In recent years, attitudes towards the prequel trilogy of Star Wars films have softened, even as a segment of the fanbase increases their disdain for the recent sequel trilogy. However, prequel-loving and sequel-loving fans have one thing in common: they generally love the original trilogy, though they loathe the changes made to it by the “special editions” re-releases.
Today, we’re looking at some changes to the original three films in subsequent releases that have been the least well-received by fans.
Han Shot First
In the original Star Wars, a famous scene shows Han in a tense negotiation with an alien named Greedo, who represents Jabba the Hutt. While they argue, in the original cut, Han shoots Greedo with a blaster he was hiding under the table.
In the modern cut of the film, Greedo fires at Han and Han ducks the shot, firing back. This is likely so Han appears as a more heroic character who wouldn’t shoot someone in cold blood. However, many fans see this is a betrayal of Han’s character.
Recasting Boba Fett’s Voice
Boba Fett is one of the most visually-striking characters in Star Wars, and his first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back solidifies him as a bounty-hunting badass. However, in modern re-releases of the film, the character’s original voice, provided by Jason Wingreen, has been dubbed over by Temuera Morrison.
Morrison played Boba’s father, Jango, in the 2002 film Attack of the Clones, so this makes sense from a canon perspective. However, it does erase Wingreen, the man who originated the role, from his place in Star Wars history. Many fans cried foul over this change, though its impact has softened over the years.
Darth Vader Shouting “No”
In the Blu-Ray version of Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader’s climactic conflict with his own master is undercut greatly by the addition of two utterances of one simple word. George Lucas, who apparently thinks no modern audience understands subtext, altered the scene of the stoic, impassive Vader chucking the Emperor down an elevator shaft by adding in voiceover of the Master of Evil shouting “No, no!”
The addition is bizarre for a number of reasons. It shows that Lucas has little faith in the audience to understand what, exactly, is happening. Given that Luke’s entire journey in that film had been to redeem his father, driving the point home by having him expound on the situation is a bit bizarre.
The once subtle and moving scene is now an overexplained cheese-fest, much like the prequel films.