By T. Rob Brown
So, what's new about the Star Wars Trilogy Bonus Material 2004 DVD version?
I’m writing this article as I watch the new DVD which was just released yesterday: Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004. So, I may miss some of the differences.
The first thing I noticed was the trailers...I'm a big fan of teasers and trailers. This one has ’em all! There's the original A New Hope teaser, launch and re-release (Special Edition) trailers. Plus, the same three types for Return of the Jedi (includes the previously hard-to-find Revenge of the Jedi teaser) and The Empire Strikes Back. I especially enjoyed the TV spot where it talks about Luke and Leia for A New Hope and it says “Luke and Leia, in danger and in love...” then shows Leia kiss Luke before they swing over the chasm in the Death Star. I found that quite humorous.
In the featurettes, I was impressed that director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings Trilogy) had a lot of nice things to say about Star Wars. There’s a featurette on the characters and their origins, one on the origins of lightsabers, and one on the legacy of Star Wars. In the feature on lightsabers, it shows a scene where Darth Vader cuts down Obi-Wan with his lightsaber, but a bit different...you see the sword cut Obi-Wan in half, there’s some smoke -- almost an explosion, and you see Obi-Wan cut in half and his robe is split in two. In the movie, the robe just falls to the floor.
Director Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) is one of the people interviewed in the featurettes. Also, writer/producer Dean Devin (Independence Day) was also interviewed and director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day). In addition, writer/director James Cameron (Terminator, Terminator 2, Titanic) was interviewed. There are clips from these directors' most famous films and discussion of how Star Wars influenced them.
Also in the lightsaber feature, you get to see an on-set view of Anakin and Obi-Wan battling in the upcoming Episode III: Revenge of the Sith set to hit theaters in May 2005. You also get to see more about the “Return of Darth Vader” in the featurette by the same name.
Just like the other three DVDs, this one is sharper than my Special Edition VHS version, have better color quality, better contrast, better image exposure, better textures and detail, and better sound (5.1 Surround/THX vs. the old Dolby II stereo on VHS).
Hasta la vista,
T. Rob Brown
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