Lucas, may you rot in the bleak purposeless world you made.

I could handle the release of three more Star Wars movies. I didn’t mind too much when I saw Jar-Jar Binks. I simply decided that I would never, ever see Episode Two or Three. Ever. So far, I’ve been able to keep that vow.

I didn’t mind too much when I heard about the ‘subtle’ changes he’d made to the original Star Wars Trilogy, either. The movies have been, through time and excessive exposure, depleted of virtually all the magic and wonder they once held for me anyway. I will most likely never choose to watch these movies again either.

But THX 1138. This movie had a special place in my heart. It was bleak, it was depressing, it was DEEP dammit. And very very odd, both by the standards of its time (as far as I can tell) and by our own.

And you’ve changed it.

In case you can’t tell, I recently purchased THX 1138 The Director’s Cut on DVD.

I should have known better. I saw the thread about the Star Wars ‘improvements’. But still, this wasn’t Star Wars. You’ll never (Please, Og, stop him from this at least) see a THX 1138 Action Figure. This movie meant something, something deep.

And you’ve changed it.

Sure, the changes are subtle. But they’re there. And the movie is not the movie I once loved. You gave it a damned lobotomy, is what you did.

For example:

In an early scene, THX 1138 (That’s a name, for those who haven’t seen it) isn’t feeling well at work. He is using Waldoes (look it up yerself) to manipulate small dangerous pieces of material, and causes an accident that costs many human lives. The resulting death, described to and accepted by the masses in this society, is virtually meaningless, as they just pick up the bodies and keep working.

But, in the original movie, THX is working with what, to my memory, was rather clearly intended to be radioactive material. This was the '70s, remember, and that’s what people were scared of back then. We’re still scared of it today.

So, on my DVD, I fully expected to see this scene repeated. It was one of the most important scenes to the movie, in a sense, as THX’s reaction to what he has done leads him to reflect on… well, that’s the movie isn’t it? Go watch it yourself. Just try to find the original.

Because in the new one, he’s working on ROBOTS. Fucking damn hell shit robots! And I swear, it looked like C3-fucking-PO. Not as shiny perhaps… and maybe that wasn’t really a Slave Chip (or whatever they called them) he was fitting into the 'droid’s chest, but it sure looked like it!

Not a big deal? Perhaps not… whatever it was still exploded, and still killed a bunch of people, and he still felt bad about it. But it wasn’t ‘right’, it didn’t have that feeling of “oh shit what have I done” that a nuclear accident would have had. He just blew up a droid factory. Big deal… just like the computer says. “There is no danger. Remain at your posts.”

But it kept on going! I tried, I really did, to watch the movie. I know my memory lacks in certain areas, and it wasn’t in the best of shape during my previous viewings of this flick, but dammit George! Why did you have to make the changes so bloody obvious?!

I turned it off less than halfway through. And this is a movie I BOUGHT. I never buy a DVD unless I’m absolutely sure that I like it… that’s what NetFlix is for!

And this one IS getting returned tomorrow. Maybe I will trade it for the non-director’s cut, if there is one available. If they won’t take it back, fine, to the trash with it.

Yes, it’s that bad. Dreck. Worthless. Bleack, meaningless, emotionless tripe, EXACTLY the kind of pointless consumerism that this movie was once about!

Maybe I’m over-reacting. Maybe.

Maybe I do like this product. Maybe I should buy. Buy and be happy.

Maybe I should just take my pills…

…and be happy. :smiley:

Greedo shot THX 1138 first!

What are you talking about? The directors cut is his original vision, the one he couldn’t make the first time around because of limitations in special effects technology and budget.

That may be what he’s saying, but I don’t believe it. The George Lucas who made the first Star Wars movie is not the same George Lucas who made Attack of the Clones. The vision of the former is not the same as the vision of the latter.

I guess deadpan doesn’t translate to text so well.

Thanks for the warning. I almost bought that DVD this weekend, but put it off; now I’m glad I did.

Well of course not. He was in his 20s or so when he made the first, in his 40s or 50s when he made the last. This is a weird thing about people, at least sane ones; they dont stay the same. They change.

Fuck you guys are such whiney wankers.

A Director changes his own movie, and you cay he can’t? You selfish arseholes.

As if completely superficial changes to a movie, for fuck’s sake, just a freaking MOVIE, actually MATTER in your life.

Interesting timing…

I was watching a special on Lucas yesterday afternoon. In an interview, he lamented about how the studios cut out five minutes or so of THX 1138 as well as American Graffiti. He was clearly miffed that they simply hacked out several minutes of what he deemed essential material.

Later on in the interview he stated that he got his revenge: After Star Wars he had enough clout to demand that the studio go back to the original versions of both films. He stated that anyone who buys either film today gets the original version, as it was before the studio messed with it.

I don’t think people are complaining about the desire of a director (or any artist) to change their work. It is their work, after all, in some sense. There’s a history of re-doing films, going back to Charlie Chaplin, who re-issued his silent movie THE GOLD RUSH with a sound-track: narration, sound effects, music replaced the old titles once sound was possible.

The objection is when the older version disappears. The older version is NOT just the property of the director, it has a nostalgia value and is “owned” (in a broad sense) by anyone who saw it. Someone teaching the history of film today can show either version of THE GOLD RUSH, but it’s almost impossible to find the original edition of STAR WARS. Yet STAR WARS was a critical movie in the history of film.

Spielberg had the common courtesy to keep around the old version of E.T. along with the new version. The problem (well, one big problem) with Lucas is that the original versions no longer exist.

The other problem is that he seems to think of himself as a genius who doesn’t need to listen to suggestions from anyone else on things like plot and dialog. He’s forgot that most films are collaborations amongs experts – not just on things like cinematography and special effects and music, but with scriptwriters as well.

Point? Maybe you should reread my post; I wasn’t objecting to Lucas changing. Nor was I objecting to the Earth’s rotation, tidal shifts, or tectonic forces acting upon the Earth’s crust.

Bingo. The Lady and I had an argument about this the other night- she’s doing her Master’s in Library Sciences, and unfortunatley, the argument ended up about copyright, but when it boils down to it, this is what makes me so angry. Not just the remake, but the seeming denial that any other version exited, is maddening to me. Becuase once a work is published (produced, whatever), it belongs to the historical record, and that means that it belongs, in part, to all of us.

No. A director changes his own movie, and we say his changes suck.


Oh, man!

When I read the thread title I though your starter motor died, or it started raining and the wipers wouldn’t work, or the lights went off while driving on a twisty B-road.

Too bad. I was really looking forward into some Lucas pitting.

Ahh! the Prince of Darkness. I helped my Father restore a '64 Triumph TR4, so I am well aquainted.

I saw the “director’s cut” (or, rather, the director’s second draft) of THX-1138 on the big screen at Seattle’s best moviehouse a few days before the DVD came out. In preparation, I had watched the original cut (taped off premium cable a few years ago) the previous night.

I liked the new version just fine. There was a souped-up car chase that looked like a cutscene from Need for Speed: Underground, but otherwise I thought the modifications were mostly either good or harmless. Lucas, to my enormous shock, did not inadvertently cut the heart out of his own movie out of befuddled ignorance of what that heart is (cf “Greedo shoots first”).

And the robots THX was working on in the near accident? Cops. Android cops. Not just any robots: the instruments of their own oppresssion. Maybe it was more obvious to me because the image was thirty feet tall, and it wouldn’t be as clear on a little TV, but that’s what he was doing.

Maybe Lucas realizes he’s lost whatever talent he ever possessed and he’s now intentionally going back and destroying the evidence of how great he once was and how far he has fallen.

So if George Lucas subscribes to the SDMB you’re not going to let him edit his posts, right?

I for one would be extremely surprised if he did.

“The parts falling off this vehicle are all of the very finest British manufacture.”

“The British don’t like warm beer any more than Americans do. The British drink warm beer because they have Lucas refrigerators.”


Precisely. There’s no reason to lose the old versions. None. They could sell the older ones and the new ones, and make even more people happy. But they don’t, and whether that’s licensing issues or sheer bloody-minded lack of marketing research I don’t know.