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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spielberg's Redeems Himself (Making Lucas Look Like a Schmuck)

George Lucas offended a legion of loyal fans when he decided on multiple occasions decided to alter the original Star Wars trilogy (as discussed here).  After an original round of alterations were delivered the outcry for him to stop could not be ignored.  It fell on deaf ears.   We could only hope that someone would knock some sense into him.  If he would not listen to his fans, perhaps he would listen to his peers.  It did not seem to matter where the criticism came from, fellow directors, critics, web bloggers, Lucas put his fingers in his ears and hummed the theme to "Arthur."

When it seemed like things could get not worse, Lucas received some support from his "best friend" (his words, not mine) Steven Spielberg.  Steven did the unthinkable, he altered on of his most adored films, E.T: The Extra Terrestrial.   Taking a page right out of George Lucas' book "How to Lose Friends and Disinterest People" Steven decided to digitally alter the film, most notably removing guns from the hands of the government agents.  It may sound minor, but in the eyes of cinephiles it was blasphemy.  Maybe it was peer pressure that made Spielberg crack (I guess we have to be happy his friends did not jump off bridges) or the parents' groups that were upset by some of the PG elements of the film.   No matter what the cause, he made the alterations.  With one altered DVD release of E.T., Lucas' annihilation seemed justified and validated.  Heck, if it was good enough for arguably one of the best directors of all-time, then it was good enough for George.  The film universe was in peril.

That is until this week.  Something happened, something big.  It takes a big man to admit his mistakes and guess what, Steven Spielberg is a big man. In a recent interview he said, "For myself, I tried changing a film once and lived to regret it. Not because of fan outrage, but because I was disappointed in myself. I got overly sensitive to some of the reaction to E.T., and I thought if technology evolved, I might go in and change some things…it was OK for a while, but I realized what I had done was I had robbed people who loved E.T. of their memories of E.T."  It is almost as if Mr. Spielberg himself had read my recent post about Lucas' addition of "Nooooooooooo!" to Return of the Jedi and took my words to heart.  Great minds think alike.  

Of course, Spielberg's admittance of the mistakes and his redemption by way of an unaltered Blu-Ray release of E.T. kind of leave Lucas out to dry.  Already an internet punching bag, the one guy that had his back is suddenly turning it.  Is this a message to George?  Is Spielberg trying to tell us what he was to nice to tell George to his face, that Han should always shoot first?   

Could this announcement conceivably resonate within Lucas?  Is there a New Hope for George Lucas?  It may be too early to know for sure.  Even if Lucas stays true to his meddling ways, perhaps, could do something ultimately grander than fix Star Wars.  Maybe this will be the catalyst needed to start a trend where the artists of the cinematic world begin to focus on creating new classics rather than altering or remaking old ones.


sk8erbytch said...

that pic is hilarious. too bad ET sux. boring.

BK said...

Never thought I'd say this, but I can't stand SS anymore. His movies are cliched - especially the endings.

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