Site ColumnsBy Michelle
September 22, 2004 - 3:52 PM
Yesterday, like many science fiction fans across North America, I picked up my brand-new Region 1 Star Wars DVD set. The release of these films on DVD has been a much-anticipated event, not least because George Lucas had at one time sworn that the trilogy wouldn't come out until he had finished all the movies in the series. In fact, although Star Wars Episode Three is not due out until next summer, it would seem that he has done so, because in addition to the changes made several years ago for the special editions of these films (which are the versions on the DVDs), he has made new changes based on the prequel trilogy.
And now I have a Bad Fan Confession. Warning: Contains spoilers for the changed ending to Return of the Jedi. First, I have thought for years that Return of the Jedi was a vastly inferior movie to the first two...well, the fourth and fifth, depending on how you want to count. With the exception of Leia's hairdos and the Sarlaac, there is not much I ever clung to as essential and perfect canon in ROTJ. The list of fan grievances from Boba Fett's premature exit to the Ewoks' presence are legend now but I was the first generation to walk out of the theater with them fresh in my mind, with the hallelujah music playing in the background.
So some of the changes Lucas made to the film over the years, by no means limited to the new music at the end, have been most welcome to me. And I feel that way with all the SW SEs -- unlike the LOTR SEs, where I consider the added scenes significant additions to canon, even the ones I want to reject as vile like the Eowyn stuff, there's nothing in SW that I ever considered such a big change that I felt it had to be included or had to be rejected, including the most controversial topic of whether Han shot first. Watching the new ROTJ ending, with images of planets from episodes one and two, made almost no impact on me. Nor did seeing Hayden Christensen standing where some guy I didn't recognize at all as the ghost of Darth Vader had been. I was happy to see more Chewie, and Wedge, and not to have to brace myself against the Ewok song.
Silly to have Hayden and Sir Alec in the same frame? Probably, but the ghosts were silly to begin with. Mark Hamill was on the radio here yesterday morning swearing that Lucas did not really have nine episodes constructed before shooting ever began, that the sister thing probably occurred to him in the car, and I'm inclined to believe that's true because the quasi-incestuous titillation factor has not been axed. Nor have any of what I consider the emotional moments of the series for me. I have my original action figures from the 70s upstairs in my bedroom and my Yoda Halloween mask down in the basement, and if they bring out another $50-75 set with the original cuts of the SW films (which I have on pro video), I doubt I'll bother to buy it.
Trek BBS Today
Below are some of the topics currently being discussed at the Trek BBS:
More topics can be found at the Trek BBS!
Trek Two Years Ago
These were some of the major news items from September 2002:
- Stewart Responds To Trek X Leaks
Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard) said "it's no fun if you know" everything that's going to happen in a film before you see it, particularly whether characters are going to be killed.
- 'Shockwave, Part II' Review Roundup
Many online critics weighed in with their thoughts on the season two premiere and concluded that the episode didn't live up to the promise of part one, saying that it relied overmuch on science fiction cliches.
- Keating Praises Braga's Writing
"I think the one thing Brannon appreciates, and I certainly do, is that Malcolm Reed is very human," said Dominic Keating (Reed). "To be honest, it's the best work I've ever done in front of a camera."
More news can be found in the archives.
Below are the results of the most recent TrekToday poll:
Please vote in our new poll on That Other Major Science Fiction Franchise!
Tomorrow is the 47th birthday of Rosalind Chao, who plays Keiko O'Brien on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.
Today's Television Listings
Star Trek: Enterprise will not rerun this week. The season premiere will be broadcast on UPN on October 8th.