May the Force be with You!

I suppose it’s official. This last week Lucasfilm announced
the upcoming issue of the Star Wars movies on Blu-ray. Slated for a
September 16th release, the boxed set, entitled Star Wars: the Complete Saga,
fills nine discs and includes all six feature films and their respective bonus
features, as well as new archives and documentaries. Besides the movies, that’s
an additional 40+ hours of material.

First let me say that I am a huge Star Wars fan.
Throughout my school days I read the books, quoted movie lines, and drew SW
characters on practically all of my book covers. I actually had people stopping
me in the school hallways to see my drawings of Salacious Crumb and Jabba the
Hutt. I even read some of the SW Universe books, including the “Hans Solo
Trilogy.” Don’t judge me.

As adults, my husband and I passed down the love affair to
our two sons. They played with every Star Wars action figure that they could
get their hands on. Boba Fett is a particular favorite of my boys, but they
love it all. They are almost grown, but still exercise their plastic light
sabers on a regular basis. It’s more than just a game to them.

So why am I worried? Well… I wouldn’t necessarily say that
I’m worried. Maybe I just have a bad feeling.
Oh, I’m sure we’ll make space in our movie library for this set. I’m
sure we’ll spend a grand Saturday of family bonding watching Ben, Yoda, and
Qui-Gon hand down their ethereal wisdom to Luke and Anakin.

“Luke, I am your father!” It’s a family story.

When I was younger I craved any little extras I could find
about the characters. I loved hearing every detail about how George Lucas came
up with the idea of Chewbacca. I couldn’t get enough behind-the-scene dirt. But
now I’m older.

I watched the re-mastered digital editions of Episodes 4-6.
I liked the changes for the most part—the explosions benefitted from advances
in technology. I’m still torn about the change in the Cantina scene. I’m not
sure it was necessary to make Greedo shoot first. To me it implies that people
are not capable of whole and complete change. But then, George is the one with
the big bucks, isn’t he?

I suppose I just wonder if all the extras ultimately detract
from the simple story of good versus evil. After all, the special effects and
animation are servants to the tale. Without a beautiful basis of conflict, all
the computer graphics imaging is for naught.

In my experience, the deleted scenes or alternate endings
that show up as “bonus features” at the end of movies should stay deleted, with
very few exceptions. I just pray that the “bonus” material in this set is more
along the lines of exposing the challenges faced by the cast and crew, and not
boring dialog repeated three other times in the film. I want to see the cast
and crew having fun making these iconic pictures, not back-stage bickering.

It filters down to trust. Do I trust George Lucas enough to
deliver my hopes and wishes without shattering my dreams? Will he preserve the
energy that gives these films their power? Surrounding them, penetrating them,
binding these stories together?

Mr. Lucas is a master story-teller.
He knows how to stay on target with his audience.
The force is with him. That’s why I love Star Wars.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema! Thanks for reading!


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