So the time has finally come. Star Wars has come to blu ray. This will be, I believe the fourth time I've bought these movies. I don't think I ever owned way back original VHS tapes because I'd just borrow them from my cousin and we had taped Empire off HBO in like 1983. I had the enhanced re-releases from 1995 that do not include annoying changes like a cartoon-y dance number in Jabba's palace. Then like any good fan I got the Special Editions in 1997 after going to see them in the theater, the first two for the first time that way. Then of course I was thrilled when the DVD came out and got those. And now I am planning on hitting up Target on Friday morning to get the blu rays. To be fair, my mom probably bought the first two for me since I was a teenager, but still, that's a lot of versions of the movies to own!
I have been excited for this ever since it was announced. And for some reason it even has me interested in watching the prequels again. Yes, even Episode I. I only have to watch it the one time. I anxiously awaited learning what the special features would be and have been more and more excited as certain things are slowly revealed to me. An alternate kiss on the Falcon? Yes, please! Extended argument on Hoth? Definitely! The infamous sandstorm scene? Are you kidding me? There's some other stuff too that doesn't include Han and Leia, but I don't really care that much about those right now.
Then came the annoying additions of random changes I read about that just made no sense. Most notably that Vader yells, "Nooooooo!!!!!" when he picks up the Emperor and throws him over the railing to his death. Who thought that was a good idea? Did anyone watch that and think that Vader maybe should've expressed more emotion? His actions were pretty clear. And it only reminds me of when he yelled the same thing after he found out Padme died in Episode III. It was so corny that it really ruined what could've been a genuine emotional turning point.
They have also apparently made the Ewoks blink. Um, why? This change doesn't really make me angry in the sense of making things worse. It just seems totally useless. Did anyone ever look at the Ewoks in any prior viewings and think, "You know, these Ewok things would seem a lot more realistic if they ever blinked." NO! Nobody ever thought that, ever. It seems like a total waste of time, energy, and probably a lot of money. Wicket blinks now. Sure, now we might think Ewoks look like they actually exist.
Obi Wan also now makes a different noise to scare off the Sand People. Once again I ask, why? This is also not a change that makes me mad. In fact, if nobody told me there's a good chance I wouldn't have even noticed. So I ask, what was the point? So, have we now evolved to the point that we thought that noise didn't sound like a real krayt dragon? Does this have something to do with the prequels? When in ANH do they even mention krayt dragons and how do we know that was the noise he was imitating? I never heard of a krayt dragon until I had watched those movies for years. And to be honest, I'm pretty sure it was only recently that I realized that he was the one who made that noise.
Anyway, while these changes are kind of annoying just in the sense that I can't figure out who thought of them and why they think they make the slightest difference - it would be like deciding that Jabba's door should be just a little bigger.... oh wait, they did that, too! - they don't really bother me that much. Certainly not on the same level as Greedo shooting first or that stupid new song in ROTJ I already mentioned. Not the one at the end, I actually have gotten used to that change and don't mind that one so much anymore, either. But I just don't see why every time they come up with a new format it's like we're getting a completely different movie again.
There are five versions of these things now. Well, maybe six, I don't know if it was on laserdisc or if they did anything to it there. Original, picture enhanced, VHS special edition, DVD, and now blu ray. Which one is the real one, anyway?
Ok, ok, all that said, I did say I was excited, right? I do appreciate that they've gone to the trouble to give us some footage we've never seen before. I don't know about you, but a few of the things mentioned I never knew existed. Like extra footage of Han and Leia and crew breaking into the bunker. And the extended Hoth argument that some of you may have already seen online. Any opinions there? While I enjoyed having extra footage of Han and Leia, I decided it was definitely a good thing that they did not include those lines in the final cut. And I honestly can't wait to see the alternate version of the kiss on the Falcon.
So what will you all be doing Friday? I am pretty sure anyone in our European audience can already buy it, which seems unfair, but I'll let it slide since I only have to wait one more day basically. Like I said, I'm hitting up Target early because I'm pretty sure it's $79.99 there and I have a gift card I can use there and it opens probably the earliest of all possible stores I could buy it from on Friday. Then I will spend some time looking exclusively at the bonus features. It may take me weeks to even get around to watching the movies themselves. I'm really kind of annoyed that I actually have some plans this weekend and can't just spend all day every day exploring the new stuff. Oh, well, I have forever, right?
So, what do you all think of the releases? Let us know here how you feel about some of the changes, whether or not you've seen them. Aside from a few gripes, most the things I've heard are really, really positive, so can't wait!