Lucasfilm confirms ROTJ Blu-ray change to NYT

As I said on Twitter earlier: Oh dear. Lucasfilm tells The New York Times’ Dave Itzkoff that the Blu-Ray release will indeed contain one of the rumored changes to Return of the Jedi: “Darth says NO.”


Man, this is heavy. Let’s have a laugh. (via)

These types of changes aren’t going to make me hate Star Wars, or go all ranty on it. But I don’t think this improves the films, or adds to the moment in any way. To quote @LaneWinree: “The quiet understatement of that scene is what made it for me. Perfect illustration of ‘show, don’t tell.’”

This is not exactly our first ride on this particular merry-go-round, and I’m not going to not get the Blu-rays, or decry Star Wars and George Lucas entirely. I’m just… disappointed.

But, here’s another handy quote, from @Blankitout: “It shouldn’t be too hard to comprehend that things that aren’t important to you can be important to other people. Respect their feelings.” We’re big fans of respect around here.

23 thoughts on “Lucasfilm confirms ROTJ Blu-ray change to NYT

  1. Josh

    Well, I for one will NOT be buying the Blu-rays!

    Of course, I don’t have a Blu-ray player, but that’s besides the point… :P

    Reply
  2. Stooge

    Aside from my general “who cares?” attitude, I suppose it’s worth remembering that the ESB:SE had Luke Skywalker scream his wussiest scream when he fell down the Cloud City shaft. But GL rethought it and dumped the scream for the DVDs. Things can always change back.

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  3. BethD

    Why? I loved that scene just as it is. Even with that mask on, you could still feel Vader’s struggle, and sense his pain at watching Luke dying. His silence spoke volumes. What a silly change to make.

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  4. MattDoc

    Is it lame? Yup.
    Does it actually hurt the scene? Sure looks like it. Does it make me worry about other similar changes that we just haven’t heard about yet? Kinda.
    Ultimately, do I really care? Meh. Not really. Kind of over it already.

    Reply
  5. Michael Falkner

    I wasn’t buying this set in the first place. Edits like this will make me turn down even a free copy.

    I’ve been supportive of edits in the past because I felt that George Lucas was trying to tie together the story with pieces that he wasn’t able to put in for some reason in the past. This one isn’t poetic or moving or inspirational. The sheer power of the scene is the *silence* of Vader’s inner turmoil as he accepts his role as the Chosen One and saves his son.

    This edit destroys the epic nature of that scene in my opinion.

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  6. Sean

    I want to Ewoks to speek English in the next version. Kids just don’t understand all those grunts and growls. Also, could we simplify some of the big words the characters say? Kids today just don’t have the same vocabulary. Also, we need to digitally fix all those awful 70s haircuts.

    Seriously though, I wish Lucas would just re-make these films. I’d rather see him completely re-imagine them that just keep picking at what he has.

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  7. Jonny Bo-Bonny

    The way I feel about these edits are exactly the same way I feel about the director’s cut of Donnie Darko – The original magic of the movie caught me, and was just fine. I remember the music being perfect, and the casting and dialogue simple and up to interpretation. Filling in the gaps is just over-producing, and I think takes away from what captured our 20/30 something year old hearts. Having to constantly add and update is reflective of our Facebooking-over-anxious society.

    So will it be worth a watch? Yub-nub.
    Do I NEED to own it? Nub.
    Is it worth 200 bucks? Hell nub.

    Reply
  8. Josh

    “Also, we need to digitally fix all those awful 70s haircuts.”

    Mark Hamill did once say that the only thing George needed to update was Luke’s haircut…

    Reply
  9. jawajames

    really.. it’s the Emperor who should be shouting “Nooooo!” as he minds not the gap.

    when i first heard of this, i dismissed it as rumor, but now that it’s verified, sigh. i don’t like it. it doesn’t ruin the movie for me, but i liked Vader acting in silence, with the score setting the mood.

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  10. Doyle

    I’m beginning to feel that George Lucas is just incredibly insecure as an artist. He feels the need to tweak the films and re-tweak them, again and again and again, until they are Just Right. Until they are Perfect. The problem is that they were already perfect in their original release, in the versions that we all first fell in love with…but George hasn’t found his perfect version yet, and with each new release I have a growing concern that he’s just one of those people who is so insecure in their own work that they can never really let it go.

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  11. Jason Ward

    Darth Vader’s story is riffing on Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The politics of the day, with pressure from both the Jedi and the Sith are what make Anakin into the monster he becomes. Both, like Frankenstein, meet their demise because of this creation they share a responsibility for bringing into existence. The Monster rages over the desire and death of a mate, much like Anakin/Vader does as well.

    In telling this story, Lucas took the homage to the next level and directly riffed on the mythical visual Monster in the Frankenstein story. It was over the top, he knew that and admitted that before ever shot it. He wasn’t hoping for a different result. He got exactly what he wanted when he shot that.

    In that scene, as it plays now, Lucas brings us back to the Monster moment that defined Darth Vader’s existence but instead now, like The Monster in Frankenstein, he is killing himself rather living as the monstrosity he is and has become. By taking us back to that scene in Revenge of the Sith, he is clearly showing us that Anakin has only felt this impassioned about anything since the death of his wife and he is willing to die and stop it from ever happening again. By vocalizing it, the intention of the linking is played out. I’m not saying original intent, which is meaningless. I’m talking about the intent behind the return of the Jedi through this act of salvation.

    Thematically it is spot on. The execution is spot on as well. I see this inclusion as justifiable and thematically and frankly, it’s an enhancement to Anakin saving his son and ending the reign of terror the Sith have brought upon the galaxy and restoring the Jedi as peaceful protectors of the galaxy.

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  12. Bardan Jussik

    I like that you’ve thought this much about it Jason and you make a valid point which I agree with. However it still sounds a tad lame. That being said we are not getting it in the entire context of the film, I’d imagine it’ll come across a bit different when I watch the entire film. I hope…

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  13. kataja

    At least in theory, I approve of changes that are maid because the technique at the point of filming wasn’t at level with the vision. But Vader screaming “Noooo” should hardly belong to that category…
    Disappointed… yes… That’s the word.

    jawajames: maybe we get them both screaming Nooo in the next release… Or maybe Palps could go: Nooo and Vader go: yeesss…? The possibilites are endless – as is the list of releases as tehcnology advances…

    Reply
  14. ImperialGirl

    Jason–it still sounds ridiculous. It sounded stupid in Revenge of the Sith, and it will still sound stupid. Sean is right in his sarcasm, we don’t need to be spoon-fed. (And yes, the shout-out to Frankenstein is clear, but while that was fine for its day it’s hopelessly hokey and stagey now.)

    Reply
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  16. Sean

    Doyle: I don’t think Lucas is insecure about his films, I think he just dosn’t take them very seriously. I don’t think he even really thinks much about them. I’m a filmmaker and I don’t generally enjoy watching my old stuff. I get the feeling Lucas just makes changes because he can, and in this case I think he just thought, hey, the kids who watch Clone Wars will understand this scene better if I add a “no.”

    Reply

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