August 19, 2010

Lame Lucas

A nerdy Star Wars convention called Celebration V was held this past weekend and the big news to come out of it came directly from the grand poobah himself, George Lucas who made the long-awaited announcement that his beloved original Star Wars trilogy (A.K.A. "the good ones") were coming to Blu-Ray in the Fall of 2011.   That's the good news.  The bad news is they will be available in a box set with the other trilogy, you know, the one that was essentially just six hours of Lucas pissing on his legacy.  It's not clear yet if they will be available individually or if Lucasfilm will make you buy the shitty ones as part of the package.  I suspect they will.  Shortly after that set is available, don't be surprised if you see The Phantom Menace used as a coaster during cocktail parties or Revenge of the Sith available second hand in large quantities where ever you buy used DVD's and Blu-Rays.  But that's not the only bad news; the versions of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi contained on the discs, amazingly, will not be the movies we saw and loved back in the movie theatre.   Instead, they will be the 2004 box set versions which were filled with digital alterations that Lucas made to the films back in 1997 and additional post production tweaks and changes in 2004 in order to tie the original trilogy into the new set of films.

Why on earth would Lucas not give the fans - who have supported him so incredibly well for so incredibly long - the Hi-Def versions of the films as they were originally released?  Amazingly, Lucas, who has relentlessly marketed his movies and milked the fans with multiple new versions, revisions and  special editions and a slew of lunch boxes, toys, bed sheets, video games and collectables, revealed that it was a financial decision. "Releasing the  originals is kind of an oxymoron because the quality of the original is not very good.  You have to go through and do a whole restoration on it, and you have to do that digitally," Lucas said.  Gee, really?  Do you mean like every other Blu-Ray on the market?   He then had the balls to add: "It's a very, very expensive process to do it.  So when we did the transfer to to digital, we only transferred really the upgraded version."   Are you kidding me?  After all the money he's made on these films - and the gajillion more he made with the more recent trilogy based almost entirely on the nostalgia for the original movies - he has the blend of arrogance and ignorance to tell the fans he has to give them the bastardized version of the series because to actually release the classic movies in their classic form is "very, very expensive."   What a douche bag.