25.9.11

Top 10 Star Wars Changes Lucas SHOULD Have Done

INT. IMPERIAL OUTPOST - NIGHT

Finally it happened. George Lucas decided to release his beloved Star Wars trilogy (and those three other films) on Bluray. Of course these are the heavily manipulated special editions, and there's no sign that the original versions will be released, despite complaints from a very vocal fan-base.

The fact that Lucas keeps changing these films (every incarnation has been tampered with), and deny the existence of the original versions, is monumentally stupid, but we'll save that for another blog.

Obviously the first order of business should have been to get rid of all the alterations and get back to the original version, but failing that why hasn't Lucas gone all the way?

There's a bunch of things he could have changed, which actually would have improved the films, instead of those silly or annoying changes he did do (I mean, is there anyone out there who seriously had trouble with Anakin Skywalker's eyebrows?! And if so... kill yourself!)


Anyway, here are my suggestions for things Lucas SHOULD have changed, but didn't.

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THE LIST


1) The droids and Obi Wan don't recognize each other

When Luke meets up with Obi Wan in Star Wars, the old Jedi shows no sign of recognizing R2-D2 and C-3PO, nor do they recognize him. However, several decades earlier they were running around together and saved the galaxy.

I'm not sure if this is the biggest hole in the story, but it's certainly the most infuriating. The only reason we got into this mess, is because Lucas insisted that the droids were included in the prequel trilogy, despite the fact that it doesn't make any sense. Up to this point no one had assumed that Anakin built C-3PO, so there was no reason to include the robot in the story, and judging by the beating the average Astro droid gets, there's no reason to assume an R2 unit would be in service for more than 30 years, so he shouldn't be there either. If Lucas had bothered re-watch the original trilogy just once, before he wrote the prequels, he would have realized this inconsistency.

Solution: This one is tricky, yet simple. The problem could be solved by deleting the three prequels.


2) The fat Jabba dancer

Look, I like big women as much as the next guy, but this is overdoing it. Besides, the way Jabba drools over Leia, it's reasonable to assume that he likes his woman small and perky. So who IS this woman? Is she someone's drunk aunt? Somebody should have lured her over to the trapdoor and pushed the button.

Solution: Do like the Jedi, and use your powers for good. Just paint her out with CGI.


3) Garbage mattes

With all the technical tinkering Lucas has subjected these films to, it seems odd that he hasn't gotten rid of the so-called "garbage mattes".

To the uninitiated, garbage mattes are a defect of doing blue screen work in the old photochemical effect days. The use of this process can, under certain conditions, result in an almost transparent "box" around some elements. This is almost gone in the new high def versions, but I want it completely gone. Once you notice these boxes, you'll be distracted and pulled out of the films every time you watch them.

Solution: CGI.


4) Other technical flaws

Lucas loves fixing little details, so why didn't he fix some of the additional technical glitches? Take for example the cockpit shots as shuttle Tyderium approaches Endor: The background is visible through the actors. Or what about the weird painted exhaust from Boba Fett's jet-pack? Or all the shots where large doors open really fast, and there's a noticeable jerk in the image? These things can be really distracting, why not get rid of them?

Solution: More CGI.


5) Han Solo can't do math

"I owe you one!" Han Solo claims after Luke has saved him from Jabba, but this is technically not true. Remember how Solo saved Luke from Vader in Star Wars? And then he saved him from freezing to death on Hoth in Empire Strikes Back? In Empire Solo even says: "That's two you owe me, Junior."

So for the slow ones: 2 minus 1 is 1. Even in Star Wars.

Solution: A simple audio-fix. Like they did in Blade Runner, when they needed to get the number of replicants right. Wait a second... Harrison Ford appeared in that movie too! Maybe HE's the one who can't do math!


6) The Three Wise Men help the rebels

A little known fact: After the Three Wise Men had delivered all that gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they traveled to the fourth moon of Yavin to monitor the rebel assault on the Death Star. Bet you never read that part of the story did ya? Seriously, who are these old guys? Wouldn't it make more sense to get some younger, more alert folks in the support staff? I'm just saying.

Solution: Re-cut. Use footage of completely hairless random dudes from THX-1138 and insert them with CGI.


7) The well-endowed nose

I hate to be a stickler for small details, but then again nothing about THIS guy is small. Every time I've seen this movie with an audience, everyone snickers, and it always pulls me out of the film. Can we please get rid of that nose, so we can all focus on the serious issues? Escaping the stormtroopers, saving the galaxy and all that. Damn, would you look at that thing!

Solution: CGI. Who wouldn't want that credit? "CGI schlong nose removal"!


8) The continuity errors

All movies have continuity errors. It's simply unavoidable. I won't bore you with the details, just look up the IMDb goof pages, there are hundreds of mistakes in each film. But why, in the midst of all his tinkering, didn't Lucas fix a few of those? No-no, instead he got his CGI guys to paint some new rocks into a shot, thus creating NEW continuity errors!

Solution: Fire up those computers and get to work. Again.


9) Get Chewie a medal

One of the greatest injustices in the galaxy! Poor Chewbacca! He's been Han Solo's faithful companion from the word go, he's put in the time, he's paid his dues, doesn't he deserve some recognition as well? I think so. Look at him standing there during the final ceremony in Star Wars, completely medal-less. Outrageous.

Solution: Bit of the old CGI should clear that right up.


10) Luke's hair

Most people will probably want to get rid of Leia's giant headphone-hair in Star Wars, but honestly that never bothered me all that much. What does bother me is Luke's 70's haircut in all three movies. Even when he becomes a commander or general (or what the hell he is), he's still sticking with the stupid haircut. Don't they have ANY standards in the rebel army? No wonder they have to cheat to win.

Solution: Massive re-shoots. Everything must be redone. No amount of CGI tinkering can save this one.


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FINAL THOUGHTS

I trust the less-than-serious nature of this blog post is obvious. It sprung from a genuine frustration with Lucas and the way he treats the Star Wars fans. I doubt he will ever listen to the fans and bring back the original versions of the films, and that saddens me. A fellow blogger suggested that the Academy took back all the Oscars the Star Wars movies won - 10 in total. The reason being that the work they won for no longer exists! So naturally it would be completely justifiable to ask for Lucas and his crew to return the statuettes.

Maybe we should do that. Maybe then Lucas would think twice about tampering with our movies. Yes, I said OUR movies. Star Wars belongs to us, the fans. George Lucas just works here.

WIPE TO BLACK

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