Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, October 09, 2003

So, I'm starting to think maybe I should shut down the blog. I'm just a little stunned when my friends tell me that they don't have time to read my regular site anymore, but they always read this. I guess the columns I spend hours lovingly crafting just aren't as interesting as, "Hey! Guess what I read about Star Wars?"

Hey! Guess what I read about Star Wars? Ever since the special editions came out a few years back, rumors have run rampant that George Lucas is working on some "super special editions," that will help to bring the original trilogy more in line with the prequel trilogy. A week or so ago, I was reading how a 20th Century Fox employee recently saw a re-filmed ending for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. (That's the real first one. The one that came out in 1977. The one that the whole world just calls Star Wars.) As we all know, it ends with a final duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader in which Vader slices down Kenobi. Out of all of Star Wars, it's the least dynamic lightsaber duel, as it's just two old men swinging sticks at each other. Well, apparently, it's been re-filmed so the lightsaber duel is at least on par with Obi-Wan vs. Darth Maul from Episode I. I told this to Mr. Anderson, and he replied with, "That's not true, is it?" Know what? I really don't know. Whenever asked about stuff like this, George Lucas always denies its existence. These "super special editions" are starting to get more and more like the classic UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico: The more it's denied, the more people are conivnced that it's actually happening.

Speaking of special editions, Disney's special edition DVD of The Lion King came out a few days ago. You know, as much as I love animation, I'm not so sure I want this disc. Back in the early days of DVD, like, 4 years ago, Disney had a great strategy for DVD. They would always release 2 editions of a disc. There was the "family friendly" version. This was the one geared for families so their kids could watch the film over and over again. Bonus materials tended to be games and similarly-themed Disney shorts. Then, there were the "special editions." These were the 2-disc version for geeks like me, where you got director's running commentaries and test footage and character designs and such forth. That was then. But now, Disney is trying to cram all of the family friendly and geek stuff onto one 2-disc special edition, and it's failing miserably. Usually, the geek stuff is lost for the family friendly stuff. For example, on the 2-disc special edition of the Lion King, there aren't any pencil tests, but there is a new Circle of Life music video by Elton John. Plus, most of what Disney is advertising as the geek stuff is little more than advertising for what The Lion King spawned. Yeah, there's no test footage, but there's a featurette about the making of the Broadway musical and a travelogue for Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida. So, I don't think this'll be going on my shelf.

Plus, like on the Beauty and the Beast disc, on this disc you have the option of watching either the original theatrical version or the IMAX special editon that came out back in January. Disney has really taken to this IMAX special edition concept. The IMAX special edition of Aladdin comes January 1, 2004, and the Little Mermaid is tennativly scheduled for January 1, 2005. I remember reading how this all began. Back in 1997, when the Star Wars special editions came out, the directors of Beauty and the Beast were talking about it. One of the directors jokingly said, "Hey, you know how much money could be made off of a special edition of Beauty and the Beast?" Well, Michael Eisner was walking by the door when this joke was cracked, and Eisner popped his head in and said, "What was that? A special edition of Beauty and the Beast? Great idea! Make that movie!" Eisner left, visions of dollar signs in his head, and the Beauty and the Beast directors began wondering what the hell they got themselves into.

Anyway, better start heading off to class. If I thought my breathing test from a few weeks back was brutal, then I should get ready for this afternoon's loudness test.

Next Issue...Can You Hear Me Now?

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