One explanation for the enduring appeal of George Lucas' "space opera" might be that the Star Wars
universe is a clever synthesis of a multitude of filmic, cultural and folkloric references, from Robin Hood (the Errol Flynn incarnation of course) to Tolkien to Samurai legends and Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress
in particular (the inspiration for R2D2 and C3PO). As a result, audiences of almost all ages can find something to identify with. Luke Skywalker's journey from disaffected teenager dreaming of adventure beyond the narrow confines of home life to Jedi Knight and saviour of the galaxy is the very stuff of fairy-tale: he not only rescues a Princess, but discovers she's a close relative (one explanation for the relatively cool reception accorded to The Phantom Menace
might be that it sacrifices the fairy-tale theme for political machination). If there's a lesson to be gleaned from the Skywalker clan it's that no matter how bad things get in the average dysfunctional family, it's never too late for reconciliation. Little wonder, then, that Star Wars
continues to grip our collective imagination.
This box contains, among other delights, the digitally remastered "Special Edition" versions of the movies, restored and enhanced (some would say "tinkered with") by George Lucas in 1997. Star Wars has the most drastic changes, the best of which are the improved effects sequences; the worst the Cantina showdown where Han Solo near-suicidally now allows Greedo to get off a shot before firing back (since he misses at point-blank range, Greedo must be a very poor assassin indeed). The restoration of the Jabba-Solo scene is interesting although the CGI isn't completely convincing. The Empire Strikes Back also has touched-up effects shots, most spectacularly the expanded vistas of Cloud City; Return of the Jedi has a new song-and-dance number in Jabba's Palace (which is just as excruciating as the original) and a revised ending that looks forward (or should that be backwards?) to Episode I. --Mark Walker
The first three Star Wars films reworked as creator George Lucas had intended. Using state of the art technology, Lucas and his team cleaned up the prints, updated the special effects and added new footage to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the original film's release. The stories tell of the adventures of a band of fearless rebels who try to take on the might of the awesome Empire, led by the evil Emperor and Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. Throughout their quest, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2D2 and C3PO meet terrifying foes, new allies and bizarre creatures. In 'Star Wars' on discovering a secret hidden inside a droid that his family have bought, young farm hand, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) becomes involved in a battle between the forces of light and the evil Empire. Along the way he meets up with a Knight of an ancient order (Alec Guinness), a roguish space pilot (Harrison Ford), a beautiful princess (Carrie Fisher) and an evil tyrant. In this remastered version of George Lucas' space epic, the special effects have been enhanced using modern technology and the famous missing scene between Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt (and other smaller scenes) have been added. In 'The Empire Strikes Back' after the destruction of the Death Star, the rebels led by Luke (Hamill) and Leia (Fisher) are on the run from the vengeful Empire. Holed up on an inhospitable ice planet the Rebels are soon discovered and must flee across the galaxy. Luke decides to visit an old Jedi Knight while Han and Leia become involved in a game of cat and mouse with Vader and a host of bounty hunters led by Boba Fett. Whilst 'Return of the Jedi' is final part in the remastered trilogy. With Han (Ford) still being held captive by Jabba, his friends Luke, Leia, Lando, Chewbacca, R2 D2 and C3 PO plan a rescue mission. After that, the intrepid group must make another assault on the new, more powerful Death Star and Luke must face his destiny in the guise of Darth Vader and the Emperor.