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Amazon.Com Video Review: Star Wars

By:   •  Book/Movie Report  •  936 Words  •  June 9, 2010  •  1,293 Views

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Amazon.Com Video Review: Star Wars

Amazon.com video review: Star Wars

Again? Yes. Even though no other movie has been released as many times on video as Star Wars (except for its sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), George Lucas and the folks at 20th Century Fox have actually released a slightly different film this time. This video followed the mega-successful 20th-anniversary theatrical rerelease, in which Lucas personally remastered the image and sound quality of his baby. Other revisions are more obvious, if hardly radical. Lucas enhanced several special effects with updated computer technology--most noticeable are the explosions and removal of matte lines during the Death Star battle finale. And the creatures that populate Mos Eisley's spaceport--though meticulous--are aesthetically superior improvements. The inclusion of extra scenes (originally outtakes), however, is not an improvement. Both the meeting between Jabba the Hutt and Han Solo, and Luke talking with his childhood pal Biggs, do nothing to enhance character development or theme, and serve only as distractions that preoccupy the waiting viewer. And, really couldn't Lucas find something better to do with his time than mess around with a national treasure? As for the video, this boasts both visual and sound enhancements. But since Star Wars has been available with these tweaks numerous times before, the decision whether to purchase this latest new version depends on how badly you want to see Lucas's cosmetic surgery. --Dave McCoy

The Empire Strikes Back

The middle film in George Lucas's enormously popular Star Wars science fiction trilogy is a darker, more somber entry, considered by many fans as the best in the series. Gone is the jaunty swashbuckling of the first film; the rebellion led by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) suffers before the superior forces of the Empire, young hero Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) faces his first defeats as he attempts to harness the Force under the tutelage of Jedi master Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz), and cocky Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is betrayed by former ally Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams). In the tradition of the great serials, this film is left with a hefty cliffhanger. The leap in special effects technology in the three years since Star Wars results in an amazing array of effects, including a breathtaking chase through an asteroid field and a dazzling, utopian Cloud City, where Luke faces the black-clad villain Darth Vader (David Prowse, voice of James Earl Jones) in a futuristic sword fight and learns the secret of his Jedi father. Veteran director Irvin Kershner (The Eyes of Laura Mars, Never Say Never Again) took the directorial reins from creator and producer Lucas and invested the light-speed adventure with deeper characters and a more emphatic sense of danger. The special edition expands Luke's encounter with the Abominable Snowman-esque wampa and establishes the creature as a tangibly more terrifying beast, in addition to refining many of the existing effects. The trilogy is concluded in Return of the Jedi. --Sean Axmaker

Return of the Jedi

The high-energy, special-effects-laden conclusion to George Lucas's ambitious Star Wars trilogy delivers the final confrontation between Luke Skywalker (a more confident and mature Mark Hamill) and his nemesis-father, Darth Vader (David Prowse, voice of James Earl Jones), as the rebel alliance makes its last stand against the evil Empire. The film opens with an impressive set piece in the cave of the monstrous Jabba the Hut, who holds both Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie

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