Saga What is wrong with the SW films being of their era?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon, Oct 3, 2011.

Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
  1. Darthman1992 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2011
    star 1
    People have been talking about whether Lucas' changes are ones to put in things he wanted to do in the beginning but couldn't, or if it is just an excuse to add things to tie them to the prequels.

    Honestly, I think he's been doing both. The Cloud City stuff isn't in any way trying to tie it to the PT, and was done before the PT was even up. And with the way Cloud City was spoken of by the characters I think it was originally meant to be more majestic looking. The giant lizard things on Tatooine that some of the Stormtroopers ride on (which I thought were in some of the concept art for A NEW HOPE, please correct me if I'm wrong on that), as well as some other things I can't think of off the top of my head that would go into that category.

    And then there's things that clearly are just there to tie it to the PT. Including the Dug walking into Jabba's palace, the addition of PT planets celebrating to the end of ROTJ, etc.

    As I said, I don't think his changes were motivated by one factor.

    But on the actual topic, I really don't know. I've had mixed feelings about the changes, which I've said a few times already on these boards. There are some I think are legitimately good, ones that are unnecessary but don't really hurt the films, and ones I don't like. I'm really on the fence with this as I do think there is legitimacy to both sides of the argument.

    I do think George should have the original versions available though for those who want them.
  2. obi-rob-kenobi4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2007
    star 4
    Exactly.

    The argument that lucas "keeps changing" his movies isn't even real any more imo. He almost never changes anything. He makes very clever, tiny little additions. In fact people get more mad at him now for what he DOESN'T change.

    Also i would like to say that the blu-ray disc of ANH i have in my boxset is in no way "not a 70s movie". It most certainly IS a 70s movie and nobody is hiding that, in fact it has a date right on the disc that says "star wars episode 4 ANH 1977" right on it. If anything the high definition allows me to see and appreciate it as a 70s movie now more than ever.

    I think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with SW films being of their era and i think there is no other movie that is more of its era than the star wars movies, all 6 of them.
  3. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 1999
    star 6
    How "tiny" the additions are depends on one's personal experience of the movies, I think. For some people, the Han shooting, Luke yelling, and Vader also yelling redefine certain aspects of those characters in ways that conflict.

    Also, if people get mad or confused about LFL not changing things, it's entirely because the changes they have made are so inconsistent - R2 rocks that may or may not be necessary and in any case are not added to every shot they logically should appear in, color correction in some areas but not in others, hell, putting in the effort to add anything CGI at all but not fixing garbage mattes.... etc etc etc.
  4. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    There are two possible interpretations here:

    1) The additions are minor and really don't change the film that much.

    -If this is the case, it seems unnecesarry to bother with the whole Special Edition things, spending tens of millions of dollars over decades. If the films are so similar, there shouldn't be any harm to include the original versions as well.

    2) The additions are not minor and change the experience of watching the film quite a bit.

    -If this is the case, it seems that the films aren't of their era, and there is also a case to be made regarding historical authenticity and cultural history, and also that it is quite understandable that these changes if they are pretty major overall would alienate a lot of people and leave them wanting the original version.

    For the record, there are over 300 individual shots that have been altered for the Special Edition in ANH alone. Plus, the colouring of every single shot was changed, sometimes very drastically. The soundtrack also has dozens of alterations, plus remixing.

    I would say there is quite a serious case to be made that we should not pretend the SE is 1977's Star Wars. There is a reason Lucas spent so many years and so many millions making literally hundreds of changes in that one film; he would probably be quite disappointed to hear that after all that work it hardly changes the experience of watching the film. That point is kind of inherent in the existence of the SE.

  5. Darthman1992 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2011
    star 1
    The STAR WARS films are not their background score, or some of the coloring in shots, or even the level of effects. Most of those (except for some of the very large effects editions) I think are trivial in the grand scheme of things. Remixing the score or changing some colors doesn't turn them into different films. The true essence of STAR WARS is still there in its story, characters, and actors. It's not like events of the story played out differently, the themes were changed, or they replaced actors such as Alec Guinness with Ewan McGregor to fit with the prequels (I don't think that's even possible, but this is just to prove a point). All of the versions at their heart are still the same movies. It would take a lot more for them to be as different as you're making them out to be.
  6. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    The story is the same, but the experience is quite different. That's the point of the SE. With dozens of audio changes, altered colouring in every shot, and over three hundred shots with changes in them, it would be hard to argue otherwise.

    This is not to pass judgement on whether or not it is better or worse. It is enough to say that it is different. And that's the entire reason why Lucas spent so much time doing them.
  7. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    The music of the Beatles transcends the Four Lads themselves. There are many, many great covers of Beatles songs, some arguably better than the originals.

    But if I put in my copy of Abbey Road and on the third track I hear Frankie Laine's "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" instead of McCartney's, that would not be the same Abbey Road.
  8. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I agree with this, and hopefully you (general "you") will understand why those of us who watch Star Wars for the story, and believe that the story is its most important aspect, do not really understand all the outrage at not getting the O-OT in a 2011 remastered version--particularly in this thread with several posters defending the fact that it is supposed to be a 70s film.

    I don't think the comparison to the Beatles works, and not just because I think few can adequately cover a Beatles song. A better comparison would be if the Beatles remastered their own works with technology not available in the 60s.
  9. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    What you seem to be missing is the point that 35mm film - even in 1977 - was/is a vastly superior format to any home video presentation up to (and arguably including) HD. We're not asking for an upgrade to the 1977 film. We're just asking for an HD transfer because it will allow us to see/enjoy more of that original '77 film than was possible in previous formats.

    And if your focus is on the story, then surely you can understand why some of us would want an unsullied O-OT. The PT (with corresponding SE changes) fundamentally alters the story of the OT, and not all of us enjoy the new version of the narrative.

    We all have subjective places to draw the line. You say the most important thing is the story - does that mean Eragon (a movie about dragons, but which replicates the ANH narrative beat-for-beat and in some cases shot-for-shot) is more "Star Wars" than Knights of the Old Republic (which exists in the same universe but has a decidedly different narrative)?

    But again, that's your subjective opinion of which elements are essential to the work. In the interest of playing along, though, I'll take a slightly different approach:

    If I put in my copy of Abbey Road and on the third track I hear Paul McCartney doing a dubstep "Maxwell's Silver Hammer (ft. Kanye West)", that would not be the same Abbey Road.
  10. Darthman1992 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2011
    star 1
    Guess it's opinion, but I watched both the Original Versions and the 90's VHS Special Editions for the first time as a kid in rather close proximity (within a few years of each other) and I've never personally felt a fundamental viewing difference. It is a little different, but to me wasn't that different. The only one that I would probably really feel that way about is Christensen in JEDI, and it looks like some of these Blu-Ray changes do really change things much more drastically than previous changes.
  11. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    Lucas has said that the SE's more closely match his original vision.
    After watching all six SW movies hundreds of times, and recently watching them in HD, I think I'm beginning to see what the vision is.
    Grand overhead shots of fictional lands populated by tiny people. You see it a little bit from time to time in the OOT, but even more frequently in the SE's.
  12. Thegoat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 1
    I don't think it has anything to do with future-proofing the movies. The original goal was to bring the movies up to GL's standards, not 1997 standards. He added a bunch to Mos Eisley and Bespin and a few other things here and there. None of that was altered to meet 2004 or 2011 CGI standards. TPM Jar Jar and AOTC Yoda have not been redone, the Dewback's look exactly the same as they have for 14 years, and as others have pointed out, the Death Star plans look as primitive as ever. I can't think of any example in which something is being "perpetually upgraded" to meet contemporary standards. ANH Jabba might be an exception, but even that was unchanged for the Blu-ray release. For the most part, 1997 tech was sufficient to meet GL's expectations. Everything else is just what has been thought of since.
  13. DarthWuher Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2010
    star 1
    That's a fair point. The 97 SE expanded the scope of some scenes and redid some others (a drastic improvement). The changes since have sort of felt like, "Oh hey wouldn't it be neat if,..." with the possible exception of adding Ian to TESB and using Morrison's voice for Boba.
  14. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I don't think the story is altered at all. Some people (generally speaking, maybe this doesn't apply to you) had a vision in their minds of what they thought the PT story would be, why Anakin fell, what Anakin and Obi-Wan were like, what Anakin's relationship with Luke and Leia's mother was like, and the actual PT didn't connect with their prior envisioning, but that doesn't mean that the OT story itself was changed. It remained--remains--the same. There was no "new version." The last half of ROTS didn't go the way I envisioned it either, and there was plenty there that disappointed me, but it didn't change the story of the OT or the connection between the trilogies at all.

  15. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Sure it is. The Hayden ghost makes zero sense if you haven't seen the PT to know that that's a younger version of Anakin, and the new OT therefore requires the PT for its functionality. There's a fundamental difference between Luke fighting to restore the noble order of Jedi (OT-only) and seeing him risk his life to restore a dogma that wasn't so great to begin with (Saga).
  16. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 1999
    star 6
    From the discussions I've seen on this and other boards, changing the Anakin ghost from an old man to a young man also changes the relationship many viewers see between Luke and that character. Some also view Vader/Anakin's redemption differently based on which ghost is used (the younger ghost seems to be seen as a reversion, the older one as an old man who's finally learned his lessons).

    To say nothing of the Vader yell.

    I suspect we don't want this to turn into a discussion of ghosts or the merits of prequel-harmonization. But the point is, the changes can and do change some important aspects of the films, for some people. You may not find fault with the changes, but don't deny those people their interpretations - interpretations also flowing from actual released versions of the films.

    It's like, is Deckard a replicant? It seems like it could vary based on which version you watch. But that's the point - you could watch any version.
  17. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    Vaders yell, Solos shooting second create differences in charaterisation, which is a core part of story. Return of ghost Anakin changes the meaning of the story, which is also important. The changes definitely altered the story and especially Vaders yell messes up my interpretation of the charakter. That's why I'll ignore it as much as possible.
  18. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I actually found it refreshing that the PT showed that the Jedi were far from being perfect and that their pride and dogma led indirectly to their fall. If they had been shown as perfect and pure as driven snow in the PT, I would have been disappointed. Perfect characters are rather boring. I also never saw Luke as fighting to restore either the PT Jedi or the Jedi Order that we had imagined before the PT; I saw him fighting to bring his father back to the Light Side and to build a new Jedi Order.

    I have no interest in a Hayden vs. Shaw argument again, that thread has been going in circles for ages.

    I didn't like the Vader yell either, but I'm a big-picture person and I'm not about to let a few seconds ruin the story for me. The overall story--of the Alliance winning, a father being brought back to the light by his son's unconditional love, of the Jedi being built anew (without the dogma and blindness present in the PT) is still the same.
  19. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    That "original" story is something you can find pretty much anywhere, from Eragon to Lord of the Rings.
  20. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    But if I wanted the story of Eragon or LOTR, that's what I would watch. And LOTR is a good story, but it is not the same as the Star Wars saga to me, nor do I want it to be. The mythological elements are similar but that's not all of the story by any means.
  21. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    Well, but you did mention you care about "the big picture" and then proceeded to mention story elements that define the genre of "heroes journey". The basic plot of Flash Gordon is for the most part identical to that of Star Wars. It even includes the whole redemption theme with Princess Aura!

    Either you care about the details, which would explain why Star Wars holds a special place in your heart.

    Or you don't. In which case you could watch LotR or anything else really and get the same experience out of it as you would from watching Star Wars.
  22. CoolyFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    I think the true question is when will the saga be FINALIZED?? That finalized version will eventually become the CLASSIC to stand the test of time.
  23. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    There is a pretty wide line between the two mindsets you're talking about.

    One is thinking that LOTR or Flash Gordon are the same as Star Wars and therefore getting the exact same experience from watching the series. As I said, I enjoy both--and Lucas was inspired by Flash Gordon when he made Star Wars--but that does not mean that Star Wars isn't a unique saga.

    However, recognizing that Star Wars is unique does not have to involve getting bent out of shape, and no longer being able to enjoy Star Wars, over SE changes of less than ten seconds.

    There is a middle ground.
  24. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    I actually found it refreshing that the PT showed that the Jedi were far from being perfect and that their pride and dogma led indirectly to their fall. If they had been shown as perfect and pure as driven snow in the PT, I would have been disappointed.

    What did the Jews do to deserve the Holocaust? The prequels turned the Jedi from victims into villains, and also lost the bigger picture: that the destruction of the Republic to create the Empire was not simply a matter of Jedi v. Sith, but the creation of a new government that caused everyone--Jedi and non-Jedi alike--to suffer. Lest we forget, that before Lucas shoved the prophecy into the prequels, the Empire was brought down not solely by a single act by Darth Vader, but by the efforts of an entire Alliance, only two of whom were known to possess Force abilities.
  25. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Where did I say they deserved the Holocaust? I said they were flawed, big difference.

    And I didn't like the prophecy at all but it didn't inhibit my enjoyment of the prequels.
Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn