Day four of Star Wars Week and I’m so jealous of those that who went last night to the opening and the response is so good I wish I had blown off my commitments, or just passed on getting any sleep last night, to see it myself. But a wise man once told me tomorrow is only a day away. Today I’ll be looking at the bonus material on the DVD set of the original trilogy. This includes about 5642 different trailers for the three films (give or take 1000, but there are quite a few of them), a massive photo gallery, a behind the scenes preview of Episode III (it has nothing new so I’ll refrain reviewing of it), a demo of the game Star Wars: Battlefront (my lack of an Xbox keep me from playing it), and a few documentaries that included:
The Characters of Star Wars
This was a documentary that chronicled the many changes that some of the characters of Star Wars went through from Lucas’ first conception until they finally made it onto the screen. Most interesting was that Darth Vader was given a mask late because the designer realized that he need a way to breath in a scene where he was walking in space. This then led the most memorable part of Darth Vader, his breathing. Another change that made me giggle was that Luke Skywalker was originally supposed to be a midget. Oh, how that would have been a different movie then. The most interesting par of this documentary was when Peter Jackson, of Lord of the Rings fame, said that 25 year later, most people don’t remember the special effect of Star Wars, it the character that have stuck in people’s minds. That may be the problem of the prequels is that Lucas cared more about the special effects than he did developing the characters.
The Birth of the Lightsaber
Here Lucas tells how he came up with the idea of the lightsaber and how he executed that on film. It was very interesting to see the split screen of a fight with the rough fighting and that with the special effects put in. The highlight though is how they came up with the sound of the lightsaber, a sound that every little kid has tried to emulate, or still does. Watching film of the guy creating the sound is worth the price of the set alone. As the credits roll we get to see Star Wars as seen through the eyes of the Simpsons and Futurerama. Again very entertaining.
The Force is with Them: The Legacy of Star Wars
Here we have filmmakers such as James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, and John Singleton talking about their first experiences with seeing Star Wars. Then they talked about how the movie inspired their own movies such as Titanic, Alien, Lord of the Rings, and Boyz in da Hood. OK, Singleton seemed to be missing from this part. Basically this featurette was a fifteen minute love fest for George Lucas.
Empire of Dreams
I haven’t gotten around to watching this part yet as it is so long that it is the first documentary that I’ve seen that actually has its own chapter selection. Check back later for this review.