By: Chris Bucholz, Cracked.com, February 14, 2012
I don’t see what the problem was with the old one, and I don’t see what the problem is with the new one. There’s just nothing here to get worked up about, and there never will be, so long as there’s no goddamned backflip sword fighting.
Finally let’s go back to “Han shot first” — the most egregious violation of everything, ever. I won’t defend this completely — it’s a clear-cut example of Lucas making his film worse — but it’s nowhere near the big deal some people would make it.
For the uninitiated, here’s the Coles Notes version of the controversy: While in the Mos Eisley Cantina, Han Solo is getting the gears from Greedo, a bounty hunter looking to collect space dollars. In the original film, as the conversation turns sour, Han gets the drop on Greedo, blowing him away under the table. In the revised version of this scene, Greedo shoots and misses, then Han shoots a fraction of a second later, finding his mark. Many people loathe this change, preferring the original version, where Han shoots first because they think this makes him more of a badass.
I’ve since found out that Lucas has made about five more versions of this scene with small variations, but in all the versions, the same three things are unchanged:
1) Han was reaching for his blaster because he was about to use it.
2) After shooting Greedo, Han walks away coolly, like he’s done this kind of thing before, and is kind of bored of it.
3) George Lucas is an idiot.
Whether George Lucas is an idiot and Han is a badass or George Lucas is an idiot and Han is a very lucky badass honestly makes no difference in how we think of Han or watch the rest of the film or live our lives. I will freely acknowledge that it’s a stupid change to make because of how it muddies the waters, but it’s way less of a big deal than everyone makes it. And even though it is undoubtedly a mistake, that actually turns out to be a good thing, because …
#2. It Gives Us Something to Complain About
Let’s take a holistic look at the whole Star Wars experience:
But if I had one final word of advice for the complainers and bitchers rushing to the ramparts to battle these latest revisions, it would have to be “moderation,” because lest we forget …
#1. It’s Just The Phantom Menace
Come 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.
By: Chris Bucholz, Cracked.com, February 14, 2012
Last weekend the re-release of the prequel of one of the Star Wars movies came out, because apparently no one’s gotten tired of that shit yet. Rejiggered to now be in 3D — 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 “Re-releases” and something called “laser discs,” 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 re-release even prompted threats of a boycott from these folks, news which delighted scientists who had created a device capable of measuring extremely small threats, and were looking for something to calibrate it with.
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:
#4. Because They’re His Damned Movies
An 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 any more, that’s perfectly cool, because we don’t have to like them any more. 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:
Really, if Lucas wants to fix something he thinks was mistaken 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 The Phantom Menace as some kind of cultural monument to poor plotting. We’re just not talking about something that’s that important; it’s not the Constitution, or the Bible, or The Godfather.
I should be clear that none of this is to say that Lucas is right or wise to make these changes. Irrational or not, he knows these changes will piss off a portion of his fan base, and although pissing off his fan base hasn’t done much damage to him yet, it’s not something many other creators get away with so readily. And under no circumstances should this be taken as a blanket defense of the artistic merit of the changes, which Lucas has a very spotty track record on.
But it turns out that not all of the changes Lucas has made have been bad ones, nor is it a guarantee that any future changes he makes will be bad ones. In fact, there’s always a chance that …
#3. He Might Actually Make The Movies Better
Amongst 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…
That Episode IV: A New Hope prefix wasn’t there in the original theatrical release. It was added a couple years after, when it became evident that Star Wars was going to be a thing. Isn’t that a nice little tweak? Makes the movie seem like part of a greater whole? “What an epic story this must be!” the audience says. “But where the hell were the first three parts? Did I … did I black out for several years again?” These troubling questions set the hook perfectly, priming them for an unforgettable cinema experience, and forcing them to confront their demons.
Let’s look at the biggest change being made in The Phantom Menace 3D, aside from the addition of the dreaded Z-axis. The original release featured a puppet Yoda which has since been replaced with the CGI version we see in the other two prequels. Now I’ve seen The Phantom Menace a few times, and can’t recall a thing about Yoda — which I’m inclined to say is a good thing. In retrospect, this was probably my favorite interpretation of Yoda, in that he didn’t do any goddamned backflip sword fighting in this film. But if you look at new Yoda side by side with old Yoda, both look fine.
WTFFriday, By Jesus Diaz
George Lucas Now Says That Han NEVER Shot First As He Shoves Star Wars 3D Down Your Throat
I hate history revisionists, but not as much as I hate George Lucas for making Han shoot last. Now, with Star Wars 3D coming, he’s now saying that the scene modification wasn’t a change. He claims that Han NEVER shot first:
The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.
George, how do you have the thermal detonators to try to rewrite history in this way? Do you think we are stupid? Wasn’t it enough to paint that stupid laser blast coming at a stupid angle from Greedo? Do you really think that, if Greedo shot first, he would have missed Han at point blank?
No, George, you can draw all the lasers you want and add all the wider shots you want, but you can’t rewrite history. If Greedo had shot first in that scene setting you directed, Han would be dead, period. Nobody can miss at that distance. Not even a stormtrooper.
Call it the Return of the Jedi’s daughter.
All athletes could use a reality check from time to time. Take a look at these sports stars who have appeared on reality TV shows.
The eldest child of “Star Wars” creator George Lucas is going back to her career in cage fighting after taking a year-long break for her wedding, MMAFighting.com reported Thursday.
Amanda Lucas, who has cameos in all three “Star Wars” prequels, told the mixed martial arts fighting website she would make her return to the cage on Saturday at Freestyle Cage Fighting 46 in Shawnee, Okla.
“Although I didn’t fight in 2010 I was actively training, competing in grappling tournaments and earning my purple belt in Brazillian jiu-jitsu,” said 30-year-old Lucas who, like her siblings Katie and Jett, was adopted by the US movie maker.
“The main reasons I didn’t fight was first, I got married and I assured everyone that I wouldn’t walk down the aisle looking like a battered woman. Second, I wanted to focus on getting technically better in all areas of MMA.”
Lucas holds a 1-1 professional MMA record and last competed in November 2009, earning a three-round unanimous decision over Christen Bedwell at FCF 37.
Films will roll out in order, starting with ‘Phantom Menace’
|By Jay A. Fernandez and Kim Masters
The Hollywood Reporter (THR)
Sept 28, 2010, 08:49 PM ET
Updated: Sept 28, 2010, 11:18 PM ET
Sources indicate that George Lucas is set on rereleasing the “Star Wars” franchise in new 3D conversions beginning in 2012. Although 3D versions have been rumored for some time, Lucas purportedly was waiting until there were enough screens available to make the release a sizable event.
Fox, which released all six original “Star Wars” films, also would release the 3D versions.
Episode I, “The Phantom Menace,” would be first out of star-dock during early 2012. After that, each film would be released in order at the same time in consecutive years, depending on how well the first rerelease does.
Each conversion takes at least a year to complete, with Lucas overseeing the process to make sure each is as perfect as possible. He has said that the “Avatar” experience convinced him that “Star Wars” is ready for the state-of-the-art 3D treatment.
Starting with “Phantom Menace,” Lucasfilm would use several higher-end conversion houses to work on the project. By late winter or early spring in 2012, the exhibition industry should have all the 3D screens anyone could want for such a release.
At present, pics are limited to 2,000-2,500 3D locations owing to an insufficient installed base of projectors and screens. Movie theaters are adding 3D screens at a clip of 500 a month in the U.S. Foreign exhibitors also are pushing into 3D as quickly as possible now that financing for the installations is flowing.
Also pushing the timetable is a potential breakthrough in 3D TV technology. With Samsung penetrating the market with 50,000-plus 3D-equipped sets and Sony recently sending its version to market, the home-viewing experience could be primed for 3D DVD versions of the films by the time the new 3D theatrical releases have run their course.
Lucas purportedly is lining up the theatrical rereleases as a lead-in to the ultimate home-viewing experience. Beyond that, the property would launch to other 3D media.
In the meantime, Lucas plans a comprehensive Blu-ray Disc set of the six films next year, which would include upgraded picture and sound quality, new deleted scenes and special features.
Alex Ben Block, Carl DiOrio and Borys Kit contributed to this report.
George Lucas bans David Prowse, actor who portrayed Darth Vader on screen, from all Star Wars events
By Nick Klopsis
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Saturday, July 17th 2010, 10:28 AM
The force is not with David Prowse.
The actor – known among Star Wars fans as the man who portrayed Darth Vader in the original trilogy – has been banned from attending official fan conventions and cast reunions after reportedly “annoying” director George Lucas.
While James Earl Jones is credited with supplying the Sith Lord’s baritone voice, Prowse was the man behind the mask in the first three Star Wars movies.
According to his website, Prowse has been banned from “Lucas Film associated events,” and that “After enquiring, the only thing I have been told is that I have ‘burnt too many bridges between Lucas Film and myself’ – no other reason given.”
The ban appears to be the latest blow in a long-running feud between Lucas and Prowse. Prowse had been promised to be both seen and heard at the end of the trilogy when Vader’s mask is removed, The Sun reports. However, Lucas used a different actor instead, upsetting Prowse.
In addition, the 75-year-old Prowse claims Lucas accused him of leaking Vader’s death before the release of “Return of the Jedi.” He also claims he did not receive his fair share of the box office revenue for the final film.
“Dave never received much money for his role and was always shoved to the side,” a friend told The Sun. “He believes he’s been an embarrassment or annoying to Lucas.
“But he lives for conventions. So to strip this from him, too, is heartbreaking.”