Listener Mailbag: December 6, 2012
Posted by Eric on December 6, 2012 at
11:00 AM CST
Our mailbag entries this week focus on Star Wars Episode VII, M. Night Shyamalan, The Clone Wars, and more.
Regarding Restore Versions of the Original Trilogy
Hey guys, love the podcast and look forward to hearing you guys speculate on the future of Star Wars in the coming years. I have to respectfully, but strongly, disagree with your assessment on last week's podcast regarding a potential Disney release of the original versions of IV, V, and VI. We certainly may never get the release of these versions from Disney, but it is something a lot of hard-core and casual fans have been wanting for a long time and to dismiss that desire as easily as you did, well, as Peter Griffin would say, "That really grinds my gears." When Star Wars came out in 1977 it blew people away with its imaginative story and visual effects that allowed Lucas to tell that story on a scale never seen before. The very fact that many of the effects hold up today compared to modern films is part of what makes his achievement so amazing, as difficult as it may be for George to accept. Part of that impact will be lost on future generations when they are shown the Special Editions; they will think, "Sure it looks great, but weren't most of the special effects redone later with CG?" Most of us clamoring for access to a high quality, anamorphic digital transfer don't want it to be the definitive version, we just want the choice to be able to watch whatever version we want.
You talked about the versions as being a living thing that changes throughout time; I understand your point, and there are certain things about the Special Editions that I love, but at what point do you draw the line? Should George have replaced Empire Yoda with an all CG Yoda? What about replacing actors whose performances he now doesn't like? Would you use that argument to justify a complete reboot of the OT?
You assume that a restored version wouldn't look good on Blu-ray: check out the recent Jaws restoration. It looks beautiful, almost like it was filmed yesterday. I just want the same for the OT.
To your point that Star Wars isn't like The Wizard of Oz and doesn't deserve a "Criterion"-type release; I would argue that Star Wars is a more important film. It's one of the top money-makers of all time adjusted for inflation, it started the era of modern, big spectacle film-making, was nominated for best picture, and for my money is one of the greatest films of all time. If you had to pick one film to represent the 20th century it would have to be Star Wars. It deserves to be preserved for all to enjoy in all of its versions, not just locked away in a government warehouse next to the Ark of the Covenant.
I've always assumed Lucasfilm was holding back on doing a high quality transfer as a sort of ace-in-the-hole, something they could re-release as a way to get us all to purchase yet another version of the films. I think it will be some time before we see these versions, and it may be after George has become one with the Force, but I find it hard to believe that a full restoration and release will never happen because there is definitely a demand and money to be made from that demand. Arguments about the value of the Special Editions versus the original version will never go away as long as SW fandom exists, so I know that nothing I'm arguing here is new, but I just wanted to provide a counterpoint to your thoughts. Keep up the good work and I look forward to sharing the journey with you guys.
- Jason Keonin
"Your droids, they'll have to wait outside!"
I came to the same conclusion, not too long ago, that after The Clone Wars, most humanoid races were wary of the warmongering droids, and I used the idea as a theme for a propaganda-style Star Wars poster:
*******Regarding "A Necessary Bond"
Jason and Jimmy:
First, thanks for the podcasts every week. Great to have one place to go for all the latest Star Wars information.
I just watched "A Necessary Bond" and I am already prepared to say it may be one of my favorite episodes ever. It was "Star Wars" in every capacity. There were Jedi and the Force, there were Sith, there were pirates and the criminal element...ALL IN ONE EPISODE....interacting. With a seasoned Ahsoka versus Grievous to boot!
I have been a fan of this arc since it began and am a fan of arcs that don't necessarily have relation to the big battles. Yes, sometimes the show strays too far from the classic characters, but it wouldn't be a good show if it didn't mold new "classic" characters such as Ahsoka and Hondo who can completely hold an arc of their own.
Along those lines, it has the power to create "instant classic" characters like Master Huyang. David Tennant in Star Wars and such a great character! Could easily see a replacement for C3-PO...
Ok, last point and one I've meant to write in about before...I think you guys are a little harsh on Kevin Kiner. I can see that you want more recognizable themes more often but:
-Overkill would lessen the impact of the themes over 5 or more seasons and when you really look at John Williams, those famous themes are actually used sparingly in the actual films with several ancillary tracks that you probably always skip when listening to an album. The really famous themes get their own entire songs only in credits and on soundtracks but I think we all imagine them used more in the films. I think Kiner uses the big ones when appropriate and has to compose a same percentage of background music that Williams does for films.
-The Force theme in the first episode in the Younglings Arc as they activated the door to the temple was perfect example of needing a main theme to be prevalent.
-You are sometimes down on the music not having a "Star Wars feel" but I will admit when the Episode 1 soundtrack came out, I had to get use to some of the more exotic music styles and Williams' changes in compositional styles since Jedi. It's okay for Kiner to push the boundaries of what is Star Wars music.
-Kiner has used and quoted a lot of Williams music that is secondary in the films. I might have to go search for the original track when I get a hint but it is very apparent. There is even more than you think in the original soundtrack released with the Clone Wars film.
-And to use the main theme but give it a war movie treatment at the beginning of each show was a brilliant move to give Clone Wars it's own identity while still being Star Wars.
-- Curt Koehler (Kayler)
*******On M. Night Shyamalan and reshowing the previous six movies before Episode VII
Hey guys, this is the FIRST e-mail I've sent to you and this was the first time I was this compelled to e-mail you about ANYTHING.
I was just listening to last weeks ForceCast when you started discussing M. Night Shyamalan possibly directing Episode 7, and I literally screamed out a Darth Vader-esque, "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" And the reason I say this is simply because of the travesty that is The Last Airbender. I'm a big fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender and when I heard they were doing a movie I was ECSTATIC! However when I went to see it I was SO DISAPPOINTED. The reason is that because they tried to put an entire season in to an hour and a half long movie! That's right...tried putting a 20 episode season, at 30 minutes an episode (20 not counting commercials) into that short a movie. It's like if someone took Season 1 of The Clone Wars and tried to put it into an hour and a half long movie. It was the second WORST movie I'd ever seen, A Series of Unfortunate Events was worse (it was 3 books in 1 movie, imagine if they did THAT with Harry Potter). M. Night Shyamalan does NOT work well when he's given someone else's universe and told to work within it.
Now to the second part of my e-mail, you guys were talking about movie theaters doing midnight screenings of the previous Star Wars movies. My thoughts on that are it's 100% going to happen! Now the reason for my 100% guarantee is that when I was at home for Thanksgiving my family went to see the new Lincoln movie and while we were at the local Regal Cinemas they had a poster for a Lord of the Rings Trilogy showing they were doing on December 8th. I don't remember what time it was starting but for $25 you'd show up and watch all 3 movies with an introduction for each film from Peter Jackson, no word if there was a break in between each movie. I thought maybe it was just a Regal thing, but when I went to see Skyfall 2 nights later with my Dad and brother I saw the same poster at the local AMC Theaters So obviously it's something everyone is doing. I also remember seeing posters before The Dark Knight Rises came out and some theater's would show Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and then lead into the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. I don't know if they did that for Twilight and their last movie, but it wouldn't surprise me if they did. So I'd put the odds that we see a day where they show the prequel movies back-to-back-to-back and then the original trilogy the next day. Who knows, maybe they even show ALL SIX in 1 day?
Just wanted to share my thoughts with you about M. Night Shyamalan and why I DON'T want him anywhere near anything Star Wars-related, and the possibility of theaters re-showing the 6 previous Star Wars movies.
Thanks for taking the time to read my e-mail. And remember...
The Force will be with you...always.
22 from Endicott, NY
P.S.: Whoever the director of Episode 7 is, we all know what we have to ask him at the first opportunity..."WHERE'S KITSTER?!"
Thanks to all of this week's mailbag contributors! Keep your emails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org
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