The biggest news story breaking anywhere in the universe this week was George Lucas’ sale of Lucasfilm and all of its properties to Disney for a whopping $4 billion AND that Disney had promptly announced the release of Star Wars Episode VII for a 2015 release date (stay tuned for insider details on that project). [You can read about what that means for the Galactic Empire here].
What you may have missed is Disney’s other announcement: in the spirit of George Lucas’ Star Wars Special Editions, Disney will be releasing all new Disney Special Editions of the original six Star Wars films! Here are just a few of Disney’s changes/improvements you can expect to see in the first three films:
Episode I: The Phantom Menouse
After the classic opening crawl introducing kids to the riveting and child-friendly world of intergalactic taxation laws and systemic political corruption, we cut straight to The Trade Federation… who are now led by Scrooge McDuck. Scrooge and the Neimoidians discuss their enthralling plan to create a space blockade around Naboo whilst swimming in a giant pool made of gold coins.
Upon meeting up with Goof Goof Binks on the planet’s surface, the Gungans refuse to help the Naboo until the Jedi agree to first help them Find Nemo.
In Theed, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan discover why Queen Amidala hasn’t responded to the Trade Federation threat: she’s fallen into a magical sleep after eating a poisoned apple given to her by the previous (evil, obviously) Queen. Obi-Wan must prove his worth to the seven loyal dwarves that guard her before kissing her awake and making a daring escape.
Fleeing to Tatooine with the help of plucky, yet endearingly forgetful droid R2-Dory, Qui-Gon crash lands their damaged ship in the Cave of Wonders, where the Force guides him to a magical lamp. Summoning the Genie of the Lamp, Qui-Gon wishes for a way off the desert planet and is shown a vision of Anakin Skywalker. Alone in Watto’s Junk Shop, Anakin makes all the brushes and mops clean the shop for him using the Force. Qui-Gon immediately realises that this child has an impossibly high Mickey-chlorian count and must be the Chosen One who will bring bank balance to the Mouse.
When Anakin’s creation, C-3PinocchiO, is powered up for the first time he exclaims, “I’m a REAL boy!” He cries for an hour after Amidala explains that no, he is not.
Against all the odds, Anakin wins the Pod Race with the help of his cocky but loveable talking red race Pod, Force Lightning McQueen Amidala. He is freed from his life of slavery and can leave his ugly evil step-sisters behind forever.
After the race, Qui-Gon and Anakin share a touching moment staring at the binary sunrise, where Qui-Gon explains that because Anakin is the Chosen One, everything the light touches will one day be his.
Pursued by a mysterious Sith Lord, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Padme and Anakin fly to Coruscant to share their news with the Jedi Council. The night before the meeting, Qui-Gon is haunted by the Force ghosts of Sithmas past, present and future. Before he can interpret these strange visions, Qui-Gon is killed by Darth Maul, who is in turn killed by Obi-Wan.
Yoda appears and gives some sage, grammatically incorrect advice. He is still a goblin.
Episode II: Attack of the Santa Clause
After foiling an assassination attempt on Padme’s life, Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker is assigned to protect her. They share a LOT of duets.
Investigating the assassination attempt, Obi-Wan is sent to Kamino, where he encounters Captain Jack Sparrow, a deranged yet charismatic and incredibly overpaid pirate. Together, they win back Cap’n Jack’s ship, The Black Pearl and foil an undead pirate crew’s attempt to find the Fountain of Youth. Along the way they learn that the evil ex-Jedi Count Donald Ducku has been secretly building an army of clones of impressive young space warrior Buzz Lightyear. Obi-Wan never mentions his brief yet passionate kinky underwater fling with the mermaid Princess Ariel.
Meanwhile, troubled by premonitions of his mother’s death, Anakin returns to Tatooine and finds that she has been kidnapped by Sandpeople, led by an anthropomorphic evil talking lion named Scar… who, in a shock twist, is actually Anakin’s half-brother (on the Mickey-chlorian side of the family). Anakin is too late to save Shmi and kills Scar in his rage.
There is still a giant arena battle for some reason. John Carter of Mars spends the whole battle assuring the others that he’s really very good if you give him a chance and look past the horrible marketing campaign but everyone ignores him anyway. Watching the battle from the shadows, young Buzz Fett sees Jedi Master Mace Fury cut off his father’s head with a lightsaber and swears vengeance against the Jedi.
Obi-Wan and Anakin have a lightsaber duel with Count Donald Ducku, but are unable to defeat him because they fail to use the ancient and mysterious fighting technique known as “The Flying V”. Yoda arrives in the nick of time and manages to save them but can’t stop Ducku escaping with the secret plans to “the ultimate weapon”.
The film ends with the troubling revelation that there is a powerful Sith Lord, Darth Sidious, manipulating events. He appears to want to rule the galaxy… and a cloak made of 101 Dalmations. In a stunning display of detective work, Yoda observes that the Wars of Clone begun have. That begun Wars of have the Clone. That Clone of the have War– forget it.
Episode III: Revenge of the Lilo & Sith
The Clone Wars rage across the galaxy. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine has been kidnapped by the nefarious Count Ducku and his evil multi-limbed cybernetic mouse henchman General Grievmouse. With the help of the valiant Buzz Lightyear clones, Anakin and Obi-Wan rescue the Chancellor. Ducku is decapitated by Anakin.
Back on Coruscant, Anakin and Padme are reunited. Anakin learns that Padme is pregnant and becomes immediately (and completely rationally in a world where they have space ships, talking robots and lightsabers but apparently haven’t made the advances in medical science required to prevent minor issues during pregnancy) worried that Padme will die during childbirth. He grows closer to Palpatine, who tells him that the Dark Side can prevent death and that, “You’ve got a friend in me”.
Obi-Wan tracks General Grievmouse to Utapau. Obi-Wan eventually wins their lightsaber duel by throwing a block of cheese off a cliff, which Grievmouse dives after, falling to his death.
Discovering that Chancellor Palpatine is actually the evil Darth Sidious, Anakin reports his treachery to Jedi Master Mace Fury, who for some reason decides to apprehend the archvillain himself rather than calling in the Avengers as back up. During the battle, Palpatine is struck by his own Force lightning and is seriously injured but before Nick Fury can arrest him, Anakin intervenes, cutting off Fury’s hand and allowing Palpatine to kill the Jedi.
Hiding the hideous facial disfigurement caused by the Force lightning behind a sweet mask, Palpatine rebrands himself Emperor Zurg, annoints Anakin as Darth Vader and then executes Order 66, which calls for the extermination of the Jedi AND makes Adam Sandler’s Disney films daily mandatory viewing throughout the galaxy. There is a LOT of maniacal laughter.
Vader travels to Mustafar to kill the last of the Seperatist leaders and is confronted there by Obi-Wan and Padme. Padme sings, “When Somebody Loved Me” to Anakin, who accidentally Force chokes her into unconsciousness after becoming enraged when he’s reminded that he always cries watching Toy Story movies. Obi-Wan and Vader engage in a fierce duel, which ends with an angry duet, a lava bath and a few lost limbs for Vader.
Spirited away by Obi-Wan, Padme gives birth to twins and then “dies” of a broken heart, though Yoda notes she can be revived with “something more powerful even than the Force: true love’s kiss.” Leia is sent to become Princess of Alderaan and because nobody likes Luke, apparently, he’s sent to the desert to be raised by Mufasa’s Pride and an assortment of other hilarious animated jungle animals.
Tune in next time as we unveil the changes for Episodes IV-VI.
While you’re here, why not read our Ultimate Phantom Menace FAQ?
Or find out how Star Wars characters reacted to the news of George Lucas’ retirement.