442 of 468 people found the following review helpful
Stunning sound, great visuals, but far from complete
, 21 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) Ltd. Edition Film Cell [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)
First and foremost, this is the best I've seen the original trilogy at home in terms of picture quality, which should be a given really with blu-ray. In Star Wars and Empire particularly there's a superb level of depth and detail which injects even more life into Lucas's idea of a 'used' universe. Jedi wavers a bit, but I've always found that it suffers in comparison, on whatever format - and it definitely picks up in the second half once all the smokey, dark interiors disappear. With the prequels, TPM perhaps isn't as good and appears a bit flat but, by the time you get to Sith, the image is fairly jaw-dropping.
The sound's the thing, though. If you've got the set up for it, they sound absolutely stunning. John Williams' marvellous scores sound better than ever (the chase through the asteroid field is demo material for the sound, I think). The dialogue is clear, the sound effects placed just about right in the mix. When the special editions were released I went to see them in a THX certified cinema, and I think these sound even better than that. During the attack on the Falcon the TIE fighters sound like they're flying around the room
As for the changes, well I understand anyone who's chosen not to buy the set and, in some ways, I wish I'd done so myself. In fact, I lost count of the number of times I ordered and cancelled it before finally caving in and going ahead. I first saw Star Wars in early '78 when my folks took me to Leicester Square to see it on my birthday, and that's the version I want to remember and own. I agree with much of the criticism of Lucas for his constant revisionism. He's messing with my fond childhood memories of these wonderful films, as he is doing so for many, many others, and we all have a right to say so. Having said all of that, the latest revisions (other than the colour timing and such) last barely a minute over the course of the six or so hours of the original films. For me, the more heinous changes had already happened in the special editions, so if you could handle them then you can probably handle this. Ben's new Krayt call didn't bother me in the slightest. Artoo hiding behind rocks - stupid, because the rocks are there in one shot then not in the next (and I suspect this was just added for the upcoming 3-D versions anyway). Vader's "Nooooo" I absolutely hate but, again, it lasts barely a second. Oh, and Han and Greedo now shoot simultaneously, and it still looks stupid.
I reckon most fans probably already know whether they want the blu-rays or not. I'm glad I've seen them and made up my own mind, and I'll definitely get some mileage out of them before returning to my old, unaltered VHS tapes and dvds. And it seems almost inevitable that Lucas will discover seamless branching one day and release the original versions. I hope so, anyway.
For me, this set is visually superb and aurally stunning, but it loses a point for not including the original versions, and another for not including all the previously available extras. It is what it is, and I think there is a lot of entertainment still to be found within. In my opinion, Lucas can tinker as much as he wants, but he should at least give the fans who've made him so rich the choice as to which version of the movies they want to watch. It is this lack of choice that grates with me more than anything else.
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