Star Wars: Special Editions – Disneycember

Those controversial “improvements” to the Star Wars trilogy. Do they truly make it better? Doug takes a look at the Special Editions of the Star Wars Trilogy.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

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61 Comments on "Star Wars: Special Editions – Disneycember"

KKDW
Guest

I’ve heard that change to the Han and Greedo scene was because these days the scene would bump the rating up from what George Lucas wanted, so it was changed to keep the rating for the special edition the same as the original version.

Backhand
Guest

Episode VII broke records this weekend…get ready for the next “original idea” for a clipless review

The Mysterious M
Guest
Here’s my view on some of the changes: *Greedo shot first: Honestly…this one is take it or leave it for me. I don’t care either way. I get why people care, but I just don’t. The result is always the same. *The Jabba the Hutt scene: I actually liked this one the first few times I got it. It made some sense; we see the person Han is so scared of. But then, I saw another youtuber talk about it; the scene is ruined because of the payoff. We don’t know who…or what… Jabba is at this point in time.… Read more »
E.Buzz Miller
Guest

Honestly the only one I hated was the Jabba dance scene. It just stuck out as too elaborate a dance number, didn’t match the sleazy gangster’s hideout feel of Jabba’s Palace and the CGI creatures were atrociously done.

RockmanX3
Guest

That lipped monstrosity was just atrocious. I would have fed her to the rancor.

Jon McKenzie
Guest

Yeah, but how would Luke recognize Hayden as Anakin? Luke was still calling Obi Wan “Ben”. If they re-edited the Jedi ghost scenes, would it make sense for Luke to recognize studly young Ewan MacGregor? That was strictly for the audience, not Luke Skywalker.

iwasapenguin
Guest

FWIW manufacturing two versions of the same film on VHS back in the day would likely have been required an overly expensive amount extra manufacturing equipment and vehicles. Let alone trying to explain to retailers (and parents) why Star Wars needs twice the shelf space.

On the other hand I would imagine making it available for streaming could be profitable. Transferring it all from film to digital could prove to be somewhat expensive but once that is done the price of keeping it online would be quite low.

Morkez Marihser
Guest

Haven’t started watching the video, and I have this to say:
“I have no problem with a DisneyCember being spent on this.”

Just finished watching the video, and I have this to say:
“I’m surprised this wasn’t done as a Nostalgia Critic editorial instead.”

Redrally
Guest

Here here! (to both statements)

TheOnlyBongo
Guest
Honestly it is quite refreshing to hear something positive to say about the special editions. Are they the best? No, as I still prefer the originals. Are they god awful? Oh hell no the rabid fans of the fanbase just blew everything out of proportion to hell and high water. Doug said it perfectly at the end that it’s like an artist going back to an old sketch and then making something new from that old sketch. Honestly a lot of the scenes I did not mind at all, and when comparing them are actually pretty cool. The cityscapes, the… Read more »
Shinigami
Guest

Lot of changes that were made to originals were pointless and it feels like those were made just because Lucas could do those changes.

Oh and to me it feels wrong to say that Han shot first because he was only one who shot. Greedo didn’t even have a chance because he talked too much.

Maarons
Guest

Thank you! I ALWAYS felt that catchphrase was misleading.

RockmanX3
Guest

I saw all these when they were re-released in theaters in 1997 and my biggest gripe even more than Greedo shooting first is the music changes in Return of the Jedi with that TERRIBLE CGI singing whatever lipped monstrosity and the changing of the ewok song I used to hum as a kid all the time. It almost felt like Jedi was a completely different movie.

SupermanXYZ
Guest

I hated it when they made vader say NOOO in return of the jedi. That ruined a really great moment.

RockmanX3
Guest

Wasn’t that in Revenge of the Sith?

The Mysterious M
Guest

When they re-released the entire Star Wars saga on blu-ray, they added further changes. For example, the puppet Yoda they used in Phantom Menace was dubbed with a CG Yoda. And during the Force Lightning scene in Return of the Jedi, they added in Vader yelling “NOOOOO” as he picked up the Emperor and threw him into the pit.

…and I’m with SupermanXYZ. It was completely atrocious

RockmanX3
Guest

I have that set and haven’t watched Jedi on it yet.

Now I’m the one saying…

NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

plokool
Guest
The Blu-ray version of RotJ adds the NOOO from RotS when Vader decides to save Luke. I’ve hated that change since it’s come out and it’s the reason I still don’t have the Blu-rays, since that’s my favorite scene in the whole series. But I did have the thought this morning actually that in a way it works. When Vader comes off the table it’s the moment when he completely belongs to the emperor. Upon hearing that Padme is dead, he’s lost everything, particularly the person he loves, which was the whole point of doing what he did. So to… Read more »
DevMo
Guest

In one of the latest incarnations, Vader yells “NO” while throwing the Emperor to his death… twice, I think. It doesn’t even sound like James Earl Jones.

Anon Tumahab
Guest

Not to mention Lucas literally inserted one of the things people hated the most about RotS into RotJ. The only thing that could have been worse is if he found a way to insert Jar Jar…

(Listens closely during the montage at the end of RotJ)

Oh wait, he did. :/

TragicGuineaPig
Guest

Now I have to say it: “NOOOOO!”

Monsieur
Guest

The original versions can actually be seen.
In the 2 DVD 2006 limited edition of A New Hope, you can watch the first version in the extras. I haven’t yet the V and VI, but I believe they have the same type of extras. After I’m French, and I don’t how it is in the States, but why should it be different ?

Wiron
Guest

This version is laserdisc transfer. It sufers from washed-out colours, montion smeer and resolution problems.

TheAntmanCometh
Guest

The only special edition alteration I have a problem with is Return of the Jedi on Blu-Rays addition of Darth Vader declaring “No” before turning on the emperor, The reason behind my hatred of this is change is simple: As I was watching the sequence I clearly thought to myself “this scene is so great, even with that expressionless mask Vader’s emotions are so clear, and the music is so dramatic, there’s no need for dialogue” and then suddenly out of nowhere “no” “NOOOOOOOOOOOO”

alexthed
Guest

Going off what NC said, I wish Lucas would take a cue from Spielberg. Remember that ET re-cut from 2002 that there was so much argle-barble about? First of all Spielberg DID include the theatrical cut on the DVD. So technically no harm no fowl. NC has a point – if you don’t like it, just watch the original.
However, Spielberg has gone the opposite direction of Lucas. Not only has he openly admitted to regretting the changes, but he seems to have buried the “walkie-talkie” version of ET.

TheJapesOfWrath
Guest
Positive Changes from the Special Editions (1997) – Opening up the worlds: Whether it be seeing things such as more of Cloud City to even seeing a shot of Ben Kenobi’s home, it helps to provide more detail to the world. – New shots involving the ships. Shots such as seeing a close-up of Slave 1 in pursuit of the Falcon in Empire was nice to see. – Changing the language displayed around such as scene when Ben disables the tractor beam. – The 1997 Celebration showing the impact across the galaxy. The music I could take or leave (it… Read more »
The Mysterious M
Guest

The Palpatine was is a mixed bad. Continuity wise, I like it because it works. But (because it wasn’t changed until the 2004 DVD release), I hated the dialogue change. That one line, “I have no doubt this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker.” GOD! It makes me cringe so much!

Redubbing Boba also worked for me. Because of the same thing, continuity. He’s literally a clone of his father (the last of the clones as a matter of fact)

Amesang
Guest
I enjoy the special editions… mostly… at least when it comes to correcting some minor mistakes and adding just a smidge to scenes that could have used it some fluffing out. I really like the ending of “Return of the Jedi” showing the different worlds celebrating the death of the Emperor. Yes, even Jar Jar’s “weesa free!” =Þ With that in mind I can’t stand Jabba in “A New Hope” (just looks horrible), Jabba’s band playing the new song in “Return of the Jedi” (just looks AND sounds horrible), and… yeah, I’m in the “Han shot first” camp: Han was… Read more »
t1337dude
Guest

Doug has a very ignorant point of view on the subject. It’s not like fans could just go back and watch the version they cherish. Lucas wasn’t releasing “another version”, as Doug put. He was tainting the only version that would be redistributed.

ShadowsTwilight
Guest

You didn’t watch this until the end, did you. He brings that very point up

Pogo
Guest

very purdy!

Nancy
Guest
Critic, in reference to whether or not Han shot first, it doesn’t have to be a long scene and changing it to where Greedo shot first didn’t totally destroy Han’s character but it did take away from his arc. Han starts out as a sort of out for himself first kinda guy who grows and matures over the trilogy to not just think of himself. He goes from someone who would kill someone else to get out of a tight spot to someone who was willing to sacrifice themself for others. Changing it so that Greedo shot first is a… Read more »
Nancy
Guest
George Lucas is a very creative individual but he lacks self control/discipline and should never have free reign. Imagine if every film maker went back to revisit their previous films just because technology had advanced. At some point a true artist know when it’s time to move on and appreciate a piece for what it is and what it meant at the time and where they were as an artist at the time. And yeah, we should have the opportunity to still enjoy the original trilogy in it’s unaltered state if we wanted to. Different directors have released a Director’s… Read more »
Hardback247
Guest

How did R2 get inside those rocks when there wasn’t any room for him to get through?

OldManHermit
Guest

The changes in the special editions are definitely a mixed bag. I can’t stand Hayden at the end of RotJ.

Hanglyman
Guest

That’s one of the worst for me for three reasons:

As pointed out earlier, it doesn’t make any goddamn sense that he’d be young and the others would still be old.

Reminding us that the prequels exist is NEVER a good idea.

The old one looked just like my Dad. Don’t kick my Dad out of Star Wars, you asshole!

TheOshawott17
Guest

I didn’t mind the special editions at first but as time went on they began to rub me the wrong way. I honestly hate the Hayden Christensen ghost edit the most, not only dose it raise to many questions that never needed to be ask but its also disrespectful to the original actor.

Kimarous
Guest
When I was a little kid, my family went to Blockbuster to rent the Star Wars trilogy to finally show my brother and I. Instead of simply renting it, however, I found the very last box set of the original, unedited trilogy on sale – guess what we got instead? Having seen the unedited cuts… I actually like many of the tweaks made to the Special Editions. Yeah, I think the “Han vs Greedo” edit is silly (though not as silly as the sheer outcry on the matter), and I prefer the original ewok celebration music, but otherwise, the initial… Read more »
tiggerbox29
Guest
The Special Editions are just atrocious and the reason why is they do nothing to improve the film instead they have made them worse plus it all feels so cynical that it was only done for profit and not because it was George Lucas real vision. For example 1. The obvious CGI scenes that stick out like a sore thumb. 2. Ruining Hans redemption arc by having him a ‘good’ guy at the start plus he is living on the edge of the law so why would he not shoot first? 3. That Jabba scene is terrible and Han even… Read more »
happymel
Guest

I JUST realized that I grew up with the Special Editions. O.O

flamethrower-guitar
Guest
I completely agree. I personally don’t give a crap about most of the changes, but I completely agree that the originals should be available for people to see. It’s part of film history! I grew up with the special editions, so maybe that’s why I don’t care that much. But I do have a copy of the original versions on VHS and I treasure being able to see the other version. Yeah some of the effects look stupid and yeah I think that Greedo shooting first is a bit weird, but mostly I’m indifferent. However, there is one change I… Read more »
cdrood
Guest
The Vader getting from Cloud City to the Star Destroyer is annoying because it’s so obviously pulled from Return of the Jedi. It frankly never bothered me that he got to his ship so quickly. Most of the changes are harmless, but don’t really make it any better either. Cleaning up the artifacts is good. The bigger cities and explosions don’t affect things either way. The needless slapstick is stupid. The thing about Greedo shooting is that it was unnecessary and actually diminishes the scene. From the dialog, it’s clear Greedo plans to kill Han, so it’s still self defense.… Read more »
Hanglyman
Guest
I’m actually rather fond of the special edition of The Empire Strikes Back. I don’t like that they changed Boba Fett’s voice to match the prequels because as far as I’m concerned, the prequels never happened and I don’t want any reminder of them, and I don’t like that they changed the hologram of the Emperor because I think the old one looked creepier and more mysterious, but the new shots of Cloud City are great and really make it feel more atmospheric and alive. I don’t think showing the wampa was needed, but I don’t feel like it detracts… Read more »
Neo-stalgia Fan 1
Guest
I think it was the special editions that I first saw. For what it’s worth, I liked them a good deal, they were pretty fun and didn’t feel too removed from what I was used to from the Star Wars movies at the time (Prequels, I liked them, that’s that). That said, it does seem ridiculous to not have the original versions available. Everyone should have the past available to them, especially if you have multiple versions to compare between. But anyway, I can’t wait to see VII! I haven’t seen it yet, so I’m probably going to scroll past… Read more »
KelaRavenwood
Guest
There where a lot of good added in the Special Editions. Such as improved looks at the cities and such. There was also a lot bad. Especially in the first one, most glaring you talked about blocking the scene with CGI. As far as the Han shot first thing goes. While I don’t think it is as big a deal as some make it out to be. I do think it weakened his Character Arc. He was not a Hero at the beginning he was someone who would shoot someone in cold blood if he felt that if he didn’t… Read more »
KelaRavenwood
Guest

oh and lastly there was a way you could have gotten the Laser Disk version of the Movies in the same tin as the SEs if you bought the Collector’s Edition(I think that was what they where called) versions. Though even those had some things added to them…though they where the most like the Theatrical Release.

Leif Roar Moldskred
Guest
Here’s how I feel about the whole “Han shot first” thing. Remember Dad’s old Cadillac convertible? The one we drove to Disney World in, and then Six Flags the year after and then Cedar Point the year after that. Mom and dad in the front seats, us kids in the back seat, squabbling and laughing. Man, we loved that car. Remember the sound of it as dad shifted down to overtake a Sunday driver? Remember the wind in our hair when dad took down the top? Remember how we’d get food at drive-in restaurants and we’d curl up with milkshakes… Read more »
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