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Why Disney Can't Give Us High-Def Star Wars Where Han Shoots First

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the i-find-your-lack-of-distribution-rights-disturbing dept.

Star Wars Prequels 210

An anonymous reader writes "Lost amid the disappointment of the Star Wars prequels were the unfortunate edits George Lucas has made to the original trilogy when he re-released them. Lee Hutchinson points out a few of the worst: 'In Return of the Jedi, Jabba's palace gains an asinine CGI-filled song-and-dance interlude. Dialogue is butchered in Empire Strikes Back. And in the first movie, perhaps most famously, Han no longer shoots first.' Lucas flat-out refused to spend time and money remastering the original versions of the movies. But now Disney is in control of the franchise (and the business case for releasing different versions of the same films has been proven). So there's hope, right? According to Hutchinson: maybe, but not for a while. While technological advances have reduced the price tag for such an endeavour, lawyers will keep it expensive. It turns out 20th Century Fox still owns distribution rights to the Star Wars films. Because of complex and irritating legal reasons, Disney was not able to acquire those as well. Thus, Disney will have to get Fox's approval and probably cut Fox in for some of the profits, if they were to re-release the series."

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At least there's hope . . . (5, Insightful)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 5 months ago | (#46967791)

. . . because there was no reasonable chance of this happening with Lucas. Man, how do you mess up Star Wars?!

Re:At least there's hope . . . (3, Funny)

p51d007 (656414) | about 5 months ago | (#46967817)

Don't you mean...."A new hope"? ;)

Re:At least there's hope . . . (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 5 months ago | (#46967985)

I wanted to stay away from that joke, it was "all too easy" ;)

Re:At least there's hope . . . (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about 5 months ago | (#46967837)

. . . because there was no reasonable chance of this happening with Lucas. Man, how do you mess up Star Wars?!

Forgotten about JarJar Binks, have you?

Re:At least there's hope . . . (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46967929)

What on earth are you talking about? There were only three star wars movies made [xkcd.com] , and I've watched all three multiple times. None of them had any character called "JarJar Binks".

Re:At least there's hope . . . (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 5 months ago | (#46967999)

I'm with you, pal. We're all trying to forget, but some wounds never heal.

Re:At least there's hope . . . (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 5 months ago | (#46968539)

That is one of xkcd's poorer comics. The Matrix didn't need a sequel because it was a sequel. Didn't you ever watch the first movie in the series, "Tron"?

Tron Legacy (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#46968923)

So where does Tron Legacy fit into the chronology of Tron and The Matrix?

Machete order: 45236 (2)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#46968937)

Let me explain. There were five Star Wars films. Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi were made first. Years later, Lucasfilm made Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, which should be watched as a flashback between Empire and Jedi [nomachetejuggling.com] . After Darth Vader's identity is exposed at the end of Empire (it's not a spoiler if you speak Dutch [wiktionary.org] ), we see how the situation was set up, and then we see how it ends. Just skip the cash-in that was The Phantom Menace.

Re:At least there's hope . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46967943)

. . . because there was no reasonable chance of this happening with Lucas. Man, how do you mess up Star Wars?!

Forgotten about JarJar Binks, have you?

Meesa neva fuget dat!

You agree with him (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#46967975)

Forgotten about JarJar Binks, have you?

No, he hasn't. That's why he said:

"there was no reasonable chance of this happening with Lucas."

Re:At least there's hope . . . (2)

sethradio (2603921) | about 5 months ago | (#46968159)

. . . because there was no reasonable chance of this happening with Lucas. Man, how do you mess up Star Wars?!

Forgotten about JarJar Binks, have you?

I never understood why so many peope hated JarJar. I always thought he was funny.

Re:At least there's hope . . . (2)

mrxak (727974) | about 5 months ago | (#46968447)

I never really found him to be all that funny, but then I never found C-3PO funny either. Jar Jar was just the new C-3PO. You'll notice that Jar Jar is most active in movies where C-3PO is not, and vice versa.

Same bungling comic relief, there to entertain the kids.

Re:At least there's hope . . . (5, Informative)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 5 months ago | (#46967973)

From TFA:

When Disney plunked down $4 billion at the end of 2012 for the Star Wars franchise, it didn’t actually get everything, because Lucasfilm didn’t actually have everything to sell. Disney can release whatever new movies it wants, or dress Mickey Mouse up in Jedi robes and have him wave a light saber at guests in the Magic Kingdom, or hand-wave away the entire Star Wars Expanded Universe—it paid for the rights to do all of those things.

Turns out, what it can’t do is sell you new copies of the six Star Wars movies (aka Episodes 1 thru VI). "Fox owns distribution rights to the original Star Wars, No. 4 in the series, in perpetuity in all media worldwide. And as for the five subsequent movies, Fox has theatrical, nontheatrical, and home video rights worldwide through May 2020."

When George Lucas filmed Star Wars in the late 1970s, he had to turn to 20th Century Fox to both finance and distribute the film; the success of the first film enabled Lucasfilm to finance the other five movies itself (though Lucas did require some additional assistance from Fox in fully funding The Empire Strikes Back’s production). Lucas continued to use Fox as a distributor for all of the six existing Star Wars films—and Fox retains those distribution rights under the Disney sale.

Re:At least there's hope . . . (3, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 5 months ago | (#46968105)

And that's why you can have my widescreen Laserdisc editions when you pry them from my cold, dead hands...

I don't understand why the initiative to do this doesn't come from FOX, there's got to be enough interest to make it profitable. All that I want them to do is to clean up the artifacts from the editing process (where one can obviously tell that it was multiple rolls of film layered through the machines like in the space battles) and to clean up any degradation in color or texture from the film grain itself. Hell, they could even remix the audio into AC3 or whatever surround sound system people like, but they don't need to do more than restoration-type work.

Re:At least there's hope . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968193)

And that's why you can have my widescreen Laserdisc editions when you pry them from my cold, dead hands...

I don't understand why the initiative to do this doesn't come from FOX, there's got to be enough interest to make it profitable. All that I want them to do is to clean up the artifacts from the editing process (where one can obviously tell that it was multiple rolls of film layered through the machines like in the space battles) and to clean up any degradation in color or texture from the film grain itself. Hell, they could even remix the audio into AC3 or whatever surround sound system people like, but they don't need to do more than restoration-type work.

Good luck finding a laserdisc in good working order. Oh and be glad to use svideo because dvi, hdmi, display port are all out and enjoy that less than full 480p resolution.
I have the original pan and scan fox video star wars films (4-6) and I don't give a shit about keeping them.
At this point in time the fan edits are the only things that will give us what we want. Unmodified as far as possible , good looking episodes 4-6.
I've got the fan edit of episode 4 in 720p and it's really good for what it is.
I have no need for the blu-ray edition (even though I was a sucker and bought the dvd boxset).
So Disney and Fox won't see another $, €, £ or Yen from me for the forseable future. Original movies 4-6 or nothing.

Re:At least there's hope . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968357)

Oh and be glad to use svideo because dvi, hdmi, display port are all out and enjoy that less than full 480p resolution.

You may want to use composite...
The laserdiscs stored video in composite form (unlike VHS which stored the luma and the chroma seperately), so you have to ask yourself: do you want the comb filter in the laserdisc player seperating out the Luma/Chromance, or do you want something else? (Which may do a better/worse job) (SDR comb filter? Found one reference but didn't see much else in my 10 second look)

Yes, I do own a copy of Return of the Jedi (Widescreen in that dang 4:3 letterbox), and 2 working laserdisc players (one from early '80s which only reads the analog track, and a much later one that can also do the digital track and karaoke)

Re:At least there's hope . . . (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 5 months ago | (#46968443)

And that's why you can have my widescreen Laserdisc editions when you pry them from my cold, dead hands...

Good luck finding a laserdisc in good working order.

There was a release of the original trilogy on DVD that used the Laserdisc master, and included both Theatrical and Special Edition.
I recall the howling of rage when people figured out it was not a true 480p release (this of course was years before BD).

So the OP really doesn't have to keep those Laserdiscs and try and keep a player going.

Re:At least there's hope . . . (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 5 months ago | (#46968775)

...
So Disney and Fox won't see another $, €, £ or Yen from me for the forseable future. Original movies 4-6 or nothing.

I would rather see the whole franchise disappear than give Rupert Murdoch one more nickel... and I really like the originals.

Re: At least there's hope . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968811)

For 4-6 there are no original negatives. The Laserdisc version is the last one made from original sources. Somebody put all the Star Wars masters in a leaky basement for twenty years and the negatives are damaged beyond repair (a billion dollar franchise lost to the basement?? WTF??) so there is no "minor cleanup" as many scenes had one or more components that had to be digitally recreated from CGI or alternate back stock.

Remember too, FOX owns the RIGHTS to distribute, but not an actual copy of the working prints to do any "cleanup" on. They don't have a right to edit, just reprint the Media they already got.

So FOX owns "Star Wars: Han Shot First"? (2)

billstewart (78916) | about 5 months ago | (#46968425)

I've been annoyed that I haven't been able to see the original movie since it was first in theaters back in the 70s; SW4:ANH just isn't the same thing.

Re:At least there's hope . . . (5, Insightful)

bitt3n (941736) | about 5 months ago | (#46968561)

Man, how do you mess up Star Wars?!

It must really annoy Lucas to hear people ask this even after he produced a detailed three-part instructional video on the subject.

kayseri evden eve nakliyat (-1, Offtopic)

Resul Dursun Kayseride Nakliyat (3582581) | about 5 months ago | (#46967809)

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what? (-1, Redundant)

DogSqueeze (3592869) | about 5 months ago | (#46967823)

While technological advances have reduced the price tag for such an endeavour, lawyers will keep it expensive.

I don't even understand what that means... Hans shot first, so what? Why are lawyers and corporate entities involved in this?!??! I'm so confused :(

Re:what? (1)

sjwt (161428) | about 5 months ago | (#46967855)

I would tell you why, but if you didn't read the summary which has the answer, or the linked article I doubt you will read it again when I repost it..

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46967871)

Read to the bottom of the summary. It's only 8 sentences long.

Despecialized Editions (5, Informative)

crow (16139) | about 5 months ago | (#46967841)

If you look around, there has been a fantastic fan effort to create the Despecialized Editions that are as close to the original theatrical runs as possible for the original trilogy. They've mixed in the HD sources for the current releases with older footage to undo all the changes. It's pretty amazing.

Re:Despecialized Editions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46967879)

How many bloody versions of the movie do there need to be?

Is it not time to move on and make new stories in different universes?

There Can Be Only One (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#46967969)

How many bloody versions of the movie do there need to be?

There only needs to be one. It's just that no-one has yet made it fully in HD yet.

We buy some of the others to get a close approximation.

Re:There Can Be Only One (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968103)

How many bloody versions of the movie do there need to be?

Well, let's see, how many morons are there out there that will buy the version that has an extra 45 seconds of interviews in it when it releases for $5 more?

And how many idiots after that will buy the version with the special limited edition slipcover when it releases 2 months later for $10 more?

And then the Criterion collection that released 6 months later for $20 more..

In short, to answer your question, there will never be enough versions as long as people keep buying them up in droves.

Re:There Can Be Only One (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968147)

Eh, Star Wars has become like Star Trek of the 90s... so much content, so many versions, so close to being shut down completely. Until someone reboots the whole thing.

Re:There Can Be Only One (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 5 months ago | (#46968437)

I don't need to see it in HDTV. I'd gladly go to a theater to watch the original Star Wars movie again.

Re:Despecialized Editions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968029)

nerds are learning how to edit and make videos by trying to make HD remastered versions of the original, this is not a bad thing

Re: Despecialized Editions (5, Informative)

Spottywot (1910658) | about 5 months ago | (#46967993)

Harmys despecialized editions can be found here http://originaltrilogy.com/for... [originaltrilogy.com] This site invites you to create an account to get access to the torrent link, but the torrents for all three movies should be quite easy to find on the usual torrent trackers. They are all great quality hd versions with the original soundtracks. Happy hunting, with no need for Disney to intervene.

Re: Despecialized Editions (5, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about 5 months ago | (#46968257)

Just as an FYI followup to this, Harmy has been working on the despecialized editions for years, so there are a few different versions hanging around. The latest version is v2.5. The improvements in quality from his first release to his most recent release are huge.

He also did preliminary attempts at Empire and Jedi, but he only did a rough first pass on those, so the work on them is nowhere near the quality of his work on Star Wars. He plans to revisit Empire and Jedi once he's satisfied with the original.

Re:Despecialized Editions (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 months ago | (#46968275)

For my money, the Jabba palace CGI song and dance number is really the only unwatchable edit though. The Han shooting first thing is just funny (though not in a good way.) The dialogue was always ridiculous.

But that fucking dancing singing alien... Jesus... Someone should have really called Lucas out on that.

Re:Despecialized Editions (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#46968511)

No one watches Star Wars for dialogue. At least no one with a functioning Brocca's region.

Re:Despecialized Editions (4, Insightful)

PRMan (959735) | about 5 months ago | (#46968649)

Han shooting first shows just what kind of a dangerous scoundrel the Rebels have to rely on. It's the beginning of his character journey from rogue to respectable.

If he starts out semi-respectable, it weakens his character development a great deal.

Holy legalese crap Batman (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#46967853)

It turns out 20th Century Fox still owns distribution rights to the Star Wars films. Because of complex and irritating legal reasons, Disney was not able to acquire those as well. Thus, Disney will have to get Fox's approval and probably cut Fox in for some of the profits, if they were to re-release the series.

If that's what happens when a studio buys something, I don't want to see the mess involved for Netflix to acquire streaming rights for different countries.

Re:Holy legalese crap Batman (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#46968051)

If that's what happens when a studio buys something, I don't want to see the mess involved for Netflix to acquire streaming rights for different countries.

Yes, it generally is. I was amused by this quote in OP:

Because of complex and irritating legal reasons, Disney was not able to acquire those as well.

Well, boo-hoo. Disney is perhaps most famous for its own injection of "complex and irritating legal reasons" into their own contracts. Who are they to complain?

Re:Holy legalese crap Batman (2)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#46968113)

fox put up the original cash so they own the distribution rights

most movies cost so much to make you have different investors involved and everyone shares the different rights

Re:Holy legalese crap Batman (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 5 months ago | (#46968761)

Although I'd love to invest in a movie personally.

Have you seen the return on a average movie? Incredible! Better than a term deposit.

Look for a good Fan Edit (5, Informative)

grub (11606) | about 5 months ago | (#46967867)


There are some very well done Fan Edits which take footage from various versions of the film and create a fan-friendly version. Han shoots first, no CGI Jabba the Hutt, etc.
You can often spot the differences when they went from HD to a DVD or Laserdisc source to keep the story true to the original, but that's part of the fun.

Re:Look for a good Fan Edit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968183)

I rented the 2nd discs of the first two movies, which IIRC were ripped from laserdisc, from Netflix a few years ago and frankly I'd be happy if they just re-released those. Sure, a fancy updated graphics anamorphic whattzadingy would be great for those with the 40"-plus TVs, but they were good enough for me. I have to think from a business perspective it makes sense since they'd be so inexpensive to produce, and especially with it being Disney they'd be comfortable doing the fancy limited-time restoration release a few years down the road to double-dip from customers.

Re:Look for a good Fan Edit (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 5 months ago | (#46968271)

The better edits (like Harmy's Despecialized Edition) are done at a sub-frame level, rotoscoping in original elements from the highest quality available sources. The bluray is the base, the somewhat less "specialized" HDTV rips are used after that, and then from there anything goes. Upscaled DVDs, magazine scans, cell scans, 35mm print scans... After years of effort on them, you can't really tell where the "seams" are, except in the handful of most difficult edits.

Re:Look for a good Fan Edit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968753)

Don't forget: in the original Star Wars, Han didn't shoot first; Han shot ONLY.

Greedo never got a shot off.

Copyright term (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46967869)

Let me guess: the edits were made to have an extended copyright term on the movies

all the guys named bambi please raise your mouses (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46967915)

or just click, or wave & smile,,, any thumpers? mice?

Fuck You George Lucas... (1)

segedunum (883035) | about 5 months ago | (#46967917)

That is all.

These are not the version you're looking for (1)

indybob (2731135) | about 5 months ago | (#46967921)

With the Jedi gesture...These are not the version you're looking for... Di$ney want easy, quick and a lot of money. Sorry, they will put all their force in the new episode VII.

Cut 'em in - do y'allll hate money?? (3, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#46967955)

Who cares if Fox has to be cut in, does Disney not really care about the results $3B in profit that would result from a HD recoversions of the untouched original?

I think it's great there's any hope at all, from the headline I thought Lucas burned the originals.

Re:Cut 'em in - do y'allll hate money?? (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 5 months ago | (#46968191)

It's called negotiating. The question is not, "Would you like half of $3 billion?" The question is "What percentage of $3 billion would you like?"

And the best leverage Disney has is to play the "It's my ball and I'm going home if you don't want to play by my rules" routine.

Re:Cut 'em in - do y'allll hate money?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968325)

Some sources claim that he irreversibly destroyed them when making the special editions. We don't know for sure whether that's the case or not.

Re:Cut 'em in - do y'allll hate money?? (1)

dkf (304284) | about 5 months ago | (#46968399)

Some sources claim that he irreversibly destroyed them when making the special editions. We don't know for sure whether that's the case or not.

Some sources claim that everything was irreversibly destroyed with the creation of Jar Jar...

Its time to move on (-1, Flamebait)

Xel (84370) | about 5 months ago | (#46967959)

Like it or not, George Lucas never wanted Han to shoot first. He made it the way he wanted it, and that's the end. Maybe we should all get over it.

Re:Its time to move on (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 5 months ago | (#46968143)

Like it or not, George Lucas never wanted Han to shoot first. He made it the way he wanted it, and that's the end. Maybe we should all get over it.

After making billions off the franchise, the man decides to make a rather drastic change to an original scene in some vain attempt to secure a level of morality that was in question for all of 60 seconds out of hours of Han Solo's screentime.

And decides to make this change... thirty fucking years later.

And you're telling us, to get over it?

Oh, that's fucking rich.

Re:Its time to move on (1, Insightful)

Xel (84370) | about 5 months ago | (#46968185)

Well... It bothered him, and he changed it when he was able to. If bothers the rest of the internet, and all they can do it bitch about it, forever. So yeah, I do think you need to get over it. Go take a break, drink some blue milk, then come back and look at the anger in your own comment, and think about things you're allowing to get under your skin.

Re:Its time to move on (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 5 months ago | (#46968403)

Well... It bothered him, and he changed it when he was able to. If bothers the rest of the internet, and all they can do it bitch about it, forever. So yeah, I do think you need to get over it. Go take a break, drink some blue milk, then come back and look at the anger in your own comment, and think about things you're allowing to get under your skin.

Uh, changed it when he was able to?

There's a word to describe where the following of the franchise elevated to after 20 years.

Cult.

Once it rises to that level, it's best to not screw with things. Even if you are the man.

On top of that, I'm certain other directors, musicians, or actors have had regret or embarrassment about previous works, and would like to change the past. But they don't, and know why they shouldn't. Filmmaking contains a certain element of preservation. To capture the time and era the film came out in, and leave all nuances intact. Yet another reason why film colorization for classic films is more often rejected than not.

Honestly, Lucas disrespected his own work as an artist and a director by changing it. It would be akin to Paul McCartney wanting to change the lyrics on the White Album decades later because he's had a political change of heart (ironically I'm talking about the man who wrote "Let it Be"). Any backlash Lucas gets is deserved.

Re:Its time to move on (1)

Xel (84370) | about 5 months ago | (#46968471)

Filmmaking contains a certain element of preservation. To capture the time and era the film came out in, and leave all nuances intact.

So how do you feel about the aforementioned and highly lauded fan cuts? Why is it okay for fans to make edits, but not the original creator? I seem to remember the praise the internet had for other editors, such as Topher Grace, when he re-cut the prequel trilogy, and people were rabid about wishing to see it. Or the endless reappropriation of Disney princesses into other forms of art, or Garfield Without Garfield, or Nietzsche Family Circus, or I could go on...

Where is the line between re-editing, and reappropriation, and why is it okay for some people but not others? I'm genuinely wondering. Perhaps people were bitter because they felt that Lucas was cashing in again?

Re:Its time to move on (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 5 months ago | (#46968509)

Filmmaking contains a certain element of preservation. To capture the time and era the film came out in, and leave all nuances intact.

So how do you feel about the aforementioned and highly lauded fan cuts? Why is it okay for fans to make edits, but not the original creator? I seem to remember the praise the internet had for other editors, such as Topher Grace, when he re-cut the prequel trilogy, and people were rabid about wishing to see it. Or the endless reappropriation of Disney princesses into other forms of art, or Garfield Without Garfield, or Nietzsche Family Circus, or I could go on...

Where is the line between re-editing, and reappropriation, and why is it okay for some people but not others? I'm genuinely wondering. Perhaps people were bitter because they felt that Lucas was cashing in again?

The main aforementioned "cut" in question relates to fans attempting to piece together an HD (or near-HD) version of the movie that is merely as intact as the original release.

Attempting to un-fuck the directors own doctoring is not exactly a "fan cut" as compared to any other editing done for any other reason. Bootleg live recordings are popular among fans too, but they also still appreciate the original..to the point of society even reverting back to vinyl recordings these days oddly enough.

People were bitter simply because an original work was changed. Cashing in, settling a bet, religious indifference, whatever...the reason behind the change, even if it was to reverse some original intent, did not matter. For many, it's simply a matter of artistic integrity. That's it.

And you don't even have to be a Star Wars fan to see that.

Re:Its time to move on (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 5 months ago | (#46968585)

The difference is like the difference between someone doing a Garfield as the Mona Lisa [megamonalisa.com] vs. the Louvre having someone repaint the smile on the original.

One is making a play on a part of our culture. The other is trying to rewrite our culture. The law may allow Lucas to do this, but it doesn't make it morally right.

Re:Its time to move on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968281)

to make a rather drastic change to an original scene

Frankly, I didn't think it was that important of a scene.

Re:Its time to move on (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968381)

You really need to stop and think about your life. You are getting angry and outraged over movies that were released more than 30 years ago.
Yes - Lucas made billions off *his* movie. You watched the movie. That is the end of his obligation to you or any other O2-wastin' sperg out there.

Re:Its time to move on (2)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 5 months ago | (#46968241)

Like it or not, George Lucas never wanted Han to shoot first.

1977 Lucas did, and wrote the script [imsdb.com] and made the film that way. The guy who changed the film, 1997 Lucas, had the edge and artistic integrity that 1977 Lucas had.

It's unfortunate that 1997 Lucas can screw with the work of 1977 Lucas.

Maybe we should all get over it.

Or maybe we should try to preserve a work of art against the deprivations of corporate scum, and of screenwriters and directors who lose their talent.

Re:Its time to move on (2)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#46968497)

Evidence suggests he did, he just tried to retcon the real world with that claim.

Besides, it no longer matters what he wants, the story is now part of culture.

And this is why copyright laws are fscked up (-1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 5 months ago | (#46967983)

Perpetual rights? shouldn't be... Ep IV was released in 1976, that's about *40* years ago...

Re:And this is why copyright laws are fscked up (2)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#46968225)

OMG, like no other scifi movies have been released during this whole time

Obligatory (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about 5 months ago | (#46967997)

In Soviet Russia, Khena Solo shot first!

Honestly, who cares? (0, Troll)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about 5 months ago | (#46968005)

I'm sure this will get modded as Troll, but of all the things to get worked up about, this seems pretty unimportant. Given all the things of actual significance going on in the world right now (NSA/GCHQ/everyone_else spying, erosion of civil liberties, widening wealth gap, ever increasing police powers, etc.), why is this so all-important? Let it go and fix the world around you - it needs it more.

Honestly, can't walk and chew bubble gum? (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about 5 months ago | (#46968043)

NSA/GCHQ/everyone_else spying, erosion of civil liberties, widening wealth gap, ever increasing police powers, etc.

Why are you worried about police powers when the NSA is spying on the electronic communications of the entire planet? Since this is we-can-only-pay-attention-to-one-thing-at-a-time month, or something.

Re:Honestly, can't walk and chew bubble gum? (1)

shoor (33382) | about 5 months ago | (#46968065)

Why worry about this kind of stuff when so much worse is going on? Maybe it's a good way to practice for the bigger stuff. Somebody starts out fretting about overdone 'intellectual property' for their favorite movie, then later, they're ready to take on something bigger. (Or maybe they become jaded and cynical and ask 'why bother', who knows?)

Re:Honestly, who cares? (2)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 5 months ago | (#46968177)

I don't think you're troll, but I also think it's OK to get worked up about unimportant stuff some of the time. We can't always be serious and entertainment is an important outlet for people. You can get worked up about trivial stuff one day and important stuff another: it's just part of being well rounded, I think. What bugs me, however, is why all this fuss about Star Wars. The movies were good when I was a 10 year old. Now they are unwatchable and boring to me. When I see them now, I think "mediocre children's movie" and I can't understand the fuss they generate. It's not like I find kid's/family movies beneath me, either: I loved How To Train Your Dragon, Up, Wall-E, The Princess Bride, Stardust, Coraline, and The Corpse Bride. Those are just off the top of my head.

Re:Honestly, who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968483)

So true. Watch the first movie (IV) again. It's terrible. Even the actors don't understand why they're delivering those cheesy lines.
It's basically a farm boy to hero 'quest' that ticks the box for every fantasy trope. That's why it's fun and satisfying - it's the cinematic equivalent of greasy, fast food.

Re:Honestly, who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968747)

So true. Watch the first movie (IV) again. It's terrible. Even the actors don't understand why they're delivering those cheesy lines.
It's basically a farm boy to hero 'quest' that ticks the box for every fantasy trope. That's why it's fun and satisfying - it's the cinematic equivalent of greasy, fast food.

Depends the language you watch the film in. Unfortunately for Star Wars the original actors are quite mediocre. The Spanish and Italian dubs are vastly superior to the original performances and manage to elevate the film from mediocre to actually good.
Star Wars is a nice film, and I like it a lot for only one reason. It was the first film I saw at the theater. And although I don't remember the original dialog because I was only 6 years old, the images and sound made a fabulous impression on me.
And I've been a fan ever since (of the first film). The other 2 sequels never really interested me that much and by the time ROTJ came out I saw it only to complete the trilogy but by that time I couldn't give a rat's ass about it. For me Star Wars will always be the first film independent from any other. Where Darth Vader is a villain who KILLED Luke's father. None of this "from a certain point of view bullshit" and retconning that went on in TESB and ROTJ.

Disney & Fox: I will pay $300 for it (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968067)

Do you have any idea how much money people are willing to pay for a faithfully restored version of the original trilogy??? Do you???

Re:Disney & Fox: I will pay $300 for it (1)

seededfury (699094) | about 5 months ago | (#46968313)

I'd buy that for a dollar.

Re:Disney & Fox: I will pay $300 for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968423)

Do you have any idea how much money people are willing to pay for a faithfully restored version of the original trilogy??? Do you???

10 $ maybe ? And I'm being generous.

Re:Disney & Fox: I will pay $300 for it (1)

westlake (615356) | about 5 months ago | (#46968951)

Do you have any idea how much money people are willing to pay for a faithfully restored version of the original trilogy???

I haven't got a clue and I doubt that you have either.

I don't see anything happening until Disney's take on Star Wars is solidly anchored and begins to rival its success with Marvel Comics.

Get some diplomacy going then! (3, Insightful)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 5 months ago | (#46968089)

I along with plenty of other people would gladly pay an obscene price for a blu-ray copy of the original, untainted trilogy. Star Wars fandom aside, this is really something that needs to be done for the sake of preserving history. Few films if any have had the kind of cultural impact that these movies did. George Lucas has astounded me with his level of selfishness and lack of empathy when it comes to this. Plenty of other films have created director's cuts and whatnot, some of which needed it because they were originally ruined by last-minute editing, but they also preserved the theatrical release along with them. I have no doubt that there are plenty of movies that Lucas loves and would be furious if their creators came along and started making ridiculous changes because they didn't turn out how they wanted. Everyone knows he protested against colorizing black and white films in the 80s. What a hypocrite. Nothing turns out just the way you originally plan. That is often how good things come about in the first place; by accident. The only thing he has proven is that if the original movies had turned out the way he wanted, they would have been awful.

Fox should get nothin! (2)

Sri Ramkrishna (1856) | about 5 months ago | (#46968095)

Especially after their actions in the Firefly debacle.

Re:Fox should get nothin! (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 5 months ago | (#46968277)

20th Century Fox had nothing to do with Firefly, any more than the company that made your refrigerator made nuclear bombs. Different companies with a shared owner.

Re:Fox should get nothin! (1)

Sri Ramkrishna (1856) | about 5 months ago | (#46968291)

Ah, well. Thanks for pointing that out.

Fine (5, Informative)

Greyfox (87712) | about 5 months ago | (#46968119)

Can they give us an HD Wookie Life Day Christmas Special?

I'm contractually obliged to mention this in every Star Wars thread on the Internet.

It's not "Han shoots FIRST"! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | about 5 months ago | (#46968129)

First implies an order.

An order implies there is more than one.

Han doesn't shoot *FIRST*, Han shoots.

There is no "first," because there is no "second."

There is no "second" because Greedo doesn't shoot at all.

Stop with "Han shoots first" - start with "Greedo never shoots".

Re:It's not "Han shoots FIRST"! (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 5 months ago | (#46968263)

My favorite version was the "Director's JFK Cut", where Han, like John F. Kennedy, shot himself.

Re:It's not "Han shoots FIRST"! (1)

aix tom (902140) | about 5 months ago | (#46968491)

Wasn't that the "Tikka to Ride" [youtube.com] version?

Thinking about it, the BBC should to a Star Wars / Red Dwarf Crossover. ;-)

Re:It's not "Han shoots FIRST"! (2)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 5 months ago | (#46968285)

First implies an order.

First can also imply pre-emption. A nuclear first strike, for example, is intended to knock out the other guy's arsenal so that there is no counter, no second attack.

First can mean "before some other thing, event, etc.: If you're going, phone first." [reference.com] Or "[b]efore or above all others in time, order, rank, or importance: arrived first; forgot to light the oven first." [thefreedictionary.com] . Or "[b]efore anything else; firstly. Clean the sink first, before you even think of starting to cook. [wiktionary.org] .

"Han shot first" is quite grammatically correct.

Re:It's not "Han shoots FIRST"! (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 months ago | (#46968303)

I always thought of it as referencing the fact that in the original, Han only appears to be talking to buy time to shoot Greedo, his first instinct is "Murder my way out of this problem." IE "Han shoots first, [asks questions later.]"

Re:It's not "Han shoots FIRST"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968643)

I like your thinking on this. In particular, I can imagine this logic useful in the following scenario:

Anonymous Freak is standing on a street corner minding his own business.

Maladjusted and just plain old 'onery AC comes walking up to him and savagely punches him in the face, knocking Anonymous Freak to the ground.

Just as Anonymous Freak slowly rises to his feet, preparing to defend himself from further blows, Peace Officer Smith comes running and steps in between AC and AF.

Peace Officer Smith says, "All right, enough fighting! Now tell me, who was it that threw the first punch?"

AC says, "I did not throw the first punch."

Anonymous Freak says reluctantly, "He's right"

Re:It's not "Han shoots FIRST"! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968661)

Han shoots Greedo before Greedo can shoot him.

That's called shooting first in the common usage.

this is old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968195)

Greedo never shot.....NEVER

Move on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968233)

Seriously. Who gives a shit? Just buy the originals, if this obsession about the 'purity' of a fucking space movie matters so much.

xkGoat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968255)

For *BSD because a conscious stand the ggodwill Shitheads. *BSD

Han shot (2)

greenwow (3635575) | about 5 months ago | (#46968279)

He didn't shoot first. Saying he shot first implies there was a second shot. There wasn't.

Moderators are newfags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968323)

Apparently they're not old enough to remember the original since they disagree with you.

Remember kids, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968287)

Nobody gives a flying fuck except anal nerds.

- Anal Nerd

Ask Fox not Disney. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968341)

I would think that since Fox has the rights to distribute the movies; they are who should ask to do so. There are three possible reasons why they haven't release the Original Theatrical Versions.
1. Lucas and now Disney has the right to veto any distribution of the film.
2. Fox didn't want to jeopardize future Lucas-film distribution rights by upsetting George. No longer a problem.
3. They simple don't have the video rights to Original Theatrical Version or have some how promised George that they wouldn't They only have the movie rights.
Also Fox might not want to release the films because they would make royalties for Disney and/or Fox's part of the royalties is just too small.
Most of these are just matter of sorting out the royalties and legalities which might never happen.
Another Factor is that Disney may be dragging it's heels until it get close to release a New Star Wars Movie because it wants to use the release of the theatrical version as tie in to the new film. I pray that's whats going on.

Re:Ask Fox not Disney. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46968433)

There is also another possible reason :

Neither Fox nor Disney give a flying fuck about the original unmodified star wars trilogy.

Just get on with it (1)

Art3x (973401) | about 5 months ago | (#46968363)

Disney will have to get Fox's approval and probably cut Fox in for some of the profits, if they were to re-release the series.

First, why hasn't Fox put out DVDs or Blu-rays themselves?

Second, why would Disney scoff at such a deal? Even minus some to Fox, Disney would make a lot of money.

The originals in high resolution would be snatched up, both by fans who just like them that way and by collectors who deem first things higher.

Too bad it's not Paramount (1)

BaronM (122102) | about 5 months ago | (#46968641)

After seeing what Paramount did with the Blu-Ray release of the original Star Trek, there might actually have been hope that they would put out a proper restoration of the originals, possibly with selectable audio mixes and VFX.

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