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Star Wars DVD: A Non-Fanboy Perspective

Not that I got the Star Wars DVDs the first day they came out or anything, but I just got a chance tonight to watch Episode IV. It’s been quite a while since I saw Episode IV. I first saw it in waaaay back ’77 at a drive-in (for those who are too young to know what a Drive-in is, it’s the same thing as a single-screen, outdoor multiplex). I saw pieces of it again when it played on the tube (I think I skipped the video release). I took my own kids to see the 20th anniversary “A New Hope” remix back in ’97 and that was the 2nd and last time I saw it from start to finish. Until tonight. The last thing the world needs is another Star Wars review, so here are my brief first impressions.

  • Fun movie! Yes, there were flaws. Yes, the acting wasn’t oscar-caliber. But, damn it, it was fun! And it had good story elements, too (good vs. evil, hero-in-training, character drama, aliens, space battles). Also, it had a lot more charm than I remember it having. It’s almost enough to make me want to be a fanboy. 😉
  • On the “new stuff” for the DVD – Generally speaking, no big whoop. What with JP’s legendary tirades, though, I paid close attention to the Greedo scene and it was rather silly how Greedo’s shot left his gun at an angle from the barrel. Oh well.
  • With all the extra CGI work that LucasFilm put into this release, could someone please tell me why the annoying matte-finish cut marks still remained around the TIE Fighters in some scenes? That’s so ’70’s.
  • Yet another THX 1138 reference this month (the first being the address of the Doctor’s office in Sky captain and the World of Tomorrow): When Luke and Han, dressed as StormTroopers take the handcuffed Chewbacca to the brig to rescue the Princess, Luke says he’s a transfer from cell block 1138. I’m sure this has already been noted on thousands of Star Wars sites, but, not being a fanboy, it was the first time I noticed.

Any negatives are severely outnumbered by the positives.

Bottom Line: This DVD is a worthy addition to to any SF fan’s library.

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

14 Comments on Star Wars DVD: A Non-Fanboy Perspective

  1. You are such a closet fanboy, it isn’t funny.

    And try this out for size, go to:

    with your Ep. IV DVD in your computer. They have a shooting script all keyed up for you to compare with what was actually filmed. Rather cool stuff…

  2. Top 5 signs that you’re a true closet SW fanboy:

    5. Buy the DVD set on the Friday after it’s released — It’s still discounted, but you’re not the first in line…

    4. Not watch it right away: You’re in denial

    3. You can’t decide if you like the changes: It bothers you that you’re not a purist fanboy because some of the changes seemed like good ideas.

    2. Rather than watching the DVDs, you surf the web looking for ways to build your own stormtrooper armour because Halloween is coming up. [another link]


    1. Posting on your favorite SF Blog about the signs of being a closet SW Fanboy at 1AM in the morning while feigning disinterest at the lunch table the entire week…

  3. Two other comments about the DVD set as a whole…

    The box is rather chinsy. Thicker cardboard would have been appreciated.

    The artwork on the paper inside each case is lame. With all the cool Star Wars artwork available, this was just a poor choice.

  4. We this afternoon on A&E.. they had back to back autobios on some of the Star Wars folks.. my favorite HOTTIE is… Harrison Ford, followed by George Lucas.

  5. George Lucas a hottie? Er…riiiiiight. Been a while, Jules? 🙂

  6. A few notes here…

    I might have been only 9 years old, but I saw Star Wars 3 times when I was a kid – including in some totally odd screening in a real theatre with a giant stage – in fact the place was so big the movie was being shown on three screens, each one positioned towards a third of the audience. Very odd. Of course, even stranger was this time I saw the movie Midway (1976) with these giant 8 foot tall speakers specially added to the back of the theatre sitting on the last 3 rows of seats so that the bass of the war explosions would be felt. But I digress…

    I made up my own stormtrooper costume (when I was a kid) for Holloween (hmm, I wonder if my parents still have pictures) that involved a plastic stormtrooper mask, white pants & shirt, black fabric pinned to the appropriate spots (elbows, knees mostly), and a black toy gun that was actually designed for shooting Hot Wheels cars. I was sooo coool! Needless to say I picked up no chicks that night. But who cares because I was a stormtrooper!

    I watched part of the new Ep4 DVD but haven’t made it through the whole thing. The Greedo scene change is lame but if this was the first time you saw the film I don’t think you would think twice about it. Honestly, its a non-issue.

    I totally agree about the box – it is very poor quality. Mine arrived smushed a bit from Amazon. If I was anal about these sorts of things I would have sent it back, but it really doesn’t matter to me. I’m just surprised because it seems that usually Lucas does everything so well that this one weakness is so apparent. Brazil showed how to do a great large-size DVD case that looks good and I’m guessing didn’t cost them too much.

    Finally, I’ve never felt any of the actors in Star Wars was particularly hot (women or men) but instead rather homely. I think that’s why Lucas picked them. Well, except for Sir Alec Guinness of course – he was the bomb in his day!

  7. Here’s a visual for you, Scott. You’re inside Jabba’s lair. At Jabba’s side, seductively reclined and wearing a gold bikini, is…Sir Alec Guinness.

  8. Closet Star Wars Fanboy Perspective

    Claims not to be a fanboy but posts this on a sci-fi blog. Riiighhttt!!! Non- Fanboy my Jedi 🙂

  9. Did anyone else have problem with the Ep. IV disc locking up their player? or is it just the p.o.s. player that I was using?

    I finally got tired of taking the disc out, wiping it, putting it back, wait for the long menu intro to skip back to where it stopped, what a pain in the arse!

    If it’s just my player, then DON’T BUY JVC, THEY SUCK!

  10. Its just you Pete.

    I’ve watched all 3 movies now and yup, every one of them is waaay better than Eps. I and II. Even with Ewoks. I did notice that the ending of RotJ has changed quite a bit. Lucas added shots of celebrations on Naboo, Bespin, Coruscant and one other I couldn’t place, maybe Tatooine. Which seemed odd, aren’t there Imperial garisons there for security and populace control? Anyway, because of the extra footage, Lucas had to change the music that plays at the end. It doesn’t flow as well as the original but it works.

    Oh, and the appearance of Hayden “Someday I aspire to act as well as Keanu Reeve” Christinson: lame. Its supposed to be a happy/solemn moment when Yoda, Obi-wan and Annikan show up as bluies. What we get is Hayden smirking his way through the shot and being out-acted by the ghost of a muppet. Horrible. Otherwise, RotJ is a lot of fun, but still not quite as good as the other 2 movies.

  11. Thank you for the visual John …. a gold bikini.

  12. Non fan-boy. Oooh, that’s rare.

  13. umm whats up with the ending in it just me or is that Hyaden Christensen. didnt it used to be darth vader when he was old? why did he change that??

  14. Lucas put Christenson in to that shot instead of the other guy to provide ‘continuity’ with with prequal films. Something about how, when a dark jedi is saved, his bluey takes on the appearance he had when he was last a jedi. I still think its lame.

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