On September 16th, the world will be treated to a technological advancement that will change the world, things will never be the same and decades from now we will look back and remember the 16th of September as the day that changed all our lives forever. What is this earth shattering event, you ask?
The complete Star Wars saga will be available on Blu-ray.
I don’t even want to think about how much money I have spent in my life on Star Wars merchandise. Probably enough for a down payment on a house, or at least a fantastic vacation in Maui. Of all the many purchases I’ve made; games, books, action figures, ornaments, replicas, models, the only thing I’ve bought multiple times is the movies. My wife has pointed out to me over and over again that I already own all the movies, why do I need to buy them again? I roll my eyes at her and then I buy them again.
My first copies of Star Wars were home made by my uncle who transferred them from Lazerdisc to VHS, consequently there was a fuzzy section in the middle of each movie when he had to flip the disc over. Since then I have owned the original unaltered trilogy on VHS twice and the Special edition released in the late 90’s once.
I bought the first prequel The Phantom Menace both on VHS and DVD, then Episode II and III on DVD. In 2004 I bought the original trilogy special edition on DVD and two years later bought them again when they were rereleased along side the original unaltered versions of the films.
This was where my wife drew a line in the sand, “But you just got these movies. George Lucas is just trying to make more money off you.” This is going to sound foolish, but as a 23 year old I never thought of it that way before. Of course he was trying to make more money, but I wanted each new version.
To me the constant rereleasing of Star Wars was a privilege for fans like me to get to see them in a new way all over again. One of my other favorite films, The Black Stallion, often seems to be forgotten, but Star Wars is always in the forefront of movie experiences. If Lucas was to change just one frame of each film and call them the Super Special Edition, I’d happily buy that too.
This is one of those cases where you simply have to stand back and say, “It’s a fan thing” and leave it be. To an outside observer the 2006 release of the Special Edition with the unaltered version was the hight of greed on Lucas’s part. The truth is that fans had been petitioning for years to have the unaltered films released on DVD. Nostalgia got the best of all of us, we wanted to see Han shoot first, the scarier Wampa cave scene, the original version of Lapti Nek, and Sebastian Shaw as Anakin.
Until Episode III Revenge of the Sith was released in 2006 every film was available on both DVD and VHS, this was the first to be available on DVD only. It was a smart business decision, VHS was a dinosaur and you would be lucky to even find a player in the store. Believe it or not there was a strong but failed attempt by fans to have the movie made available on VHS as well. I’m surprised their hasn’t been a bigger push to see the whole series on Betamax and Lazerdisc.
Perhaps now you can see that in most cases it is not George Lucas reaching his greedy little hands into our pockets but rather the fans tugging on this pants leg and kissing his shoes begging for another rererererelease of the films. If it was simple greed we would have seen more versions of American Graffiti and THX 1138.
So here I am, less than a week away from getting my hands on the latest version of the same movie I have been buying for thirty years. The movies will still be the same; Anakin Skywalker will become Darth Vader, the Death Star will be blown up twice, Luke will loose his hand, and Jar Jar Binks will still be fucking annoying, but now they’ll be on Blu-ray and I will own them.
It was recently announced that all six films would be coming back to theaters, this time in 3D. Just like my wife, I have finally drawn my line in the sand. I absolutely loath 3D and am only waiting for the day when we can enjoy Kramer vs. Kramer or Who’s Afraid of Virgina Wolf in all they’re originally intended three dimensions. I’ve promised my wife that we will not be attending the Star Wars 3D experience. Well not the prequels anyway.
I can’t wait till the 4D release of the films where I can actually smell the rotten garbage of the trash compactor or the putrid stench of Taun Taun entrails. I do have a breaking point, if just barely.