So, I did some time traveling and stumbled across the 2031 re-release of the Star Wars saga onto the 4D Green-Ray format. I’m not sure exactly what that means, since my 20-year-older-self will rely on local children to plug new technology in for me. Also, I might have just committed future innuendo laws.
Starting off, let me just say that the 4D will/does look/looked awesome. Adding the extra dimension of time really opens(ed) up a lot of scenery and elapsed time that went unnoticed in previous formats. I was surprised that movies are still on disks, but the Griin-Ray blows away our current Blu-Ray tech out of the water because the lasers are green now.
Basically, I would recommend saving up now to eventually afford these home theater upgrades and also to survive the impending economic collapse of 2020. Hindsight’s gonna be a bitch in 2031, but I nailed that joke before anyone else. Take that, future funnymen!
That ends the good part of the review. Now let’s get into the awesome stuff.
As usual, George Lucas used the re-release opportunity to tweak his films, and, oh brother, did he ever this outing.
Some were minor technical modifications, like digitally reinserting all of the times Carrie Fisher’s nipples poked through her clothing. (I knew Hoth was cold, but how’d she dent metal bikini cups in the desert?) Unfortunately the original cuts have been lost, so these were modeled after Ms. Fisher’s nipples circa 2030.
And, while I mentioned above that the movies look/will did looken amazing in 4D, it’s overused to clear up some continuity errors. In the original “Special Edition” release of The Empire Strikes Back in 1997, Lucas added shots of Vader taking his shuttle from Cloud City to his Super Star Destroyer to establish that he did not take a shuttle between those locations between scenes. In this release, every character takes a shuttle to their next location if they are not explicitly shown travelling to their next scene.
For instance, at the end of A New Hope, the characters are all standing around on Yavin IV, holding a medal ceremony. But, then cut to Empire and everybody’s suddenly on Hoth! Fortunately, there is now an extended 30 minute scene showing a montage of the Rebel Alliance moving their headquarters to their new base. Also, a shuttle picks Vader up from his spinning TIE fighter and drops him off at his Super Star Destroyer.
But, then there are the cosmetic edits.
When Return of the Jedi was released on DVD in 2004, fans were upset because Sebastian Shaw, who played the unmasked Darth Vader, was replaced in his ghost scene at the end with Hayden Christiansen, who had played Anakin Skywalker in the prequels. While it was a nice tie-in to the prequels/fuck you to a superior dead actor, it unfortunately didn’t make sense because Obi-Wan and Yoda’s ghosts were of the old actors, not Ewan MacGregor and a dwarf in a motion-capture suit.
Well, true fans, George Lucas has heard you loud and clear. To fix this inconsistency, he replaced Sebastian Shaw in Darth Vader’s death scene with Hayden Christiansen.
And, since it’s clearly Hayden Christiansen under the mask now, and not some black guy, Hayden Christiansen was dubbed over all of James Earl Jones’ lines.
Speaking of re-dubbed characters: the character of Lando Calrissian is now voiced by Will Smith.
Another consistency problem Lucas encountered was when his characters’ motivations weren’t clear enough. In the 2011 Blu-Ray release of Return of the Jedi, Lucas re-edited the sound so that Vader would yell, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” right before and as he throws the Emperor into the Death Star reactor shaft. This tidily linked the end of Jedi to the end of Sith and its crowd-pleasing “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” and finally made it clear that Vader was decidedly anti-electrocuting his son, not pro.
Lucas realized he had missed a similar earlier error in Empire when Vader tortures Han Solo on Cloud City. You think Vader’s grilling Han for information, but it isn’t until minutes later that we find out that Vader never asked any questions. This has been finally fixed in 2031:
See? Now we know Vader’s pro-electrocuting Han Solo, and Empire has been tied into Jedi and Sith.
As you can see, the original trilogy looks and feels much better now. As for the prequels, they’re now three hours longer with more scenes of children and fathers, including a slideshow of Lucas with his own kids.
So, now I’ve prepared you for the future. Buy this re-release in 2031, assuming you outwit the giant mutant bees in 2014.