Star Wars changes

Everyone knows that Han shot first in Star Wars, and that the Special Edition release of 1997 altered the scene to make Greedo the aggressor in that encounter. But do you know how many versions of that scene have been cut over the years? The Star Wars changes are numerous, and go way beyond simple differences between the original 1977 release and the Special Edition.

For instance, can you name the smallest change to the original Star Wars opening crawl? It isn’t the addition of the “Episode IV – A New Hope” subtitle. And where’d the Cantina wolfman go? Find out those detailsĀ and info on a wealth of other Star Wars changes large and small in the videos below.

These come via YouTube user Marcelo Zuniga, who did the compilation editing.

The most interesting stuff in these videos are the small changes to timing and sound, and other small alterations. Before home video was a dominant method for seeing films, changes were made to movies on a fairly regular basis, sometimes films moved from release in one region to another. (The Wild Bunch, for example, was changed multiple times in its first year of release, with only one version considered by Peckinpah to be an acceptable cut.)

And while some of the big Star Wars changes are horrible — adding Jabba to the original film, and the new musical number added to Return of the Jedi, for example — others are more easily understood, and a few even add something to the film. All things considered I’d rather see the 1977 version of Star Wars than any other (the Despecialized Edition is great for that) but these videos provide a great way to quickly see the sweeping changes made across the entire original trilogy. You might find more than a few that aren’t entirely ill-considered.

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