Location: Los Angeles, California

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Why I Won't Be Buying the Star Wars DVDs

The new "Star Wars" DVDs are a disgrace.

If you head over to the page for the DVDs, you'll see that people are rating the discs a 2.5 out of 5. Read over the comments and you'll see that people are furious.

Simply put, George Lucas is a money-grubbing businessman who tortures his fans and then pretends to give them what they want.

We all wanted the original theatrical versions of the "Star Wars" trilogy, before Lucas added all his digital enhancements and decided to insert Hayden Christensen into the ending. We asked and asked, and Lucas kept on saying no, no, and no.

Then one day, out of the blue, Lucas announces that he will release the original versions on DVD for a limited time only. Fans rejoiced... and then they learned just what these DVDs really were - a scam.

Lucas decided to use the laserdisc transfers from 1993 for these new DVDs. That's right, he decided to use a 13-year-old transfer that predates the existence of DVD. So instead of a new, pristine transfer, we're stuck with visual quality that is closer to VHS than DVD.

Then, he decided to release these movies in non-anamorphic widescreen. What this means is that these discs will look like crap on any widescreen TV. Literally every studio DVD is released in anamorphic these days (on the back of the case, it'll say something like "Enhanced for 16x9 televisions"). It's a very easy and cheap process to do. But nope, Lucas says "fuck you" to all the people with new TV's (which is ironic since Lucas is supposedly a supporter of cutting-edge technologies).

And, he doesn't even release the movies in Dolby Digital surround sound. Instead, we're stuck with 2.0 Surround. I own old Hitchcock movies that are presented in Dolby Digital, so there's no excuse.

Of course, what will happen is Lucas will re-release the films all over again when HD-DVD (or BluRay) is the standard. He'll re-release the films in theaters again - this time in 3-D. People will pay to see the movies, and buy the new DVDs, just as they bought the DVDs before that, and the DVDs before that, and the laserdiscs before that, and the VHS tapes before that. Lucas will get richer and richer, and what's so amazing is that he will be doing so by mistreating the very fans that made him rich in the first place.

For shame, USC alumnus.


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