Nightfly: the Special Edition (blu-ray)

Y’all will remember how badly we geeks lost our minds over the terribleness of the Star Wars prequels.

That was a bitty-bit our fault, I suppose.  George Lucas re-released the original three movies in the run up to the 1999 debut of The Phantom Menace*, and these Special Editions featured some nifty spruced-up effects, but mostly they featured the restoration of redundant deleted footage, a bunch of CGI clutter blocking the view of the actual movie, and Greedo shooting first – an egregious affront on a lot of levels, not least of which was the damage done to Han Solo’s character.** Maybe we should have been a little more wary of The Phantom Menace as a… ZOMG NEW STAR WARS squeeeeeee !!1!eleven~!!

*Yeah, it’s been twelve years.

**First off, the guy’s a smuggler and a gangster who may have double-crossed his crime-lord boss. He’s not gonna wait for a pretty-please. Second, he can’t possibly be dumb enough to expect Greedo to miss a shot from four feet. Third, it’s obvious that he banks on Greedo not shooting at him at all, because then Greedo would be out the bounty money; that’s how Han gets the drop on him the first place.  The edit makes no sense on any level.

But we convinced ourselves otherwise.  We seem even to have convinced George, who actually un-tinkered somewhat when the original movies were remastered again.  Not that it stopped him from making all of the same mistakes in the other two prequels: bad characters, inexplicable choices, and endless clutter on the screen.  We just thought that he’d leave well enough alone with what he’d already done.

Well, now it’s obvious.  We only convinced George Lucas of one thing – that we’re all ungrateful peasants, and as a result he’s decided to tinker and tinker to the bitter end.

Don’t be surprised, by the way, if the above doesn’t actually play.  No doubt 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm have a clone army’s worth of lawyers firing off copyright claims and C & D letters to anyone posting clips.  It shouldn’t be hard to find out about it, though.

In any case, there’s always a backlash following a backlash, with folks suggesting that we just stop caring about Star Wars and that will solve the problem.  This is correct, but it also misses the point.  Well-done art is moving.  We don’t care only about having things our way, we care about the films and the characters in them, and we also care about what they said to us as kids when we first saw them.  It’s disheartening to think that the guy whose vision this all was to begin with doesn’t feel about his own creation the same way.  They’re HIS toys, and he’ll break them if he wants, so there.  The problem isn’t so much that the fans care, but that Lucas seems not to.  (Oh, and PS:  who are you to tell me what not to care about, Sunshine?)

The Twitterverse’s best reaction, so far, is this one from “The Goddam Batman”:

More changes to Star Wars on Blu-ray? Nice try George, but some a-hole already ruined my childhood.

I can’t top that.  I can, however, shout “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” when the adverts urge me to buy these things.  I can also send off a good round of mockery, so below, I present Lucas’ vision for everything else:

  • Star Trek – Spock speaks jive.
  • Pac-Man – “Crap. I keep dying. Eh, I’ll go back later and add more power pellets.”
  • Sopranos finale – after cut to black, a voice over of Tony: “And that’s it. Life just cuts to black. No resolution.
  • The Usual Suspects – Keyser Soze IS your father!
  • Folsom Prison Blues – the man in Reno shoots first.
  • Superman II – fight scene in Metropolis totally obscured by CGI creatures.
  • Superman III – fight scene in junkyard and showdown with evil computer now the entire movie. (note: may actually be improvement)
  • Philosophy – A woman needs a man like Admiral Ackbar needs a bicycle.
  • Top Gun – Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise are siblings.  Also, Tom Skerrit IS his father!
  • Sixth Sense – “I see dead people.” “That’s because of your midichlorians.”
  • Toy Story – Andy gives the toys medals; the teddy bears dance to the “yub jub” song.
  • Bonnie and Clyde – Clyde’s brother, now a cyborg, tackles deputies, crying NOOOOOO. They escape.
  • Your senior prom – next day, you learn she’s your sister.
  • Casablanca: Rick runs Mos Eisley… oh, wait, he kinda did that one already.
  • Willy Wonka – Willy Wonka built the Oompa Loompas.
  • World War I – Archduke Ferdinand shoots first.
  • The Princess Bride – CGI R.O.U.S.’s.  Also, Count Rugen IS Inigo’s father!
  • 1946: the Special Edition – Truman Defeats Dewey
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One thought on “Nightfly: the Special Edition (blu-ray)

  1. Kate P September 3, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Could you imagine if fine artists decided they should go back to their original works and “improve” them?
    Leonardo da Vinci: I think I’ll put eyebrows on her.

    Rubens: I need to add a few more curves on that one honey.

    Jackson Pollock: Dang, I splattered when I shoulda dripped over there. . . get that off the wall and onto the floor while I go mix up some colors.

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