George Lucas Continues to Change ‘Star Wars’

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Fans of "Star Wars" have had to deal with the series creator, George Lucas, going back and tinkering with the films for 15 years. in 1997 Lucas released the "Special Edition" versions of his original trilogy in theaters and then onto home video. These featured additional scenes not in the original versions as well as various adjustments and "improved" effects for existing scenes. When the original trilogy was released onto DVD these added effects remained but were "upgraded" thanks to newer technology. well it turns out that Lucas is not done tinkering with his signature series, Slash Film has revealed at least one new major change for the Blu-Ray release of the series.

The puppet version of the character Yoda will be replaced by a completely computer graphics version in for the Blu-Ray release of "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace." in the prequel trilogy, Episodes 1-3, Yoda was created using CG for the second two films, but was done as a puppet for the first film. As with his appearances in the original trilogy, Episodes 4-6, Yoda was both voiced and puppeteered by Frank Oz for "Phantom Menace." Oz continued to voice the character even after he became a CG creation.

in spite of this being a rather major alteration to the existing film it is doubtful that it will cause the kind of fan outcry that the "Special Edition" changes faced. though it is a visual overhaul of a character it isn't a fundamental change to the material in the way that the infamous "Greedo shooting first" scene was. it actually makes a certain degree of sense since it will improve the visual continuity of the character in the prequel trilogy. also the simple truth is that the prequels are not as beloved or highly regarded and the fans simply don't care as much about changes to those films. however it has already started to worry some fans that it may indicate more changes to the original trilogy that have yet to be revealed.

Even if Lucas doesn't do any new major changes to the original trilogy an extensive preview of the new set by Digital Bits reveals that there was still minor tweaking done across all six films. These include "correcting" the wampa attack on Luke Skywalker in "The Empire Strikes Back" in order to remove the brief appearance of a puppeteer's bare arm. most other changes that are confirmed are the minor tweaks to color and sound that are not uncommon for Blu-Ray releases of older films.

This other major question is whether or not the original theatrical versions of the films will see a Blu-Ray release. Lucas has been extremely reluctant to make the original theatrical cuts of the original trilogy available, considering them "unfinished films." After years of fan outcry Lucas did reluctantly allow for the original cuts to be released on DVD. it remains to be seen if similar fan demands will be necessary for the older versions to be released on the newer format at some point down the line.

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George Lucas Continues to Change ‘Star Wars’


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