Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All the Times I've Bought Star Wars: Episode I -- The Saga Begins

I am a home theatre enthusiast.  That means I’ve got my Blu-Ray player, my DVD player, an old VCR that’s still in functioning order, and I think one of the best things in the world is to just kick back and watch a movie.  And to the home theatre enthusiast, there is no greater crime than that of the double dip.  

For those who are only familiar with the term from the Seinfeld episode, here’s how “double-dipping” applies to home theatre.  Your favourite movie comes out on DVD.  Naturally, you buy it because you love it so much.  But then, six months later, it comes out on DVD again, in all-new special-edition, with all new bonus features, thus compelling you to buy it again.  That is the double-dip.

Even before the term became mainstream – heck, even before there was a term to describe it – I knew to be wary of the double-dip.  When I bought my first DVD player, I swore that I would only buy a DVD when I already owned it on VHS if it met one of my two criteria:  1)  it had enough bonus features to warrant buying it again.  2)  I just loved the movie so darn much that it would break my little heart if I didn’t buy it again.  Following that criteria, to this very day, I still own about a dozen movies or so on VHS that I have yet to upgrade to DVD.  

However, there is one movie, or rather, movie franchise, where whenever a new edition is announced, I drop everything, start saving my pennies, and start counting down the days until I can buy it again.  There is one film franchise that always meets those two criteria in spades, and thus I am doomed to repeat a never-ending cycle of always buying it again, and again, and again.  

That film franchise is Star Wars.

Return of the Jedi Teaser poster -- My favourite Star Wars movie poster

Of course, we’re talking about the core six movies.  The original trilogy and the prequel trilogy.  I know we’re supposed to regard the thing as one massive six film epic, but I’ll always be dividing it into the two trilogies.  One I grew up with, the other ushered in my adulthood.  One ushered in a new era of moviemaking, the other was seen as a bloated series of mistakes by its creator that we all love anyway because of nostalgia for the first.  Either way, whenever a new edition is announced, I start drooling in anticipation.  

Going through my library, I see that I’ve bought the original trilogy no less than four times.  The prequels twice.  And countless ancillary titles that I purchased mainly because of their relation to Star Wars.  Why?  What is it about this series that keeps me coming back for more?  

So, in this epic series of blog entries, I’m going to recount all the times I bought Star Wars.  Now, I’m not going to detail all the special edition changes and new footage that was inserted into the films each time it was re-released.  That’s been recounted hundreds of times in excruciating detail at far better websites.  Instead, I’m going to focus on what I was thinking, and what was going through my mind where I figured it warranted another purchase.  I’ll also touch upon some of the bonus features that were added, and maybe get into some of the technical details of each release.  

The Episode I Teaser Poster...my second favourite Star Wars movie poster

This is a series of blog entries I’ve been considering writing for a while now.  And now, with the recent announcement that it’ll be released on Blu-Ray in the fall of 2011, and as I start to make room for the fifth time I’ll buy it, it feels like this is the right moment to just sit down and ask, “Why am I buying it a fifth time?  Why did I buy it four times prior?”  Hopefully, by doing this, I’ll be able to figure it out.

So, let’s get started with the first time I bought Star Wars.  I remember buying it for the first time because I was convinced it would be the last time.

Next Week:  Episode II -- One Last Time

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