Star Wars on Bluray, or Darth Vader says what?

In early summer 1999 my girlfriend and I went to a wedding in Seattle. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace had been out for some time by then, and some clown somewhere decided to stage a “Phantom Menace Day.” The point was to encourage people to either see the movie for the first time, or to see it again. Soon after leaving our downtown hotel, Kathy and I were accosted by a frumpled, 30-something dude.
“Excuse, me,” he said. “Have you seen The Phantom Menace?”
“Why, yes, we have.”
“Would you consider seeing it again today? We want to make it the highest grossing film ever!”
“Sorry,” I said. “We have a wedding to go to.”
I was totally polite, which is really unlike me. Even know, twelve years later, I wish I could have my response back. This happens to everyone, doesn’t it? Even moments after an incident occurs, you think up the perfect comeback. By then, it’s too late. This is what I wished I had said:
“Excuse me? You’re out here canvassing pedestrians on this beautiful Saturday afternoon, trying to get them to go see that piece of crap movie again? Of all the problems facing the world today—unrest in the Middle East, mass starvation in the Horn of Africa, violence against women and children, decaying public schools, the AIDS epidemic, etc.—this is the cause that inspires you to take up the torch and man the barricades? To make George Lucas even richer than he is? You’re a loser! By the way, this is Kathy, my girlfriend. She’s a real-life woman. She lets me see her naked. One of the ways we express feelings for each other is by having sex. This is what adults do. Believe it or not, jacking it to a hermetically sealed poster of Princess Leia while sprawled out on a lumpy futon in your parents’ basement isn’t really sex. Now get away from me before I punch you in the neck. You’re a loser!”
I was thinking about this incident last week while I perused the reviews on Amazon of the Star Wars movies on Bluray, because despite the fact that people in the Horn of Africa are still starving, and that the Middle East is still a cluster fuck, and that men still abuse women and children, and that our schools still suck, and that people still get AIDS, I had every intention of giving George Lucas more money, and not only that, but I would blog about the movies and tell other people they should buy them, too. While reading the Amazon reviews I realized I was meeting yet again that frumpled (I know; it’s not a real word, but it should be) dude from Seattle, or at least someone much like him. He was giving the original Star Wars trilogy One Star, and was now telling people not to give George Lucas anymore money.
Why? Because the Blurays do not contain the original releases. There’s stuff added to them. Go ahead. Scan the reviews. There are tons of One Star reviews. Most appeared weeks before the Bluray release. The one addition that really seems to piss people off is that Darth Vader know yells a Steven Cobert “Nooooooo!” as he chucks the Emperor down into the shaft of the Death Star in Return of the Jedi. Pretty inconsequential, if you ask me. There are a few other additions, like the bit with Jabba the Hut in Star Wars. If those minor additions really keep you from buying the Blurays, you are an idiot and deserved to be punched in the neck.
Is that extreme? No. I went out and bought the original trilogy last Friday, and watched one film a day over the weekend. And they are awesome. The first 40 minutes of The Empire Strikes Back alone makes it worth it. I’m old enough that I saw Star Wars in its initial run at a drive-in in 1977. The picture was completely washed out, and the sound (if you can call it that) came out of one those speakers you hooked to your window. It looked (and sounded like) a 1950s era kitchen utensil. Maybe the purists trashing the Bluerays are nostalgic for those speakers as well. Now you can watch Star Wars in high definition and 6.1 surround sound. Who would’ve imagined back then, or even in the early 80s when movies started being released on VHS. Remember those days? A new release cost 80 fracking dollars! The Star Wars Trilogy on awesome Bluray will set you back half that. That means one movie costs about the same as one ticket for the latest Hollywoodextravaganza3Dsuckfest.
So that covers the original trilogy. What about the second one? You know, those three poorly written, poorly directed, poorly acted abominations that make even Indiana Jones and the Wankdom of the Crystal Skullfuck seem like a masterpiece? Should you go out and buy that? Get serious. If you really need to see the deleted scenes and other stuff that comes with the two-trilogy box set, catch it on YouTube. George Lucas has enough money.


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