I am a fan of Star Wars. The original 1977 version was the first film I ever saw on the big screen in my life when I was 5 years old. It opened my imagination because everything this fantastical existed only as animation, so this movie just widened the limitation of what could be done with a movie.
Now I just got the Blu Rays and we’ve been watching them one a night for the last week.
Strangely, Phantom Menace wasn’t as bad as I remember it. For the first time ever, I was thoroughly annoyed with the whole JarJar Binks thing. It was never good, but it never BOTHERED me until now. The kid was terrible, but then again the ‘direction’ of the script was all over the place. Whose point of view are we with here? Who is the main character and what are their themes? Overall, it looks great but the emotion wasn’t all there. In context of 6 movies, this one still sets up some story.
Attack of the Clones looked, sounded, and was a lot better than I recall. Memory has a funny way of shaping how things might have been, plus people (meaning myself) change over time. I liked it and it looked amazing on Blu.
Revenge of the Sith it turns out, I have only seen maybe 3-4 times before, the least by a large margin of any Star Wars movie, excluding ridiculous Ewok movies or animated stuff. Again, there was some horrendous dialogue at times, like the previous two movies, but this was much more enjoyable than I expected.
I have seen, what is now referred to as A New Hope, in the theater probably 100 times alone. I know it was over 30 times in 1977. Then again in 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, and even made it out to few rare print screenings in the 1990’s. Then the 1997 special edition screenings, including a private only screening a friend of mine did the night before a press screening, where for my birthday, she arranged this for me all by myself without telling me what it was.
I guess I’m not too worried about ‘changes’. I kind of like having something new to see or hear in a movie I have seen literally over 100 times in my life. Still, A New Hope n Blu Ray was not nearly as impressive as the Star Wars Re-Revisited fan edit where some guys did way more than 1,000 changes and ‘fixes’. Having seen this Blu Ray of George’s changes, maybe he should have hired this team of unknowns because they did a lot more and better changes. Funny how ‘fans’ like this guy making 1,000 changes then complain when George Lucas makes 10-20. I think people like the underdog.
I don’t care of George Lucas changes the movies forever. It’s not really that important, at least not to me. As much as I like the movies, I’m far more interested in the MAKING OF and BEHIND THE SCENES. What moved me was less that actual movies themselves, but rather the idea that whatever George Lucas saw in his head, he could put on a movie screen.
I’ve got several Laserdisc sets, not to covet the unaltered versions of the movies, but because they contain a lot of documentaries, commentaries, and amazing amounts of detail on HOW the movies were made. I don’t own a single novelization of Star Wars, but I have an extensive library of books on the behind the scenes.
We’ll get through EMPIRE and JEDI soon enough. It’s amazing how much I’m liking these movies now that I have no expectations and don’t really care about them as anything more than a movie.