Written by: Chefelf
Edited by: Jacques

Nitpick #1
Approach on Mos Eisley
The approach on Mos Eisley is exactly the scene I would have made if I'd had the technology and budget to film such a thing when I was 12 years old. The entire Mos Eisley outdoor environment is littered with slapstick humor, distracting visuals and unnecessary aliens. The scenes crucial to the story are constantly being interrupted and overlapped with annoying Jawa antics, frolicking droids and dinosaurs occasionally traipsing in front of main characters, taking focus away from the dialogue and character interaction, most notably when Obi-Wan and Luke are stopped by stormtroopers.

"Excuse me, I'm driving here."

"Dinosaur coming through!"

"Pardon me, I've got a dinosaur to follow."


The minute-long scene makes you wonder if Lucas consulted with Barnum & Bailey prior to its addition.

The CGI Jabba Scale of Special Edition Stupidity:

Nitpick #2
Jurassic Cantina
The wolfman in the cantina always bothered Lucas. I can't fault him for that. Allegedly the "alien" was nothing more than a man in a werewolf mask who was added as filler to the scene. It was a budget and time problem that Lucas always regretted. However, twenty years later he had the perfect idea to fix the scene. Replace the wolfman with a silly-looking dinosaur smoking from a bong! Lucas is so much happier with this brilliant alien that it even survived the 2004 cut of the Special Edition. Why include a familiar alien such as a Mon Calamari or a Sullustan when you can have a Rastafarian Velociraptor in its place?

"That's some good deathstick leaf..."

Thankfully the Cantina scene's music hasn't been inappropriately changed as it was in Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi (I'll get to that later). I was half expecting to hear The Black Eyed Peas's lyrics -- translated into Huttese -- coming out of the mouths of some dancing, urbanite Rodians.

The CGI Jabba Scale of Special Edition Stupidity:

Nitpick #3
"He was the best starpilot in the galaxy..."
Obi-Wan's line about Anakin still remains in the 2004 edition. I thought that this line would surely be removed, but it is still there. What I want to know is how Obi-Wan could back this up? Is he referring to Anakin's glorified go-kart race on Tatooine in The Phantom Menace or the Wacky-Doodle Yukfest when Anakin crashed the Nabooian fighter into the droid control ship? This line has very little basis in what has happened in the Prequel Trilogy so far. Anakin's going to have to do some pretty fancy flying in Episode III to back up this quote.

The Flying R2-D2 Scale of Sequel to Prequel Inconsistency:

Nitpick #4
Greedo Shoots First At the Same Time
I know, the Greedo thing has been done to death, but the latest development in Greedo's death scene complicates the debate enough that it warrants further discussion. It is only through a frame-by-frame viewing that you can truly figure out what is going on but it appears that both Solo and Greedo are shooting at the exact same time, at least too close together for either shot to be in reaction to the other.

Calmness in the face of danger worthy of the Jedi.

Some people think that this scene is not a big deal but it is critical in explaining the character of Han Solo. Originally Solo shot first, killing Greedo and showing his character, a character that was changed over the course of the trilogy from a roguish scoundrel into someone with a heart. In 1997 Greedo shot first showing that Solo was really always that way, thus negating any development of his character. Even larger was the problem that no one could miss shooting anything from that range. In any movie of this kind we take liberties with the aim of enemies. Stormtroopers are constantly missing when shooting at Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca but it is easier to let go when they're 30-40 feet across a corridor. When someone is sitting across a table from someone else you'd expect their aim to be at least good enough to graze their target. Greedo should have been able to extend his arm and poke Han Solo in the nose if so desired, so how could he miss with a blaster? The only explanation I've seen to why Greedo missed was in the brilliant short story, The Passions of Greedo by Jacques Redcloud. However, I don't think that is an official Lucasfilm approved part of the extended universe.

The CGI Jabba Scale of Special Edition Stupidity:

Nitpick #5
The Jabba scene looks B-A-D BAD! Including the scene in the first Special Edition was, at the time, a neat little trick but it presented several problems. Jabba looked different. It appeared to be an Anime version of the stationary Jabba we were all used to. The only explanation is that Jabba must have made some sort of choice during The Empire Strikes Back much like the Oracle did in The Matrix: Revolutions. That choice cost Jabba his face.

"The Merovingian warned me that if I made a certain choice it would cost me."

Another question raised is that of Jabba's mobility? Did he get into some sort of sail barge accident sometime between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi that landed him immobile on his throne? This would explain the immobility and any resulting reconstructive surgery may even explain the physical changes.

This scene has never quite fit in Episode IV. It doesn't ever occur to the viewer (well, this viewer at least) that Jabba and Han were in the same scene together. The whole scene makes you conscious of the fact that you are watching a movie and makes you think more about the technology involved in the scene than the actual scene itself. The main problem is that it just does not work in the context of the trilogy. There are too many differences between the Jabba we see here and the Jabba in Return of the Jedi.

Somehow the effect of hearing about Jabba the Hutt across all of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, but not seeing him, seems to work a little better than introducing you to a comical bloblike creature. Also Jabba comes off as rather charming and doesn't inspire any sort of fear in the heart of the viewer. You just think, "Oh is that the guy Solo is in debt to? Pfft. No biggie, he's silly."

The lack of respect that Han offers Jabba also makes one wonder why Han is so worried about him in the following films. Han actually walks behind Jabba and steps on his tail whilst chatting with him about his debt. This is like absent-mindedly pinching Don Corleone's wife's boobs as you calmy explain to him how you lost his money.

The CGI Jabba Scale of Special Edition Stupidity:

Nitpick #6
Boba Fett
In 1997, the addition of Boba Fett into Episode IV was just a stupid ploy to give erections to the tens of thousands of people who'd taken to worshipping the bit character. The inclusion of Boba Fett is unchanged in the DVD release, but the problems with the scene remain. The addition of Boba Fett in the scene would almost have been acceptable had it been subtle, but the Special Edition scene is anything but. It starts off with Boba Fett slowly walking by the camera. In case there are any mentally-challenged, myopic five-year-olds who haven't caught that it's Boba Fett, he stops in front of the camera and mugs! He mugs! He just looks directly at the viewer and you can imagine him giving a cheese-eating grin whilst winking behind that helmet. Boba's pose is, in a way, emblematic of Lucas's blatant disrespect for Star Wars fans.


"Oh, hello there, fanboys!"

Lucas claims, in the commentary, that this scene "introduced Boba Fett". I don't remember Jabba giving Fett any formal introduction. Fett doesn't need to be introduced in this film, he's not necessary. The reason he's in The Empire Strikes Back is to further the plot The reason he's now in A New hope is, apparently, to sell yet more Boba Fett merchandise to drooling fanboys.

The CGI Jabba Scale of Special Edition Stupidity:

Nitpick #7
The lightsabers look good, finally. The original movie's lightsabers contrasted rather dramatically with the lightsabers seen in The Empire Strikes Back and later in Return of the Jedi.

One problem remains, brought up by the Prequel Trilogy: why are Darth Vader and Obi-Wan such piss-poor swordsmen in A New Hope? Lucas offers an explanation in the commentary:

"In these days, swordfighting was not quite as sophisticated as it was during the height of the Jedi period. In this particular rendition Vader was, you know, half man, half machine. Obi-Wan was pretty much an old man. so this fight was a hard fight for them. It wasn't an acrobatic, you know, jump around, you know, fast fight. It was a kind of hard fight to fight. Because, they're both kind of... old Jedi."

I'm not buying it though. Qui-Gon was no spring chicken in The Phantom Menace. Dooku (in Attack of the Clones) was no younger than Obi-Wan is in A New Hope. Yoda, at 800 plus years, is vaulting around and spinning like Sonic the Hedgehog in Attack of the Clones. So why are Vader and Obi-Wan shuffling back and forth like a pair of reluctant men at a ballroom dance class? It was fine before the prequels were released and it seemed like a very careful, strategic fight. Now, after seeing the extent of a Jedi's acrobatic abilities, the scene just seems bizarre and out of place.

The Lando Calrissian Scale of Greatness

The Flying R2-D2 Scale of Sequel to Prequel Inconsistency

Nitpick #8
Where's the Hyperspace?
Seeing the Millenium Falcon blast off into hyperspace in the Special Edition (and also the original version) reminds me of something... why don't we see the starlines in the prequels? Is it a new technology? Perhaps too much focus was dedicated to Count Dooku's ridiculous solar sail in Attack of the Clones to bother showing us our beloved starlines.

The Flying R2-D2 Scale of Sequel to Prequel Inconsistency

Nitpick #9
Language Change
The tractor beam controls in the original release of Star Wars were written in English. It was a little unusual since English writing doesn't really appear anywhere else in any of the other movies. One of the positive changes in the Special Edition DVD is that the language is changed to Aurebesh, the language we later see in greater detail in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi

Radio Shack Catalog #: 46-8102

The Lando Calrissian Scale of Greatness

Nitpick #10
I like Biggs. I always read the Biggs scenes in the book as a kid and wondered why he wasn't featured more prominently in the movie. This scene resolves that problem. However, only including him 5 minutes before he is killed doesn't quite pack the dramatic punch that it should have. Introducing Biggs a little earlier in the movie may have added a bit more drama to Biggs's death than this inclusion.

"Hey, remember me? Well enough reminiscing, it's time for me to go get killed!"

There is a big difference between this scene and the scene with Jabba. This scene retains the feeling of the original movie much better than the scene with Jabba, partially thanks to no CGI being involved. I was half expecting Biggs's character to be transformed into a Rodian with a moustache but Lucas elected for tact instead of technology in this instance. If he reads this we may be subjected to yet another "Special Edition" release. If so, I apologize in advance.

The Wampa Scale of Insignificance

Nitpick #11
Okay, I'm too lazy to check the "Original Special Edition" but I could swear that they added another secondary halo to the Death Star explosion. Either way, neither halo appeared originally so it's worth mentioning. I've heard the explanation of the Death Star's explosion halo being caused by the equatorial trench on the Death Star. I can only assume that Alderaan had a similar trench.

The CGI Jabba Scale of Special Edition Stupidity

The Wampa Scale of Insignificance

Nitpick #12
Still no Medal for Chewbacca?
I think that with extremely minimal use of CGI they could have corrected one of the fundamental flaws in the original trilogy: giving Chewbacca a medal! He was snubbed in 1977, again in 1997 and a third time in 2004. Do you think it ever occurs to Chewbacca as he's proudly marching down the procession line with Han and Luke that he isn't going to get a medal? What was going on inside his head when he noticed Leia only carrying two medals?

Wookie Translation: "You've got to be shitting me!"

I think that this moment is most likely remembered as one of the more humiliating moments in Chewie's life. I hope the New Republic at least had the decency to pick up the cost of his psychiatric visits.

The Chewbacca's Tarzan Yell Scale of Changes that Should Have Been Made

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Reasons to Hate Star Wars

Episode I (78 Reasons to Hate!)

Episode II (64+ Reasons to Hate!)

Episode III (91 Reasons to Hate!)

The Nitpicker's Guide to Star Wars

Episode IV: Special Edition (12 Nitpicks!)

Episode V: Special Edition (8 Nitpicks!)

Episode VI: Special Edition (17 Nitpicks!)

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