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Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

Is whether or not Han shot first even up for discussion?

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If you've watched the original movies recently, chances are you were watching the Special Editions — the versions with updated visual effects.

Lucky for us, Chris Gould of DVD Active has cataloged all of George Lucas's changes in visual and audio effects since the films' theatrical releases in 1977, 1980, and 1983.

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  1. Which version is better?

    Original.
    Special Edition.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Which version is better?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Original.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Special Edition.
  1. Which Tatooine version is better?

    Original.
    Special Edition.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Which Tatooine version is better?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Original.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Special Edition.
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  1. Did the visual effects improve this scene?

    No.
    Yes.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Did the visual effects improve this scene?
  1.  
    vote votes
    No.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Yes.
  1. Which sunset is prettier?

    Original.
    Special Edition.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Which sunset is prettier?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Original.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Special Edition.
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  1. Which home is better?

    Original
    Special Edition

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Which home is better?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Original
  2.  
    vote votes
    Special Edition
  1. Do you miss the Wolfman?

    Yeah.
    Nah.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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  1.  
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    Yeah.
  2.  
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    Nah.

By far the most controversial change in the Special Editions, Greedo now shoots first/roughly at the same time as Han Solo:

Lucasfilm Ltd/Chris Gould / Via dvdactive.com

Lucas changed this scene multiple times, initally to make Greedo shoot first, and then to make them both shoot almost at the same time.

Lucasfilm Ltd/Chris Gould / Via dvdactive.com

Lucas changed this scene multiple times, initally to make Greedo shoot first, and then to make them both shoot almost at the same time.

← Slide →
Lucasfilm Ltd/Chris Gould / Via dvdactive.com

Lucas changed this scene multiple times, initally to make Greedo shoot first, and then to make them both shoot almost at the same time.

  1. Who should shoot first?

    HAN!
    Greedo.
    They shoot at the same time.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Who should shoot first?
  1.  
    vote votes
    HAN!
  2.  
    vote votes
    Greedo.
  3.  
    vote votes
    They shoot at the same time.
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  1. Do you prefer English or Aurebesh?

    Speak English!
    Aurabesh.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Do you prefer English or Aurebesh?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Speak English!
  2.  
    vote votes
    Aurabesh.
  1. How many Stormtroopers should Han face?

    Only a few.
    A shit ton.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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How many Stormtroopers should Han face?
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    Only a few.
  2.  
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    A shit ton.
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  1. Which Death Star explosion burns brighter in your mind?

    Original
    Special Edition

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Which Death Star explosion burns brighter in your mind?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Original
  2.  
    vote votes
    Special Edition

This scene with Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt was added into the 1997 Special Edition release. In the 2004 update, Jabba was redesigned to look more like he did in The Phantom Menace.

Lucasfilm Ltd/Chris Gould / Via dvdactive.com

Watch that tail!

  1. Are you glad Lucas added this scene?

    Yes, but I prefer the 1997 Jabba.
    Yes, and I like the 2004 Jabba.
    No, this scene is completely pointless and, if anything, ruins Jabba's reveal in the sequel.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Are you glad Lucas added this scene?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Yes, but I prefer the 1997 Jabba.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Yes, and I like the 2004 Jabba.
  3.  
    vote votes
    No, this scene is completely pointless and, if anything, ruins Jabba's reveal in the sequel.
  1. Which version of the Wampa do you prefer?

    Subtle, understated Wampa of the original.
    CGI version.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Which version of the Wampa do you prefer?
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    vote votes
    Subtle, understated Wampa of the original.
  2.  
    vote votes
    CGI version.

The original hologram of the Emperor was played by an old lady with chimpanzee eyes.

Lucasfilm Ltd/Chris Gould / Via dvdactive.com

Lucas replaced the old lady with Ian McDiarmid, who played Emperor Palpatine starting with ​Return of the Jedi.

Lucasfilm Ltd/Chris Gould / Via dvdactive.com

Lucas replaced the old lady with Ian McDiarmid, who played Emperor Palpatine starting with ​Return of the Jedi.

← Slide →
Lucasfilm Ltd/Chris Gould / Via dvdactive.com

Lucas replaced the old lady with Ian McDiarmid, who played Emperor Palpatine starting with ​Return of the Jedi.

  1. Who's your favorite Palpatine?

    Old Lady with Chimp Eyes
    Ian McDiarmid

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Who's your favorite Palpatine?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Old Lady with Chimp Eyes
  2.  
    vote votes
    Ian McDiarmid
  1. Was this change worth it?

    Eh.
    Totes!

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Was this change worth it?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Eh.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Totes!
  1. Which lightsaber is prettier?

    White with red glare.
    Pink, obvi.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Which lightsaber is prettier?
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    White with red glare.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Pink, obvi.

The Special Edition release added a scream to Luke's previously silent fall after his duel with Darth Vader.

Lucasfilms Ltd.

The later DVD release restored Luke back to his silent dignity.

  1. Do you prefer Luke screaming?

    No, he does NOT scream.
    I love his scream!

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Do you prefer Luke screaming?
  1.  
    vote votes
    No, he does NOT scream.
  2.  
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    I love his scream!
  1. How strong are Han's toes?

    Very strong.
    Not that strong.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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How strong are Han's toes?
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    Very strong.
  2.  
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    Not that strong.
  1. Was this change pointless?

    Yes.
    No! Now it looks so realistic.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Was this change pointless?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Yes.
  2.  
    vote votes
    No! Now it looks so realistic.

For the Special Edition, Lucas once again added more audio at a climactic moment: when Vader decides to sacrifice himself to save his son.

Lucasfilms Ltd.
  1. Do you like the addition of "No. Nooooooo!"?

    Hell no — before his pain was silent and implied. It was WAY better.
    I love the new way he yells "no" all sad-like.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Do you like the addition of "No. Nooooooo!"?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Hell no — before his pain was silent and implied. It was WAY better.
  2.  
    vote votes
    I love the new way he yells "no" all sad-like.

The spirits of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Anakin Skywalker watch Luke and the Rebels celebrate their victory over the Empire.

Lucasfilm Ltd/Chris Gould / Via dvdactive.com

Sebastian Shaw is replaced by Hayden Christensen, who plays Anakin starting with Attack of the Clones.

  1. Is Hayden Christensen creeping you the fuck out?

    Uh, yeah.
    No, he looks cute!

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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Is Hayden Christensen creeping you the fuck out?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Uh, yeah.
  2.  
    vote votes
    No, he looks cute!
  1. ONE LAST QUESTION. Overall, do you think it was wrong to touch the originals?

    Yes. They should have been left alone. Plus I'm mad I can't get the originals on Blu-ray seriously WTF LUCAS!
    No! Updating the visual and audio effects keeps the movies up with the times.

Here Are The "Star Wars" Films' Most Blatant Special Effects Changes

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ONE LAST QUESTION. Overall, do you think it was wrong to touch the originals?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Yes. They should have been left alone. Plus I'm mad I can't get the originals on Blu-ray seriously WTF LUCAS!
  2.  
    vote votes
    No! Updating the visual and audio effects keeps the movies up with the times.