Saturday, January 06, 2007

Non-Special Edition

Most people who know me are aware that Star Wars is my all-time favorite series of movies. I can't remember exactly when I saw the Episode IV, but I think it was in Lincoln when I was probably about seven years old. We had no VCR, so my parents would occasionally rent a VCP (as in, Video Cassette Player, not Recorder) from Havelock Video along with a few tapes that we would watch as a family. I'm pretty sure one of those movie nights involved Star Wars, and I can only recall vague images of Darth Vader and X-Wings soaring across the black sky. I quickly became lost in George Lucas' fanciful vision of a galaxy that existed long ago and far, far away, and many nights and days were spent watching the original trilogy during my all-too-critical formative years, such that I now can watch any of them and recite most of the lines as they are said on screen.

I waited in line outside a now-defunct theatre in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, from Monday morning to Wednesday night when Episode I came out. I went on to see it 12 times in various theatres. And while, along with Episodes II and III, the newer trilogy has never seemed to capture the public imagination quite like the original, I still consider the six-movie series to be among cinema's most fully-realized triumphs.

But wow, do I ever digress, as is often my wont. What all this is leading up to is that for Christmas my parents-in-law gave me the "limited edition" DVDs of the original trilogy, which include the original un-edited un-altered versions of the films that have, until recently, never been made available on DVD. I have two versions of the Special Edition (one on tape and one on DVD) and one version of the classic trilogy (THX VHS edition, 4:3 ratio), but now I have the original movies as I saw them way back when I was just a youngling. I'm in the middle of Episode IV right now (taking a break to write this and do some housecleaning), and it's still just as awesome as I always remembered it to be. Han shoots first, there's vaseline on the camera lens underneath Luke's speeder, the dewbacks look like big chunks of rubber, the video quality is grainy, and the light saber effects are so 1977, but that's what makes this series great.

I also saw Jaws for the first time last night. Wow, what a creepy movie. Sure the shark looked fake, but it's still scary as all get out.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Lonesome without the Mrs.? :)