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.

61 comments

  1. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    Doug changing the sun to look like George Lucas’s face just creeps me out for some reason but it’d really be cool to see the originals in its entirety and without all those changes Lucas made to it.

  2. I think the first few minutes of this video put forward a good argument as to why we should be able to see the original versions of the films, pointing out how many of the things that they won awards for were altered:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXifjbxZDAM

  3. The biggest problem with who shot first issue, is that the original was so daring, so it is something that sticks with you. I remember when I first watched Star Wars with my father, and I had heard about Star Wars and knew Han Solo would be a hero and saw the scene, I asked my father: “Did he just shoot that guy?”, “Yes, but he would have shot Han first if he didn’t”, “Yeah, but the other guy didn’t even have time to shot”, “Well, that is just how hardcore Han Solo is”. It just stuck with you how much anti-hero that Han Solo was. So you watch it again in the special edition, and think “Oh, right, this is THAT scene”, “No wait, that is not how it went, WTF?”.

  4. Oh, that’s interesting. I didn’t even know that Lucas didn’t want us to see the original theatrical releases.
    Cuz in 2006 I bought all the movies on DVD (called something Limited Edition blah) and they each feature a second disc holding the originals. Maybe I just got lucky? Can one buy them today? Dunno.

  5. Snorgatch Pandalume

    Yup, keep hatin’ on Jar Jar, Doug, because that’s NEVER been done before and it NEVER gets old.

  6. Funny you include that analogy with the Gettysburg address Doug, because that controversy kind of already exists. There are multiple versions of the address on paper, and the question exists of which he actually used during the actual address. Documentarian Ken Burns caused a bit of a controversy (and when I say that I mean Faux news and their followers throwing a fit but no one else caring) when he had the President read one version that omitted the mentioning of ‘under God” for a documentary on the speech. So really already, what you say is true, from a certain point of view.

  7. The original versions were available on DVD, but you had to buy the individual movies and not the boxed trilogy set, then as an additional screw you Lucas picked the shittiest transfer of the originals he could find. I remember the special editions coming out, and at the time it was super cool – who doesn’t love deleted and extended scenes – but as a kid ROTJ was my favorite and I hated the new Jabba’s palace dance scene, and adding Hayden Christianson later was the worst decision ever. When I got older, I recognized Jabba in ANH as one of those scenes that probably would have been interesting if I had seen it in a deleted scenes section on the DVD, but would totally understood why it was cut because of the pacing, duplicate info, and because having Jabba unseen for 2 movies makes his appearance in ROTJ that much cooler. That said, I didn’t mind a lot of the special effects clean up – they did a lot of stuff people might not notice right away, like cleaning up the green screen edges that were subtle and helped make the movie brighter and sharper.

  8. ThereAreFourLights

    I prefer the Revisited fan edit. It leaves in a bunch of the SE stuff, but leaves a bunch out, too. No longer does Greedo shoot *at all.* No longer does Jabba make an appearance. But we also still get better lightsaber effects that don’t blink out if it’s held at the wrong angle. The battle between Obi-Wan and Vader is sped up a bit so it looks like two warriors fighting to the death. There are more ships in the final space battle, showing a much more dramatic encounter. Revisited gives us what the Special Edition could have been without damaging the tone of the movie. It also is cleaned up throughout the entire movie. Color correction has been done meticulously. White corridors are bright white instead of almost blue. R2 is blue instead of almost black. And Vader’s saber is ALWAYS RED! Not pink. Not sometimes blue because they couldn’t tell which saber was which. It’s always red. And Luke’s is never green or white! It stays blue! BLUE!!!

  9. I kind of want to see Doug do Vlogs for the clone wars and rebels series.

  10. As far as the Han shot first thing what really bugged me about it was that it made me think of “every good guy has to be good all the time!!” thing. Because yeah, shooting someone from under the table is extremely underhanded, but it’s also Han’s character. I hate when characters are made more black and white. In the long run it doesn’t really matter but that’s what I think of every time I see it.

  11. I don’t know if anyone else mentioned this yet, so l’ll bring it up.

    You *can* get the original versions of the Star Wars films on DVD, and I don’t mean bootlegs. They were released as “limited editions” in 2007. I have them. Unfortunately, they’re of print and often sell at hefty prices online. Thankfully, I got a good deal on them.

  12. You forgot how the Empire SE completely destroys the emotional tone of the scene right after Vader watches his son choose suicide rather than joining him.

  13. WAITAMINUTE?!!?!?
    Didn’t they re-release the Original Theatrical editions of “4,5,6” ? Unaltered back in 2012?

  14. I watched the VHS versions as a kid with my cousins. My aunt and uncle still own them! I remember visited them and seeing them that they still had them! I was only 8 when the special editions came out. I guess I have just always loved “Star Wars”. When he made MORE changes, then it did start to bother me.

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