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Return of the Star Wars

So last night's bit of late-night Google roaming, which kept me up far longer than I'd intended, at one point led to someone referencing the proposed "reordered viewing" of the Star Wars films - wherein the prequels are placed between ESB and ROTJ.  When I'd glancingly come across the concept a few years ago, it sounded DUMB.  Admittedly, not far dumber than the prequels themselves, but still.

But this guy's argument for the idea - and specifically, how doing so actually strengthens the narrative of Luke's story - turned out to be, to my great shock, really quite compelling.  And the further I went along, the more I realized I actually felt kind of excited by the idea!  (Bonus points: If you want, you can leave out Episode I entirely.)

And it's then that I came across reference to something even more thrilling.

See, I think we can all agree that the Special Editions of IV-VI are Crap, which is why fans have been clamoring for the release of the original editions ever since.  The only thing is - if I'm being completely honest - the versions originally released on VHS and DVD aren't exactly what I want either.  Because you know what?  They look like hell.  The first movie was made in the 1970s, and versions released to the home video market in the 1980s (or early 90s) make that apparent.  Sure, it was visually impressive for the time, but there's no denying that the original release needed some cleaning up, by today's standards:  Crisping the blurry picture, brightening the dim lighting, making the colors vivid and impressive (though not garish) instead of a muted wash.  All the things that the Special Editions DID do - minus all the gratuitously-grafted CGI, of course.

Essentially, I've always wanted the remastering that made the Special Editions look gorgeous ... without the blatant revisionism that made them completely unacceptable.

And, as it turns out, that's what the "Star Wars Despecialized Edition" is.  In what may be the most impressive fan edit ever conceived, this dude has spent an incredible amount of effort and time keeping the content of the theatrically-released Original Trilogy, but going above and beyond to make them look as crisp and appealing as any remastered Criterion Edition.  (The before-and-after photos are stunning.)  And I'll be damned if this isn't precisely the version of the Original Trilogy I've been yearning for!

Reading these two article back-to-back ... I suddenly found my Star Wars fandom rekindled again, for the first time in over a dozen years.

zarfmouse - I think we may have a marathon in our future...!


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 24th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC)
Wow, he really does make a good argument for machete order.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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