George Lucas “Improves” More Movies!

Geek culture was recently incensed by George Lucas’s decision to tweak, alter and add stuff to Star Wars. He’s already changed enough things that his track record is, shall we say, not good–the “shot heard round the world,” to Star Wars fans, is the alteration of the bar scene with Han Solo and Greedo, in which originally, Han shot Greedo first. Lucas changed the shot so it looked like Greedo shot first.

Yes, to a lot of people, this really mattered. We fans take our canon seriously, and Han was supposed to be amoral and ruthless. Not that he was a cuddly bunny if Greedo shot first, but it made a huge difference to a lot of people.

But Lucas cannot seem to leave well enough alone. Recently he decided to add (to a critical point in Return of the Jedi) the sound effect of Vader wailing “NOOOOO” that was frankly bad enough the first time around when we all saw it the first time in Episode III. Those of us who were unfortunate enough to have sat through Episode III, at any rate.

(Yes, it was the best of the sequels, but you know, you could say that shingles is the best of the sequels to chicken pox and you still wouldn’t want shingles, right?)

That “NOOOOOOOO” actually made me laugh in the movie theater. If I recall correctly, everyone around me was embarrassed enough about how awful the movie had gotten that they didn’t even register that they should also be embarrassed by me. Probably for the best.

Now he’s adding that “NOOOOOOOO” to the bit where Vader flings the Emperor down the big bottomless pit thing at the end of the Return of the Jedi. As if it hadn’t been bad enough in Episode III. As if we couldn’t figure out that Vader was actually pretty ticked off at his boss.

You know, I’d say throwing a coworker into a bottomless pit was a pretty good indication of ticked-off-ed-ness. Not that I’ve ever done it. I mean, I’m pretty even tempered. And if I did that, I doubt I’d have enough extra breath to scream “NOOOOOOOOOOO.” I’m pretty out of shape and my coworkers are larger than a breadbox.

Fans are a funny breed. Sometimes they get all righteously huffy about the weirdest things, like Tom Bombadil not being in Lord of the Rings. This time, though, I believe a little righteous fury, coupled with exasperation, is thoroughly in order. Want to know why?

Check this out. Darth Vader’s “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” is every bit as well-placed in this clip as it is in Lucas’s “reimagining” (or perhaps “murdalyzing” would be more accurate) of Return of the Jedi.