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LotR/Hobbit Extended Editions vs Star Wars Special Editions


King Mark
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I don't understand why the Hobbit/LotR EE are approved by fans without reservations when the SW Special Editions are viewed as a sacrilege and defile the "theatrical editions"

Isn't it the same idea?

Isn't Peter Jackson basically identical to George Lucas?

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The LOTR EEs don't really change anything, they just make it longer. And both versions of the LOTR are widely available in the highest quality in the consumer market, whereas the original unaltered SW trilogy has been under lock and key for so long and never allowed to be restored and reissued for the public to see or purchase.

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Yeah, but don't some argue the scenes added in the EE ruin or contradict/change the meaning of the theatrical releases? Just by making the movie too long to watch

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What Drax said. Also, IMO, the changes to the LOTR extended versions are mainly positive, where most of the changes in the Star Wars special editions are detractors (the CGI in Mos Eisley, Greedo/Han, Jabba/Han, and Jabba's Band are poor, IMO).

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What I mean is that most "Director's Cut" of films are usually rejected by purists who see the "theatrical version" as the only true version of the movie.

but in LotR the EE seem more to be regarded as the definitive versions

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I would have no problem with Lucas tinkering away to give us his updated versions if the original cinema cuts were made availeble in the same quality.

Also the Middle-earth EE's were released less then a year after the cinema release of the film. They dont represent the director changing his vision and using updating special effects to alter a film that has been the way it has for decades.

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And nobody wants the crappy " theatrical editon" blurays


I thought the fart joke in FOTR EE ruined it.

It just takes one moment someone hates to ruin a film

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The point is. the LOTR EE's are essentially longer cuts made by the director a few months after the cinema release using the same footage and techniques.

To my mind thats something completely different then taking a film from 1977 and adding not only scenes you cut out, but a whole load of special effects using techniques that didn't even exist at the time the film was shot.

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I don't understand why the Hobbit/LotR EE are approved by fans without reservations when the SW Special Editions are viewed as a sacrilege and defile the "theatrical editions"

Isn't it the same idea?

Isn't Peter Jackson basically identical to George Lucas?

King Mark it is very simple, and I am surprised you are confused by this.

With Star Wars, George Lucas made complete movies in the 70s and 80s, then returned to them 14-20 years later and used really bad CGI to add in new scenes that didn't need to be there and change things that didn't need to be changed. Newly shot footage that was never in the original scripts.

For the LOTR and Hobbit films, for the first two of them PJ was contractually obliged to deliver theatrical cuts under 3 hours, and after that point he still was conscious of keeping the Theatrical Cuts at a brisk pace, knowing there would be EEs later. The Extended Editions on home video was a way to show all the footage he had to delete reintegrated into the film, rather than being a bonus section extra.

And of course, all that footage was part of the original script, shot at the same time as everything else, and finished by the same production team as everything else.

With the Hobbit trilogy, he even cut the Theatrical and Extended Cuts simultaneously, with Shore writing music for both versions of scenes at the same time.

Also, of course, the theatrical cuts of the Middle-Earth films have never gone out of print and have been available on home video in perfect quality since their drop dates.

George Lucas destroyed the negatives of the original Star Wars trilogy when making the Special Editions in 1997. Now adults cannot legally purchase the films they grew up with in their childhood and must rely on clever fans to make those versions available in high quality.

Long story short, it's a world of difference, KM.

Yeah, but don't some argue the scenes added in the EE ruin or contradict/change the meaning of the theatrical releases?

No, no one says that.

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I don't understand why the Hobbit/LotR EE are approved by fans without reservations when the SW Special Editions are viewed as a sacrilege and defile the "theatrical editions"

Isn't it the same idea?

Isn't Peter Jackson basically identical to George Lucas?

No, because in the case of LotR the consensus is the extended versions significantly improve the films.

Lee - prefers the theatrical originals.

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Last I heard, while other sources for the original versions exist, the best source, the "master copy" of the original negatives, was actually altered when the changes were made for the Special Edition.

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Last I heard, while other sources for the original versions exist, the best source, the "master copy" of the original negatives, was actually altered when the changes were made for the Special Edition.

I don't understand how that works. How could the camera negatives be altered? It's not like the new CGI elements could be imprinted over the original camera film strips.

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The point is. the LOTR EE's are essentially longer cuts made by the director a few months after the cinema release using the same footage and techniques.

To my mind thats something completely different then taking a film from 1977 and adding not only scenes you cut out, but a whole load of special effects using techniques that didn't even exist at the time the film was shot.

King Mark it is very simple, and I am surprised you are confused by this.

With Star Wars, George Lucas made complete movies in the 70s and 80s, then returned to them 14-20 years later and used really bad CGI to add in new scenes that didn't need to be there and change things that didn't need to be changed. Newly shot footage that was never in the original scripts.

For the LOTR and Hobbit films, for the first two of them PJ was contractually obliged to deliver theatrical cuts under 3 hours, and after that point he still was conscious of keeping the Theatrical Cuts at a brisk pace, knowing there would be EEs later. The Extended Editions on home video was a way to show all the footage he had to delete reintegrated into the film, rather than being a bonus section extra.

And of course, all that footage was part of the original script, shot at the same time as everything else, and finished by the same production team as everything else.

With the Hobbit trilogy, he even cut the Theatrical and Extended Cuts simultaneously, with Shore writing music for both versions of scenes at the same time.

I knew someone would get to it before I did. . . .

There's a world of difference between the two, summed up very well by Stefan and Jay. If PJ had been allowed to release 4-hour movies into the theaters, then we would've gotten the EEs on the big screen. There's no change in direction, in vision, in purpose. I only watch the EEs now, because those are the full, real versions of these films.

Now . . . if the EE of FOTR had included an added scene where the Fellowship actually found Balin alive in Moria, and then he guided them the rest of the way through, only to be killed by one of the goblin's arrows (giving Legolas moral justification to shoot back) just before they confronted the Balrog with a hundred bat-goblins on wings screeching and flying around Gandalf over the abyss as Gollum jeered at him from the side . . . then you'd have something akin to what Lucas did in the SEs. And we would certainly have had the same objections to it.

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Now . . . if the EE of FOTR had included an added scene where the Fellowship actually found Balin alive in Moria, and then he guided them the rest of the way through, only to be killed by one of the goblin's arrows (giving Legolas moral justification to shoot back) just before they confronted the Balrog with a hundred bat-goblins on wings screeching and flying around Gandalf over the abyss as Gollum jeered at him from the side . . . then you'd have something akin to what Lucas did in the SEs. And we would certainly have had the same objections to it.

This could still happen! The new PJ could actually be interested in doing this!

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There is startling similarities between the two.

Yet on a basic film making level, PJ is NOT as incompetent as Lucas.

He manages to get far better performances from his cast. And his films, even with the massive use of green screen dont feel as sterile as the Prequels.

Also, the story, despite the massive amount of add-ons is simply more involving. Tolkien and PJ didnt make a mass murdering traitor the lead character in The Hobbit.

Warts and all I would rather watch The Hobbit trilogy 10 times over before even considering giving any of of the soulless corpses that Lucas created another go!

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Yet on a basic film making level, PJ is NOT as incompetent as Lucas.

He manages to get far better performances from his cast. And his films, even with the massive use of green screen dont feel as sterile as the Prequels.

Also, the story, despite the massive amount of add-ons is simply more involving. Tolkien and PJ didnt make a mass murdering traitor the lead character in The Hobbit.

Warts and all I would rather watch The Hobbit trilogy 10 times over before even considering giving any of of the soulless corpses that Lucas created another go!

Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Lucas has never been a good writer, and only a passable filmmaker (Star Wars, by all measures, was really something of a fluke). He's never been able to tell a good story. PJ has, and can. The Hobbit films are disappointing because of what they could've been, if not for PJ's growing compulsion toward overindulgence. The SW prequels never had a chance, because they were all about Lucas and nothing else.

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There are far too many silly scenes added, with the pointless Gimli cutaways and the comical Mouth of Sauron scenes. And it ruins one of my favorite moments of the film (Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli's arrival in the Battle of Pelenor) by giving away the surprise. There are also many unnecessary moments that bring the film to a halt (Eowyn's "death", Denethor's pre-death speech, etc.)

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I don't understand why the Hobbit/LotR EE are approved by fans without reservations when the SW Special Editions are viewed as a sacrilege and defile the "theatrical editions"

Isn't it the same idea?

Isn't Peter Jackson basically identical to George Lucas?

Oh god you poor soul ...

The extended cuts are the film maker's cut and a fan service, the theatrical versions a compromise for the widest audience.

Jackson didn't go back to the films 20 years later and decided they were flawed, against the fan base, to satisfy his ego. This isn't even a discussion.

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Jackson didn't go back to the films 20 years later and decided they were flawed, against the fan base, to satisfy his ego. This isn't even a discussion.

We don't know this yet!

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Jackson didn't go back to the films 20 years later and decided they were flawed, against the fan base, to satisfy his ego. This isn't even a discussion.

We don't know this yet!

The discussion is SW SE vs LotR/Hobbit EEs, not SW SE vs something Jackson might do in 20 years (which he said he wouldn't do anyway).

It's just another silly discussion from someone who seemingly can't accept that the SW prequels may be inferior to the Hobbit.

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