In light of the new changes being edited into the Blu-ray release of the original trilogy, there has been the now traditional fan uproar. Some of the changes are inconsequential, some may actually improve the movies, and the prequels, but as ever there are some controversial changes that have not gone down well at all.
What makes all of this all the more amusing is this quote from George Lucas from back in 1988 when he was testifying before Congress regarding the plight to save the cultural heritage of classic films:
"These current defacements are just the beginning. Today, engineers with their computers can add color to black-and-white movies, change the soundtrack, speed up the pace, and add or subtract material to the philosophical tastes of the copyright holder. Tomorrow, more advanced technology will be able to replace actors with "fresher faces," or alter dialogue and change the movement of the actor's lips to match. It will soon be possible to create a new "original" negative with whatever changes or alterations the copyright holder of the moment desires. The copyright holders, so far, have not been completely diligent in preserving the original negatives of films they control. In order to reconstruct old negatives, many archivists have had to go to Eastern bloc countries where American films have been better preserved.
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."
It does paint him to be something of a hypocrite, but they're his movies to do with as he likes, so what are you going to do? The following article is a good one on this subject and raises some interesting points:
And of course now it is time for the customary Hitler hates... video:
Hitler has never made me laugh so much.
All George Lucas has to do is release a cleaned up original theatrical release of the original Star Wars trilogy on Blu-ray and then all the fan vitriol would go away. He'd be forgiven for all the tinkering of the special editions, as long as we have a copy of the original that we all know and love. Perhaps the fear is that if he did that, then nobody would buy his special editions and he'd have to face the cold hard truth that not that many people prefer them over the original cut.
Going to head off now to lock my tin box collection of the original videos and Dvds of the theatrical release in a vault now. Sounds like they're only going to become more precious as the years go on.