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Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Star Wars: Blu-Ray release of original trilogy contains yet more changes

George Lucas has altered the films of the original trilogy again. Many fans pray he doesn't alter them further.

This is not just one of the many alterations to the original Star Wars trilogy that will be released on Blu-Ray on September 16 – in this case a line uttered by Darth Vader in the climax of 'Return of the Jedi' – it's also the reaction of many fans to George Lucas's endless mucking about with their favorite films.

It started off innocuously enough. Back in 1981, when the original "Star Wars" was re-released, Lucas added the line "Episode IV: A New Hope" to the title crawl and made several changes to the audio track. Throughout the '80s and '90s, as the film was released on videocassette and laserdisc, additional small changes were made. But nobody seemed to mind.

Then came the 1997 Special Edition, which added extensive CGI effects, including, most controversially, the scene in which Greedo shoots first. Two years before the release of the first prequel, the era of Lucas-bashing had begun.

The new alterations are not nearly as extensive as the ones made in 1997, but they will be noticeable to hardcore fans. In "A New Hope," the Krayt Dragon howl that Obi-Wan uses to frighten away the Sandpeople from Luke's Landspeeder is noticeably different. In "Return of the Jedi," Wicket the Ewok's eyes have been CGI'd.

And then there's that scene at the end of "Jedi." See for yourself.

What other changes would you like made to the original trilogy? The metal bikini replaced with a burqa? Han and Greedo settling their differences amicably? Chewie replaced with a Gungan? Let us know in the comments.

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