The Conversation: Who is Really Boycotting the 'Star Wars' Blu-ray Release?

The Conversation: Who is Really Boycotting the 'Star Wars' Blu-ray Release?

Sep 02, 2011

The biggest story in movie news this week, and possibly the biggest thing through to their release on September 16th, is about George Lucas' confirmed changes to the original Star Wars trilogy for the series' Blu-ray editions. We rounded up clips of the offenses, confirmed that Greedo still shoots first, checked out The Conversation responding to the changes, got the very negative reaction from an effects legend who worked on the films, and looked back upon an old comedy bit making fun of Star Wars nerds. There has been outcry, counter-reactions, a terrific Twitter hashtag meme for fake rumors, hilarous parodies involving Beavis and Butthead and Sir Mix-a-Lot, and even a self-contradicting statement from the younger, soul-retaining Lucas of 1988 regarding the issue of altering art for profitable purpose. What could there possiby be to add to all this controversy? Oh, right, the actual boycott campaign

We've heard from many people stating the only thing to do is not buy the Blus. And even a lot of hardcore fans are claiming they will not, even if they'd already pre-ordered. But can the diehard uber-nerds really go through with it? Can we send spy droids to tail every last one of them and make sure none are as hypocritical as Lucas himself? For now we can only go by the declarations, including this one sent to Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood:

These hardcare fans, reacting to today’s news, are telling me this is ”about film preservation and our cultural heritage. Lucas has every right to make as many new versions of his films as he wants – fine, go crazy, George – but he has no right to replace the original versions of his films.” As Lucas himself, in 1988 testimony before Congress said

Arguing that Lucas is not quite being hypocritical is Moviefone's Harley W. Lond:

Of course, Lucas was lashing out at corporate entities, not directors such as himself who want to change their original vision (or product) to make it better (or re-merchandise it).

Here is the info statement at the Facebook page for the boycott:

As a loyal Star Wars fan, I was severely disappointed after hearing that the original trilogy (aka The Trilogy) would not be made available on Blu-Ray in 2011. Only the butchered "special" editions will be getting the HD treatment because, as Mr. Lucas has stated, converting the original films would "cost too much". Please support this page and boycott the Blu-Ray release of Star Wars that will be released in the Fall of 2011. The original films should not be given the cold shoulder.

To put that into a bit of perspective, though, check out all the past pages supporting boycotts of Star Wars in 3D and even Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Still, the boycott debate is strong with this one Internet, so check out what's being said around the web and on Twitter:

Remember, you don’t have to buy these movies just because they’re labeled as “Star Wars” and you really want Star Wars to watch on your Blu-ray player/PS3 that’s hooked up to your HD/Plasma/LED 52” TV. You don’t, you really, really don’t. Unless we count the RiffTrax for the Prequel trilogy, I haven’t purchased a Star Wars movie since the Special Editions came out in 1997. From personal experience, I can tell you that it’s pretty nice not being a slave to George Lucas’ Mammonic devotion. I highly recommend it. Don’t boycott or protest, just don’t buy. If enough of us do it, he’ll know why. - Rob Payne, Pajiba

Shame on you [George Lucas]. Shame on all of the folks at LucasFilm. Boycott the Blu Ray, people. Viva la revolution! - Kayleigh Dray, Best for Film

While I become a little more dismayed by every change I hear -- do we really need Darth Vader to say "Nooooo!"? -- yes, I'll probably still buy the set. Again. Because I am a slave to the Lucas. I REALLY wish he'd stop tinkering with my childhood memories, though. - Whitney Matheson, Pop Candy

As much as it pains me to support the boycott, I can honestly say that this writer has not decided whether or not he will be purchasing the STAR WARS Blu-ray set. It’s not that I’m considering making a grand stand against Lucas, it’s more that I don’t have much interest in the set anymore. I think Lucas has finally managed to alter the fun out of the series. - Brad Sturdivant, Flix66

Color me still skeptical this boycott will make any difference. There are too many fans out there loyal to the brand. But I appreciate someone is out there making an effort and for a good reason. It is a step in the right direction at least. Perhaps science fiction fans are beginning to realize they do not have to buy every mediocre product out there just to keep a favorite franchise chugging along. - Jamie Jeffords, Eye of Polyphemus

Although some fans will undoubtedly heed the call to boycott the new Star Wars BD releases, the lure of hi-def and all those new extras is strong--and fans will surely have the previous versions on DVD so that they can demonstrate the "travesties" that Lucas has perpetrated if they buy the BDs. - ICV2

The question is... Will this actually work? Has the market finally been saturated with so much sub-par Star Wars material that fans are willing to actually stave off from Star Wars: The Complete Saga, regardless of its high-definition content and 40 hours of bonus features? Or will it break records like everyone's expecting it to, sentencing us to more years of unnecessary (at best) rejiggering? - William Bibbiani, Crave Online

Believe me, there is a big part of me that wants to join the chorus of betrayed fans. But why? [...] I think that it is time to put away childish things. Time to admit that Star Wars — like fruit snacks and Nickelodeon — should perhaps be left behind in our adolescence. There is no shame in changing your mind about something, and come on, can you really trust someone who hasn’t evolved beyond a first-grade level? The reason why we hate George Lucas is because we are George Lucas: Eternally obsessed with putting a spit-shine on films from long ago, insisting that Star Wars is the modern myth, and so it can never stop evolving. - Darren Franich, EW's PopWatch

Here’s some above-it-all smug at “EW (naturally) telling us that hating on George Lucas makes us George Lucas … or something — makes us all adolescent crybabies. But wait EW, will you say the same for Phil Tippett — you know, the legendary FX expert who worked on the original trilogy and called Lucas’ changes ’shit’? - John Nolte, Big Hollywood


@AdmMarius: So there's an internet movement to boycott the Star Wars blue-rays? Yeah, good luck with that.

@ThePlaylist: Uh, don't superfans boycott every new release of "Star Wars"? Why is this "news" now?

@ZTGD: Star Wars fans are the biggest whiners on the planet. Boycott Lucas, when you damn well know your asses will buy it anyway. #hypocrisy

@spongbros: Let my BD Star Wars pre-order serve as a boycott of those who are choosing to boycott BD Star Wars.

@colliderfrosty: almost ashamed to say I just ordered the big Blu-ray Star Wars box set from Amazon. Can't believe I just gave Luca$ more of my money.

@scottEweinberg: I will not watch the new Star Wars/on planes or trains or on all fours. I will not watch them on a chair/I would not watch them over there.

@verygoodyear: If you buy the blu-ray version of Star Wars you're not a true fan and you're funding terrorism

@mpaige: Who's with me on a boycott of Star Wars Blu-ray, and all Star Wars related paraphernalia? #boycottLucasFilm #boycottStarWars

@harrisonbender: nope. i actually think the "nooooooooo!" is a good decision--the only problem is that the execution is silly.

@TheTomNix: Yes. I will only buy a Star Wars Blu or DVD when the originals are released as a set and not a bonus.


Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join in 'The Conversation.'

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