The Force Is Strong With This One

At the recent STAR WARS Celebration event, the news was unscrolled about the upcoming Blu-ray box set (with deleted scenes):

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (August 14, 2010) – Today at Star Wars Celebration V, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announced that the complete Star Wars Saga will come to Blu-ray Disc with a worldwide release in Fall 2011. The Star Wars Blu-ray Box Set will feature all six live-action Star Wars feature films utilizing the highest possible picture and audio presentation, along with extensive special features – including documentaries, vintage behind-the-scenes moments, interviews, retrospectives and never-before-seen footage from the Lucasfilm archives.

“Blu-ray is the absolute best way to experience Star Wars at home – in pristine high definition,” said George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars Saga. “The films have never looked or sounded better.”

To seal the geek deal, they presented a cut scene that would have been Luke Skywalker’s reveal in RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983) —  in a word, it’s awesome, connects THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK fully to the story, and Luke even looks like the Emperor in his robe. I LOVE the tilt down to him rebuilding his light saber, prepping to save Han Solo, and a future challenge to Darth Vader. This single beat gives ROTJ an entirely new tone from the outset (though I do like Luke’s first appearance in the film).

I’ve always said Mark Hamill has never received enough credit for the series, and it’s strange to read sub-ironic putdowns of his performance today from some quarters. Funny that we all loved him in all three at the time and actually, he’s the only character to have a full arc across the trilogy; Hamill perfectly segues from Luke’s “gee whiz” teen qualities to his more confident, impatient warrior in TESB to his fully developed Jedi Knight in ROTJ. It’s just a scientific fact that the emotional high point of RETURN OF THE JEDI is the moment when Luke and Darth Vader clash light sabers in silhouette as John Wiliam’s operatic chorus rises, signifying the duo’s destiny at its peak. If we didn’t believe in Hamill’s intense, sincere performance, that scene would never have worked. Nor would the films. As for this clip, I love the cheering and “woo woo”s from the crowd — it reminds me of how people used to react to the STAR WARS films, the best communal audiences I’ve ever experienced in a theater. Now, about releasing those original pre-digitized versions of the trilogy…


8 Responses to “The Force Is Strong With This One”

  1. Yeah, Hamill was really good in the original films and really conveyed a definite arc to Skywalker over the course of the series. We saw him mature over the years which is something I just didn’t get with Anakin in the new trilogy.

    And, of course, Lucas is screwing over the fans of the original by refusing YET again to include the original trilogy unmoleted by CGI claiming that it would be too expensive?!!!! yeah, ‘cos Lucas doesn’t have more money than God as it is. Once again, he is just glossing over the fact that he doesn’t give a crap about the original films as they were originally filmed preferring the CGI versions as the definitive editions. *sigh*

  2. that’s a cool little clip, but i personally find the hysterical crowd reaction a bit freaky/scary! but that’s just me. i love the original trilogy and it was seminal to my youth, but people still getting that worked up over one minute of footage is slightly frightening… but maybe in the context of the event it would seem less desperate, if that’s the right word.

    (and of course hamill is pitch-perfect as luke in his journey from whiny farm boy to wise warrior/saviour)

    i don’t like the remastered versions, i had hoped lucas would go the whole hog and include the originals, but from what JD has just said, that seems unlikely :-(

    • christian Says:

      I don’t think it’s scary, I mean it is a STAR WARS CELEBRATION. And to see an unseen reveal of Luke from ROTJ is exciting from a Geek POV. Like I said, people reacted the same way to the films in the theaters.

      • no offence was intended, it just freaked me out. i didn’t experience people reacting that way in the theatres and i saw the original trilogy first run at the cinema, so i guess i don’t have a point of reference there.

        • christian Says:

          No offense taken. I don’t think the response is any different than at any Comic-Con event.

          I mean, STAR WARS was famous for the audience loudly cheering and hooting…

  3. i love mark hammill in ROTJ. he nailed it. we can feel him. his face carries the weight of what he went through. when he saves han, he’s really a heroe, a mature heroe. he’s bruised, he s calm, he knows what he is doing. he is so BADASS. for the reste of the movie, he is this deeply human, intense character. his suffering is real. his relief is real, and the way he plays his coming out of age, very low profile, is an amazing performance. i love him with all my teenager heart.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: