When George Lucas re-released Star Was again in September — this time in a complete Blu-ray set — fans complained because Lucas and his team of techies once again fucked with the original films. In the grand tradition of “Greedo shot first” and adding creepy new ghosts to the end of Return of the Jedi, Lucas added a ridiculous cry of “Noooooo!” to Darth Vader’s final battle with the Emperor.
Why can’t Lucas let these films go? Why doesn’t he care that he’s infuriating his biggest fans by altering what they view as sacred thirty-year-old texts?
Don’t know. Don’t care. What I want to know is: how can I harness Lucas’s powers for good.
Think of the things I could accomplish if I had access to Lucas’s team of Skywalker Ranch CGI wizards! It would be the entertainment equivalent of being able to go back in time to kill Hitler (or Whitney Cummings). The mistakes I could undo! The mind boggles.
If I could make Lucas my slave for a day, but only a day, here’s what I’d do: (how many Star Wars slash fic pieces have started out exactly like that?)
1) Digitally edit Joe Buck out of all World Series DVDs. As a Yankees fan, I almost never watch my World Series DVDs of recent vintage, and it’s because of Joe Buck. Fox has held the rights to the World Series since the Yankees’ run began in 1996, which means that the loathsome team of Buck and Tim McCarver has called every one of the World Series games I’ve watched. And their calls are all over the DVD highlights. Buck in particular combines network-man smarminess with a clear distaste for the sport of baseball. He’s a drag on the joy of reliving the glory days, and I want him removed from the permanent record. Because I’m a benevolent slave-owner, I’ll have Georgie delete Buck not just from Yankees’ DVDs, but all World Series DVDs. You’re welcome, baseball fans.
2) Delete the bookend scenes from every existing cut of Saving Private Ryan. Most of Saving Private Ryan is Steven Spielberg at his affective best. The opening and closing scenes, with Private Ryan as an old man, are Spielberg at his cloying, patronizing worst. His old partner in crime Lucas could remedy that easily with a couple quick snips. (fuck, more slash fic.)
3) CGI Winona Ryder into all of Sofia Coppola’s scenes in The Godfather Part III. Removing Sofia Coppola from the third Godfather film won’t make it a perfect movie, or even allow to stand on par with the first two. It will always be deeply flawed. But getting rid of the director’s daughter would damn sure be a start. And it would right a wrong that never should have happened.
As an aside, lest there be any doubt that Lucas’s recent meddling ways and terrible filmmaking is a decline or fluke, or that the final Indiana Jones film was just a one-time error in judgment, read this passage from the Wikipedia page for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom:
Producer and co-writer George Lucas decided to make the film a prequel as he did not want the Nazis to be the villains again. The original idea was to set the film in China, with a hidden valley inhabited by dinosaurs. Other rejected plot devices included the Monkey King and a haunted castle in Scotland.
Yeah…I think George Lucas just kind of sucks.