#AskError Star Wars, Special edition or Despecialized edition?


In 1997 George Lucas released the special editions of Star Wars, since then many fans have expressed severe disdain for them.

So much so that fans have attempted to walk them back through clever video editing. (https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Harmys-STAR-WARS-Despecialized-Edition-HD-V27-MKV-IS-OUT-NOW/id/12713)

What does User Error think?


Although I’m not “User Error”, hope you don’t object to me spouting my thoughts :thinking:

This is an interesting question. What do you think motivates most of the negativity; is it that the special editions didn’t deliver what was hoped, or that they should never have been produced in the first place?

It’s easy to understand fan’s disappointment when something’s not as they’d hoped, but what’s more interesting, from a psychological perspective, is the idea that reproducing a cherished work with changes somehow impacts the original.

It also raises a broader discussion of whether an artistic work is ever truly ‘finished’ - and who gets to decide. A work being changed by the original artist/writer/director etc would get a different response to, for example, “fan fiction”. If the originator of the work changes it, perhaps it feels as if an internalised “truth” of a much loved creative work, which has become part of someone’s life (even identity in some cases), is somehow being challenged.

If the original work is felt to be under threat of ceasing to exist as the definitive representation of its ‘truthful form’, then I can see how that may cause feelings of anxiety and hostility towards anything that could undermine that person’s relationship with the original work.


The special edition was created to be a “new $tar Wars thing” available for sale on DVD. The computer generated additional effects looked sloppy (in my opinion) and added nothing to the story. It did however, allow Lucas to make quite a bit of money.


I like this question. It makes me think about the broader question of fans and their strong opinions on how films should / could be modified from their “original” format. I have opinions on this! Hopefully @joeressington will bring it up soon :slight_smile:


One big thing I would like to point out to all. Most of the hatred against SW:SE is because the unaltered versions are not available officially, meaning most will be introduced to Star Wars through a version riddled with bad CGI to cover up the otherwise groundbreaking SFX.

Another thing I would like to point out to everyone is Blade Runner, the complete polar opposite to SW:SE. Each subsequent edit got better, but even then the other edits including the original are available on the BluRay.


Not available new … just checked eBay and saw you can stick pick up the original versions of the trilogy on VHS for under a tenner :smile:


I think that is a problem.