Star Wars Blu-ray change confirmed

For the last week we’ve been reporting on some possible changes that have been made to the Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray release. Now we can confirm at least one is true.

As you may recall, Star Wars rereleases have a history of inciting rage in fans due to changes that Producer George Lucas insists on making.

One of the most grievous alterations is the ‘Han shot first’ controversy, which arose when Lucas decided that in an update of the film, Han would no longer be a badass aggressor, and instead would appear to only be defending himself in one of the murderous opening scenes of the film.

Last week we reported on the likely seeming replacement of the puppet Yoda in Phantom Menace with a nicer looking CGI yoda, then yesterday, we reported a couple more rumors of possible changes. If you’ll remember, I thought the evidence particularly inconclusive. Not only did it seem like a really bad idea, but the videos showing the examples were particularly poorly constructed from old footage.

Now however, we’ve got confirmation on one of them from Lucasfilm. The production company responded to an e-mail from The New York Times (they don’t seem to be responding to anyone else). The e-mail said simply “Yes – Darth says NO.”

This is official confirmation of the least liked change, in which Vader is depicted as shouting “No!” when saving Luke from the emperor, where originally he was silent.

I’m not a Star Wars purist by any stretch, but this does seem to be a pretty major change to the characterization of Vader, despite the inherent simplicity of the change.

The scene essentially depicts Vader’s change back into Anakin after 20 years or so of violent turmoil and heinous war-crimes, including genocide.

In this scene the character earns his redemption as far as redemption can be earned for his terrible acts.

The addition of the scream changes this from a stoic, deliberate act to one of emotional outburst and passion. This makes the act less redeeming, and makes Anakin’s full arc (the sub-arc of the entire secology) less rewarding.

Does this necessarily mean that the other changes we’ve heard rumor of are also true? Not really, but as this was the least likely, and the most terrible, of the rumors, the outlook is not good.

The Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-Ray hits shelves on September 16 , 2011.