Much like the ice planet Hoth in the Empire Strikes Back. here. I made the geek connection.
Anyways, over the weekend I got curious to see how Star Wars looked up-converted. Pretty nice. I watched Empire last night and noticed a few things that will need to be touched up before they ever go Blu-Ray. Just minor effects things that you don’t really notice on standard def…but at 1080 stand out. Especially during the chase through the asteroid field. You definitely see the matting surround some of the asteroids.
I noticed how much I am not bothered by Lucas’ special editions, overall. Really, I was only bothered all that much by the “infamous” Greedo shooting first incident. The reason is that it weaken’s Han Solo’s journey towards nobility. We originally are meeting him as a selfish rogue and smuggler with little regard for life who learns becomes a hero. At the beginning of the story his moral code is pretty ambiguous and we see he is not above killing ruthlessly. But by having Greedo shoot first, it makes Han much safer…he’s not that bad of a guy, it was strictly self defense! But other than that, I had little problem with the Special Editions…the overwhelming majority of the changes were, in fact, cosmetic. Making sure the snow speeders were not transparent. Better views of cloud city, Mos Eisley and so on. In fact, really it is pretty much nothing but cosmetic changes to Empire.
But what really stood out to me is the vast difference in quality of story versus the newer trilogy. Lucas has tried to argue that these are kids films, and the adults complaining about them just don’t understand that they are not kids anymore.
And sure, that theory totally holds water…if you have not…well, seen the original three films. Lets look at two non-human characters-one from each trilogy. Chewbacca, for example, is a character that evoked laughs and sympathy. You laugh with Chewbacca, and understand his emotions, even though he never utters a word in english…yet he is always easy to understand on a emotional level. When he is locked in the cell on Bespin, and being tormented by a high pitch noise, you can’t help but feel for his pain. And as he tries to pass time in the cell rebuilding C-3PO, it’s hard not to identify with that desperation of trying to occupy oneself to avoid focusing on the current situation.
Compare that to the reviled Jar Jar Binks. Unlike our Wookie friend, Jar Jar is an annoying tag-along. He is there to be laughed at, not with. You cannot sympathize with his plight. His ability to connect with the audience is non-existent. We are neither allowed to, nor are we intended to. Where as the humor of the first trilogy is derived from the simple human interaction in an extraordinary situation (and against the odds), the humor of the second trilogy is often shoe-horned in, and lacks a certain “natural feel” present in the first trilogy.
Are the original three films “kids” movies? Yes, they certainly are. But the magic still holds up thirty years later. The original film was a “kid movie” that did not talk down to the kids, and adults could enjoy it as well. Adults can still enjoy it with their kids. The new trilogy just lacks that magic. The aliens are not breathing personalities like Chewbacca was.
But oh well…