The Weekly Geek: “Star Wars” Nerd Rage

Nerd rage – it’s something we all feel sometimes. Like every time I meet a Twilight-obsessed young woman and simultaneously want to weep for the future generation of women on our planet and want to shove the Buffy DVD set in her face (so she knows what a female-empowered vampire series looks like). Or when someone laughs off games/comics/sci-fi whatever your nerdy obsession is, then turns around and goes ape for whatever “socially acceptable” trend they happen to be a giant geek for. (Note to everyone: Fantasy football and obsessive cooking show watching are nerdy pursuits as well. Don’t even try to deny it).

But nothing quite hits the old nerd rage meter collectively like Star Wars/George Lucas scorn. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s the gist: Mr. Lucas made the original Star Wars trilogy, a sci-fi masterpiece that turned many a young nerd into a die-hard fan. Then the classic trilogy was “enhanced” with CGI scenes in the late ’90s, to an outcry of fan anger. Then he went and made the prequel trilogy, which was, to put it charitably, not very good. A wave of anger swelled in the loyal fan base, and many folks started to fall off the wagon.

For an entertaining summary of the nerd-rage against Lucas, go right ahead and take a gander at the documentary The People Vs. George Lucas.

Now – Lucasfilm has gone and done what many geeks consider unforgiveable.The classic trilogy (i.e, the good movies) is coming out on Blu-Ray mighty soon, and apparently, they’ve been messed with again, in ridiculous ways. Some are even more bizarre (and dumb) as that inexplicable dance number in Return of the Jedi.

Here’s the scoop, along with all of the clips, courtesy of Topless Robot:

Please note not all of these changes are 100% confirmed; however, the extra TIE Fighters is an official video released by Lucasfilm, and I don’t who the f*** would think to add extra rocks in front of R2 other than George Lucas. Much thanks to Ghostfighter for helping me find these. Also: AAAAAAAAA EWOK EYELIDS AAAAAA.

In this light, I’ve decided that I’ll just pretend that Mass Effect is the new Star Wars. I suggest that you keep your old tapes and DVDs and do the same.

I’ve followed the whole thing with a mix of confusion, sadness and vague disgust. Like so many geeks, I grew up with the original trilogy. I loved the movies, the video games, and yes, when I was young, I even enjoyed the extended universe books. As my tastes have changed, I’ve moved on to sci-fi and fantasy with a little more depth and character development, but I’ll always have a very special place in my heart for The Empire Strikes Back. That’s still one hell of a movie.

It’s genuinely sad that this creator can’t just let go and let his early work speak for itself, because at every turn, the “enhancements” have absolutely, well, sucked. As for the nerd rage, I completely understand it. However, I reserve just about all of my own for the fact that Janeway and Seven never made out on Voyager, and the fact that Farscape was cancelled ahead of its time. That wound is still deep.