JournalismPet Peeves

Messing with a Classic

Last night, one of the cable movie channels ran a marathon of the original Star Wars trilogy.

I watched the end of Return of the Jedi, the third and final film in the marathon. In this film, after learning that Darth Vader is his father, Luke Skywalker is nearly killed by the evil Emperor until Vader steps in and kills the Emporer. Vader, dying from his injuries, asks Luke to remove his mask so that the father can look upon his son with his own eyes.

When the mask is removed, we see the late Sebastian Shaw in the role of the dying Jedi-turned-villian. (It was James Earl Jones’ voice whenever the mask was on for the entire run.)

At the very end of the movie, after the rebels have won the war, Luke joins Princess Leia and Han Solo on the planet Endor for a celebration. What I remembered from the original 1983 movie — yes, it came out that long ago — was that there was this catchy little tune being played by the Ewoks, a race that looks like walking teddy bears. At one point, Luke looks off into the distance, and sees the ghosts of Yoda, Obi-Won Kenobi, and his father watching over the festivities with smiles on their faces.

Director George Lucas, who has taken some criticism for tinkering with his movies after the fact, apparently wasn’t happy with this scene as originally executed.

But when I watched the movie, that silly, catchy little tune the Ewoks played had been replaced with something more orchestral, shots at other locations showing celebrations seem to have been added, and when Luke looks off into the distance, he sees the three, but Shaw is replaced with Hayden Christensen, who ported Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith. Yet Alec Guinness, who played Kenobi, was not replaced by Ewan McGregor.

There really ought to be a statute of limitations when it comes to directors going in and tinkering with their movies after they’re released. It’s hard to watch a movie when those little things that added to its charm when you first saw it are all replaced with more fancy “do-overs.”

Come on, George: leave it one.

8 Comments

  1. i absolutely despise the new trilogy, and was so disappointed in the changing of that last scene, that i refuse to watch the “improved” original ones. after the newest Indiana Jones movie, i’ve completely given up on anything Lucas. i’m definitely going to stick to being a Trekkie. 🙂

  2. I also liked Star Trek a whole lot more. And the new Star Trek movie wasn’t half bad – better than the newer Star Wars by a long shot, I think. My brother and I had action figures as kids – but I was much more into Trek – I read the books, I had my own “communicator” I made out of an old lighter case, etc.

  3. I actually didn’t get Carly’s closing in her first comment until I went off to do something else. THEN I snorted, lol’d and headed back. Nice one!

    Also, it’s nice to know there are a few people like me who would be perfectly happy to live without ever hearing another word about Star Wars.

    1. I liked Star Wars fairly well when it came out, and I had the action figures. But I really liked Star Trek a lot more.

      I haven’t watched the original trilogy in years…and I absolutely hated the newer trilogy they came out with. I actually fell asleep in the theater during Part I. Yes, it was that bad.

      It was really the fact that I hadn’t seen it in so long that made me watch the tail-end of this movie. Now I wish I hadn’t.

  4. Hi Patrick 🙂

    I gave up on the Star Was triology when I spotted a blatant misuse of an ellipsis during the opening credits of The Empire Strikes Back! LOL 🙂 Shame.

    -Carly

    Have a great week nice man!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.