THX 1138: © & TM Lucasfilm. All Rights Reserved
Dalton Ross
September 24, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

After the success of Star Wars, devotees went back to Lucas’ first sci-fi film and thought… What the hell? Sure, both films tell the tale of a small band of rebels, but the similarities pretty much end there. Where Star Wars is warm and fuzzy (and I’m not just talking about the Wookiee), THX 1138 is cold and creepy, showing us a future where humans are drugged, shaved, and subservient. And while the movie is aggressively anticommercial, that didn’t stop Lucas from giving it a makeover for the two-disc THX 1138: The George Lucas Director’s Cut (R, 88 mins., 1971, Warner). In some cases, shots have simply been cleaned up. In others, completely new scenes and environments have been added (check out the spiffy car-chase improvements). Does it look better? Definitely. Does it transform THX from a good film into a great one? Not really. What is great, however, is the collection of extras, including Lucas’ original student film, an hour-long documentary on American Zoetrope (Francis Ford Coppola’s filmmakers collective), and another doc with star Maggie McOmie about to break into tears as her hair is chopped off. If only the film had as much emotion.

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