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June 28, 2012

‘Star Wars That I Used to Know’ hums with the power of the Farce

Posted in: Movies

If you haven’t heard Gotye’s No. 1 hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” in the last five minutes (as unlikely as that seems) and you like to bemoan the digital revisionism of George Lucas we’ve got a treat for you. Check out this video that takes the Jedi universe into the echo chamber of pop parody…

For fans of a certain age, Lucas seems like a painter who won’t let go of his most famous canvas — instead of treating the original “Star Wars” trilogy as a piece of fixed history, he scrapes off the appealing pigments of the past (like Han Solo’s outlaw ethics and unsportsmanlike decision to preemptively murder a green guy named Greedo) and then digitally paint right over our collective moviegoing memories (the Blu-rays show us now that it was Greedo who fired first).

Lucas has said that he sees the changes as merely a tech-upgrade that gets the Jedi saga’s on-screen achievement closer to the version  in his head; well, sure, that applies to the salvage effort that added a viable Jabba the Hutt into an effects-challenged sequence that had been abandoned during the making of the 1977 film. But it sure doesn’t explain the taming of Solo’s soul.

You can watch “Star Wars” on Blu-ray now but it won’t be the version released in theaters in 1977 — that’s not available because Lucas doesn’t cherish it the way the rest of the world does. In the decades to come, Lucas may find other improvements to make to our sadly flawed memories. When the 50th anniversary edition of “Star Wars” arrives in 2027 maybe Solo will be recreated as the man who shot Liberty Valance on Tattoine? Or perhaps it’ll be a spectral 2Pac who pulls the trigger and rips open Greedo’s gut?

— Geoff Boucher


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