Friday, 23 September 2011

Star Wars complete Saga Blu-Ray breaks records...(but ‘Everybody’ hates it right?)

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Proving, once again, that the ‘Fanboy’ definition of ‘everybody’ doesn’t match the dictionary definition, the complete Saga box set outsold the separate ‘original’ and ‘prequel’ trilogy sets to set a global Blu-ray sales record. It sold over a million copies and took $84m worldwide; despite a called for “boycott” by diehard fans unhappy that Lucasfilm has chosen not to release the theatrical versions of the original trilogy on Blu-Ray.

515,000 were sold in North America which was enough not only to see it come in at number 2 (behind Thor) in the Blu-Ray charts, but also to reach number 3 (behind number 1 Thor & number 2 X-Men: FC) in the convinced DVD & Blu-Ray charts. That’s some feat, especially for a set that contains 3 prequels that “everybody” hates and 3 tinkered with originals that “everyone” despises.

So what does this say about all the noise we’ve had these few weeks and months? Well there’s no doubting that a decent percentage of the Star Wars generation, those who actually went to see the first set of films in the cinema in the 70s & 80s, are not happy with Lucas’ constant updating of the original trilogy. But, and this is something far too many of them fail to see, there’s also a significant number of that group who really don’t care, or don’t care enough to make such a big deal out of it. Just as there are plenty of Star Trek fans who watch all the shows and love them dearly, without feeling a compulsion to dress up lie the characters and learn Klingon, there are those Star Wars fans who love the films, but never turned it into something that defined their lives, into this mythical film / set of films that were somehow perfect. (Except for the Ewoks that they mostly loved the first 50 times they saw Return of The Jedi.) Add to this the fact that millions of people actually got into Star Wars AFTER seeing the prequels, Phantom Menace especially, so to many them the original films aren’t sacrosanct anyway, a fair amount would view them as the extra films that come with the ones they really love. (Although I, like many, find it hard t imagine how anyone could bear Star Wars: Episode II, there are many people out there who find that film not only the best of the prequel trilogy, but the best of all six; which goes to prove that “everyone” is different and that people really should stop assuming that “everyone” thinks any one thing at all.)

Then there’s the general weakness of the human being: Even a reasonable number of those who really wanted to avoid buying this set, because they want the unaltered versions and because they really dislike the changes that are always being made, will simply have given into the inevitable and bought the films anyway. What is telling though is that h entire set has been bough and not the original trilogy on its own. If what the naysayers have been saying for years were true, surely that set would have been the biggest seller, with the complete and prequel  trilogy sets selling fewer units?

Of course there’s a long way to go yet, we’ll really know what’s going on when we see what’s been sold after Christmas, but force really doesn’t belong to the boycott right now, nor does it belong to those ‘fans’ who ran all over the internet (Amazon especially) giving lowest possible scores in reviews of a box set they hadn’t even seen.

Personally I still think that George Lucas should just remake Star Wars (as in Ep IV) and be done with it. The man had a lot of talent and it may still be there, but as long as he continues to let Star Wars consume the bulk of his career, we’ll never really see it. Maybe he can achieve his “perfect” vision  for Star Wars if he just remakes the thing with all modern tech and 3D; then the original versions can be left alone, untouched and everyone will be happy. (More on that theory in a later post.)

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