Additional Wampa Footage
The Wampa footage remains, as far as I can tell, unchanged from the initial 1997 Special Edition. The extra Wampa footage was put in to add an extra element of tension to the Hoth cave scene. Originally the Wampa was unseen until Luke made his wild swipe at it with his lightsaber. The Wampa scene is probably the most vanilla of the additional footage in the Special Edition. It's there, it's different and no one seems to care.
However, it could be argued that the urgency in the original version was a bit more pronounced in that you couldn't see the Wampa. The tension level was higher because you never knew if the Wampa was going to dart out around a corner or not. Lucas seems to have become obsessed with this sort of slap-you-in-the-face/let-the-viewer-infer-nothing approach to his filmmaking. I understand that Lucas is making movies with kids in mind, however, maybe children aren't as dumb as he thinks they are.
As I mentioned on another thread, Lucas uses images to tell the story. The wampa was always to be seen in the original cut, however, the costume just did not look real enough so the hand puppet and a side view of the costume is all we got back in 1980. There was even an entire Echo Base/wampa sub-plot and hints of this sub-plot can still be seen in the movie. The Echo Base/wampa sub-plot involved a wampa that got into Echo Base and reeked havoc on the joint but was then captured and put in a sealed room. The door of this sealed room then had a warning sign put on it to advise people to stay out of the room. And the label can be seen on the door as Han and Leia run past it while escaping from Echo Base. While Han, Leia and 3P0 are running from snowtroopers, 3P0 tore the door's warning sign off and the pursuing snowtrooper then run into wampa's room and are killed by wampa thus allowing our heros to escape.
Now I want to quote from the Episode VI: Special Edition (17 Nitpicks!):
The Ewoks, in theory, are a good idea. Hear me out. The idea of a primitive race of people that can overthrow the might of the Galactic Empire is a neat idea.
Lucas has stated this "neat idea" is loosely based on the American involvement in the Vietnam War. Where an indigenous people drive a technilogically advanced army out of their country.
Now if you expand this idea of an indigenous people having to cope with a more advanced foreign people into the other episodes. You have not an idea but a motif that is in all six episodes.
The indigenous, primitive wampas are having to cope with the Rebels.
That's why Lucas put an image of a wampa sitting down like a primate or person does.
That's why in the Star Wars Alien Species Guide, the wampa is difined as a semi-sentient being.
Notice the wampa is just a yeti or abominable snowMAN.
Can you name the indigenous, primitive people from the other episodes?
I'll give you a hint: One of them kidnaps Anakin's mom.
This post has been edited by Cosmic Underwear: 25 September 2005 - 10:18 PM