changed the sarlacc to end the “giant vagina/anus in the desert” jokes, the band scene and song is way worse, and replacing Sebastian Shaw’s head with Hayden Christensen’s is both disrespectful to the actor and makes no sense. The all-time lousiest change is adding Vader’s “NOOOOOOO!!!” from Episode III, which completely ruins that scene and comes off as a childish “f*** you” from George to the fans who complained about it.

    I find it more frustrating that the recent home video versions of the original trilogy look like absolute ass compared even to the VHS tapes from the 90’s. More on that here: http://fd.noneinc.com/savestarwarscom/savestarwars.com/specialeditionfail.html.

    Supposedly Disney fixed a lot of this in the 4K version currently showing on Disney+, but I’m not paying for these films again unless they’re the uncut ones.

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    1. As many have pointed out, Disney could print money if they released high quality, original cut, OT Star Wars films. The only thing they should do is clean up some of the frames where you can see where the effects were added in. Basically do what CBS did for TNG. Those turned out wonderfully.

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    2. I had purchased to original trilogy in the special edition DVDs because that’s all that were available and George Lucas had sworn that he would never release the original theatrical versions on DVD.

      But, as we know, George Lucas lies. They announced that they were releasing a new version of the special editions on DVD that included the original theatrical releases. I gritted my teeth and paid up for the first movie that I saw in 1977.

      So there was an official release of the original theatrical versions on DVD, but they couldn’t be bothered to clean up the print or adjust the colors, so it’s pretty rough. But I have the Star Wars I remember.

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    1. CGI used well can be great. It usually does best when worked in with practical effects.

      Models on the other hand always work because they are real. Your mind accepts them as reality even if they are simply a small scale representation.

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    2. I point to 90’s movies like Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, and Independence Day as the gold standard for a proper CGI/practical blend. Those movies all recognized that CGI was just one tool in a filmmaker’s arsenal, and were also smart enough to use it sparingly and mainly on things like jets and monsters that don’t trigger the uncanny valley. Nowadays, all they have is a CGI hammer.

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