11:17 18 May 2003
George Lucas has said several times that he considers the Special Editions of the original three Star Wars films to be the final evolution, and since the original versions are nothing more than works in progress, they won’t ever be released to the public again. Remember, this is the same guy whose judgement brought us Ewoks, invented Jar Jar Binks, and selected Jake Lloyd to play young Anakin Skywalker after not giving Haley Joel Osmet a callback after the first reading for Anakin. Osmet rebounded by getting a bit part as a boy who sees dead people in “The Sixth Sense.” Since then, Osmet has been in several prominent films, and Lloyd has seen several prominent films.
Anyway, although I don’t really have a problem with the Special Editions, I really feel they are not the films that deserve the recognition as groundbreaking blockbuster cinema. I see the Special Editions as something along the lines of remixed music singles. Interesting, and maybe even superior in some ways, but not the real thing.
I came across OriginalTrilogy.com the other day. They have a petition to electronically sign asking Mr. Lucas to reconsider his position and release the original cuts of Episodes IV, V, and VI. I’m number 31,678. And even if their pleas for artistic integrity, cultural reverence, and quasi-religeous sanctity fall on deaf ears, there’s this:
Furthermore, we understand that you have commercial concerns and that you need to consider the financial viability of any home video product that you release. Perhaps a Limited Edition run of the original films along with a Special Edition release would be in order. This approach would sate niche market demand, while still targeting the general public and no doubt breaking home video sales records. We want it to be known that there is enormous demand for the original theatrical versions of the films. Your devoted fans would more than likely purchase both an Original Trilogy release as well as any Special Edition versions.
We all know he’s going to re-release the Star Wars films every couple of years anyway, so why doesn’t he just make one of them the orignal version, for the love of Yoda?