There are several stories around about the changes Lucas has made in the upcoming DVD release of Star Wars IV-VI. Like the one in the TIMES STAR.
The biggest rumor about the new “Star Wars” Trilogy DVD, arriving in stores Sept. 21, is true. Lucas has inserted an image of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker into the finale of “Return of the Jedi.” It replaces actor Sebastian Shaw’s image from the original 1983 film in the scene where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), following the defeat of the Empire, nods knowingly at a lineup of angelic Jedis, including Anakin, Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Heard about all this from Chris over at TOSHI STATION, by the way. Above pic is probably his, too (illustration, not the real deal, I’m sure.)
SCIFI has a story about Lucas defending his changes, but it sounds like he’s arguing that he has the right as an artist to make changes. Well … uh … I don’t think anyone is really saying he doesn’t have the right.
They have a short list of changes, too:
In Episode IV: A New Hope, the controversial confrontation in the cantina in Mos Eisley has been changed yet again. The villainous Greedo now fires shots at Han Solo (Harrison Ford) at the same time Solo fires back. In the original film, Solo fired first; in 1997, Lucas changed the scene to have Greedo fire first. Also in Episode IV, 1997’s added computer-generated footage of Jabba the Hutt appears to have been improved, with more fluid motion. In Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the hologram image of the Emperor has been altered to feature Ian McDiarmid, the actor who played the Emperor in Return of the Jedi and appears in all three prequel films. The scene’s dialogue has also changed to clarify the progression of Luke Skywalker’s training as a Jedi, as well as to acknowledge the relationship between Luke and Vader. In the original release of Empire, the Emperor’s image was played by an unbilled old woman wearing prosthetic makeup, with chimpanzee eyes superimposed in post-production into darkened eye sockets, the official Star Wars Web site reported. The original voice was provided by Clive Revill. In Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker is added as a ghostly image in the final scenes of the film, alongside Yoda and Alec Guinness’ Obi-Wan Kenobi. But Sebastian Shaw remains as the face of Darth Vader/Anakin in the scene in which Luke removes Vader’s helmet, and not Christensen, as had been rumored.
Here’s some more changes that IGN is saying it found:
Episode IV: A New Hope
The 1997 animation added to the entrance to Mos Eisley is much smoother. Jabba has been retexturized and looks considerably better. Han still walks on his tail, but it’s much smoother. The lettering on various Death Star panels are written in Aurebesh rather than English. The matte-painted hall in Leia’s detention block looks much more realistic.
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Temuera Morrison does the voice of Boba Fett Luke’s inane scream when he jumps to escape Vader on Cloud City is gone. And there was much rejoicing.
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
When Vader’s helmet is removed, his eyebrows are gone and his eyes are recolored to match Hayden’s. Perhaps this was in the 1997 special editions, but in the various background shots of the new Death Star, its appearance changes and you can see progress as the station takes shape.
Oh, there this TIME MAGAZINE ARTICLE about the DVD, too, which mentions some of the changes.