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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?

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

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Original.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Special Edition.
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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?

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

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Original.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Special Edition.
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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?

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

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Yeah.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Nah.
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Do you miss the Wolfman?
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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.

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  1. Who should shoot first?

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

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

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Only a few.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A shit ton.
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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.
  1. Which Death Star explosion burns brighter in your mind?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Original
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Special Edition
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Which Death Star explosion burns brighter in your mind?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Original
  2.  
    vote votes
    Special Edition
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  1. Are you glad Lucas added this scene?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Yes, but I prefer the 1997 Jabba.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Yes, and I like the 2004 Jabba.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    No, this scene is completely pointless and, if anything, ruins Jabba's reveal in the sequel.
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Are you glad Lucas added this scene?
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    Yes, but I prefer the 1997 Jabba.
  2.  
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    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?

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

  1. Who's your favorite Palpatine?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Old Lady with Chimp Eyes
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Ian McDiarmid
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    Old Lady with Chimp Eyes
  2.  
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    Ian McDiarmid
  1. Was this change worth it?

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

    Correct
    Incorrect
    White with red glare.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Pink, obvi.
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    White with red glare.
  2.  
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    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?

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

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Very strong.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not that strong.
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    Very strong.
  2.  
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    Not that strong.
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  1. Was this change pointless?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Yes.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    No! Now it looks so realistic.
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Was this change pointless?
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    Yes.
  2.  
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    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!"?

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

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Uh, yeah.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    No, he looks cute!
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Is Hayden Christensen creeping you the fuck out?
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    Uh, yeah.
  2.  
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    No, he looks cute!