Articles: Will There Ever Be A Definitive Version of the "Star Wars" Trilogies?




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By Tara Casanova

If you own the ‘80s home video version of the "Star Wars" trilogy on VHS, or on the extinct Beta or LaserDisc formats, you may have a valuable collector’s item - someday.

"No way!"

"Yeah, way!"

Here’s why: George Lucas is forever tweaking the "Star Wars" series. With the exception of the "Indiana Jones" saga, Lucas is pretty much a one trick pony.

Admittedly, a "talented" one trick pony, but a one trick pony nonetheless. Lucas made enhancements on the original "Star Wars" trilogy during the late ‘90s by adding extra scenes and characters. Most recently, he tweaked the original again, when it was released last year on DVD.

During the scene when Anakin, Obi-Wan and Yoda return as spirits, in "Return of the Jedi," Lucas digitally masked Hayden Christensen’s face over the original Vader, David Prowse’s mug. As quite as it’s kept, "Star Wars" is actually an Indy film that Lucas releases through 20th Century Fox.

In other words, Lucas can do what he damn well pleases and doesn’t have to suck up to fans or know-it-all studio suits.

So as Lucas keeps adding to and subtracting familiar scenes, look for Star Wars purists and memorabilia geeks to want to experience the films the way they originally saw them in the theaters without all the after-market "bells and whistles."

But for now, fasten your seat belts, because there are more bells and whistles coming down the pike.

And with Lucas’ reputation, he’ll keep releasing special editions upon special editions until the good Lord says, "Closing time Mr. Lucas, please."

Beginning in 2007, Lucas will re-release all six episodes (one a year) in 3-D.

"Whoa! Don’t get excited!" Three-D films are nothing new. Sure, they were all the craze in the ‘50’s with "B" horror flicks, and have appeared briefly throughout the years as a shtick, but they have never been taken seriously.

Besides having to wear those kooky blue and red lens cardboard sunglasses, the downside to 3-D movies is the novelty wears off in about an hour. And in some cases, viewers receive a rather severe headache. Admittedly the Star Wars films will be a whole new experience since 3-D technology has improved. And in addition, Lucas could start a whole new trend of encore films being released in 3-D. However, the smart money says the original versions are a safe bet for collectors and purists to enjoy.


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