What if I didn't buy Star Wars on Tuesday?
by Jon on Friday, September 17, 2004 file under: Commentary

I was thinking how great it will be to buy Star Wars on DVD on Tuesday, the thought that keeps creeping back into my head, and that I've told many people before: the DVDs coming out on Tuesday are not the Star Wars' from my childhood. In fact, they're not even the Star Wars' from 1997. Beyond the massive reconstruction (Skycaptain style reconstruction), of these movies, George Lucas has told AP that he thinks anyone still pining for the original Star Wars is a moron. Well, George, today this moron is not quick to give you my money.

But what will that do?

To me, it seems George Lucas's control over Star Wars stems from a need to stay in the spotlight. He has little to say beyond knocking the original Star Wars, spouting on about his alternative avant-garde filmmaker life that would have ensued had Star Wars not stopped him, and how great he's making the future of filmmaking for everyone. All three topics rarely slide from the theoretical, he is very much a man stuck in his own head. Meanwhile, instead of pursuing his edgy directorial roots or actually pushing the limits of cinema, he's wasting time touching up films that were completed over 20 years ago. He sees that the kids liked his magic trick and says, ?Wait, if you liked that, you'll love this!? and shows them the same trick again, this time with a red scarf instead of a blue one. After 20 years of seeing the same trick, George, we're ready to see what else you can do.

Lucas has already laid out his plans for releasing not only DVDs in the current format, but has also prepared the HD versions of the Special Edition Star Wars trilogy as well. He knows very well that he'll gouge everyone this year on the four DVD set scheduled to be released next Tuesday. Then he'll gouge them again next year when he can release a mondo 7-disc box set with all six movies in it. Then a year later (or whenver HD-DVD becomes a standard) he'll gouge them again on the HD versions of all these movies.

I have the actual Star Wars in uncompressed digital format on massive laser discs. Sure, the laser discs don't have frame-by-frame dust removal, or seven channel sound, but they've worked for me years ago, and they'll continue to work for me into the future. Heck the image quality is virtually the same as DVD, losing only 40 lines of horizontal resolution (not bad for technology that was commercialized in the 70s). The only benefit I see with the DVDs is that I don't have to flip the disc every hour.

So instead of doing what George wants me to do, I'm going to do my best to refrain from purchasing the DVDs Tuesday. I haven't bought any of the atrocious ?Special Editions? or ?prequels? and I have equal need for either (none). I'll forgo the mondo box set that is released next year. The one that I'm going to have problems with is the HD release in the unforeseeable future.

I'm sure my protest will mean little to nothing to Mr. Lucas. I'm sure I'll be no better a person for not giving into this scam of a release. I'm sure I'll either borrow it from someone or rent it to check out the commentaries and documentaries. But buy it, that's something I'm not sure about.

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