Friday, September 10, 2004

Time for some geekery.

Yup, in light of all the heavy stuff that's been on my brain lately, here's a post about Star Wars.

The DVD boxed set of the original trilogy comes out in a couple of weeks, but to the chagrin of many fans, these are the "Special Editions", not the actual versions released in 1977, 1980 and 1983 respectively. Personally, I'm fine with this. But that's not all: the films have been tweaked yet again, and here's a rundown of the changes.

Most involve touching up special effects and whatnot, and won't really be noticeable, with the exception of one shot: the end of Return of the Jedi, when Anakin Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Yoda all appear in their "spectral forms" to smile upon Luke after the Rebel victory. Back in the original film, actor Sebastian Shaw -- who played Anakin/Vader in the "removal of the breath mask" scene -- was filmed for the "spectral form", but now, Hayden Christensen (who plays Anakin/Vader in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith) is being inserted into that shot. I'm not sure if I like this. It seems needless, and I suppose that the idea is that a Jedi's "spectral form" doesn't change from the second of a Jedi's death. This would therefore reinforce Obi Wan's notion that at the moment Anakin became Vader, Anakin actually ceased to exist.

The difficulty, though, is that at the end, when Vader turns back to the good side, wouldn't Vader therefore likewise cease to exist, and be replaced by Anakin? By this logic, shouldn't the "spectral form" of Anakin still look like Sebastian Shaw?

Anyway, it's a tiny point. And if the screenshots in the linked article are accurate, after three different versions of the original Star Wars trilogy, those weird "black blobs" are still visible on the Emperor's temples in Return of the Jedi. Now that's weird.

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