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Worst changes to OT in '97 and '04

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What are everyone's least favorite changes made to original trilogy in the 1997 special edition re-releases and last year's DVD boxed set? There's so many lousy changes to choose from. For every improvement (correcting the lightsabers in the ANH duel, putting the real Emperor in Ep V, fixing The Rancor), there's countless alterations that weaken the films.

Here's some that standout in my mind:
A NEW HOPE

STORMTROOPERS ON DEWBACKS: Totally unnecessary add on. Utterly distracting to suddenly have 1997 CGI "Jurassic Park" type creatures inserted into a 1977 film. If Lucas hated the scene so much, he could have just trimmed the opening of it showing the trooper ontop of the immobile dewback and kept the rest the same.

BEN KENOBI’S HOME: Obi-Wan's home in the original film was perfect for a poor hermit. Now, suddenly he has a fancy hideway (bigger than the Lars homestead) with a sattelite dish in the front yard.

ARRIVAL AT MOS EISLEY: Sure some of the changes are definitely improvements and show the vastness of the spaceport. And how crowded it is. And removing the pink blob under Luke's speeder was nice. But Lucas had to go overboard and insert these unfunny slapstick moments with Jawas, rontos and dewbacks. All of these distractions take away from the performances of the main characters. And Lucas's insistence and including loud, obstrusive dewbacks into every scene overshadow Obi-Wan's classic mind trick to get passed the stormtroopers and 3PO and R2's banter outside the cantina. Not to mention, all of the CGI technology used makes the rest of the creatures in the cantina look dated.

GREEDO SHOOTS FIRST: Without a doubt, the worst change to the original films. Simply because it looks completely awkward. And how could Greedo miss Han from that close range? Was he trained how to aim by battle droids? In 2004, Lucas changed it again so that Han & Greedo shoot at pretty much the same time. Still sucks.

JABBA THE HUTT INTRODUCTION: Always sounded like a cool deleted scene until we actually see it as part of the final film. The dialogue is repetitive, nothing new here that we didn't learn during the Greedo encounter. Jabba looks nothing like he does in Episode VI. Plus he's skinny and mobile, everything he's not in "Jedi." And Han stepping on Jabba's tail and calling him a "wonderful human being" makes the scene a train wreck disaster that doesn't belong in AFI's best films of all time.

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

NOTE: Changing anything in the classic film should have been considered blasphemy. Like damaging the Holy Grail. Empire was perfect the way it was, from 1980 to 1997, before Lucas had to toy with it.

THE CLOUD CITY LANDSCAPE: Sure the shots of an expanded Cloud City are interesting to look at. But they look like something out of a totally different movie. Particularly when Lando tells everyone to evacuate the city. The footage seems way too technologically advanced compared to the late 70's effects of the original.

VADER'S ARRIVAL ON HIS STAR DESTROYER: I don't know why Lucas felt we needed to see Vader arriving on his Star Destroyer after leaving Bespin. In Jedi, the Emperor tells Vader to return to his command ship. Next scene, Vader's on his command ship. We don't need to see arrivals & departures inserted into every scene. The audience can follow the story just fine without them. And instead of the cool line, "Bring me my shuttle," we get "Alert my Star Destroyer, to prepare for my arrival." Then Vader's shuttle is shown slowly arriving on his ship. Except it isn't a Star Destroyer, it's the Death Star from "Return of the Jedi." Lucas inserted this lame outtake from the beginning of Ep VI instead of taking the time to film new footage. Weak.

BOBA FETT'S NEW VOICE: Jason Wingreen's original dialogue as Boba Fett was perfect. Gave the bounty hunter a certain sinister quality. Temeura Morrison (who played Boba's father in Ep II), doesn't have the same evil delivery. Boba's not as mysterious now. Changing Boba's voice is just another desperate attempt by Lucas to tie in the classic films to some of the wackier plot points in the prequels.

CHANGING R2'S DIALOGUE: After R2 escapes the swamp monster on Dagobah Luke used to say "You're lucky you don't taste very good." Now he says, "You were lucky to get out of there." Like changing OT dialogue to reflect the PT. The original line was funny and clever. The "lucky" line isn't memorable at all.

LUKE'S SCREAM: In 97 Lucas inserted a loud scream from Luke when he falls to escape Vader. It was actually the Emperor's death scream from ROTJ. Thankfully, Lucas removed this awful change for the '04 DVD release. It was probably an oversight by Lucas. I'm sure he meant to keep it in just to annoy the fans.

RETURN OF THE JEDI
NOTE: Much about "Jedi" should be changed. If there was a way to make Jabba more realistic (and less static puppet), re-insert the sandstorm sequence, digitally replace the Ewoks with Wookies (as Lucas originally envisioned), and re-edit the action sequences so they're not so unbelievable, I'd say go for it. But instead Lucas has made many of the bad scenes even worse...

THE DANCE NUMBER: The cantina song in "A New Hope" was nice because it didn't distract from the plot. It was a nice, harmless instrumental backdrop to the scene. The song in Ep IV is just in your face. And totally disrupts the film. The original song in Jedi, "Lapta Nek" was bad enough. Now, Lucas includes an even lousier song, "Jedi Rocks" and some annoying CGI muppets. The scene looks totally unbelievable now. With a bunch of static, immobile puppets now surrounded by fully mobile CGI characters. It's amazing Lucas would pick this as the one scene in Jedi to "improve."

THE CELEBRATION: I'm glad Lucas dropped that godawful "Yub Yub" song in place of a more dignified John Williams musical number. And it was kind of cool to see Coruscant, Cloud City and Tatooine celebrating after the fall of the Empire. Then Lucas had to go and include Naboo, which for some reason, was the most important planet in the universe during the prequels. And of course, Lucas had to put some Gungans in there, yelling and hollering "Wessa free!" Who knows, maybe Jar Jar's in there somewhere. I knew Lucas would find a way to sneak him into the classic trilogy.

THE GHOST OF YOUNG ANAKIN: Instead of the classic version of Jedi, where we see Sebastian Shaw standing next to Obi-Wan and Yoda, we get a creepy looking Hayden Christenson looking totally out of place as a "force ghost." The scene was fine the way it was, and made a lot more sense. I could have dealt with the change if they would have aged Hayden 23 years to make him look he would at the time of his death. But making him 25 years old is a really big stretch, even in a fantasy film. Plus, he looks nothing like Sebastian Shaw.

CHANGES IN HAN SOLO'S DIALOGUE: When he's rescuing Lando from the Sarlaac monster, Han used to say "It's alright. Trust me." Now he says. "It's alright. I can see a lot better now." Again, the line worked better before. Of course, Han's signature line of "Trust Me" is sort of tainted by Anakin's misuse of it in Episode II.

All in all, I think the original 3 films were fine the way they were, story and character wise. Sure some of the technical effects could have been improved and some deleted scenes re-inserted. I wouldn't have blamed Lucas for cleaning up the effects for the special edition release. But Lucas went too far. Drastically altering the tone of some scenes and making some of the CGI additions stick out like a sore thumb. It's a shame we can't get the "best of both worlds." A version of the original trilogy on DVD that has all the improved sound/visual effects, but none of the over the top changes
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I think you just took all my reasons.
"A Jedi can feel the force flow through him".
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Wow, I agree with you on almost everything. The thing I hate the most is that technically, George has the right to do what he wants, BUT, he did not direct two of the three OT films and therefore should not have been allowed to tamper with them. The director is the person whose vision makes it to the screen, not the executive producer! I doubt Irvin Kershner originally intended to make some of the changes.

George Lucas was seduced by the dark side. The OOT ceased to exist in his mind and became the Special Editions...." "They're more maching now than movies. Twisted and evil."
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Well I do understand about Boba's voice, it could have been a lot better by Temurra. Lapti Nek was great, Jedi Rocks was awful.

One thing I wouldn't actually mind tinkering is the battle of Endor. It feels so embarassing to be a star wars battle.

Green camo stormtroopers and more Ewoks getting blown to bits and shot by Stormtroopers is actually a change I wouldn't mind seeing.
"A Jedi can feel the force flow through him".
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Yeah, I agree with your list as well. To be honest, I don't mind the new music at the end of ROTJ, myself, but since I don't agree with changing films, I want Yub Nub back on principle.

By the way, those dialogue changes you mentioned (Luke to R2 and Han to Lando) aren't really special edition changes. There have always been various differences in the audio even from the beginning (which makes it almost impossible to decide what the real original version is). You see, when the movies were released, they made all these different mixes (mono, stereo, etc.), and each version always changed something, used different takes of lines, added or removed sound effects. And then, in almost every different release of the movies (and there were countless different releases in the '80s) there was a different sound mix with subtle differences in them. I think it's more coincidence than anything else that the Faces version of the movie and the special editions use different lines.

There is no lingerie in space…

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don’t exist… then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks… and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming… Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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Yeah, I was going to say the same thing about the Luke and Han dialogue changes as Gaffer.

I prefer the non-SE lines myself, but they definitely aren't SE changes. I'm not sure what mixes they were used in originally. The R2 line was actually what was in the script, whereas the 'don't taste so good' line was just one of Mark's improvisations. Possibly the same with the Han line (in fact with that particular line I think there were quite a few more variations). So really, the versions you were used to could be just as easily considered 'changes' to the trilogy, and not the original.

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Everything is better on a laserdisc. Whatever happened to the laserdisc? Laserdisc!

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Yeah, it's almost impossible to say what the original is. Even before special editions came along, George was trying to confuse us about originals, etc. But it's much harder to decipher than his latest things, so it's just something I try not to think about. Therefore, in an attempt to keep my sanity, consider everything before 1997 to be the "original".

I prefer the "don't taste very good" line myself. It's just funnier. I don't really have any opinions on the Han variations, though, as they're really not all that different. "Trust me" or "I can see a lot better." It's too minor to quibble.

There is no lingerie in space…

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don’t exist… then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks… and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming… Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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Here's the story with the sound mixes (as far as we know):

Star Wars:

1. Unfinished mix accompanying the first original 70mm prints (only 9 prints were made)
2. Original 70mm mix (6 channels)
3. Original 35mm mix (matrixed stereo- four channels. This mix made it onto VHS and LD from 1981-1984)
4. Original Mono mix
5. 1985 mix (Ben Burtt enhanced the 35mm stereo mix with new stereo jawa effects, an additional line of 3PO dialogue, etc. This mix was used for all video releases until 1993.
6. "Definitive Mix" (This was used for the '93 laserdisc set and the '95 Faces edition sets. It is definitely not the original 6 track mix, and it has several enhancements as well, but the 70mm is believed to be a large source of this by some. But I know that the whole thing is certainly not from 70mm, because the Special Edition contains a different version of the Beru dialogue than in the stereo mix or the mono mix. The Definitive Mix contained the version on the stereo recording, not the 70mm.
7. Special Edition Mix (custom blend of all three original mixes. However, it used the 70mm mix as a base, to my knowledge, and then elements from the others were added to this.
8. 2004 audio mix (embarassing disaster)

Empire:

1. Original 70mm mix
2. Original 35mm mix (and this was used for all the video releases until '93)
3. Definitive Mix (as far as we can tell, the same as the original stereo except for one additional sound effect in the Battle of Hoth, which was added)
4. Special Edition mix (except for the SE changes, this is pure 70mm mix, with all the additional dialogue, sound effects, etc. A project to restore the 70mm mix would be very exciting, I think, using the Definitive Mix and the SE mix)
5. 2004 audio mix

Jedi:

1. Original 70mm mix
2. Original 35mm mix (and this was used for all the video releases until '93)
3. Definitive Mix ('93-'95: supposedly exactly the same as the original 35mm, except for clarity. I don't know for sure.)
4. SE mix (again, based off of the original 70mm mix and therefore contains any differences between the two)
5. 2004 audio mix



Summary- the dialogue differences in the SE are actually MORE original than the OOT ones, because the 70mm prints were technically completed first.

That doesn't mean I like the changes, however

Episode II: Shroud of the Dark Side

Emperor Jar-Jar
“Back when we made Star Wars, we just couldn’t make Palpatine as evil as we intended. Now, thanks to the miracles of technology, it is finally possible. Finally, I’ve created the movies that I originally imagined.” -George Lucas on the 2007 Extra Extra Special HD-DVD Edition

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Trooperman knows his sound mixes.
"A Jedi can feel the force flow through him".
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worst change of all time= greedo shoots first

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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My additions:
ANH:
- Luke talking to Biggs on Yavin like they are old friends. Who the h*ll is this guy? It does not make sense if we have not seen him before on Tatooine.

ROTJ:
- The new musical routine. It does not fit. Lapti Nek was delightfully alien, I loved it. The new routine is like a parody of Star Wars more than fitting in the Star Wars universe. It breaks suspension of disbelief - reminding us that what we are seeing is a movie.
- Hayden Christensen on the ROTJ-DVD. Now, who the h*ll is this guy!?
- The new Victory Celebration. There was nothing wrong with "yub nub...".
- Why show Theed, Mos Eisley and Cloud City..? They are not exactly the most important places in the galaxy... Better to show nothing at all.
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I actually liked the Luke/Biggs scene. That is, it's something I wish he hadn't originally cut. It should have stayed in a deleted scenes category. But that's simply because I don't believe in movie tampering.

With that out of the way, I have to admit that re-inserting this scene actually makes the movie a little bit better. Even the scenes on Tatooine weren't necessary with this scene in place. It tells you enough. You can easily figure out that they are old friends, and that's really all you need to know about Biggs to make his death meaningful.

I have a really old Star Wars storybook that came out when the movie was released. My older cousin gave it to me before I was even into Star Wars. And that storybook contained all the stuff from the Biggs scene on Tatooine with pictures, which is how I knew who Biggs was when I finally got into Star Wars. It almost seems like it was a cut that was made at the last minute, what with it being in a childrens' storybook and John Williams giving Biggs that little horn solo at his death.

But I stand by what I said that it shouldn't have been reinserted, just like any Qui-Gon or Yoda on Dagobah scenes should not be added to Revenge of the Sith's DVD. ^_^

There is no lingerie in space…

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don’t exist… then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks… and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming… Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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ANH
"New improved" Landspeeder shots. In the process of removing the old "hide the wheels" FX, it looks like they shaved a few inches off the bottom of the speeder. How can they fit their legs in there now? I always thought that was supposed to be heat distortion radiating out from under the speeder anyway...

I really can't stand those Rontos. They seem impractical as desert transportation, (unlike Dewbacks) and we never see any on Tatooine in the prequels anyway. And we don't see those damned Eopies(?) anywhere in ANH either, thankfully. When I saw Ben riding one at the end of ROTS, all I could think of was the fart scene from Phantom Menace!

Replaced Cantina aliens. I can see how Lucas must hate the one guy in the cheap werewolf mask, but pasting a muppet over the really cool one sitting in the shadows with the glowy eyes?

Aurabesh lettering on the tractor beam control. Because I know I'll be sitting next to some guy in a theater come 2007 who will wonder out loud, "What's that thing he's turning off?"

The extra who passes in front of Luke, Biggs, and Red Leader to hide the edit of a few alleged retro-continuity busting lines of dialog regarding Luke's father isn't fooling anyone.

"New improved" Death Star goes boom. The ringed explosion was cool...when it was in Star Trek 6!!! The DVD botches an iconic shot even more, by draining all the color out of the original pyrotechnics and adding that weird blue gas. Who knew the DS ran on propane?

ESB
New Wampa shots. It was more scary when you saw less of him. The irony being it ended up that way originally because they had troubles with the Wampa costume back then.

The new Cloud City extras listening to Lando on the PA react like he's reading the lunch menu. And they could have given Ice Cream Maker guy a new scene!

ROTJ
The herd of Banthas in the new shots of Jabba's barge on it's way to the Sarlacc pit looks very flat for some reason. Like they cut out a photo of the original creature and animated it or something. And turning the Sarlacc into Audrey II is unintentionally funny...
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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[QUOTE]"New improved" Death Star goes boom. The ringed explosion was cool...when it was in Star Trek 6!!! The DVD botches an iconic shot even more, by draining all the color out of the original pyrotechnics and adding that weird blue gas. Who knew the DS ran on propane?[/QUOTE]

Yeah, it got kind of stupid when he decided that every single explosion in the trilogy had to be marked with these stupid praxis explosions. I'm surprised he didn't add them to every exploding starfighter. Actually, that'd be kinda funny... in a really sad way.

[QUOTE]ESB
New Wampa shots. It was more scary when you saw less of him. The irony being it ended up that way originally because they had troubles with the Wampa costume back then.[/QUOTE]

Plus the new costume's head looks absolutely nothing like the Phil Tippett puppet. Oy.

[QUOTE]The new Cloud City extras listening to Lando on the PA react like he's reading the lunch menu. And they could have given Ice Cream Maker guy a new scene![/QUOTE]

I always hated this one too. As if we need to see people hearing the message. It's obvious the citizens did hear the message from the throngs of people who are running past them twenty seconds later. Plus, it practically ruins the timing of the R2 getting electrocuted gag. They actually had to rearrange shots just to make sure we could get the extras looking around confusedly and a crappy CG shot of the city that they also make sure we see at the end of Jedi. Now that I think about it, that's probably why the put it there, so when you saw it in Jedi, you'd know what location it was. The only change that was in worse taste was the Vader shuttle thing that replaced more important shots of Luke being rescued.

[QUOTE]ROTJ
The herd of Banthas in the new shots of Jabba's barge on it's way to the Sarlacc pit looks very flat for some reason. Like they cut out a photo of the original creature and animated it or something. And turning the Sarlacc into Audrey II is unintentionally funny... [/QUOTE]

Too bad it didn't sing, "Feed me, Jabba!"

There is no lingerie in space…

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don’t exist… then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks… and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming… Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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Originally posted by: SilverWook
Replaced Cantina aliens. I can see how Lucas must hate the one guy in the cheap werewolf mask, but pasting a muppet over the really cool one sitting in the shadows with the glowy eyes?

That deletion of Lak Sivrak (and the other wolfman) really irked me when watching the SE. I had always liked seeing those creatures in the film and then Lucas puts in some crappy CGI elephant in his place.
"Crazy people can be very persuassive."
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About Biggs, it's pretty logical they decided to cut him out near completion, the line "oh Biggs is right, I'm never gonna get out of here" never has made any sense. You don't know who he is at that point.

That's no moon. It's a LaserDisc.

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Well, I don't think it matters that much. You can easily deduce that Biggs is the name of a person, someone that Luke knows. It really matters more that it shows that Luke wants to leave, rather than knowing who Biggs is. At least Lucas wasn't spoonfeeding plot points quite as obviously.

There is no lingerie in space…

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don’t exist… then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks… and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming… Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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It also made sense to me, just as the mention of Tank always made sense even though he was never going to be in the final movie.

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Everything is better on a laserdisc. Whatever happened to the laserdisc? Laserdisc!

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i have to disagree with u saying alert my star destroyer to prepare for my arrival sux it's probaly 1 of my favourite lines "bring me my shuttle" is too short and didn't make it more demanding.
i think also it's good how we see him arriving and depaturing in the film cause u dont loose track of where he is.
but i do agree that when they r in the cantina greedo misses i thought that was a bit weird
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I don't know why you say, "Bring my shuttle," is less demanding. I mean, I think it shows he's pissed, which he should be. He failed. And when you're pissed, don't you tend to say as little as possible? Just get the bare bones out. He sounds too in control with, "Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival."

There is no lingerie in space…

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don’t exist… then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks… and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming… Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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Gotta agree with gaffer here. Plus, he asked for his shuttle, then next time we see him i think its safe to assume he's on his star destroyer. We dont need to see him travel there to keep track of him, give yourself and the general audience more credit than that. Its those aspects of the prequals that get me the most, how Lucas has to spell everything out and couldnt let some things just be infered from the context, we dont always need the dialogue to tell us everything. Similar to the Biggs/Tank thing, it was always pretty clear to me that Biggs/Tanks were lukes friends growing up, and thats enough for us to feel luke's pain when Biggs dies. Actually, since we dont see Biggs in the beginning it makes it seem like its been even longer since they have seen each other, which makes biggs' death shortly after their reunion more painful.

-Darth Simon

ps. sorry if i rambled some
Why Anakin really turned to the dark side:
"Anakin, You're father I am" - Yoda
"No. No. That's not true! That's impossible!" - Anakin

0100111001101001011011100110101001100001

*touchy people disclaimer*
some or all of the above comments are partially exaggerated to convey a point, none of the comments are meant as personal attacks on anyone mentioned or reference in the above post
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Alert my Star Destroyer that I will be departing from this location and arriving there, via shuttle, shortly, making it imperative that they prepare for my imminent arrival.

War does not make one great.

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Originally posted by: Yoda Is Your Father
Alert my Star Destroyer that I will be departing from this location and arriving there, via shuttle, shortly, making it imperative that they prepare for my imminent arrival.


Bring the car around front, right, gotcha
Why Anakin really turned to the dark side:
"Anakin, You're father I am" - Yoda
"No. No. That's not true! That's impossible!" - Anakin

0100111001101001011011100110101001100001

*touchy people disclaimer*
some or all of the above comments are partially exaggerated to convey a point, none of the comments are meant as personal attacks on anyone mentioned or reference in the above post