Who is ArcoJedi? A life-journeying Christian, ecstatic husband, proud father of four, web guru, all-around geek and Star Wars fanatic. Read these thoughts that he felt were worthwhile. Then wonder why he thought that way.

2004/09/21

The Anti-Star Wars Movement

And How to Ignore ItI am a Star Wars fan.. And I am most troubled.

I am troubled by the behavior and statements of the other claim-to-be Star Wars fans around me and on the internet. You see, I think that right now we should be proclaiming the good news. Since the late-90's Star Wars has been back -- back from what seemed like permanent destruction. But like the ghost of a fallen Jedi, the series has become more powerful that we could possibly have imagined. For the past several years there have book after book, comics, cartoons, merchandise and most importantly MOVIES! First the Special Editions of Episodes IV-VI in theatres, then Episode I, II and by summer of next year Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The Clone Wars Cartoon Series was amazing -- short, but amazing. Most recently -- TODAY, in fact -- Episodes IV-VI are now available on DVD. It is time for Star Wars fans the world over to rejoice. But the whispered comments from the peanut gallery have not been good.

Firstly, there have been small complaints since the books started coming out. Whereas the first couple of books by Timothy Zahn were wonderful, rekindling the old Star Wars magic, other authors have not always lived up to the original spirit. When it was announced that there would be a Special Edition released, most fans were happy, but when word started to leak out about scenes that had been changed and finally when we saw the scenes on the big screen, there were some that were not amused.

Questionable change #1 was having Greedo shoot first during the scene in the Cantina. Other quibbles included the new scene with Jabba the Hutt with Han stepping ON the crimelord's tale as well as complaints about effects that SHOULD have been fixed, but were not. Admittedly, if I was in charge of Star Wars, there were some things that I would have kept the same and some other things that I would have made sure to change.

Today the DVD boxed set of Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI have been released. Long before the boxes hit the shelves the discordant chorus began to whine. To quote one report on the subject... DesMoinesRegister.com | "Use the Force, now available on DVD" By JOE LAWLER - 9.21.04
..."The changes are yet another chapter in the long, frustrating saga of being a 'Star Wars' fan," said Geoffrey Kleinman, editor of the Web site dvdtalk.com. "I don't think the changes will stop many fans from purchasing it, but I have a feeling that if the final prequel ("Revenge of the Sith," due in May 2005) isn't satisfying, it will only fuel the vim and vigor of the disdain 'Star Wars' fans have for the series. ...
One comical theory is that George Lucas's Neck Size is in Inverse Proportion the the Quality of his Films. Perhaps folks are just bitter that we had to wait this long for these movies to be released on DVD at all. Lucas waited on DVD technology to catch up to his vision. He also wanted to hammer down what some of the things in Episode III were going to look like before he released these DVDs so the look would match and gel with what comes later (chronologically) in Episode IV. Overt changes include altering the ghost image of Anakin Skywalker at the end of Episode VI to appear as Hayden Christensen next to the ghosts of Obi-Wan and Yoda rather than Sebastian Shaw, who played Vader behind the mask.

Some point in outrage at statements Lucas made years ago in reference tampering with creative works that are part of our 'national heritage' when he was speaking out about the colorization of old black-and-white films, most specifically old Three Stooges episodes. It can be portrayed as double-speak that Lucas says that old classic movies shouldn't be altered and yet he has done just that to his old classic world famous films.

There are so many people upset at Lucas right now... people who I would consider Star Wars fans. I admit that some of the complaints are valid and if I was in charge of Star Wars, I would do things differently. But that is exactly the point! There is now and has always been someone in charge of Star Wars and his name is George Lucas.
"The thing about 'Star Wars' fans is ... they all have very strong ideas about what should happen, and think it should be their way," says Lucas. "Which is fine, except I'm making the movies, so I should have it my way."
These are his movies and we just get to watch (and play) in them. Sign petitions and point fingers if you want stating that George shouldn't be altering the movies if he was against the alteration of the Stooges. But the comic geniouses behind the Stooges have been dead for years, and before they died they specifically spoke out against colorizing their works or any other classic works. When he spoke out in the US congress, it was in support of the departed artists whose voices could not be heard. Lucas is still alive, and still massaging his masterpiece.

In the end, I can't help but think that the motives behind altering these movies and stirring up the controversy is all a genious advertising gimmick. Or more likely, Lucas is very aware that he is alienating certain people. You have to remember that Lucas never intended Star Wars to be a major world-wide sensation. Perhaps from a Obi-Wan style Certain Point of View, there are just too many claim-to-be Star Wars fans. Perhaps,... this is Lucas's way of getting rid of all those people who made fun of Star Wars (and fans like me) later into the 80s and get down to the base core fan group. This could be like 'culling the herd' of leftover wanna-bes. If you make enough obvious hints for those party-poopers out there, they will get disgusted and leave.

If this is true, then I encourage it. Keep on 'trimming the fat,' George. Eventually, I will be the only TRUE fan left.
♥Jim

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