Monday, October 29, 2012

George Shot First: Lucas Answers the Critics

By: Chris Perry 

With Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace 3D now in theaters, a collective uproar has once again been stirred up on the interwebs. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, George Lucas addressed a few of the grievances aired by disgruntled Star Wars fans. Personally, I think too much is made of minor issues, such as the age-old complaint, “Han shot first!” but it seems to be one of those silly qualms that won’t go away. With regard to that Lucas explains, “what I did was try to clean up the confusion but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.” 

When the Blu-ray versions of all six films were released late last year, another non-issue became internet fodder as fans decried the replacement of the Yoda puppet in The Phantom Menace with the CGI version. When asked about this George replied, “We tried to do Yoda in CGI in Episode I, but we just couldn’t get it done in time. We couldn’t get the technology to work, so we had to use the puppet, but the puppet really wasn’t as good as the CGI. So when we did the reissue, we had to put the CGI back in, which was what it was meant to be.” It escapes me how anyone could have a problem with this change, especially after watching the lightsaber duel between Yoda and Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones. The first thing I said to a friend after that experience was, “I hope George fixes Yoda in Episode I. That puppet looked like an under ripened fig.” 

I have said it before and I will say it again now – no matter what George Lucas does he cannot win. There are people in the world who will never be satisfied, even when the changes made to these films make them better. Lucas’ explanations for why he retroactively alters his work usually make perfect sense (I do have an issue with Hayden Christensen at the end of Jedi but will just leave it at that.) and, let’s face it; these movies are his babies, which wouldn’t exist without him, and he can do with them what he pleases. Don’t like what he does? Then don’t watch them. And how about using some of the energy it takes to bemoan good, ol’ George and directing it at the film studios that churn out one awful movie after another? Sounds like a plan to me. 

In the end, I am ecstatic that Star Wars still has legs and can’t wait for the first three episodes (IV, V and VI) to be released in 3D. There is nothing like seeing these films on the big screen, which none of us get the opportunity to do very often. Will they cure all of our ills? Of course not, but they are a means of escape from everyday life and that is a valuable commodity. In the words of George Lucas, “Well, it’s not a religious event. I hate to tell people that. It’s a movie, just a movie.” I would argue that Star Wars is more than that but you get the point…


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