Feeling no ‘Force’ to buy SW Blu-ray

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, October 2, 2011

I just couldn’t do it.

    Despite the great sale price and a freebie pack of photos offeredwith the purchase, I just couldn’t pull the trigger to buy the newBlu-ray edition of the “Star Wars” film saga.

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    Perhaps I’m not as big a “Star Wars” fan as I thought.

    Perhaps I have too many fond memories of the original trilogy thatI don’t want to watch altered versions of it.

    Perhaps the Blu-ray edition of the original trilogy and the prequeltrilogy just isn’t worth the money.

    I don’t think the first possibility I mentioned is the case.

    I’ve been a big “Star Wars” fan since I first saw “A New Hope” in1977.

    I still have some of the original action figures from way backthen.

    Let’s just say they are in less than mint on card condition, whichwould make some of them extremely valuable today. Still, the valueof the enjoyment I got playing with them as a child far outweighsany monetary value they would have in modern times.

    Admittedly, the growth of my collection of “Star Wars” memorabiliahas slowed in recent years. Part of the reason for that is the morerecent items have been more focused on the prequel movies andanother reason is I’ve been concentrating on sports cards or othermemorabilia collections.

    The more I think about it, I believe the second possibility -regarding my appreciation for the originals – holds a lot ofmerit.

    For me, one of the fascinating aspects of the original trilogy wasthe painstaking amount of time spent using models to produce thescenes. In the mid-70s, that was some truly groundbreaking work inthe area of science fiction films.

    Today, computer-generated effects can do far more.

    That was one factor behind release of the “special edition”versions of the three original films. The “special edition”versions of “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and”Return of the Jedi” were released in 1997 to coincide with the20th anniversary of the franchise.

    The new version of “A New Hope” strikes at the heart of my problemwith the “special editions.” Permit me to “geek out” for amoment.

    For me, and the many who share my opinion, the issue can be summedup in three words: Greedo shoots first.

    You will recall the scene from the cantina when Han Solo isconfronted by Greedo, the green-skinned bounty hunter, aboutcollecting on the debt Solo owes to Jabba the Hut.

    When Greedo suggests taking his beloved ship, the MillenniumFalcon, Solo blasts the bounty hunter from under the table. Thisset Solo on the fast track to his becoming my favorite “Star Wars”character.

    In the reworked version, however, Greedo is seen taking the firstshot. What’s worse, he misses from point-blank range!

    The additional footage makes no sense and takes Solo’s coolnessfactor way down.

    Whether the extra shot scene was added because of some politicalcorrectness mumbo-jumbo or not, I don’t know and I don’t care. Ijust hate the new version.

    I won’t even go into my opinions of the prequel films: “The PhantomMenace,” “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith.” Kind oflike “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” if theywere never made, I’m pretty positive I would not have missedthem.

    And that brings me to the value aspect. Whether around $80 on saleor more than $100 at full price, I imagine myself and many othersjust can’t part with that much for something that doesn’t thrillus.

    A good friend gave me all six “Star Wars” movies on DVD as a gift afew years ago. That’s good enough for me.

    That’s all for now. Oh, and uh, “May The Force Be With You.”

    Write to Managing Editor Matthew Coleman at P.O. Box 551,Brookhaven MS 39602, or send e-mail tomcoleman@dailyleader.com.