Star Wars on Blu-ray: First Impressions in Time for Christmas

By | October 14, 2011

Star Wars is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to keeping kids entertained. Well, maybe just the boys; most young girls probably see nothing too impressive about Jedi Knights except the ability to get free psychic readings

At any rate, any family with sci-fi fans (like me!) among the fold is sure to have the Stars Wars Saga Blu-ray release on their list of holiday gets. Episodes I through VI have just been released on the format last month for the first time. As with former re-released of the series, however, this one has already received it’s share of criticism from fans upset with creator George Lucas for once again making changes to the original film.

Before buying the new Blu-ray disc for an aspiring Obi-Wan in the house, consider the following changes that may or may not result in the $79.99 set collecting dust while the well-worn DVDs still get played:

*To make R2-D2’s efforts to hide from Jawas looking to sell him for scrap more believable, digital boulders have been placed in front of him in a scene in the first film. However, the adjustment doesn’t stay consistent when the camera angle changes; the set is back to the way it was in 1977. The sloppiness might result in die hard fan belting a groan, but that’s about it.

*Obi-Wan Kenobi saves Luke Skywalker from Sand People by disguising his voice to sound like an approaching Krayt Dragon. The audio has been altered from the original to sound more like an animal, and sounds especially alarming when you’re not expecting it. Youngsters might get scared, so test play it beforehand.

*Inconsistencies with lightsaber colors have been changed, a welcomed edit that fans are sure not to have much to complain about.

*For scenes with explosions, crashes, and shoot-outs, the fire, debris, and blaster beams have all been tweaked to look more realistic. Again this is nothing that anyone has reason to be upset about.

*In the original series, the Ewoks of the moon of Endor were cute and cuddly, but their big bulging eyes never blinked, diminishing the realism. George Lucas has gone back to add blinks to the eyes of the Ewoks. It’s a slight adjustment that goes a long way to improve the believability of the alien creatures without becoming too distracting of a change.

*The most talked about change to come with the Blu-ray release of the Star Wars saga has been the added lines of dialogue given to Darth Vader when he chooses to save his son Luke from being killed by the evil Emperor. In the original film and in the 1997 re-release, Vader silently makes his decision to leave the dark side of the Force behind. But now, Vader’s decision comes with “No, no, no!” as he lunges toward the Emperor and throws him over a balcony to his death. Meant to add drama, it seems the new lines are more likely to make you laugh. Kids with plenty of hours of Star Wars watching under their belts are sure to notice.

If your child is young enough, then this may very well be his or her first time experiencing the story of Star Wars maturely and therefore they won’t notice the changes. Your Star Wars nerd of a husband, however, is probably going to be adamant about making sure your kids are aware of the “true” version of his beloved films if you decide to buy the Blu-ray set. Either way, the majority of the changes to the film are little ones. In exchange your loved ones get to experience the Star Wars saga in high definition for the first time. May the Force to choose wisely be with you.