Seriously, Lucasfilm!? What. The Fuck.
Sigh. I guess this really shouldn’t come as too much of shock, right? Every new release of the Star Wars films warrant new gimmicks for us to buy them. And this release is a big one, this one is Blu-ray. These versions will be in high definition. This time when you watch The Empire Strike Back on your 50′ plasma you don’t want to be distracted by the puppeteer’s arm controlling the Wampa. Well, good, ’cause you won’t. That’s one of the few, minor cosmetic changes coming to the saga, that honestly, we can forgive. I would still love to have a nice quality version of the original flicks, no alterations, but I don’t mind my shiny HD version lookin’ just as pretty and perfect as possible. A long with this Wampa scene fix-up expect to see,
… the frame size on The Phantom Menace will be more complete than it was on previous releases. Meaning, where on your DVD you might not be able to see a character on the right of the frame, now you will. This is because transfer technology in 1999 wasn’t as good as it is now so, in 2011, they can transfer a more complete image. Plus, the images will be cleaned up, so no subtle ghosting around certain objects.
As for the original trilogy, many things that were wrong with the 2004 DVDs have been updated. Color timing is no longer an issue as all the lightsabers have been enhanced and made more uniform.
The audio has also been significantly improved with this release, particularly in A New Hope. Apparently there were issues with the back channels and some of the score was too low in the mix, but that’s all been corrected. In some cases, they even went back to the 1976 files to get the right sounds.
All of this is well and good and not worthy of an angry tirade on your personal blog. Though I’m sure from some there will be. What’s surprising is George Lucas has found more to tinker with. Here, this is straight from the original Digital Bits article where this information on the upcoming alterations was announced,
Once again, George has apparently added a few new “surprises” into these films. I don’t know what they are and didn’t get to see any of them on Friday, but I was assured that there will be “new things to notice” when we watch the films. I think we can safely assume that one of them will be the new all-digital Yoda in Episode I. Way back when Episode III was released on DVD, ILM digital effects supervisor Pablo Helman confirmed to me that the puppet Yoda in Episode I was replaced with a digital version to better match his appearance in Episodes II and III. In fact, the Episode III DVD extras includes a clip of the Episode I digital Yoda. However, this Blu-ray set is really the first opportunity we’ll have to see it in full. What the other changes to these films may be, I have no idea, but I suspect there will be no lack of blog posts on this very subject within hours of the first discs becoming available to fans.
Replacing the terrible puppet in Episode 1 which somehow managed to look worse than the Yoda puppet from 20 years earlier, please do! That I’m not worried about. What scares me are these other “surprises” they don’t reveal. What new, unexpected changes we asked for are coming to a galaxy far, far away!?