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The 1997 SE's - My take

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Hey all,

Since I'm new around here I thought I'd sum up my feelings on the changes to the films at the outset. Now, I don't mind the idea of changing the films, as long as the originals are always available as well. As many have said, they're Lucas's films and he can do what he wants to them, he is free to have Ahmed Best redo Vader's voice and paint the Emperor in clown make-up for all I care, just as long as the originals are preserved too. So, without further ado, here is my change-by-change breakdown:

Star Wars

1. Dewbacks on Tatooine

I don’t see the point in this. The CGI creature is just an attention-grabber, and pulls you out of the film.

2. Entering Mos Eisley

Whilst I can understand Lucas’s motivation for changing this scene, I don’t think it was pulled off too well. Too much comedy, and again, too many attention-grabbing additions. Also, am I the only one who thinks that the landspeeder actually looked more realistic before the “vaseline force field” was removed from underneath it? The CG’d version just doesn’t look right… I don’t like the hacked and tracked music either.

3. Greedo shoots first

Why, oh why…
If Lucas had always intended to have Greedo shoot first, what was stopping him from shooting it that way in the first place?

4. Jabba the Hutt

I just don’t see the point in this scene at all. Considering that all the info it gives you was previously shared in the Greedo scene, it is utterly redundant. More hacked and tracked music as well, big no-no for me.

5. Escaping from Mos Eisley

I don’t think I would mind changes like this, if it weren’t for the fact that it makes a lot of the other shots look inconsistent.

6. Alderaan

I’m still trying to figure out why Lucas wants Star Wars to look like Star Trek… It’s a pointless change.

7. Stormtrooper multiplication

The scene looks unnatural now, when it was fine the way it was before. If it ain’t broke…

8. Falcon approaches the rebel base

See No. 4

9. Biggs

I don’t mind this one.

10. Battle of Yavin

See No. 4

11. Death Star explosion

See No. 6


The Empire Strikes Back

1. Wampa cave

Hmmm… Let’s see if we can find a way to totally remove all suspense from a scene! Great idea George! This is one of my most despised changes.

2. Removal of matte lines during Hoth battle

I have no problem at all with this one. Changes under the heading of “small fixes” I have no problem with at all.

3. Various small musical changes

I counted three places where Williams’s music was restored to the way it was originally intended – You won’t get any argument from me on those. Good calls.

4. Slave 1 pursues the Falcon

See Star Wars No. 4

5. Arrival at Cloud City

Fairly nice change, but again, inconsistent with other effects shots.

6. Manic cloud-car shot.

There was no reason to follow a cloud-car on it’s journey, other than to show off what could be done effects-wise. Yet another attention-grabber that pulls me out of the film.

7. Cloud city interiors changed

One of the few changes I actually like.

8. Luke’s scream

It worked before the change. But if you are absolutely going to change it, why oh why make it so that Luke borrows the Emperor’s voice? This was so half-assed it’s hard to believe.

9. Vader returns to the Star Destroyer

Jarring musical edits, bad pace, removal of the great “Bring my shuttle!” line, reused footage from Jedi, why oh why???


Return of the Jedi

1. Jedi Rocks

As much as the original scene sucked, at least it was mercifully brief and didn’t try to bring attention to itself. This is just plain terrible. The music is wrong, once again the CG additions are nothing more than attention-grabbers, I detest this scene. Oola falling into the Rancor pit is fairly well executed, but again I have to ask, if Lucas is trying to make the films closer to what he originally intended, why didn’t he just shoot it this way in ’83?

2. The Rancor

I realise that there wasn’t a change here. I just had to point out how silly it seems to change so many things, and yet leave the worst effects shots from the trilogy intact. If you are going to mess around with the classics, the least you can do is turn out something less half-assed than the SE’s.

3. Bantha herd

Meh. No opinion one way or the other.

4. Beak on the Sarlaac

It looks like a sock puppet!

5. Death Star explosion.

I don’t mind the shockwave effect here. It actually looks quite cool with the Falcon escaping in the foreground.

6. The new ending

I was never in love with the ending of Jedi, so I really don’t mind this change too much. While the music still isn’t that great, it’s better than the Ewok “Yub-yub” chorus.

That's just my twopence worth anyways. I'm sure I probably forgot some, but you get the idea.

Great forums btw!
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Originally posted by: dani1138


I was never in love with the ending of Jedi, so I really don’t mind this change too much. While the music still isn’t that great, it’s better than the Ewok “Yub-yub” chorus.




Good thing I'm not alone on this... I never cared for the old song. I feel the new one is actually an improvement.

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While the new song's ok, I don't get the hatrid for "Ewok Celebration". It's barely noticable in the film, with the Ewok singing reserved for the OST(which, like the "Victory Celebration" on the SE OST, was completely different).


Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.

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Originally posted by: bad_karma24
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Originally posted by: dani1138


I was never in love with the ending of Jedi, so I really don’t mind this change too much. While the music still isn’t that great, it’s better than the Ewok “Yub-yub” chorus.




Good thing I'm not alone on this... I never cared for the old song. I feel the new one is actually an improvement.


Yeah, thats one of the things from the special editions I really don't care about.
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Originally posted by: dani1138
9. Biggs

I don’t mind this one.


Welcome aboard, Dani.

Just wanted to point out that while, yes, this is a change from the originals, it's not really classifiable as an SE change since this was footage originally filmed but cut. So, adding it is really just like making a "true" director's cut of a film. It would be the same if they added in the Jabba/Han scene, but without tweaking it by putting in the slug Jabba or Boba Fett. Otherwise, it is just resplicing a deleted scene. Granted that one would make no sense to add in without changing, but you get my point.

I, also, like the Biggs scene and would like all the Biggs scenes restored.
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So would I. The scenes help explain why this pilot named Biggs suddenly shows up and why Luke is obviously close to him. They actually slightly improved the film, unlike most of the changes.

The Han/Jabba scene does nothing at all. If it wasn't for the fact that the dialogue only marginally expanded upon the Han/Greedo scene that took place just minutes before, I wouldn't mind it as much.
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my pet peeve was the new end music at the end of ROTJ, it just doesn't sound like anything else John Williams did in the trilogy, it sounds like the sappy end credits music on a Japanese cartoon and just doesn't build to anything before the real end credit music comes in.
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it's a discussion of the changes, I gotsta chime in!

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1. Dewbacks on Tatooine

The new dewbacks are alright, it's the way they were used that sucks. The CG stormtrooper looks awful, and the new shuttle they added looks terrible too. There really was no reason to make this change. The best use of it however, is the dewback at the entrance to the cantina.
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2. Entering Mos Eisley

Absolutely useless. the little probe droid getting whalloped by the construction droid, so very un-star wars. And am I taking crazy pills, or did they totally screw up the model of 3PO on the cg landspeeder. His arms are STRAIGHT! 3PO's arm's don't straighten! they're permanently bent! And that redone rear shot where we see the speeder shooting away from us toward mos Eisley, pure ass. I'm all for expanding the scope of the place, putting some traffic in the sky, but they went too far. The peices of business with the jawas riding rontos and the swoop bikers, just ass. Having a ronto walk in front of the camera during a major scene with our characters!?! unforgivable.
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3. Greedo shoots first

The holy grail of Star Wars bitching. The single most damning piece of proof that Lucas has gone completely insane. First, the shot itself. Talk about amatuer night at ILM! Han's lips continue to move even though they cut off the dialogue (some excellent dialogue as it happens), Greedo misses, in spite of his blaster being aimed directly at Han, and being less than 2 feet from his chest, The shot looks horrible, the ricochet combined with Han's shot combine to make it look like Greedo got caught by his own ricochet, Han DOESN"T REACT to be shot at, doesn't even blink! just horribly executed all around. Beyond that, George's story as to why this change was made is in a constant state of flux. First, he was making the change because he didn't want Han to come off as a cold blooded killer. That's the story he gave in 97. More recently he's cllaimed that he always meant to have Greedo shoot first, and that they filmed it that way, and a flub during the editing and fx process lost the moment. Oh, I see, that's why Harison, in a display of mastery of his craft, failed to react to being shot at, riiiiiiggght.
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4. Jabba the Hutt

Crappy, redundant, and does a lot to destroy Jabba's character. Solo has no fear of Jabba in the scene, he does not treat Jabba with any kind of respect or fear of his position, and we're supposed to believe he's one of the most powerful gangsters in the universe. And don't anybody say it has to do with Han's "character" that's bull. You don't get to be the best smuggler in the biz by treating your client with outright disrespect and disdain, nor would he be stupid enough to think he could treat a crime boss of Jabba's stature like a two bit punk without fear of retribution, especially if he's already in debt in a major way. If they could have reworked the scene, leaving the guy in instead of replacing him with jabba, and redubbing some lines with Harrison and another actor, turning Jabba into, say, Heater (from the radio series) I would have no problem with the addition. Making it into heater (one of Jabba's contractors, think of him like an agent of smugglers) lends more credibility to Han's flippant attitude. Not to mention, a crime boss of Jabba's stature would never make a house call like that.
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5. Escaping from Mos Eisley

I'm happy with this addition for the most part. My only problem is that the CG falcon is too skinny. When you see it head on or in profile, she's not nearly as "thick" as the model was. That's fine, as long as they replace all of the falcon shots, otherwise it's a little inconsistent.
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6. Alderaan

god damn stupid praxis effect! Come on! you guys are freakin' ILM! You can come up with something more interesting for an exploding planet than some recycled crap from Star Trek VI! Let's see huge chunks of planet! a massive expanding debris field! perhaps a spherical praxis effect would even work better than what you guys did!
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7. Stormtrooper multiplication

Doesn't bother me, makes Han's sudden stop and run away funnier and easier to understand.
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8. Falcon approaches the rebel base

Looks real nice to me.
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9. Biggs

100% success! This was a beautiful addition.
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10. Battle of Yavin

Okay, a lot of the dog fight sequences were looking pretty bad. Really slow ship and camera moves in places, problems with perspective, what have you. I love most of the new Cg footage for the battle of Yavin. What I don't understand though is this: Why didn't they redo the trench run? That sequence is bursting with effects problems! Ships traveling along incorrect paths of perspective, such that they should be crashing into the walls of the trench. Lucas complained on "From star wars to jedi: the saga behind the saga" that he wished he could redo the trench run, make it more exciting, add some obstacles in the trench to enhance the sense of danger. Why didn't he do it? These are all changes that could have really enhanced the sequence. As it stands, it's cool, but inconsistent.
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11. Death Star explosion

See No. 6

"The Empire Strikes Back"
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1. Wampa cave

Hey look, there's the wampa, eating a pieceof tauntaun, now lets cut back to Luke so we can listen to the already dead tauntaun scream for a bit, before cutting back to wampa, still eating tauntaun, which is no longer screaming, and back to Luke, so the tauntaun can scream some more. I completely disagree with Lucas that seeing the wampa makes it scarier. Not seeing the wampa was way scarrier.
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2. Removal of matte lines during Hoth battle

Man, that would have been cool, it's a shame they didn't actually do it. Go check it out, the SE making of things all point out the same problem, being able to see through the canopy struts in the POV shots of the snow speeders. Supposedly they went in and fixed it. However, go watch the battle of hoth and frame by frame it. Guess what, you can still see through the canopy struts! they're just a little darker. Way to go ILM, that's earning the ol' paycheck.
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3. Various small musical changes

This bothered me to no end. I'm too familiar with the musical cues of the OT. I can name and describe a scene just from hearing the music. The little additions and subtractions of seconds here and there throws me off. I'm expecting to hear the music do something, and it doesn't happen, and while my brain is going "what the fu..?" in comes the cue my ear had been expecting several seconds before. Drives me nuts. And damn them for chopping up the music from the bespin escape sequence with that useless new Darth Vader scene with his shuttle. Sure it looks pretty, but it's an absolutely useless change!
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4. Slave 1 pursues the Falcon

I dig it, looks real nice.
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5. Arrival at Cloud City

Pretty, but a little much, and the Flacon is still not thick enough. you really notice the difference between the CG model and the regular Falcon when it lands on the platform, very jarring transition.
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6. Manic cloud-car shot.

I appreciate that you wanna show off Bespin Geroge, but honestly, this is an addition without justifiable purpose. Leave the views of bespin to scenes that justify them.
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7.

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i agree with Pagz completely...
except for the new song at the end...

my take on that end song was not so much to end the trilogy... but it was actual music the ewoks were playing...
i mean you see them with drums and all this other crap...
so i always envisioned that as a celebration song that the ewoks were playing in respect to celebrating...

unless they had an orchestra tucked away in one of the huts we didnt see... i still prefer "yub yub"
i feel it suited the scene much better...
"Never. I'll never turn to the darkside. You've failed your highness. I am a jedi, like my father before me."
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Originally posted by: Luke Skywalker
i agree with Pagz completely...
except for the new song at the end...

my take on that end song was not so much to end the trilogy... but it was actual music the ewoks were playing...
i mean you see them with drums and all this other crap...
so i always envisioned that as a celebration song that the ewoks were playing in respect to celebrating...

unless they had an orchestra tucked away in one of the huts we didnt see... i still prefer "yub yub"
i feel it suited the scene much better...



Finally! I thought I was the only one that preferred "Ewok Celebration". By the way, Buddy-X-Wing, I don't know what animes you're referring to, but the new music sounds in no way japanese to my ears. I have noticed the William's latest stuff has been lacking.

As for the changes, I agree mostly with Pagz. Your statements on Jabba being changed to Heater are exactly my own. It makes no sense that Jabba, a powerful crime lord with many enemies, would be out and about on Tatooine. He had other deal for him so much, that some though Heater and the like were Jabba the Hutt. I agree completely and for the same reasons on the Galaxy Celebration. My cousin and I eventually rationalized that we were seeing celebrations at later date. This would hold with the EU idea that most communications were rather slow and that only the Empire could afford moment to moment broadcasts. Otherwise, it makes no sense that Tatooine, a planet thats far from Endor and the war, would know about, much less celebrate, the death of Palpatine, when Bakura, a planet right next to Endor, doesn't know until the Rebels show up on their doorstep. Sadly the X-wing saga has made Coruscant's celebrating cannon, where before, in the same series pre-SE, they'd said that except for the alien sectors, such thing weren't an issue on Imperial Centre. Fortunately, the novel version is more brutal, sensical, and used to show how barbaric and oppressive the Empire could be.

Where I don't agree is on the Yavin and Cloud City changes. Any one else notice that CGI tend to be more colorful than actuality? That fact is what give CGI away to me every time. The X-wings all look redder, while the remaining model effects don't. I also loathed the execution. Take the liftoff sequence. Instead of the overcast that was there before, it's now a cloudy day. This gives the impression that the Falcon shows up, they anylize the plans, then battle the Death Star with in hours of each other. Did the plans have some "weak point here" label on them? According to the novel, the DS didn't arrive until the next day, having such a slow hyperdrive. Also, why is there an outpost now right next to the hanger? The Falcon landing on Yavin I can approve of, since it explains the man's tracking arm. Same goes for the temple extension. It's not neccessary, but its at least well done to the point that I never noticed it. Same thing goes for the CGI make over of DS bay 327, I never noticed. But that could be due to dad buying a P&S copy.

The battle itself was pretty much dreck. Gone are the districtive shot, and now SW looks like any other summer film. I'm more impressed by a realistic looking model flying straight that a cartoonish piece of CGI doing barrel rolls. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-CGI in SFX, but I am against showing off with out substance. Models and CGI can be combined to great effect. Sadly, this is nothing but a software dry run for the PT, which they admitted to.

Red 2 used for every model, with little in changes except for the side paint and the R2 unit? The new pan from Yavin 4 to the DS makes it look like the DS is right in front of the moon. I know ILM is better than this. Most of the new shots don't match up to William's score either. One of my favorite shots was replaced as well. Red leader's group starting their run. I always looked at the original shot as though it were from Luke's POV, which is impossible on the new one. About the only shot that actually looks better to me is Biggs trying to shake a TIE. The original had him do an arc, and that's it. The new has him zig-zagging. It fits better with his line "Got me tight, I can't shake him." Honestly, if they had just cleaned up the matt lines like they did for the explosions, it would have been great. Shame that whenever I play Rogue Squadron I've shown that stupid ring.

Bespin was another example of half-assed jobs. The new windows aren't only distracting but they aren't even finished! The approach is another example of the CG being over saturated. Don't get me started on the shuttle scene. The balcony the Leia and crew run on was bad. While they did a good job on adding the reflection of the railing, they apparently couldn't remove the reflection of the wall they took out. If I had to pick a good addition on Bespin, it would probably be the one window that show the Slave one, kind of a reminder of the destination. But even that's not all that needed. All in all, the windows made the place seem smaller to me. Those towers seemed huge, now they feel thin and tiny.It seems the designers of Rebel Strike agree, since the Bespin level had none of the SE windows.

Basically, I hated about 99 percent of the major changes. Most were either worthless establishing shots, half-assed CGI, or just plain stupid. There were too many things not fixed - matt lines, the DS plans, some, not all of R2's space shots recolored(personally, I figured it as the paint made him look black in space). If they had just spruced up the existing effects, cleaned up the picture, and not screwed with the sound, I might have liked it.


Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.

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I'm too familiar with the musical cues of the OT. I can name and describe a scene just from hearing the music. The little additions and subtractions of seconds here and there throws me off. I'm expecting to hear the music do something, and it doesn't happen, and while my brain is going "what the fu..?" in comes the cue my ear had been expecting several seconds before. Drives me nuts. And damn them for chopping up the music from the bespin escape sequence with that useless new Darth Vader scene with his shuttle. Sure it looks pretty, but it's an absolutely useless change!


I hear you. I can't stand the "hacked and tracked" changes either (such as the climactic ESB ones - talk about jarring). What I was referring to though were 3 very short moments where Williams' original score was actually restored to the film, when previously Kerschner had either cut it or replaced it with other tracked music. Two of these occur around the middle of the film, when we see shots of the Imperial Fleet, and the other when Slave 1 is taking off from cloud city. I think these particular changes are beneficial.
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Originally posted by: Klingon_Jedi
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Originally posted by: Luke Skywalker
i agree with Pagz completely...
except for the new song at the end...

my take on that end song was not so much to end the trilogy... but it was actual music the ewoks were playing...
i mean you see them with drums and all this other crap...
so i always envisioned that as a celebration song that the ewoks were playing in respect to celebrating...

unless they had an orchestra tucked away in one of the huts we didnt see... i still prefer "yub yub"
i feel it suited the scene much better...



Finally! I thought I was the only one that preferred "Ewok Celebration". By the way, Buddy-X-Wing, I don't know what animes you're referring to, but the new music sounds in no way japanese to my ears. I have noticed the William's latest stuff has been lacking.



IMO, the new music was an absoulte travesty! It sounded like frickin' Kenny G! I'm glad others agree that was a bad change, because I've seen too many lists like this, where fans despise most of the changes, but then say "the new music was an improvement though". How? Not only is it out of place with the rest of Williams's score, but it completely fucks up the mood of the last scene, and therefore the end of the trilogy, at least for me. I prefer the intimate feel of the Ewok celebration over the galactic rejoicing montage nonsense. That galactic celebration belongs at the begining of episode 7, if anywhere...

"For Star Wars to return to its roots it must be based more on emotion than explanation."  -- J.J. Abrams

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Ok, I'm not going to go completely through the whole list you made since it is 1 AM, but it has always bugged me about people complaining about the insertion of the Jabba scene. I know, we are all purists here, but of all the changes George made this is one he wanted to do originally. He shot it, it was going to be in the film. Unfortunately, he lacked the technology at that point. If the film were made 10 years later, it would have been there.

Just take that into consideration when you talk about him 'butchering' the film with this scene. Would you have thought it stupid or out of the ordinary if it had always been that way? Probably not. Sure, the suspense of Jabba may be killed but GL had never intended for that suspense to be there.
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Originally posted by: Hardcore Legend
Ok, I'm not going to go completely through the whole list you made since it is 1 AM, but it has always bugged me about people complaining about the insertion of the Jabba scene. I know, we are all purists here, but of all the changes George made this is one he wanted to do originally. He shot it, it was going to be in the film. Unfortunately, he lacked the technology at that point. If the film were made 10 years later, it would have been there.

Just take that into consideration when you talk about him 'butchering' the film with this scene. Would you have thought it stupid or out of the ordinary if it had always been that way? Probably not. Sure, the suspense of Jabba may be killed but GL had never intended for that suspense to be there.


Um, while time and technology were part of the reason it was cut, the film's editor, Marcia Lucas, told George that it was redundant. There's no reason for the scene to be there now, other then the fact that he could.


Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.

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i think the reason i dislike that scene is because the movie worked well without it in the first place...

I understood that Han owed Jabba this money.... and that people were out to get him... and that Jabba was some big gangster....

therefore this scene was just a waste of time and definatly slowed the pacing of the movie down...
"Never. I'll never turn to the darkside. You've failed your highness. I am a jedi, like my father before me."
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1. yub yub is good. It feels triumphant to me. The new one feels more like "hey, we did it. Let's go chill." And the old one worked because it was in the microcosm. The whole movie was this microcosm of a few people's lives travelling through this huge event, but you were always there in the microcosm. Likewise, yub yub fits the ewoks well, and stays in the microcosm. The galactic celebrations, the professional music and all; it's at odds with the microcosm mentality. Which, I think, is where the new movies might suffer. George is a microcosm kind of guy, and the two new movies try to capture the movement of the entire galaxy.

2. Even if Lucas meant to put scenes like Jabba in originally, maybe it turned out better. All of us here agree that maybe giving George the free reins doesn't give the best results I prefer it out, and whether it was on purpose or due to limitations, we won back in '77 (or y'all did; I was still living as an egg back then).

3. Even the original trilogy isn't infallible. Like so many others, I have a love-hate relationship with the Ewoks. JUST IMAGINE that last scene taking place on Kashyyyk.

are you imagining it?

Yeah. Originally they were supposed to be wookies. Georgie decided that he liked wookies too much to have them solely in the last film (good call) so he made Han's copilot a wookie (another good call)(based on his pet Malamute) but then decided that two sets of wookies wouldn't work (augh! bad call! bad call!) and so cut the wookies in half and voila! Ewoks! Short cute wookies! I wouldn't have minded having another set of wookies, myself. But, at the same time, Ewoks now have a special place in my heart.

--
In general, I don't like the SE's. George has developed this knack for making a really small change that has a huge effect on the film. And even though most of the changes are small, they completely change certain themes or atmospheres. And sure, I'm coming from the perspective of being raised on the old versions, but what's wrong with that? They were around for a long time, we all loved them, it made Georgie. Kinda thankless to turn his back on us now that he doesn't need us anymore.
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My problem with the Jabba scene is not whether it was down to technology limits, whether it was originally intended or not etc., but simply that the info given to the audience in that scene was already given out (almost line for line) in a previous scene. Also, it makes the revealing of the Falcon moments later seem kind of pointless. I wouldn't care if Jabba looked crap or great in the scene, I don't care if Han steps on his tail or not, I dislike the scene because it is dead weight.
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Originally posted by: dani1138
My problem with the Jabba scene is not whether it was down to technology limits, whether it was originally intended or not etc., but simply that the info given to the audience in that scene was already given out (almost line for line) in a previous scene. Also, it makes the revealing of the Falcon moments later seem kind of pointless. I wouldn't care if Jabba looked crap or great in the scene, I don't care if Han steps on his tail or not, I dislike the scene because it is dead weight.


My sentaments exactly.


Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.