The Curmudgeon Has a Bad Feeling About This

Nitpicking A New Hope from 56:00 to 1:05:15
Things we are told that don't really match the visuals: Han Solo "knows some maneuvers." Cut to:
The Falcon flying steadily forward as the Star Destroyer consistently misses the mark. Hm. And considering that the next move is to press a button that sends the ship into hyperspace, well, it kind of seems like Luke COULD have flown a ship past the Imperials. Meanwhile, on Earth...
I'm sure it's no coincidence that Alderaan looks a lot like our planet. It will make what is to come all the more shocking. Of course, Alderaan is a peaceful world that has no weapons. Not so similar now, is it? Leia is brought to the bridge, talks about Grand Moff Tarkin's stench and in fear for her world's fate, gives up the rebels on Dantooine. A lie told in a British accent Leia doesn't affect all the way through the trilogy, which I suppose could have meant the death of another innocent world. But it doesn't matter anyway. Tarkin keeps out-eviling Vader and wants to give the galaxy a nice example of his station's power, and Alderaan is so centrally located, you know? So harm the weapon up!
Maybe I've been trained by Community, but the Death Star Weapons Elite have an anus for an emblem. Maybe it's because they gave to clench their butts when the weapon fires right up close to them.
Really, what kind of design is this? This is part of a beam that can blow up a planet, and there's not even a railing to protect the people firing or monitoring it?! I wouldn't want to check my sperm count if I were them. And so Praxis goes boom.
I mean Alderaan! Sorry, but you know I can't pass up a dig at the Special Edition. Speaking of which, who else is surprised Chewbacca and C-3PO's game of D&D 4e hasn't been redone to remove the Harryhausen-style stop motion?
This is the scene where Luke tries to fight a little ball thing and loses, where Ben feels Alderaan die, and where Han mocks the Jedi religion because the Empire's propaganda machine basically wiped out its credibility in ±18 years. I admire that kind of P.R. mastery. Luke gets another chance at the ball, this time without the benefit of sight.
Uhm... is that a good idea, with a lightsaber in a confined space? Luke wins when he "reaches out with his feelings" on Obi-Wan's advice. You know, feelings? That thing the prequels are adamant is what causes Jedi to fall to the Dark Side? Hm. Next, on the Death Star...
Tarkin is shocked - SHOCKED! - that Leia would lie to him about the Dantooine base - SHOCKED!!!! - which makes him look a little naive. But look at the above frame, the result of my looking at this stuff too closely... After Vader speaks his line, he starts to gesticulates as if to show he's talking THEN. Obviously a mismatch between the action and the looping. Very weird (and it wouldn't happen if the body actor weren't constantly overdoing it).

Nearby, the Falcon comes out of hyperspace and runs into Alderaan's rubble, and as Han prepares to shoot first (#deadhorse) at a tie-fighter heading for a small moon, Luke gets a very bad feeling about this (the call-back line of the franchise) and the ship is caught in a tractor beam...

13 comments:

Andrew Gilbertson said...

They didn't replace it because the Harryhausen-style stop-motion is AWESOME. I want that gameboard (and can name pretty much all of the creatures from memory). A childhood favorite.

Gotta say overall, though, still agree with most of your points. This is both less painful than I thought the series would be at the outset... and a troubling gauge of where my fandom must be at to make it so... ;-)

Green Luthor said...

While I'll agree that the stop-motion creatures are awesome, I'd also agree that the wolfman masks in the cantina were pretty awesome, too, and Lucas had no problem replacing those with cheesy CGI creatures. Eh, but I'm certainly not gonna complain that Lucas *didn't* make a stupid, unnecessary change that replace a great effect with an awful one...

Anyhoo, it's not quite that the Death Star Weapons Elite have the Greendale anus for an emblem. That, in fact, is the emblem for THE ENTIRE FRICKIN' EMPIRE! (As to why that emblem isn't on everyone's uniform, vehicle, and/or equipment... ya got me.)

Brendoon said...

"Body Actor"???? Whaddayamean? Power lifter David Prowse o' course! With his swishy late 70's hair you don't expect under the helm...

I can't help thinking that last pic looks so much like a Trek transporter room.
..oh MAN, the neural connections that just brought on:
There WAS a crossover in the 1977 Cracked "Star Warz" edition. Mine's so tattered it barely counts as a magazine anymore. I just remembered THAT was my first exposure to Star Wars, though it was far from the real thing and left me with quite the wrong impression.
Quirk and Spook beam in from the Enterprizing to save Luck and Hand from the oncoming buzz saw. Meanwhile a storm trooper (can't remember what they were called in the Cracked story) says to Dark Badar: "Lord Badar, Lord Badar, the Princess is loose!"
"She fools around?"
"No sir, she's escaped."

Green Luthor said...

In regards to Vader's dialogue not being synched to David Prowse's movements: if only there had been a way for George Lucas to redo some of the film and fix little errors like that. Some kind of... I dunno, special edition of the movie?

(Really, that's yet another strike against the Special Editions. Lucas spent so much time adding useless crap to fill up the screen and/or making completely unnecessary changes, yet didn't bother to fix obvious errors like that or the horrendous green-screening work in RotJ. The idea of the Special Editions wasn't bad, but the execution...)

Andrew Gilbertson said...

That's one of the reasons I appreciated TOS-R, and especially TNG-R; their non-intrusiveness, not calling attention to themselves.

Meanwhile, as fan-editions like Adywan's point out, where is the planet Yavin in the sky over the Death Star? What about the Flacon not being staitonary while fleeing TIEs with some simple moving starfields? Shouldn't the ship be in a hyperspace tunnel when they're chatting afterward? Or heck, just plain old fixes of coloration errors and bluescreening. Star Wars calls attention to the needless junk that it adds in, while failing to hit the basics, as you say. (Although, I do think Cloud City is much-improved...)

Siskoid said...

I don't have an issue with Cloud City either.

Andrew said...

Star Wars is loaded with homages to all sorts of stuff--Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon-era space opera, Kurosawa, and others. Considering the AT-ATs, Tauntauns, and Rancors that are seen in later films are also stop-motion, my brand-new theory is that the game pieces are a small Harryhausen tribute, and were left alone for that reason.

Siskoid said...

Makes sense!

LiamKav said...

There are actually an insane number of tiny tweeks to all the films, a lot of which do fix some small problems. Making the canopies of the Snowspeeders not be transparent, slight impovements in background mattes and stuff. Most aren't noticed because they are so small (and because we're all focussed on Greedo shooting first.) There's a web-site with a visual list of every change in every edition. I'll try and find it for a later post.

The lightsabre thing is weird. If I recall correctly in the original version isn't actually white in that scene. On the DVD release (not the 97 SE) it gets coloured blue for the first shot, but is green in all the shots after. Weird. The Lightsabres in general don't look very good in ANH, compared to Episodes 1-III or V-VI.

Siskoid said...

Wookiepedia has an exhaustive list I use: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_changes_in_Star_Wars_re-releases

I don't mind the technical fixes, many of which don't go all that far beyond restoration efforts, but the Special Edition also ADDS technical problems.

Andrew Gilbertson said...

As far as I know, the ligthsaber issues on the Falcon are due to lazy auto-color-correction, just automatically applied to the scene (which, since the saber was added in post, got tinted a weird shade when the natural color of the rest of the scene was 'fixed'.) Sloppy, but at least the blu-ray version finally repaired what wasn't broken in the first place. ;-)

LiamKav said...

No, it's still green on the blu-ray version too, apart from the fixed first shot. The BDs fix most of the other lightsaber colour problems that occur in TESB and ROTJ, but Luke's saber remains green here.

Siskoid: Yeah, I've seen the list on Wookiepedia. I was thinking of this:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/102542760950977079734/albums/5514974191245813441

That one has pictures of the tiny things like the stretch moon in the very first SFX shot in ANH. It doesn't mention when the subtitle change happened though. Tsk.

abc said...

You meant "Greendale Human Being", not Glendale, right? :)

 

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