‘Star Wars, Blu-Ray and a Boycott’:-
Why did so many fans boycott the Blu-Ray release of the Star Wars saga?
https://www.ourgazebo.net/star-wars-blu-ray-and-a-boycott.html - a 2011 article
"As most everyone knows, the Blu-Ray version of the Star Wars Saga will be released in 6 days. Many people have recently canceled their pre-orders now that the disc contents are known. The news is abuzz about the widespread outcry, especially against one particular change: Darth Vader now saying “No!” twice as he throws the emperor to his death in the climactic scene of Return of the Jedi. While that is proving to be the final straw for many people in their decision not to purchase this set (as one blogger eloquently explains in this post ) it is certainly not the only issue with this release. There are many other technical and aesthetic issues . This has led to a movement to boycott this release.
The Amazon product page is the site of a heated debate . It is being deluged with angry 1-star reviews by people boycotting the release, accompanied by retorts from some people posting 5-star reviews in support of the Blu-Ray release and expressing disdain toward those who are complaining about it. These people for the most part feel that the complaints are nitpicky and not worthy of serious consideration. However, I believe they are worthy of serious consideration.
There are two main problems people have with this Blu-Ray release:
First, people are being asked to pay $90 for a product that has myriad technical flaws, things that should have been corrected regardless of what movie it is. These are a distraction and shoddy workmanship.
Second, changes are continually being made to the substance of the movies without offering the originals. Many movies get doctored by their directors. But when this is done, it should be and usually is done concurrently with a careful restoration and release of the original version in the best possible quality. But in this case it’s not. And that is what the boycott, and this article, is mostly about.
The owner of SaveStarWars.com makes an excellent point about this: "…none of this would be an issue if the originals—and the previous special editions, for those now crossing over—were available in high definition. We could just shake our heads at Lucas when we thought he made a stupid decision, say “well, I wouldn’t have done that,” and then watched the version we liked, whether it was the original theatrical version, or the 1997 version, or the ones from 2004 and 2011. It wouldn’t matter if we liked a change or not, or which version was “right”, we could just agree to disagree and be happy with the version that Lucas gave us that spoke to us the most. The way every other film with multiple versions—Blade Runner, Alien, Lord of the Rings, Close Encounters, etc—has been treated. Lucas is so narcissistic about suppressing the older and original versions of the films, as though they no longer exist, that he has brought the heat on himself. And, unfortunately, he has opened up a lot of rifts in the fan community that really should not exist in the first place. We all love Star Wars, but it has so many versions, sequels and permutations that it is inevitable that we all never agree on one single, absolute Gospel canon the way Lucas wants: there’s too much radical variation.
The only way things will be good is if we can each have the one we fell in love with, because we all fell in love with different variations at different years for different reasons. When you create something as big as Star Wars, you sort of have an ethical mandate to do this, to protect a cultural artifact and make sure it is seen and treated with respect. As Lucas himself said : “American works of art belong to the public; they are part of our cultural history.” I hope one day Lucas can drink his own medicine so we can all just get along."
“Some people have the impression that the desire to preserve original films is unreasonable and/or just a weak peep from a small minority of over-the-hill geeks, but it’s the stance taken by the AFI, the National Film Registry (which Lucas had a big hand in creating), the Film Foundation (Lucas is on the Board of Directors) and the Library of Congress. It is a widely recognized principle and one that Lucas is a huge supporter of, even, so he says, with regard to Star Wars. “Lucas, a proponent of film preservation, has said recently that he would like to restore the originals but can’t pay for it, even though he is a billionaire. Yet when an outside organization from the federal government bodies of film preservation [National Film Registry] offer to foot the bill in the meantime, what does Lucas do? Try to get them to take the Special Edition,” which the NFR refused to do. ( Full story here .) The Guardian wrote about this principle here with regard to the Star Wars Blu-Ray release. So it’s not just a closet idea… and clearly money is not the true reason Lucas doesn’t want the originals released.
The fact that Lucas continually makes changes to the Star Wars movies while not preserving the originals for viewing, frankly is reprehensible both as an artist and as a businessman, regardless of whether one feels the movie was actually ‘improved upon.’ What would the reaction be if the Tower of Pisa were straightened, or Mona Lisa’s face touched up to smile a little more, or Mickey was given brown fur, or countless other famous and beloved historical icons were tampered with beyond mere maintenance, either by their creators or by others? Star Wars was nominated for 11 Academy Awards in 1977 and won 7 of them, and the Star Wars saga is beloved the world over. As the most successful film series in all of film history, Star Wars is a historical treasure and global icon that should be treated with the same respect that it and those who love it deserve.”
The above article is well worth a read in its full form, with url links for useful infomration throughout the piece. It was recently posted in this engaging thread:-
Is it Lucas, or Fox, who has prevented the restored OOT release?