My Verdict on Star Wars - original 1977 version
Well, like the Coca-Cola company and Kentucky Fried Chicken should have learned but didn't: Don't fuck with the original. It was magic. Changing it has no possibility of making it better, only worse.
I'll bet George Lucas - and let me say this before I say that: bless the man for releasing the original version of the flicks - anyway, I'll bet he included the new version hoping that folks would compare them to see how much he upgraded them. And, boy howdy (as a redneck girlfriend of mine used to say), did he ever upgrade them.
But the final result was really a diminishing of the original grandeur.
The best why I can describe it is the original looked "real." Most of the principle photography was done on location and on actual completed sets, and it looks like that.
Lemme just show you.
Here's a new, upgraded scene.
Here's the old one.
Note how in the old one the sunlight and the shadows have the look of actual sunlight and shadows BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE! (The difference in shape is due to one being optimized for 16x9 TVs, and my software isn't clever enough to compensate - it doesn't look like that during viewing, in other words.) And the darkness of the new version is consistent throughout.
There are some scenes that are welded into every Stars Wars fan's mind, like the whole binary sunset scene here:
Now, not much difference here except for the thing I mention above; the older version looks more organic and real to me.
But, check this out...
They completely changed it! The old one is vastly superior. The mountains lend perspective. What the hell?
And in case you're wondering if only the external scenes have this more realistic feel, here's an example of an interior/set shot. I think the old one still is slightly better.
So, the new one has its charms, but the old one looks like it should.
And that's all I have to say about that.