Tuesday, January 18, 2011

a little bit of Star Wars geekdom

I stumbled across a couple of things this week that made my geeky heart go pitter-pat. Apparently, there are cut scenes floating around out there from the original Star Wars movies.

Rumour has it that George Lucas is intending to add the deleted scenes as extras on the Blu-Ray release of the movies in the fall of 2011. Rumour also has it that he's planning to make even more changes to the original trilogy, including replacing shots of Vader out of his helmet with shots of Hayden Christensen. (There is an interesting article in the Guardian about George Lucas' extreme and nauseating hypocrisy on that subject.)

The first scene is from A New Hope. There was, apparently, an earlier cut of the movie that was quite different from the one that was released. In it, Luke spots the fighting going on above Tatooine and runs to tell his friends. He runs into Biggs who is home from the Academy.


Luke and Biggs have another scene where they spend some time catching up, talking about the Empire and the Alliance.

It was interesting to see these scenes, this alternate introduction to Luke. And the information it gives about the Empire and its activities is fascinating, as is Biggs' opinion of the situation. It's a little bit more context for us about the state of the galaxy.

I'm glad, though, that the scenes were cut. I found that they changed Luke's character, and they took away from the decisions that he makes later in the film. The very existence of the wider context makes Luke's world a little bigger, and the joy of his character is watching him go from a very small metaphorical world to a very, very large one.

To me, it's much more interesting to watch a lonely, backwoods boy get swept up into adventure, than to watch the little dog following in his older, cooler friend's footsteps. Knowing that he has a best friend out there leading the way really decreases the impact of the moment where he loses everything. And being the little dog takes away from his nobility.

The other clip I came across is from The Empire Strikes Back. It takes place in Cloud City, a lost moment between Han and Leia.

I can see why the scene was cut. The trust issues regarding Lando were covered in the scene where they landed in Cloud City. Take that away, and all that's left is the kissing. And this isn't really a kissing movie, sadly. It was nice to see it, though. I'm a mushball at heart.

And, last but not least, there is a shiny, shiny map of the whole Star Wars galaxy. If you look at the comments, people who know far more than me seem to have issue with the 'accuracy' of the map. But, still. Shiny!

PS - If you're looking for a copy of the original, un-altered trilogy, pick up this version of the DVD. The originals are included as a bonus extra. Personally, I'm going to stick with this one, because I think the Blu-Ray version might render me homicidal.

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