Nerds of the Round Table

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Category Archives: Star Wars

The Star Wars Movies Continue to Change

Unless you’ve been living under a rock I’m sure you’ve heard that the entire Star Wars series is set to be released on blu-ray.  It had been rumored that some additional special effects changes were being made to the films in preparation for their release in High Definition (HD).  People have started receiving their review copies of the movies and denoted changes.  Additionally, there are rumors that pirated versions of the HD cut out of the movie have been obtained out of China.  Because of this, there are multiple rumors circulating about the changes to the movies.

Rob over at Topless Robot was the first I saw detailing some of the rumored changes so all credit goes to him.  Here are some of the minor changes they noted:

  • CG Yoda has replaced puppet Yoda in The Phantom Menace.  I have no issue with this as the puppet was awful looking in TPM.
  • Obi-Wan’s Kryat dragon call in A New Hope has been tweaked and supposedly been made pretty awesome.  Really this change doesn’t matter to me; I think it’s fairly minor.
  • The door at Jabba’s palace has been increased to near ridiculous size.  Again, a minor tweak to make Jabba’s palace seem larger.  I’m cool with this.
  • Ewoks will now blink.  I really doubt anyone will notice this unless they are staring directly at the Ewok faces.  Even if they do I think it’s a good change as it makes the Ewoks seem more lifelike.

All of those changes are minor, but there is one change that I am vehemently opposed to.  This change takes place in the final confrontation between Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and the Emperor.  After Luke has defeated (spoiler warning :p) his father, Darth Vader, he throws his lightsaber away, proclaims himself a Jedi,  and refuses to fight anymore.  Palpatine then begins using his Sith lightning to kill off Luke.

In the original cut Vader is seen looking between his son and Master, and despite having a mask covered face his conflict over what to do can be clearly seen by the audience.  We are unsure whether he will choose his flesh and blood over the monster that had controlled him for years.  When Vader finally makes his choice to save Luke it is an iconic moment, one that sticks with the viewer.  The fact that a viewer can see his silent conflict just makes that moment even more powerful.

In the updated version of Return of the Jedi, Lucas has changed it so that Vader is speaking during what had originally been his silent conflict.  As he looks between Luke and Palpatine, Vader can be heard quietly saying “No” and then once he make the decision to save his son Vader is clearly heard yelling “Nooooo” as he throws the Emperor to his death.  Some intrepid fan film makers have created a version of what this scene might be like in the blu-ray release.  It’s not authentic but it will give you an idea of how this scene will be changed.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a purist when it comes to the Star Wars movies.  Han shot first in my book, and Hayden Christensen is not the force ghost of Anakin at the end of ROTJ.  I don’t like these changes that change the movie.  Aesthetic changes such as improving the CGI or making Ewoks blink I have no problem with.  But changes that alter the fundamental story really do annoy me.

That being said, the argument can be made that the Star Wars movies are George Lucas’ movies and he can do whatever he wants to them.  And the fact of the matter is that this is true and I imagine the Lucas will continue to tweak the movies to fit in with how he believes they should work.  My fear is that one day if I do have kids and introduce them to the Star Wars saga the experience will have changed so much that they cannot connect with the films.  For that reason I’m still holding on to my old VHS copies of the Original Trilogy.  They might be old, but it’s the version of the film I grew up with.

I understand that some people might think I am complaining too much over minor changes to the Star Wars movies and you are welcome to that opinion.  I grew up watching these movies with my family and to this day they are still some of my favorite film experiences.  Maybe I’m just too attached to what I grew up with.  As a fan it’s a combination of disappointing and sad to see the movies I have loved so much begin to change and become less recognizable.

Star Wars The Clone Wars Season 4

I haven’t talked much about The Clone Wars mainly because I haven’t been following it as closely as I expected to originally.  That might be in part because I got fairly bored with it early on.  However, I did start watching some of the season 3 episodes and found it to be fairly fun with some interesting long term plots going on.

Despite knowing that Anakin will eventually go dark it has been fun to watch his gradual descent, which is better scripted when compared to his fall in ROTS.  Also, I have to admit I’m curious to see Ahsoka’s fate.  I’m assuming she will die but you never know.  Season 4 seems to be hinting even more at Anakin’s fall to the darkness as shown in the trailer below.

Han Solo and Chewbacca Reunited

Harrison Ford was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this week and in one of the sketches he actually reference Star Wars.  This in and of itself is a big deal as Ford has distanced himself from the Star Wars franchise for a long time.  The sketch is funny and definitely worth sharing.  At the very least its pretty cool to see Han and Chewie together again!

Super Bowl Commercials

The Super Bowl is well known as a time for companies to show off their funny commercials.  This year was no different as there was a lot of funny stuff.  I’ve embedded a few of my favorites below.  To be honest my favorite is probably the Darth Vader and Volkswagen one.  I probably linked to too many ads but I had a lot of fun with both the game and the commercials that were shown.  Wow, I love the Super Bowl.

House M.D.: I have to admit that I really enjoyed this commercial.  But in all fairness I am also a big fan of House.  I thought it was well done how they emulated the classic Mean Joe Greene commercial.  Plus its in character for House.

Volkswagen Passat Commercial: I loved this commerical, but as a Star Wars fan I am expected to.  I think the best comment I heard about this one is that this is how The Phantom Menace should have gone!

Doritos: Doritos had alot of commericals but this was my favorite.  Both creepy and funny.

Doritos – Pug Attack: I just couldn’t help but laugh.  Thats two good commercials for Doritos.

Bud Light Product Placement: Every year the beer commercials are great and that was no different this year.  At least this commercial is more straight-forward on their product placement than any of the Transformers movies.

Teleflora – Help Me Faith: This was funny to me because I could see myself writing the same thing on a card for flowers.  Well either myself or one of my friends.  Back in my college days this very well could have happened.

NFL Best Fans Ever: I love seeing classic TV shows mixed up a little bit to show support for NFL teams.  It was well done, and fun.

Pepsi Max Torpedo Cooler: I want one!

Pepsi Max – Love Hurts: Another great one from Pepsi.  They seem to do a good job each year.

Bud Light – Remodeling: Again another good commercial by the beer company.  This is my plan for remodeling my house.  Just add Bud Light and you’re done!

Tron Legacy + Star Wars = Geekwood

This is too cool to not share.  Someone has done a phenomenal job making a fan trailer for a Star Wars and Tron Legacy mash up.  They took the audio from one the Tron Legacy trailers and added scenes from all the Star Wars movies, and it all came together surprisingly well.

Merry Christmas

From all of us to you, Merry Christmas.  Hopefully Santa Claus was good to everyone this year!  As for myself I think I’m off to watch some Christmas movies from my childhood (i.e. The Santa Clause series and maybe Home Alone 2).  Whatever you do today, make sure enjoy some time with family and friends and have a great day!

EDIT: Just found out SpikeTV is running a marathon of the original Star Wars trilogy.  Looks like my day just got filled up!

How To Talk To Your Kids About Star Wars

This video does pose a good question.  The other thing to determine is in which order do you show the movies to kids?  I think I would go the route of showing the Original Trilogy first and then the prequels.  If you watch the prequels first it ruins the twist in The Empire Strikes Back and I would hate to ruin that for first time viewers.

Family Guy: It’s A Trap!

Whether you’re a Star Wars fan, Family Guy fan, or a fan of both shows you have to admit the parody films of Star Wars have been just brilliant.  Family Guy is about to wrap up their parody trilogy that follows the original Star Wars Trilogy.  The third and final movie is entitled ‘Family Guy: It’s A Trap!’. And to be honest it looks pretty good.

A couple of trailers for the movie have hit the web and I wanted to take a moment to share them with you.  Also keep in mind that the movie comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on December 21st.  After seeing the trailers I know for sure that I will be getting this movie and probably watching it a few times.

Admiral Ackbar As A College Mascot

Yes, you read that headline correct.  A variety of news outlets are reporting that Rebel Alliance leader Admiral Ackbar is in the running to be the next mascot of Ole Miss.

Ole Miss had a mascot called Colonel Reb before, however due to his ties to the confederacy he was removed as mascot of the school and the mascot position has stood vacant since 2003.  The mascot competition was recently opened up to a vote for the student body to choose the next mascot.  And the current leader of his vote is none other than the famous Mon Calamari, Admiral Ackbar.

Now, do I think this well ever happen?  Simply put, no.  Even if the Admiral wins out there are too many parent, alumni, and students that would pitch a fit about a Star Wars character being their mascot.  Plus there is also a cost consideration.  Admiral Ackbar is a property owned by George Lucas and Lucasfilm.  I really don’t see them giving Ole Miss permission to use the likeness of Admiral Ackbar with no compensation.

If you want more information about the Admiral Ackbar movement check out the site NotATrap.org.   Their mission statement is as follows:

Welcome to Notatrap.org. We here at Notatrap are in full support of Admiral Ackbar for the new Mascot for the Ole Miss Rebels. Who wants a Colonel when you could have an Admiral?

If I were a student at Ole Miss I would vote Ackbar!

Star Trek vs. Star Wars

Okay, I have to admit, this is really well done for a YouTube video.  Much better SFX than I have seen before.

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