The George Lucas Usenet Archive

My Real Reasons For Not Releasing My Movies on DVD
From: glucas@lucasfilm.com (George Lucas)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc
Subject: My Real Reasons For Not Releasing My Movies on DVD
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 22:35:10 GMT
Organization: Lucasfilm, Ltd.
Message-ID: <37c56099.3447148@news.newsguy.com>
Summary: I'm sexually and cinematically confused.
Keywords: gayness natural doubts Speilberg
Dear Star Wars Fans,

Many of you have questioned why I have not released my movies on DVD yet, and why I have vowed not to release them until 2006--seven years from now--at the very earliest. The reason why I have not responded sooner is that I wanted to make sure I could answer all your questions as completely as possible. So I kept following the Usenet discussions (I have my own T1 line--cool!) and thought about how I could best explain my plans. Now the time is right.

Back when I made the Special Editions, I thought I would have the time to make the original movies just the way I had always imagined them. I guess you realize now that it didn't work out that way. Once I was in the middle of the project, I realized that the scope of my intended changes was too big even for my business empire to handle. I continued on with the Special Editions, hoping I could kind of fake everyone out, but in the end I admit it was a mistake. A big mistake. When the final day came and the incomplete Special Editions were released, I sat on the stairs between the first and second floors of my house and cried like a baby. There I was, George Lucas, a complete failure. As I sat there, snuffling and blubbering like a pathetic girl, I thought, "Why am I such a loser?!"

My Special Editions has supposedly turned a tiny profit, but that was for public consumption only. In reality, the project had gone hundreds of millions of dollars into debt. In what I know admit was a vanity project gone amok, I had filmed dozens of hours of new digitally-altered footage, the culmination of which was the addition of myself as a major new character in the film. There were tons of shots of me reacting to the other characters. For example, when Ben "senses" the deaths of the people of Alderaan, I am standing next to Luke with my hands on my hips, exclaiming, "Whoah!" There is a whole new sequence during the rescue of Princess Leia, with me confronting my old master, Admiral Motti. At the end I escape separately from Han and Luke and friends by stealing General Tagge's TIE Fighter in what I hoped would be a crowd-pleasing and intense scene.

During the final stages, I showed the Special Edition to the only person whose opinion I trust as much as Steven Spielberg's--my girlfriend Janine's. The three of us watched it together on my couch, snuggling for comfort. My glee was almost uncontainable. What would they think? Would they love it? Or would they love it even more?

Janine got up and went into the kitchen halfway through, and after awhile returned only for brief snatches of the movie, standing in the doorway to the living room and eating snacks. Steven made small talk with my black servant, Kenny, and loudly pointed out one of Janine's farts. I could tell they were a little distracted from my awesome movie. Maybe, at 263 minutes, the running time was a little long, but they both knew this was only a rough cut and could have been a little more patient. By the time the movie had ended, I was in tears, sobbing and moaning incontinently. Steven tried to calm me down by talking of his latest project, a film musical in which black slaves owned by Jews are set free and learn to live together, although Spike Lee was to appear in a scene at the end and pout menacingly when a Jewish woman rejects him. I guess Steven considered it to be a kind of gift to his sons. Kenny seemed fearful of expressing an opinion.

Janine interrupted my womanly tears by saying I was oversensitive about my weight, and somewhat acerbically remarked that the Special Edition "sucked ass".

It was the worst day of my life. In my emotional confusion, I responded to Steven's friendly hug by fervently groping and kissing him. At first Steven responded positively, but then he got up hastily and insisted that he had to go home and see his kids.

I realized that I would have to undo most of my Special Edition changes. What began as a brilliant dream ended in homoeroticized confusion and second-guessing. Since then I have been obsessed with playing it "safe", making sure every second of footage is test-audienced and focus grouped out the ying yang. Janine, who broke up with me in order to gain more weight, communicated to me by voice mail every step of the way during the filming of A Phantom Menace. Near the end, as it looked like reconciliation was still possible, she allowed me to watch as she drove past my house.

I am now torn between two worlds (obviously in a sexual way, but also in a cinematic way). I want to add back the Special Editions, but I am afraid of what might happen if I do. I am also committed to VHS, the super-medium that has been so kind to me. DVD represents not only risk but betrayal. And in approximately 30 years, when my specially designed bio-cube is forced down everyone's throats as the new standard, DVD will be made irrelevant. After all, I still bore the psychic scars from when Stanley Kubrick lashed out at me in fury for having made Star Wars in stereo instead of mono.

The long and short of it is that I must be allowed time to think this matter over with great care. Now that I am at work on Star Wars 2: A Growing Pain, I just don't feel I can deal with the distraction, and the too-fresh wounds of my related break-up with Janine. Please be patient, my fans! Someday I will call on you to purchase multiple copies of my Special Special Editions on VHS, and hype them uncritically to your friends. Let's make that journey together!!!

Sincerely,

George Lucas