No one fears change more than a geek. And there’s no geek geekier than a Star Wars geek. For the past three-plus decades, we mouthbreathing members of the Rebel Alliance have bellyached every time George Lucas has tinkered with his creations. We cried heresy the first time he digitally futzed with the films for their theatrical rerelease. We got up on our hind legs when he tweaked the Han Solo/Greedo scene in Star Wars to make Harrison Ford’s character look less cold-blooded. And man, did we let him have it when he trotted out Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace. Lost in this overprotective mob sentiment is the fact that sometimes change can actually be a good thing. Take the long-awaited Blu-ray release of Star Wars: The Complete Saga (1977-2005, PG/PG-13). Available in one giant nine-disc box or as two individual sets containing either the original trilogy or the prequel trilogy, The Complete Saga is so visually drool-inducing that it should come with a bib. If you’ve been on the fence about whether to bust open your collectible Boba Fett piggy bank to buy a Blu-ray player, now is the time. If you do, here’s what you’ll be getting: 45 deleted and extended scenes; interviews with the cast and crew; eye-candy concept art; a slew of making-of documentaries; and actual proof that George Lucas has a sense of humor, thanks to 90 minutes of Star Wars spoofs, including Robot Chicken clips and a Weird Al parody. Of course, the main attraction here is still the movies (in descending order of greatness): The Empire Strikes Back, A New Hope, Return of the Jedi, Revenge of the Sith, Attack of the Clones, and The Phantom Menace. Sure, I suspect some diehards will wince and grouse about Darth Vader’s newly added ”Nooo!” at the climax of Return of the Jedi in this set (Lucas just couldn’t help himself, could he?), but there’s no denying that every film looks better on Blu-ray than it ever has before. Whether it’s the crisper white tundras on the ice planet Hoth or the inkier fog-shrouded swamps of Dagobah, Lucas has for the most part done right by his fans this time…as much as it pains this geek to admit it. A-
SPECTACULAR SAGA Chewbacca (played by Peter Mayhew) and Harrison Ford in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (TM Lucasfilm, Ltd.)
Posted September 20 2011 — 12:00 AM EDT
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