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What You Get

  • Christianity Today Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jan
  • COMMENTS
What You Get

The original Star Wars trilogy finally releases to DVD today, but they're not the exact versions we all saw in the theaters more than 20 years ago. George Lucas has updated all three films—subtly in most places, blatantly in others—and added a fourth disc of bonus materials to boot.

Some of the significant changes from the originals include:

Hayden Christensen, who plays Anakin Skywalker in the more recent Star Wars movies, was just two years old when Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was released in 1983. But now makes an appearance at the end of Jedi, showing up with the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

In Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the Emperor is only seen in a hologram broadcast. But his voice has changed from the originals; now he sounds and looks like Ian McDiarmid, who played the Emperor in Return of the Jedi and Senator Palpatine in Episodes I and II.

Episode IV: A New Hope features a shootout in a cantina between Han Solo and the green bounty hunter Greedo. In the original, Han clearly shot first, but in this update, the fire their guns simultaneously. Some fans were so upset about the change, they launched the Han Shoots First website.

There are a number of other changes throughout, mostly improving the technical and visual quality.

The bonus disc includes the most comprehensive feature-length documentary (2? hours) ever produced on the Star Wars saga, and never-before-seen footage from the making of all three films. There's a segment where filmmakers—including Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg—pay tribute to Lucas. There's a preview of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, coming to theaters in May 2005, showing Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor training for and filming their lightsaber battle as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Finally, there's a glimpse of the new Star Wars Battlefront video game, also in stores today.

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