Written by: Chefelf
Edited by: Jacques

Nitpick #1
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.

The Wampa Scale of Insignificance

Nitpick #2
R2-D2... IN COLOR!
Artoo now has full color in space! For some unexplained reason in the original trilogy R2-D2 was in black and white when he was in the back of Luke's X-wing. I don't know what the explanation for this was. When I was little someone told me that dogs see in black and white. I naturally assumed that the scenes outside of the X-wing were from the viewpoint of some sort of cosmic dog. Sort of like the hawk in Beastmaster, except a dog.

The Lando Calrissian Scale of Greatness

Nitpick #3
R2's Luck
On Dagobah, when Artoo is spit out by the monster in Yoda's bog, Luke originally said: "You're lucky you don't taste very good." This was s dumb throw away line reportedly ad-libbed by Mark Hamill on the set. Whatever. It happens, it's over, and not many fans pay it very much attention. Of course that makes it a perfect scene to change for no reason whatsoever! Lucas has changed the scene now so that it is Mark reading the words of the original script: "You were lucky to get out of there." Fantastic. I think I hear the Wampas of indifference gathering.

The Wampa Scale of Insignificance

Nitpick #4
Emperor and Vader Dialogue
The dialogue has changed. For the better? C'mon, you know better than that. Here is the new dialogue:

DARTH VADER: What is thy bidding my master?

EMPEROR PALPATINE: There is a great disturbance in the force

DARTH VADER:I have felt it.

EMPEROR PALPATINE:We have a new enemy, the young rebel who destroyed the death star. I have no doubt this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker.

DARTH VADER:How is that possible?

EMPEROR PALPATINE:Search your feelings, Lord Vader, you will know it to be true. He could destroy us.

DARTH VADER:He's just a boy. Obi-Wan can no longer help him.

EMPEROR PALPATINE:The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi.

DARTH VADER:If he could be turned, he could become a powerful ally.

EMPEROR PALPATINE:Yes, he would be a great asset. Can it be done?

DARTH VADER:He will join us or die master.

"How is that possible?" How is that possible? We are told in the opening scroll and throughout the entire movie that it is a relentless pursuit of Luke Skywalker that is driving Vader. Vader even says: "That is the system. And I'm sure Skywalker is with them." If he doesn't think that Luke is his son then who does he think Luke is? Does Vader remember his original name? Is he just really dumb? Why would he be in pursuit of Luke Skywalker if he thought that the surname they share was just a funny coincidence?

I know if I found out about someone named Chefelf, Jr. who was approximately 20-25 years younger than me it may occur to me that he is my son, even if I didn't have any children that I knew about.

The CGI Jabba Scale of Special Edition Stupidity

The Flying R2-D2 Scale of Sequel to Prequel Inconsistency

Nitpick #5
Boba Fett's New Voice
Yes, it's true. They have overdubbed all of Jason Wingreen's's original dialogue with Temuera Morrison's. Morrison, who played the cruddy character Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, has now erased Wingreen from Star Wars history, leaving only a remaining twenty or thirty people who lent their talents to this bit character. Boba Fett, who is now a clone of his "father", Jango, now has a New Zealand accent instead of an American accent. Much like Sebastian Shaw, Wingreen's work is basically being phased out of existence. At least Shaw was too dead to realize he was being insulted. Jason Wingreen is in the unfortunate position of still being alive (according to IMDb.com) to receive his slap in the face, a slap we must all recoil from.

The Yaddle Scale of Prequel Stupidity

The CGI Jabba Scale of Special Edition Stupidity

Nitpick #6
Bespin, like Mos Eisley, is more alive in the Special Edition. The main difference is that the broader scope of this location is not quite as detrimental to the plot of the movie. The planet is a gas giant. Having no surface to walk on makes it a little easier for the "improvements" to remain modest. There will be no dinosaurs obscuring our view, no distracting Jawa antics and certainly no zany droids. I must admit that I was half-expecting a Puff the Magic Dragon flyby, but Lucas remained surprisingly restrained in this addition.

The Lando Calrissian Scale of Greatness

The Wampa Scale of Insignificance

Nitpick #7
Luke's Scream
In the original version of The Empire Strikes Back, Luke makes the ultimate heroic decision. He decides that rather than join the evil Darth Vader (who he's just learned may be his own father!) he will leap from a thousand feet, possibly to his own demise. The look in Luke's eyes, the triumph as he realizes he would rather die than join Vader, the sound of John Williams' horns followed his expression as he slowly let go and plummeted, possibly to his death.

In the "Special Edition" of The Empire Strikes Back the scene is unchanged except for one small detail: Luke screams like a little bitch* the entire time he's falling. Even though he'd]just displayed an expression of unspeakable heroism and bravery, he seems to have reconsidered once he is actually falling.

In the "Even More Special Edition" of The Empire Strikes Back, Lucas has opted to remove the scream. This could be viewed as a good change except that the scream should never have been included to begin with. The very fact that the scream exists at all, in any form, is enough to leave a sour taste in my mouth. The additional fact that it's been removed begs the question: Why was it added in the first place?

*This is in no way intended to offend anyone. I don't mean to sound offensive or misogynistic, but it's just what he does. There's no other way to put it than, "he screams like a little bitch". If you don't believe me, watch the movie.

The Lando Calrissian Scale of Greatness

Nitpick #8
Additional Vader Footage
Apparently the ordinary human imagination is not well enough equipped to conjure up the specific details that bring Vader from Cloud City to his Star Destroyer. I never really noticed any problem with this scene until the Special Edition was released. My reaction was probably typical: Oh, yeah. Well, I guess they never really showed him getting there, did they? Hrmm. These little clips are entirely unnecessary. They do nothing more than add an additional 15-20 seconds to the overall run of the movie. All they do is give the viewer a taste of Lucas's slap-you-in-the-face approach to movie-making subtlety.

The Wampa Scale of Insignificance

In Conclusion...

I don't think it's any mystery why The Empire Strikes Back contains fewer changes and edits than the other two original trilogy movies: it was a better movie to begin with. That, of course, leads us to Return of the Jedi, the most heavily modified of the original three.

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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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