The number of times George Lucas has tinkered with/abused Star Wars is absolutely staggering. The original Star Wars, a path-breaking film that basically redefined movies, especially blockbusters, was incredibly impactful when it was released back in '77.
Now, Marcelo Zuniga (via IndieWire) has compiled a fantastic video series charting all the changes made to Star Wars since its original release. These changes range from tiny cosmetic alterations, visual effects touch-ups to things that actually affect the movie. We are referring of course to that Rosebud of the Star Wars universe: Who shot first?
Star Wars is huge: Even tiny details will be noticed by some rabid fan. "On opening day I ... did a radio call-in show ... this caller, was really enthusiastic and talking about the movie in really deep detail. I said, 'You know a lot about the film.' He said, 'Yeah, yeah, I've seen it four times already," said produces Gary Kurtz on when it actually dawned on him that Star Wars was a bonafide cultural phenomenon.
So here are some glaring (or not) alterations made to the great film. Move the slider along the image and see for yourself if you can spot the difference between the original frame from 1977 and the Blu-Ray release from 2011. Some changes are easy spotted and some may require Jedi skills.
Let's start with the title. Notice anything?
Watch out for the sand people R2!
A little extra rocks never hurt nobody
Some extra detailing over matte painting
Lucas loves monsters!
Case in point:
Which Jabba wore it best?
Added shot of the Millenium Falcon
Lucas says bigger is always better
Sharper lightsabers mean sharper Vader
A 100 stormtroopers are always better than 6
Thank Vader for CGI
Over the decades, Lucas has, in a way, lost control of his own creation. Fandom has grown in a scary way and has violently seized possession of the films, especially the original trilogy, from the increasingly uncompromising hands of George Lucas. Why, you may ask? Well, for one, Lucas began messing around with the films as early as a few weeks after its initial release. And he hasn't stopped since. For every great idea Lucas graced us with in the original trilogy there was a Jar Jar Binks. Just watch the fantastic documentary The People vs. George Lucas to really get a sense of how much the movies mean to people and how devastated they've been by the relentless changes.
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The author tweets @NaaharRohan