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Mjolnir

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PostSubject: Tinkering with Star Wars   Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:57 pm

Mike, I saw the string on Facebook where you were debating the merits or otherwise of George Lucas' obsession with meddling with the two trilogies. As I'm not a friend of the person on who's link you commented, I didn't chip in. But I wondered if we wanted to discuss it here. I'm sure all of the regulars here have views on the movies.

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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:56 pm

Personally I think people get way to worked up about the changes. A lot of them work, only a few don't. Sure, the don't add that much. But I like having more ships in battles. I like having more troopers searching. I don't even have a problem with Han shooting second, though I liked him shooting first.

The one main clanger is the Jabba scene. It just doesn't work, for me, with the later ones. It's also an example of where the puppet was better than the CGI. I'm a child of Harryhausen as much as I am Lucas and Cameron so I feel there's a place for them both.

And I'm a BIG fan of Star Wars. It's one of the first films I can really remember having an impact on me. I still love it today (yes, even 1-3!).

So, for me, I'm happy for them to stay.
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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:59 pm

Really, I am kinda tapped out on the subject. Razz But i'll say something.

I kinda stepped back when I noticed he (The guy I was having a discussion with about it on Facebook that David makes reference to) was really starting to get legitimately angry towards me about it. Razz I wasn't at all cross with him, but I suppose that's where his feeling started to differ. At that point, I would have just kept repeating myself, and my points and that's when I realized that such discussions weren't going anywhere else.

I mean on one hand, I definitely have my strong feelings, but at the end of the day, I realize my opinion extends only so far as the movies themselves, and a few films aren't worth getting into fights or debates that take longer than a day with.

Really, in the end, my feelings come from someone who is a stickler for film preservation and who hates to see films or film footage lost to time.

Suffice it to say, though, that I think the changes, particularly those involving Darth Vader, and earlier changes regarding Han Solo, and the sloppy insertion of meaningless CGI detract heavily from the narritive and character development of the films.

Although I would have absolutely no problems with them, had the consumer been given a more direct choice if they wanted to ignore Lucas's piecemeal revisionist history forced on everyone whether they like it or not, when purchasing the sets in a High Definition format.

I still generally believe that he is stepping on the toes of his audience, which he still owes much responsibility to, to supply a product they want to buy, rather than one he feels is his prerogative to manhandle into a Frankenstien mess, as well as demeaning the authority that he gave to the directors of Jedi and Empire, Ivan and Richard. Especially when he is already well aware that what he's doing has been massively unpopular, and has been for a very long time.

I never once debated that it was Lucas's technical and legal right to do what he's doing. But to me, and thousands of others, he's stepping on everyone's toes, alienating and insulting many people to do it, as well as causing a detriment to the character motivations of the films themselves.

Not referring to little things like Ewoks blinking of course, referring to the severe altering of Darth Vader's entire core character, as well as Han Solo's character evolution... Massive changes that are becoming officially predominant and erasing history that was already well established, by denying the preservation of those films to future formats for future audiences. And inserting wildly clashing special effects that stick out like sore thumbs and propels one directly out of any sense of disbelief suspension for the films to be effective.

It's the fact that these original versions are not being preserved in any purchasable product for a new current viewing format like High Def video, that raises my ire more than the changes themselves, although not taking away from the fact that Han shooting first, Darth Vader officially screaming "NOOO" in Jedi, and the inserted CGI make the films ridiculous.

That having been said, the person I was talking to, quickly became apparent to hold the idea that "it's just my opinion" so it's automatically lesser than his..... well...... just because. I guess I'm just a douchebag and he's smarter than me.

And trying to insinuate that anything I or anyone does, is just as bad, when I'm not claiming to officially replace the original formats of anything I remix or parody as a fan. i.e: Trying to make it personal, and I wasn't really liking that, tactic of the discussion, either.... >_>

So for that reason, I have my views on the films, and how films should be preserved as art, when they have been in the can since the later 70's or early 80's, and should just be left well enough alone, or at least preserved to those that want them.

But at the same time, it's really just films, and it's just Star Wars, and I'm willing to just ignore and not purchase the new versions if I don't want them. (And I don't). Just saying that I think Lucas deserves all the criticism being heaped on him.

But really not interested in fighting over it.

And when I saw that the debate was turning from a difference of opinion, into "my opinion is better than yours" and making it personal by bringing my completly unrelated personal unofficial Non-Star Wars projects into it, I figured it's time to leave the discussion far behind, becuase he was clearly getting too worked up and angry.

So, that's my two cents on it, but apparently, it's an issue that people take farther than things like thoughts on film preservation, and become something to almost come to blows over. Not in for any of that.

It's really just films. Films I think are being lost, scribbled over, forgotten and tossed into the dumpster by someone too wrapped up in his ego to stand back and see the bigger picture regarding a legacy that become iconic. Yes. But films. Ones that I can take or leave, and I'm more than happy to leave, when it comes to owning them on High Definition, in a state that, I feel, wrecks their integrity.

And this coming from someone, who is not even a huge Star Wars fan, myself. But I don't see any others in Hollywood that are so eager to retroactively do this to their own legacy with such wreckless abandon than Lucas. Aside from, possibly Spielberg and his similar mistreatment of E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial. Another film that I'm irritated about the edits, and permanent revisions in it, and I'm not even a big fan of the original.

Aside from these two men, though, I see very few people in the Movie industry that take this extreme stance towards their own work, even when personally not 100% thrilled with the outcome.

I sometimes see alternate "directors cuts" for curiosity's sake, being offered alongside the original cuts, for people to choose from. (as well as regarding scenes that were filmed at the same time of the movie's production but merely left out) But that's about it.

And there's a very good reason, I feel, why many filmmakers won't go that far, and that extreme, to re-do, re-shoot add in, retcon, alter, and re-plaster new meanings and revisions on things. Because it severely diminishes the integrity and preservation of works that should stand for what they are. With any good film, there comes a point where a director or creator has to stop revising the script, and shoot the film and then stick with that film.


Last edited by NightStarX on Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:57 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Julius Seizure

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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:10 pm

I watched Star Wars once. I watched the original trilogy when they re-released in the cinema when I was a very young boy. I also watched Episode 1 in the cinema. Didn't rate, but each to their own, right.

I do understand Mike's point about art being left in it's original form, but look at it from Lucas' viewpoint: he can make a shitload of cash, and everyone knows that the bottom line is in £, $ and €. If I was him I'd do it!

Plus, there will be people who genuinely think the re-released films are a step forward from the old ones, although probably in the minority. And hey, like you said, if you really don't like the new ones you can just ignore them, it's not like you're getting forced to watch them
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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:30 pm

julius seizure wrote:
I do understand Mike's point about art being left in it's original form, but look at it from Lucas' viewpoint: he can make a shitload of cash, and everyone knows that the bottom line is in £, $ and €. If I was him I'd do it!

Personally, I think there would have been just as much cash in it, as releasing the original, unedited trilogy in High Definition Blu-Ray.

Probably more so, even, because less people complaining, and more people happy = More sales.

By doing less, he would have made more. Or certainly not raised the ire of so many people by altering the characters and their motivations on strange whims.

I was far more invested in the story, when I didn't know that Darth Vader's megalomania was just over-compensating for killing his girlfreind in a whiny self-pity monologue, years ago.

Or that The Force was something in your bloodstream.

And I believed Han Solo's transformation from a selfish, roguish, jaded, self-obsessed money grubbing survivalist into a selfless hero who values the lives of others more when he went from someone willing to shoot someone in cold blood, to someone that eventually puts his survivalist mentality aside to protect others by comparison.

Or when computer graphics creatures weren't flying into my face every 3 seconds.

It's things like that, that make me severely miss the original versions of the films.
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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:06 pm

Quote :
Personally, I think there would have been just as much cash in it, as releasing the original, unedited trilogy in High Definition Blu-Ray.

Probably more so, even, because less people complaining, and more people happy = More sales.

Good point, Mike, I'd agree with that.

Can't really comment on the story, being so young I just remember a few key scenes. I did read the plot of the series on Wikipedia at work once but it's obviously not quite like watching the films :p
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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:23 pm

Well, firstly on the issue of actually making the original versions available, I actually agree that they ought to have released both the original cinematic versions of the movies, as well as the revised version. I've seen that done with other movies - for example the Terminator special editions included both the original cinema and extended version, and there are something like 5 versions of Bladerunner on one set. I think we ought to have the choice.

However, that said, I can also see the argument that as the creator of the Star Wars universe, Lucas has the right to present to the world the version of the story which best accords with his original vision for it. If he feels the additional scenes and special effects are closer to how he always imagined the movies to be, then as the artist he, I suppose, has the right to say "no, that's the version I want you to see". Some of the changes I think add to the movies, others (like the aforementioned Jabba/Han scene) I think actually detract, but that's as maybe - its his movie. While I'd support the other versions being available, I don't think its stepping on his audience to choose to present his "best" version in the best format.

I do agree with you, Mike, to some extent, that I like to see the original versions of movies preserved, but at the same time I can't be against some tinkering (such as cleaning up prints which inevitably erases some of the original content). Its a bit like antiques. Sometimes restoration and "improvement" is the right way to go with an object, provided its done sympathetically. Other times its better to leave it in original condition.

As to the debate you seemed to be getting into on Facebook, I'm not sure I thought the guy was expressing a "my opinion is better than yours" view TBH, or labelling himself as more knowledgeable than you. I think he was just pointing out that you did seem to be over-egging the pudding and presenting your personal view as the view of the true fan, rather than one possible view. That's not to criticise you, I'm just trying to see a balanced view. I didn't take his comments to be unreasonable.

As to the changes themselves, and the way he has altered things in the story through the new trilogy. Well as I said I don't think some of them worked as well as others. More ships in the battle, developing Mos Eisley, retouching the Hoth battle scenes, all those work. I'm also not that bothered by Han not shooting first TBH. I don't think it weakens his essential character - Solo was never supposed to be a bastard. He was supposed to be a basically good guy who was a bit rough around the edges. I also happen to agree with your friend on the whole issue of Anakin being shown to be a whiny bitch and how that flowed through to Luke. I think he's right that that worked in the new trilogy. Other changes I don't think have worked so well. I agree with Myron that sometimes the CGI is weaker than the puppet (Jabba is the perfect example) and I think some things have been done for the sake of them. I also think the prequels, especially Menace, relied on tech over plot or scripting.

The change to the nature of the Force? Well I didn't have as big a problem with it. I don't think you can simply say "its something in the bloodstream". The Midiclorians are more than that. They are a force, an entity, which coexist with you and join you to a wider connected existence and being. That isn't really at odds with what Kenobi tells Luke in A New Hope. He just presents it slightly differently. I didn't think it jarred too much.

Like Myron, Star Wars was the first movie which really struck me. I was 6 when it was released here and I sat open mouthed throughout it. I came out of the cinema longing to be Vader (never Han, never Luke) and have loved the movies ever since. I've watched them hundreds of times in all the formats, and I love the original trilogy regardless of what Lucas does to them.

Incidentally, totally by coincidence, I got back in touch this weekend with an old work mate who I haven't spoken to in a while, and have found out he's a Stormtrooper. That is he is an official member of one of the UK wings of the 501 Legion - the official Star Wars stormtrooper society. So I actually do have the Dark Side on my side these days.....which is handy.

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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:38 pm

[quoteI was far more invested in the story, when I didn't know that Darth Vader's megalomania was just over-compensating for killing his girlfreind in a whiny self-pity monologue, years ago. [/quote]

Except, of course, it wasn't.

Anakin's turn to the dark side and his eventual manipulation by the Emperor is a combination of several things - Him already being too old and emotionally headstrong when he starts Jedi training, him therefore feeling constricted by the Jedi order's restrictive practices, his headstrong emotions getting the better of him, his crushing sense of guilt and anger at the death of his mother, and of course his negative emotions of pride, anger, and hatred being stoked by Palpatine in order to develop the dark side of the force where Anakin could revel in power he felt he was being restricted from using by the Jedi order. Anakin is actually motivated by genuinely good intentions when he starts developing his powers on the dark side of the Force. He believes the Jedi are holding themselves back as a force for good and that he can find a way to save Padme in a way his couldn't save his mother - its a little like Superman fucking with the course of human events by spinning the world back to save Lois Lane, and that being motivated by the guilt of Jonathan Kent's death.

Of course ultimately Anakin has been cruelly manipulated by the Emperor past the tipping point of the path to the Darkside and his emotions overcome him. He feels betrayed by those around him, and then ultimately the final tragedy is that for all his efforts he feels responsible for the person he loves dying.

Far from being a whiny self-pitying effort, by the time he becomes Vader that whiny adolescent has been replaced by a startlingly tragic figure of broken love and friendship, a shell of the man he was who cruelly has been betrayed by the emotions which gave him his power, and now finds himself as a result devoid of them. Vader is actually virtually Shakesperean in the way his life has been broken, and when you watch episodes 4-6 again with that tragic background, it adds so so so much more to the character.

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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:00 pm

I will totally admit that my usual method of expressing myself seems to be taking a backing from a position, and then building generally aggressive exaggerations from a base foundation, that I think I can defend. I'm always for using metaphors and adjectives to pack things onto my solid opinion, like packing on clay to build a statue. I can never deny doing that.

However, I do totally sometimes have a problem with trying to be so colorful in my metaphors that I run the risk of going to entertain myself more than make the point I had. Razz

So, no problem there. I'm not going to get all defensive on that, or anything. It's true. I do it.


On the idea if films, I totally agree that restorations and remastering is essential and a great thing. So are director's cut's with re-edited original film footage, or originally conceived work prints, and uncut versions. Especially remastering, because honestly, over time, some older films really do look like dingy, grainy shit. Razz

Although, when it's retroactively re-writing established characters, years or even decades after their initial establishment, however, that's where things get very sour for me.

Even so, I basically agree with everything you've said, even the things that point out where I appeared to be climbing onto a high horse of the "true audience" expectations. I'm not gonna lie or backpedal. I did a decent amount of that there. Guilty as charged. Sad

When it comes down to it, opinions aside, I think that could be said by all, for better or for worse, Lucas can be pretty much considered an extremist in his approach, in his method that crosses a few lines that very few other film makers will cross. Maybe he thinks he's establishing his own way of what he feels absoutely compelled to do, and no one or nothing can dissuade or stop him.

Much in the same way that I guess everyone can argue the President's approval rating.

Maybe he thinks everything he does is right and just on the films. Maybe these details really do bother him that much. Maybe he just stays awake at night, obsessively thinking "DAMMIT, I wish C-3PO's head in scene 233 in Empire had more glare coming off of it!!!".

Or even in those entire series altering moments of his, that Alderaan should have constructed their own canon, and attempted to fend of The Death Star after seeing the attack coming. ...had Lucas suddenly woken up one moment to think that Leia's planet met it's demise unfairly.

I suppose I'm willing to absolutely believe that he's really that utterly sore about these things, but at a certain point I can see, how it can start to sound like madness, and I can understand why people might think so. Especially without thinking they're just being "haters" or "nerds"

I just wish Lucas would remember that it's everyone else buying them. I doubt many ice cream vendors stay in business if they only sell Strawberry Ice Cream, even though they have all the flavors, because Strawberry is the only one the vendor likes.

It's just that just seems kind of unfair, I think, to hear the impression that people who think Lucas is a bit nuts after all this time, is somehow seen as just a bunch of fanboy nerds whining, about films they remember distinctly and growing up with once, already, and wanting to share those memories with their children and their children's children in that original format.
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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:30 am

Now that conversation about Star Wars has fully flared up, I feel this is the only contribution I can make now



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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:23 am

I love that video.

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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:11 am

I like the bit about Vader having nutters from Parkhurst waiting up Everest in case she goes to Tibet, with meat cleavers and yeti suits ready to chop her tarty fuckin' legs off. Very Happy Or,



Vader: You fucking prat!



*Leaves room*



*Intercom beep*



Vader: You fucking cunt!



or



*Vader slices through Obi Wan with lightsabre*



Vader: They go through BONE like BUTTAH
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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:30 am

Or this



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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:14 am


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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:37 am

Hahahahahaha!!!!



This dubstep business is really catching on



Lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:18 pm

The snatch one is a work of genius! I love it every time I see it!
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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:48 pm

Yeah tell me about it. It's probably my favourite youtube video
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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:56 pm

"You stop me again whilst I'm walking, and I'll cut your faaaking jacobs off"

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PostSubject: Re: Tinkering with Star Wars   Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:20 am

I have a fair few faves from youtube. I've idled away more time watching old Mr T stuff on there than is probably safe...
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