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When 'Star Wars' Changed


I could barely contain my excitement. Star Wars, a film I had probably watched maybe 20 or 30 times was going to be re-released theatrically. My parents weren’t big movie fans, but my uncle had offered to take me and my best friend to see it. A fitting choice considering it had been my uncle who introduced me to the Star Wars universe. He gave me the trilogy box-set after I had watched his copy of Batman (1989) so many times that I could quote lines by heart. As much as I loved Batman, Star Wars completely overwhelmed my five year old self. I loved movies already at a young age, but this was a phenomenon that the entire world could tap into.

A New Hope was now dubbed the “The Special Edition” and the picture was rumored to have millions of dollars in special effects added following it’s 20th anniversary. The inspiration to re-release the trilogy came after George Lucas saw what Industrial Lights & Magic had done with computer-generated effects for Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. Digital effects had finally caught up with the stories filmmakers wanted to make. Now was the right time, Lucas felt, to use ILM to create his original vision for Star Wars. What these changes could add to the film was a mystery in my mind, but I already loved A New Hope, so new digital effects could only be an improvement. Right?

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