Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace opens yet again this Friday, and the film is destined to make even more money because all the marketing for the 3D re-release has been aimed directly at kids. Even the junket interviews were conducted by children (you can watch our interviews here, here, and here). George Lucas hasn’t given too many interviews regarding the 3D release, but one hit today that’s sure to grind fanboy gear. During the discussion, Lucas defends the edits he’s made to the Star Wars saga, and specifically addresses CGI Yoda and why Greedo shot first. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
In an interview with THR, Lucas began by saying that tinkering with Star Wars is no big deal:
“Changes are not unusual — I mean, most movies when they release them they make changes. But somehow, when I make the slightest change, everybody thinks it’s the end of the world.”
Lucas goes on to specifically address the Han/Greedo controversy:
“Well, it’s not a religious event. I hate to tell people that. It’s a movie, just a movie. The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.”
“It’s the same thing with Yoda. We tried to do Yoda in CGI in Episode I, but we just couldn’t get it done in time. We couldn’t get the technology to work, so we had to use the puppet, but the puppet really wasn’t as good as the CGI. So when we did the re-issue, we had to put the CGI back in, which was what it was meant to be.”
Lucas goes on to maintain that there’s “basically one version of Star Wars [that] keeps getting improved a little bit as we move forward.” Uh, what? Honestly, if Lucas would simply release the original theatrical versions of Episodes IV-VI, the majority of fans’ uproar would be subsided. Films are art captured in time, and to keep “updating” them to the most recent advances in technology removes a great deal of their charm. Alas, fan complaints are ultimately in vain. Lucas does what Lucas wants.