Blu-ray Review: Star Wars Saga

I watched some of the Star Wars Blu-ray set this weekend, and here's my take on what I've seen so far.

I've only seen A New Hope in its entirety but I was really impressed by what I saw. The picture quality is so awesome that in some ways it's like seeing the movie "again for the first time". I paused a few times just to marvel at the level of detailing in Threepio's and Artoo's weathering. And I never realized just how "all over the place" Leia's hair was in the first movie. Even Tarkin's hair has a few distracting loose strands here and there. I also never realized just how gory Owen and Beru looked after they were fried by the Stormtroopers. I thought they were just charred-black skeletons, but not so... there's plenty of grotesque coloration in the skeletons, with white bones peeking through red and yellow gore. It's definitely worthy of a "pause".

The sound is all kinds of fun. Sure, the soundtrack booms and the sound effects are incredible, but it's the little stuff that I found the most interesting. In the scene in which Luke rescues Leia from the detention cell and Luke takes off his Stormtrooper helmet, you can hear the soundtrack cut from studio-recorded dialogue ("Oh, the uniform.") to set-recorded dialogue ("I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you.") by the clinking and clanging of the kibble on the Stormtrooper armor.

Unfortunately, it's not all frolicking in fields of pancakes. The Special Edition elements, especially the CG, never looked worse. The comparatively low resolution of the now-antiquated CG looks awful next to the crisp lines of the vintage film. I wouldn't be surprised if we eventually see a "Super-Special Edition" with improved effects. (Maybe the 3D releases?)

Also, even some of the theatrical elements just don't hold up well to the scrutiny of the Blu-ray's increased resolution. The Cantina Band members look like simple Halloween costumes. And watching the Star Destroyer as it sucked the Blockade Runner into its hangar bay made me think "Hey, that's a model!" rather than "Hey, that's a big spaceship!"

Star Wars nerds will find a lot to like in the special features, but those whose fandom has cooled considerably (like me) won't find anything particularly awesome. It's fun to see the cut scenes, but I can't say that any of them have enough "wow" factor to make me recommend this set to someone who is on the fence. The same goes with the rest of the special features. I haven't been through them all, but it doesn't look like there will be any crazy game-changing revelations. They're entertaining enough to watch, though.

I'll say it was worth the purchase, despite all my fussing regarding the new elements that George added (which weren't all that intrusive for the most part). But if you really want the theatrical releases, I'd recommend that you keep waiting. I can't imagine that George wouldn't want to exploit that gold mine eventually.

DISCLAIMER: All items reviewed on Dork Dimension were purchased by the reviewer unless otherwise noted. The opinions expressed on Dork Dimension are solely those of the author and are presented for entertainment purposes only.