It's not me. It's you.
For years, I heard hyperbolic fans declare the original movies as "The Holy Trilogy" and I scoffed at their adoration becoming sacrilegious. But I enjoyed them, and what did I care if some fans took it too far? Then came the Special Editions in 1997. I can't name a single change I felt actually improved any of the movies, but I was largely indifferent to them (except the song changes in Return of the Jedi; "Lapti Nek" > "Jedi Rocks" and I dig "Ewok Celebration").
When I saw The Phantom Menace at its midnight premiere, I knew going into it there was no way that audience was going to be satisfied. They had spent 16 years developing what the movie should have been, and it was impossible that whatever we watched would have met those demands. I didn't hate it like the others did. I still feel fans made too much out of Jar Jar Binks, but I also feel they made too much out of Darth Maul, as well. I liked some of the movie; Liam Neeson was great as Qui-Gon Jinn, and "Duel of the Fates" was the best thing John Williams composed since Jurassic Park (and would still be the best thing he's done since, were it not for his work on Harry Potter).
Since then, the prequels and DVD releases of the original trilogy have created two camps, each of which is relentless in taking to the Internet to wage its war. There are the apologists and there are the haters. At times, I've been both. In recent years, the hyperbole of the haters has bothered me more than the blind loyalty of the apologists, so I've been quicker to challenge the haters.
I knew when the Blu-ray Disc box sets were announced that they would feature yet more revisions. I told myself I had made my peace with that fact and, indeed, kind of looked forward to see what would make these versions unique. I've spent six years waiting to see digital Yoda in The Phantom Menace, ever since it was previewed on the Revenge of the Sith DVD bonus disc. Never did it occur to me that there would be something like the change to Return of the Jedi's climax.
Darth Vader now yells, "Noooo!" while watching the Emperor electrocute Luke Skywalker, breaking into action and yelling it a second time as he carries his dark master to the pit and throws him to his death. The inner conflict of the character never needed to be verbalized. Staring at his expressionless mask, listening to the swell of the music, we know what's going on inside the guy, who has spent the last two movies desperate to connect with his estranged son. When Vader finally takes action on behalf of Luke, John Williams's Force theme erupts and we cheer--even if only to ourselves. It's one of the most heroic moments in any movie I've ever seen, largely because it is noble. Anakin Skywalker has had enough, and he overthrows not only his Emperor, but Darth Vader as well. We all get that's what happened; we know he's really the Jedi who has returned.
I've spent months looking forward to the release of these Blu-rays. I knew I wasn't going to be able to afford them initially, but I've been squirreling away Amazon gift credit and am currently just under $30. But after this revelation, I just don't care to see the movies right now. I'm fatigued from months of speculation and debate with the online community. I don't begrudge those who do buy and enjoy these 4.0 incarnations. One day, maybe I'll own them myself. Right now, though, I just can't make myself even want to be around you, Star Wars.
So we're going to take a break. I'm unsubscribing from forum threads that have anything to do with you. I'm going to un-follow your Twitter feed. I'm removing you from my Amazon Wish List. I won't be buying any of your stuff for a while. I won't be talking about you on this blog. Maybe later, we'll try to get back together but you're going to have to take the first step. Just leave me alone for a while, and then when you think you're ready to get back together, you let me know and we'll reevaluate our relationship then. George Lucas isn't the devil, I don't wish him harm or any of that nonsense. I just can't around you right now.