But this has not, and will not, be released. Not for many, many years. But the Blu-Ray release at least has all six films included, but not the usual six. In fact, Lucas has made some slight adjustments. The biggest – but arguably acceptable change – was Yoda in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace that has been digitally re-created to replace the puppet originally featuring in the film.
But there are more changes – and the big one is at the end of the sixth “episode” Return of the Jedi (or, the third film chronologically). [Spoiler…] Rather than Vader, silently and robotically, picking up Darth Sidious and killing him, Lucas has added an emotional “No-o-o-o-o!” to Vader’s voice as he shows his angry at Sidious killing his Son.
Intially, this pissed me off. It does change the emotional moment – the robotic Vader has a verbal emotion to the situation. He is not just ‘cracking’ under the pressure silently, he is nor clarifying his feelings in a verbal manner. Yeah, Lucas has changed the meaning slightly …
But then I changed my opinion. Who cares really. Yes, it is a bummer that Lucas always plays around with the film but it must be because he believes it is neccessary. They re-released the Original Trilogy, in all their un-tampered glory a short while ago for those fans who care, but personally I’m not that obsessive. Star Wars is a blockbuster franchise. A successful franchise. Take this film out of the hallowed heavens it is placed within – consider it as a special-effects, big-budget blockbuster and recognise the reality. A slight change Lucas made to create some type of poetic symmetry with the prequels is an effort to join them together. Furthermore, the addition of Hayden Christensen at the end of Return of the Jedi, again, fits within the six-film franchise Lucas set-up. He wants all six films to have longevity. He doesn’t want people to ignore them (which they would do if they had their way. The common consensus is the prequels are considerably weaker). Lucas is assuring all six films stay together. And, good for him!
I watched a bit of X-Men: The Last Stand as it appeared on TV and thought “I wish they would cut out all the inconsistencies in the X-Men franchise”. I am a perfectionist and want things to match and remain consistent. The whole Superman Returns fiasco – “It’s set after the the first Chris Reeve film, but before Superman 2″ or something – how the hell does that work? I love the way the Saw films consistently work with the same actors and re-occuring sequences all in a completely consistent manner. The fact that Myer’s is simply ‘gone’ in Hellboy II:The Golden Army annoys the hell out of me – why not a cameo? The fact that between 2003 and 2012, in the Marvel universe, three different actors are playing a role in a linear storyline is ridiculous. The big one though is how Francis Ford Coppola had a script whereby Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) was the focus of The Godfather Part III but because the studio didn’t pay up, the film turned to shit, again frustrates me. The vision the directors and filmmakers had was corrupted by the constraints of the studio.
Lucas adding ‘No-o-o-o’ in a very important moment might seem a small thing that was unneccessary but at least George Lucas is trying to keep his six films consistent. So that they all work together – parrallels and references throughout the sage. And I say fair enough. And I’ll buy the Blu-ray boxset too. I didn’t buy the other ones and I’ve waited long enough. I want to watch them all, in order, again.