A long time ago in a galaxy far away, 1983 to be precise, a small band of teddy bears managed to bring an evil galactic empire to its knees with sticks and stones. Well they do break bones after all. And walking tanks.
Empires are rubbish, aren’t they? In whatever context the word is used, examples of egregious imperial abuse are rife.
With hindsight, the signs of the Evil Lucas Empire’s desire to wring as much money as possible from its marquee brand were there in the eyes of the Ewoks – kiddy friendly and begging to be spun off into their own cutesy (and mercifully short-lived) cartoon.
More recently, in a galaxy considerably closer to home, even biggerer and more eviller empire, Disney, acquired George Lucas’ company and announced that they’d bring their substantially more efficient fan-milking machinery to the Star Wars universe.
Lots has been written on this topic, and truth be told I don’t feel particularly exercised about this particular development. Disney showed with Pixar and Marvel that it’s capable of taking a hands-off approach to output, and indeed has a vested interest in Episode 7 rehabilitating the series’ quality, by which I mean merchandising viability. Besides which, the antagonism between Lucas and Star Wars fans is worse than (insert inappropriate socio-political example here).
And it’s not like Star Wars can get any worse than Episode 1: Allusions To A Virgin Birth, right?
First things first, though, Disney really ought make reparations to erstwhile Jedi warriors. Luckily for them I have an easy (and obvious) solution, and it’s got the potential to be a real moneyspinner. But first, a question:
What’s the single most upsetting thing about Lucas’ handling of Star Wars? Other than making Greedo shoot first. Not Jar Jar Binks, either.
The constant tweaking and re-releasing.
There we go. Lucas isn’t the only one to do this of course – Sir Ridley Scott started tampering with Bladerunner almost from the moment it was released. But at least he never point-blank refused ever again to sell you unmolested versions of his vision. It’s the difference between being offered a cappuccino and being told you’re not allowed to have a plain old cup of joe. And finding out that your cappuccino comes with Hayden Christensen’s face digitally superimposed on it.
In my not so humble opinion, Disney’s solution/opportunity to rifle through your pockets is to re-release each film of the original trilogy as single “definitive” boxsets. Each would include the original theatrical release (both domestic and international if they differed), the digital remastering in widescreen I used to have on VHS, the Special Editions and, I dunno, a working print plus a sprawling 189 hour documentary about each film. Essentially, steal the Bladerunner approach and charge people loadsa’ money for it.
Don’t pretend that at least a small part of you wouldn’t want to buy it. It doesn’t even matter that you no longer believe in physical formats like Blu-Ray or DVD. They got you a long, long time ago when you were young, in that galaxy far, far away when midichlorians, Hayden Christensen, younglings and pod-racing didn’t exist and you had no idea that a parsec is a unit of distance, not time.
Next time on Frood: Star Wars Episode 4: A New Remake.