Monday, December 14, 2015

(un?)Restoring Star Wars

 For my generation Star Wars was the biggest thing in the galaxy - department stores were entirely filled with Star Wars merchandise - not just the toy section - the clothes, bedclothes, toiletries, stationary, sports equipment, furniture - Star Wars was everywhere!
And we watched Star Wars at the cinema, on TV, and over and over again on VHS. We'd record it from TV and wear out the tape by the time it was repeated on one of the other four channels!
Now I wont talk about the "other" three movies here because I simply didn't like them - sure I was disappointed they weren't better - but we still had the original movies to watch - until we didn't!
While George Lucas was and is perfectly entitled to make movies about whatever he wants which we can like or dislike - changing the original movies we grew up with and preventing the sale of the un-modified versions was a very strange decision.
Partly because it was pointless - partly because they are a part of pop culture history - and partly because it was so clumsily and poorly done from a technical and artistic point of view!
The corny CGI effects didn't blend at all with the live action footage and the extra aliens and droids detracted from the realism of the scenes filmed in Tunisia and Death Valley particularly - it looks like "Song Of The South" or "Mary Poppins"!
Adding dialog by different voice artists by placing shadows over actors mouths?! Adding a Muppett looking Sarlacc - even adding Gungans into Return Of The Jedi! "Weesa free!".
And the extra scene with Jabba the Hutt is just bizarre - Han Solo repeats, word for word, the conversation he just had with Greedo while a cheesy CGI Jabba slithers agilely around...No. Just no.
So some years ago I downloaded some reasonable quality versions of the original films (I assume they're from good quality VHS copies? I don't know.)
But Petr Harmy has gone a good many steps further to produce a "Despecialised Edition" - this is a triumph of the human will and the power of SciFi fandom! Read the article here.

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