Star Wars has been one of the most popular franchises in cinema since the day the first movie arrived in 1977. Today, that means that the franchise is endlessly discussed and debated. The major topic of debate in this moment is the question of the quality of the new sequel trilogy. Before that it was all about the prequel trilogy. However, before that, and still to this day, there are a lot of feelings about the Special Editions of the original Star Wars trilogy.
In the run up to the prequels in the late 90s we got new editions of the original trilogy with updated digital effects, deleted scenes reinserted, and even entirely new content. Whether or not all this made the movies "better" is a question that's still discussed today, but with that precedent set, how would people feel about new version of the current trilogy 20 years from now?
Our own Eric Eisenberg posed just that question to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. Check out their feelings on special editions below.
While you might expect John Boyega and Daisy Ridley to want their movies left alone, both are actually at least somewhat interested in the idea of future Special Editions. They know about scenes they filmed that didn't make the final cut of The Rise of Skywalker and they're at least curious how the movie might change if things were edited a little differently.
Daisy Ridley specifically says she doesn't think a Special Edition of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker could be in any way "better" than the version that we now have, but it would be an interesting exercise to see it differently. Although, based on what J.J. Abrams has said, it seems unlikely such a thing could happen.
The Special Editions are a strange beast. Most fans are probably fine with most of the technical changes. The special effects were updated to make space battles look cleaner and explosions more epic. That's fine. There are more aliens in Mos Eisley, which makes the whole place feel more alive.
However, when it comes to the additional scenes, that's when things start to break down. The introduction of Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars: A New Hope is just an awkward scene. I don't know anybody who likes "Jedi Rocks" from The Return of the Jedi.
The bigger issue, of course, isn't that the Special Editions exist at all, it's that they've taken the place of the original versions of the films in their entirety. There's no other way to view the first three Star Wars movies unless you own an old VHS copy. While there have been teases of DVD, and then Blu-ray, versions that took things back to basics, nothing has ever come of the rumors that Disney might do such a thing.
I'm certainly not against Special Editions of this new trilogy down the road, as long as the versions that we have now are also available. They are artifacts of their time, and, for the most part, pretty good movies as they are.