I've just started the classic "1984." And already I can't turn my brain off from drawing parallels with our own situation and those found in this book.
Let me read to you chapter one, section IV (page 40):
"As soon as all the corrections which happen to be necessary in any particular number of the Times [newspaper]...that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs..."
Sound familiar? Oh it gets even more specific:
"Books, also, were recalled and rewritten again and again, and were invariably reissued without any admission that any alteration had been made."
I'm sorry, but that is just frightening. Already this book is scaring me and to find such distinct parallels with our situation is unnerving. Our fight for the originals goes much more beyond "nerd purism." Too many people have rolled with the "improvements" Lucas has made. They accept it at face value and claim we all just bitch too much. Big Brother has spoken and they all nod their heads, and like a parrot squawk out "Original vision, original vision, wawk! He-who!"
Remember, this fight is about preserving cinema history. It always starts out small, but this could grow to more and more movies and soon we'll be left with nothing but X-Treem Gone with the Wind! full of lasers and northern aggressor cyborgs.
I have no problems with alterations, retractions, or corrections. Lucas can alter his movies till the cows come home. But when he denies that the originals never even existed (Lucas interview: "These are the films I want out there. The originals don't exist any more for me."), and refuses to let the originals see the light of day, then we start to get into some problems. (See also, Song of the South)
I am convinced even more now to buy the DVDs in September. Not in any real hope that a better HD disc will be out there someday, but because I don’t want to loose the movies that I love so much before Big Brother makes any more alterations to them.