– by Joseph Jammer Medina

I’m sure we all know about the Star Wars: Special Edition versions of the original trilogy. They were a well-meaning update of the original classic films. In it, director George Lucas was able to go in and touch up a lot of the effects that were never to his liking, as well as round out story points, add scenes, and everything in between.

Sometime after, Lucas’ best bud, Steven Spielberg, decided to do something similar to his classic, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial. The update came complete with added scenes, a CG ET, and most importantly, poorly-super-imposed walkie-talkies over the guns that the cops were previously holding.

Like with the Star Wars: Special Edition, this edition was met with lots of criticism. Why would filmmakers feel the need to “fix” films by taking away some of the time-specific visual effects, and why would they take out any allusions to potential violence? In the years since then, Spielberg has pedaled back on this, agreeing that the edition was something of a mistake (you can now find the originals)…but does that mean he’s out of the digital-enhancing business altogether?

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Speaking with Screen Rant, Spielberg basically stated exactly that.

“Well, I got in trouble for doing that. When E.T. was re-released, I actually digitized 5 shots where E.T. went from being a puppet to a digital puppet and I also replaced the gun when the F.B.I. runs up on the van, now they walkie talkies. So there’s a really bad version of E.T. where I took my cue from Star Wars and all of the digital enhancements of A New Hope that George put in, and I went ahead, because the marketing at Universal thought we need something to get an audience back and see the movie so I did a few touch up in the film, and in those days, social media wasn’t as profound as it is today but what was just beginning, you know, erupted a loud, negative voice about how could you ruin our favorite childhood film by taking the guns away and putting walkie-talkies in their hands among other things. So I learned a big lesson and that’s the last time I decided to ever mess with the past. What’s done is done, and um, I’ll never go back and do another movie I’ve made and I have control over to enhance or changes.”

Probably a good idea. However, when all said and done, I think the real beef fans have with the Star Wars movies is that the originals were taken away from us. So long as the original versions of movies are still around, I don’t think anyone will care too much if there are poorly-made enhances.

But where do you stand on this? Were you hoping for an enhanced Raiders of the Lost Ark? Let us know down below!

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SOURCE: Screen Rant

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.