Star Wars Blu Ray changes leaves fan feeling green

By: Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Illustration located in the Washington City Paper. Illustration by Brooke Hatfield of the Washington City Paper.

People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians, and if the laws of the United States continue to condone this behavior, history will surely classify us as a barbaric society.

In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be “replaced” by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten.

Attention should be paid to this question of our soul, and not simply to accounting procedures. Attention should be paid to the interest of those who are yet unborn, who should be able to see this generation as it saw itself, and the past generation as it saw itself.

— George Lucas’s 1988 speech to the U.S. Congress

On Sep. 16, 2011 George Lucas will be releasing the “Complete Star Wars Saga” onto Blu Ray. Lucas has already confirmed alterations, and leaked visuals have already appeared on YouTube.

Yoda, the diminutive Jedi Master, has certainly changed for his Blu Ray debut. In “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” Lucas removed the Yoda puppet used in the original version and replaced it with a CGI Yoda to make him more animated and life like.

Other confirmed alterations include adding an emotional outburst from Darth Vader, similar to his emotional outburst at the end of “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.” Now in “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi,” when Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) zaps Luke Skywalker with force lightning, Vader looks left to Palpatine, and back down at Luke. Vader softly says “No,” then launches himself at the emperor, yelling “Noooo!”

Comic based on fan reactions to the changes made by George Lucas. Photo courtesy of

If, as George Lucas passionately said before the U.S. Congress in 1988, that changes to original film material is barbaric and unwarranted, then why is he editing his own films without releasing the original? The only one that really knows the truth to that is Lucas himself.

Lucas’ speech to congress was in response to Hollywood’s attempt to color black and white films. Due to the invigorated and passionate outrage at such indiscretion of original pieces of art, the “National Film Registry” was established to protect original copies of historically significant films from being edited without preservation of the original.

Whether or not these changes make for better films, it will certainly be interesting to see Lucas continue to change the face of movies.


  1. Has anyone seen Blu-Ray 3D?
    ….it’s awesome!

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