STAR WARS SPECIAL EDITION
Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, voice
of James Earl Jones, Kenny Baker
1997, 125 Minutes, Directed by: George Lucas
right to change a film in the way that George Lucas has done in Star Wars Special
Somehow this was never asked when Ridley
Scott brought audiences his director's cut of Blade Runner. And
the changes to Blade Runner were more radical than the ones made to Star Wars - even the ending was changed in that movie! Nothing as
drastic was done to the Star Wars Special Edition. Yet what warrants the question
is that unlike many other "special" re-releases of films (David Lean's restored Lawrence
of Arabia springs to mind) none of them went so far as to re-do special effects
sequences and even add an entirely new scene (Han Solo's meeting with Jabba
the Hut outside the Millennium Falcon)!
But despite restoring the
film and soundtrack and the added and re-touched special effect sequences, changes are
kept to a minimal in Star Wars Special Edition. There is, after all, very little
one can do to spruce up a film that has stood the test of time as well as Star Wars
did (except for those typical 1970s haircuts!).
But with the hype regarding
the movies one cannot help but think of that old record industry
trick of bringing out a "greatest hits" collection with one or two new songs
added so that dedicated fans feels obliged to buy the CD - even though
they own every other piece of music the band in question has ever brought
out! With the hype surrounding the film one would be excused for thinking
that it is an entirely new film and not the 1977 classic simply being
re-released . . .
However, that isn't the issue
with Star Wars. Small gripes aside, the point behind this Special Edition of
the film is that (like the trailers kept on reminding us) people who have never seen the Star
Wars films when they originally came out now got the opportunity to see
on cinema screens and not confined to TV screens.
If you're one of those people who always saying that you'll wait for
it to appear on video then you're missing the point - not just with regard to Star Wars
Special Edition, but with every single film ever made: movies are always better on the
People who whined endlessly about the shoot-out between Han Solo and the scene
with Jabba the Hut aren't real Star Wars fans - real Star Wars fans are
infinitely glad that they could see the film the way it is intended: big and loud
. . .
Small gripes? Yeah. Some
new scenes merely looks muddled in this new Special Edition. Also, at the risk of sounding
like one of those incessantly griping people I griped about earlier, the scene between Han
Solo and Jabba the Hut doesn't work as well. Although cleverly done, Jabba appears to be a
push-over weakling. Han Solo even steps on his tail! Hardly the terrifying figure we got
to knew during Return of the Jedi. Or the one Han
Solo was so afraid of in Empire Strikes Back that he continually
wanted to leave the Rebellion (although temporarily) to fix up matters between them.
there's not much difference between Star Wars Special Edition and
the director's cut of Blade Runner.
Finally we get a clearer idea of what Lucas had in mind for his original