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There is more possible ‘Star Wars alteration’ controversy today. The word going around on TheForce.net and other message boards is that review copies of the Star Wars blu-ray set have trickled out, and two of the supposed changes to the original trilogy are being highlighted. While the digital Yoda in The Phantom Menace is a much broader change, these two alterations — if true — will be far more irritating.
The two big tweaks reported are changes to audio, one in the original Star Wars and the other in Return of the Jedi. The latter is the big one, as two instances of Darth Vader saying and screaming ‘Nooo!’ have reportedly been added to the scene where (spoiler!) Vader throws the Emperor to his doom. The idea would seemingly be to establish some thin and wholly silly symmetry between the versions of Vader at the end of each Star Wars trilogy. Check out the two audio changes below. Prepare to cringe. Again: the veracity of these clips remains in doubt. There is a troll at work here; we just don’t know yet if it is George Lucas, or some anonymous prankster.
I was extremely skeptical about these clips, because they would be very easy to fake, but Badass Digest confirmed with a source that the audio is real. I trust Devin but I’m still on the fence, in part because I hope all parties in question wouldn’t be so stupid as to make these changes. Vader’s ‘Noooo!’ was easily the most-derided aspect of the prequel trilogy (OK, maybe it was among the top three most-derided aspects) and so adding a similar element to Jedi seems inane.
(Update: The New York Times confirmed these changes with LucasFilm. All real, folks.)
Here are the two sequences that are making the rounds. In both cases you’re seeing old DVD footage synced to what is purported to be the new Blu-ray audio.
We were discussing the extras on the SW br set on the last podcast... I haven't been able to go through them yet but if anyone is interested this fellow does a decent listing (and review at the full article):
Now, on to the good stuff. I'll give a detailed listing below of everything that's included, but it will probably be beneficial to first give a breakdown of the types of special features that are spread out across these nine discs.
•Audio Commentaries: Each film includes two audio commentaries, and these are the only bonus features actually on the discs for the films themselves. In addition to the tracks that were included on the DVDs—featuring George Lucas and various members of the cast and crew, all recorded separately—six all new tracks have been created especially for this release, comprised of archival interviews with, well, just about everyone who ever played a role in the creation of Star Wars, in front of or behind the camera, from George Lucas on down. These are more hodgepodge than typical commentary tracks, but despite the fact that they were sourced from various interviews, they manage to stay fairly scene specific. There's a wealth of Star Wars-related knowledge to be gleaned here.
Along with the disc for each film, the set includes three bonus Blu-rays, where you'll find a substantial collection of old and new material. The third disc contains an assortment of documentaries, most of which we've seen before, while the first two contain film-specific supplements, arranged by the locations within each film. You'll see what I mean below. The layout for discs one and two is fairly easy to peruse, but if you enjoy watching special features in bulk you might want to hit "play all," as the transitions between each section can get repetitive. Here are the main kinds of features you can expect:
•Interviews: All told, there's a little over two hours of interview footage here. Each major setting in each film has an "overview," where various production designers discuss the particular challenges of creating and/or shooting in that location, and there are also several vintage interviews with other members of the cast and crew. These are all technically presented in 1080p, but some of the material is clearly from standard definition sources. Not that it matters much. •Deleted/Extended Scenes: In total, there's about an hour and a half of deleted footage, almost all of it new. Worth noting is that the deleted scenes previously included on the DVDs is not included here, so you might want to hang on to those if you're a completist. It's clear that instead of trying to be comprehensive, the focus in compiling this material was to bring as much new footage to the table as possible. And there's some great, previously unseen footage here. For the prequels it's mostly in the form of rough animatics and generally unfinished sequences, but the original trilogy includes several alternate cuts and excised scenes that we be of real interest to fans, including Luke's trip to Tosche Station. (No, we don't see any power converters.) Additionally, all the film footage has been scanned in 1080p. •The Collection: In "The Collection" you'll find scores of props, CGI models, prototype maquettes, costumes, matte paintings, and more. Click on any item and you'll be taken to a view of it that can be rotated 360 degrees. You'll also be able view close-up details and a brief informative text for each piece. Better yet, most of these items are the subject of mini video featurettes that include interviews with model designers, costumers, animators, artists, and others. Between the first and second discs, this amounts to almost two hours and forty five minutes of footage. Concept Art Gallery: Here you'll find hundreds of pieces of preliminary artwork, covering character design, locations, vehicles, props, and more. You can view these individually or choose "play all" and watch them as a self-playing gallery, which lasts thirty minutes on each disc. •Archive Fly-Through: On discs one and two you'll find an item labeled "Archive Fly-Through," which is exactly what it sounds like, a visual tour through the LucasFilm archives, a warehouse where every conceivable prop, model, and costume is stored. I really hope this stuff ends up in a permanent Star Wars museum someday. Each clip is about three and a half minutes long, in 1080p. •Easter Eggs: It's rumored that there are several in the set, but I haven't found any yet. Let me know if you make any discoveries and we'll add instructions here on how to find them.
Now, onto the full breakdown of everything that's included:
Bonus Disc 1: Prequel Features
Episode I - Naboo
•Interviews -Naboo Overview (4:52): Design Director Doug Chiang and others discuss the the look/style of Naboo and the CGI battle. -Liam Neeson Interview (2:21): Neeson talks about the message of the film. •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Trash-Talking Droids (00:36) -The Battle Is Over (00:29): Look out for The Wire's Dominic West! -Anakin's Return (00:26) •The Collection: Includes sections for Jar Jar Maquette, Trade Federation Battleship Model, Republic Cruiser Model, Queen Amidala Throne Room Costume, Full-Sized Battle Droid, Naboo Starfighter Model, Sando Aqua Monster Maquette, Darth Maul Costume, and Palpatine's Shuttle Model. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode I - Tatooine
•Interviews -Tatooine Overview (3:41): A look at the franchise's return to Tatooine. -Rick McCallum Interview - Podracers (1:04) -Rick McCallum Interview - Filming in Tunisia (2:32) •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Battle on the Boarding Ramp (00:28) -Extended Podrace Wager (1:35) •The Collection: Includes sections for Queens Royal Starship Model, Eopie with Anakin Maquette, Watto Maquette, Sebulba Maquette, Dud Bolt Puppet, Anakin's Podracer Model, and the Sith Speeder Model. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode I - Coruscant
•Interviews -Coruscant Overview (4:35): An intro to the design of the home planet of the Republic. -George Lucas on Preparing to Write Episode I - 1994 (3:05): Lucas talks about the technological advances that allows him to portray new things on screen. •Deleted/Extended Scene -Bail Organa of Alderaan (00:28) •The Collection: Includes sections for Coruscant Air Taxi Model, Queen Amidala Senate Costume, Pre-Senate Address Costume, and Senate Guard Costume. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode II - Coruscant
•Interviews -Coruscant Overview (3:56): A look at the process of going down to "street level" on Coruscant. -Ewan McGregor Interview (1:12): Ewan talks about how Episode IV was the first film he saw in the cinema. •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Extended Speeder Chase (1:10) -The Lost Twenty (1:05): An interesting scene where the librarian on Coruscant tells Obi-Wan why Count Dooku left the Jedi council. •The Collection: Includes sections for Dexter Jettster Maquette, Zam Wesell Speeder Model, Youngling Outfit, and Zam Wesell Costume. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode II - Naboo
•Naboo Overview (3:09): A look at the evolution of the planet since the previous film. •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Anakin's Nightmares (1:07): Anakin dreams about his mother in danger. -Anakin and Ruwee (00:54): Anakin talks with Padme's father. •The Collection: Includes Sections for Shaak Maquette, Anakin Peasant Costume (with and without cloak), and Padme Peasant Costume (with and without cloak). -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode II - Tatooine
•Tatooine Overview (3:55): A discussion about the design philosophy for Tatooine. •The Collection: Includes sections for C-3PO Costume, Tusken Raider Woman Costume, and Tusken Raider Child Costume. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode II - Geonosis
•Interviews -Geonosis Overview (3:35): Here we learn how termite dwellings were the basis for the architecture of the Geonosians. -Hayden Christensen Interview (1:29): Christensen talks about fight choreography. -Blue Screen Acting (3:38): Christopher Lee and Hayden Christensen explain the process of acting in front of blue screen. •Deleted/Extended Scene -Raid on the Droid Control Ship and Extended Arena Fight •The Collection: Includes sections for Geonosian Maquette, Acklay Maquette, Nexu Maquette, Reek Maquette, Padme Trip to Geonosis Costume, Jango Fett Costume, Super Battle Droid Maquette, Geonosis Arena, Republic Gunship Model, and Clone Trooper Model. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode III - Coruscant
•Interviews -Coruscant Overview (5:19): A discussion of the space battle above Coruscant and the cameos that the supervisors and producers make in the opera box next to the Emperor's. -Samuel L. Jackson Interview (2:34): Samuel L. talks about how George Lucas let him have a purple lightsaber. •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Elevator Antics (1:39): Banter between Anakin and Obi-Wan. -Escape Through the Hangar (2:39) -Changes to the Constitution (2:04) •The Collection: Includes sections for Separatist Cruiser Model, ARC-170 Model, Jedi Starfighter Model, Count Dooku Lightsaber, Palpatine Trade Federation Costume, and Anakin Costume. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode III - Utapau
•Utapau Overview (4:52): Visual Effects Supervisor John Knoll discusses some of the particular challenges of the Utapau location, include model work and CGI backgrounds. •Deleted/Extended Scene -Utapau Chase Animatic (8:34): This much longer version of the Utapau chase was actually supervised by Steven Spielberg, who wanted to get firsthand experience with the animatic process. •The Collection: Includes sections for Boga with Obi-Wan Maquette, Utapau Sinkhole Maquette, Landing Platform Maquette, General Grievous Maquette, and Tion Medon Costume. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode III - Mustafar
•Interviews -Mustafar Overview (4:29): Concept design supervisor Ryan Church talks about the process of designing the lava world. -Natalie Portman Interview (2:11): Portman discusses her character. •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Mustafar Duel Animatic (3:37) -Mustafar Duel/Lava River Animatic (3:49) •The Collection: Includes sections for Obi-Wan Lightsaber, Anakin Lightsaber, Mustafar Landscape Maquette, and Burnt Anakin Head. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode III - Kashyyyk and Order 66
•Kashyyyk and Order 66 Overview (5:43): Ryan Church discusses how his team was actually directly inspired by the Star Wars Christmas Special for the design of Kashyyyk. •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Kashyyyk Attack and Order 66 Animatic (6:47): A long animatic that explores the fates of some of the additional Jedi.- Anakin Kills Shaak Ti (00:37): Here, Anakin stabs master Shaak Ti with his lightsaber at the Jedi Temple. -Jedi Imposters at the Temple (00:47) -Senate Duel Animatic (5:34): An altered version of the duel between Yoda and the Emperor. -Yoda Communes with Qui-Gon (1:00): Qui-Gon teaches Yoda to merge with the Force. •The Collection: Includes sections for Wookie Tree Maquette, Felucia Maquettes, Chewbacca Costume, Darth Vader Costume, and Imperial Officer Costume. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Bonus Disc 2: Original Trilogy Features
Episode IV - Tatooine
•Interviews -Tatooine Overview (3:49): Production illustrator Ralph McQuarrie talks about some of his initial paintings/drawings for George Lucas, 2nd Cameraman Dennis Muren discusses the Tunisian shoot, and sound effect artist Ben Burtt describes how he came up with the Jawa language. -Mark Hamill Interview (2:15): Hamill briefly discusses working with Lucas, meeting Alec Guiness, and having fun on set. -Anthony Daniels Interview (1:21): Daniels talks about the odd couple relationship between C-3PO and R2. •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Tosche Station (5:21): Awesome. Ever wonder what Tosche Station is? Turns out it's the local hangout for Luke and his buddies. There's a great scene here where Biggs reveals to Luke his plan to join the rebellion. You can see why this was cut--it would definitely slow down the film-- but it's a great piece of previously unseen Star Wars history. -Old Woman on Tatooine (00:24): An elderly woman tells Luke to drive safely. -Aunt Beru's Blue Milk (00:31): A shot of Beru filling up her pitcher with that gross-looking gray/blue liquid they drink at the dinner table. -The Search for R2-D2 (00:42): Lucas cut this scene because he thought the rear projection visual effects weren't up to snuff. -Cantina Rough Cut (7:18): A preliminary version of the Cantina sequence. Look out for Han-Solo hanging out with a local lady friend! -Stormtrooper Search (00:54): Some of this unused footage found its way into the Star Wars Holiday Special. •The Collection: Includes sections for Landspeeder Prototype Model, Millenium Falcon Prototype Model, R2-D2, Tatooine From Orbit Matte Painting, Jawa Costume, Tusken Raider Mask, and Ketwol Mask. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode IV - Aboard the Death Star
•Interviews -Aboard the Death Star Overview (5:47): Sound effects designer Ben Burtt talks about how he had a "field day" making sounds for the Death Star. -Carrie Fisher Interview (1:45): Fischer discusses the audition process and her reaction to her theme in the score. •Deleted/Extended Scene -Darth Vader Widens the Search (00:36): Additional footage that made its way into the holiday special. •The Collection: Includes sections for Death Star Prototype Model, Holo-Chess Set, Bridge Power Trench Matte Painting, and Luke's Stormtrooper Torso. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode IV - The Battle of Yavin
•Battle of Yavin Overview (4:22): Dennis Muren discusses the process of filming the Death Star trench run sequence. •Deleted/Extended Scene -Alternate Biggs and Luke Reunion (00:36): An extended version of the scene, including a reference to Anakin. •The Collection: Includes sections for X-Wing Fighter Prototype and Final Models, Y-Wing Prototype and Final Models, TIE Fighter Prototype and Final Models, Darth Vader's TIE Fighter Model, X-Wing Pilot Costume, Death Star Laster Tower Model, and Yavin 4 Matte Painting. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode V - Hoth
•Interviews -Hoth Overview (3:31): Dennis Muren explains how he tried to do as many of the effects in-camera to avoid having to do complicated composite work. There's some great footage here of the filming of some stop-motion sequences. -George Lucas on Editing The Empire Strikes Back, 1979 (3:25): A vintage interview with George, who compares editing to constructing a house. -Irvin Kershner Interview (3:02): Kershner gives his thoughts on Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher. •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Han and Leia: Extended Echo Base Argument (1:43): Nice. In this long version of their arguement, Han tells Leia, "You're as cold as this planet." -Luke's Recovery (1:16): Additional footage of Luke in the medical tank. -Luke and Leia: Medical Center (2:15): Luke and Leia very nearly end up making out, only to be interrupted by R2. -Deleted Wampa Scenes (2:43): In the script, the Wampa was supposed to rampage through the Hoth base, but Lucas was unimpressed with the effects work--it's not hard to see why, the Wampa looks like a guy wearing a shag carpet--and the subplot was cut. -The Fate of General Veers (00:31): Here, General Veers suffers a kamikaze attack from a snowspeeder. •The Collection: Includes sections for AT-AT Walker Fallen Model, Snowspeeder Model, Tauntaun Maquette, Rebel Transport Model, Hoth Landscape Matte Painting, Leia Hoth Costume, and Han Solo Interior Hoth Costume. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode V - Dagobah
•Interviews -Dagobah Overview (4:29): A behind-the-scenes look at the Dagobah set, which presented some unique challenges to shooting. Frank Oz also discusses Yoda's speech syntax. -George Lucas on the Force, 2010 (5:20): Lucas talks about the philosophy of the Force in what looks to be a writer's room. •Deleted/Extended Scene -Yoda's Test (1:21): The special effects were never completed on this sequence, which has Yoda levitating a silver bar and having Luke try to slice it in half. •The Collection: Includes sections for Yoda Model, Luke's Severed Head, Dagobah Bog Matte Painting, Dagobah Matte Painting, and Luke's Tan Costume. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode V - Pursued by the Imperial Fleet
•Pursued by the Imperial Fleet Overview (3:25): Muren talks about the execution of the astroid chase sequence. •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Hiding in the Astroid (1:06): Here we see Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher reacting to "explosions," which were really just the cameraman shaking the camera. -Alternate Han and Leia Kiss (1:59): A longer version of the Han/Leia kiss, with C-3PO ruining the moment. •The Collection: Includes sections for Star Destroyer Model, Millennium Falcon Model, Space Slug, Darth Vader's Star Destroyer Model, Star Destroyer Hull Model, Executor Bridge Matte Painting, Boba Fett Prototype Costume, Imperial Officer Costume, and Rebel Cruiser Model. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode V - Cloud City
•Cloud City Overview (2:54): Production designer Norman Reynolds talks about the influence of the Bauhaus school of architecture on Cloud City. •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Lobot's Capture (00:57): Here, Lando's aide, Lobot, is captured for his role in the rebel escape. -Leia Tends to Luke (1:03): Leia works on Luke's arm and talks about how Han was taken by Boba Fett. •The Collection: Includes sections for Twin-Pod Cloud Car Model, Cloud City Models, Cloud City Matte Painting, Cloud City Landing Platform Matte Painting, Cloud City Core Vane Matte Painting, Core Vane Platform Matte Painting, Lando Bespin Costume, and Slave I Matte Painting. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode VI - Tatooine
•Tatooine Overview: A look at the production design for Jabba's palace. •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Vader's Arrival and Reaching Out to Luke (2:50): A nearly complete sequence that almost made it into the final cut, with Vader contacting Luke via the Force while Luke builds his new lightsaber. -Tatooine Sandstorm (2:15): An impressive sandstorm sequence that never made it into the film. With big goggles and a scarf blowing in the wind, Han Solo looks like a badass here. •The Collection: Includes sections for Rancor Maquette, EV-9D9, Salacious B. Crumb, C-3PO's Head, Jabba's Palace Matte Painting, Sarlacc Pit Matte Painting, Leia's Boushh Costume, Leia's Slave Costume, Lando Skiff Guard Costume, and Jabba's Radio Controlled Eyes. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode VI - Endor
•Interviews -Endor Overview (4:52): Dennis Muren explains how he initially planed out the speeder-bike chase using G.I. Joe models, and how he simulated 100mph speeds by shooting one frame per second. -Harrison Ford Interview (1:34): Ford talks about Lucas' vision and process. •Deleted/Extended Scene -Rebel Raid on the Bunker (2:22): In this extended sequence, the rebels encounter more resistance as they storm the bunker. •The Collection: Includes sections for AT-ST Walker Model, Speeder Bike, Imperial Shuttle Model, Ewok Hang Glider Maquette, Imperial Shuttle Landing Matte Painting, Endor Landing Platform Matte Painting, Ewok Costume, and Biker Scout Costume. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Episode VI - Death Star II Space Battle
•Death Star II Space Battle Overview (4:04): Model maker Bill George discusses the added complexities of shooting this attack on the second Death Star. •Deleted/Extended Scenes -Jerjerrod's Conflict (2:28): Minor character Commander Jerjerrod was featured in a few additional shots that were ultimately cut from the film. Here, we see his reluctance to carry out the attack on the Endor moon. -Battle of Endor: The Lost Rebels (9:40): Nine minutes of footage of rebel pilots who never made it into the film, including two female pilots and an Admiral Ackbar-type creature who, at one point, yells out, "Fried calamari tonight!" •The Collection: Includes sections for B-Wing Fighter Model, TIE Interceptor Fighter Model, Death Star Under Construction Model, Imperial Shuttle Bay Matte Painting, Admiral Ackbar Costume, Death Star Docking Bay Matte Painting, and Millennium Falcon in Hangar Matte Painting. -360 Degree Turnarounds -Video Commentaries •Concept Art Gallery
Bonus Disc 3: The Star Wars Documentaries
•The Making of Star Wars (1977, SD, 49:01): A retro making-of documentary and promo piece that came out shortly after the first film's release. Includes interviews with George Lucas and appearances by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher. •The Empire Strikes Back: SPFX (1980, SD, 48:05): Similarly, a making-of doc for Empire, which looks specifically at the then- innovative visual effects. •Classic Creatures: The Return of the Jedi (1983, SD, 48:07): An exploration of the menagerie of Star Wars creatures, compared to and contrasted against the grand tradition of movie monsters. Hosted by Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams. •Anatomy of a Dewback (1997, SD, 26:17): A look at the process of turning the rubber puppet dewbacks of the original trilogy into moving CGI creatures for the special edition release of A New Hope. •Star Warriors (2007, SD, 1:24:00): A tribute to the 501st Legion, an international group of Star Wars cos-play enthusiasts who hold "armor parties" and do volunteer work. The cruel part of me wants to ask some of these people, "Aren't you a little fat for a stormtrooper?" This is the first time this doc has been included on a Star Wars home video release. •Star Wars Tech (2007, 1080p, 45:36): Another first-time-on-video doc, this one exploring the plausibility of the science in Star Wars, including interviews with "leading scientists in the fields of physics, prosthetics, lasers, engineering, and astronomy." Pretty cool. •A Conversation with the Masters: The Empire Strikes Back 30 Years Later (2010, 1080i, 25:11): This new retrospective will probably be of most interest to fans, as it features George Lucas, the late Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan, and John Williams looking back on Empire. •Star Wars Spoofs (2011, 1080i, 1:37:32): An hour and a half long collection of Star Wars parodies in pop culture, from a vintage Candid Camera clip from 1977 to the adorable "Young Vader" Volkswagon commercial that aired during the 2011 Super Bowl. Includes segments from SNL, Robot Chicken, That 70s Show, Fanboys, Chad Vader, and more.
Do note that discs one and two include English SDH, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Portugeues subtitles, while the features on disc three include subs in those languages, plus Brazilian Portuguese, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, and Greek.