Part of the problem with the Star Wars® Franchise … is “excellent marketing.™” By people who do consider it to be “a franchise worth exploiting.”
George Lucas & Co. have proven themselves to be exceptionally good at marketing. They’ve never allowed the Star Wars® Brand to slip out of anyone’s sight. And, they’ve never particularly cared what the stories consisted of, as long as they featured plenty of lightsabers and, later on, tons of CG action.
The original story, the one-and-only film that existed at one time, was: a space opera. Swords and Sorcery, literally, “long ago, in a galaxy far, far away.” (Hence, far removed both in space and time from ‘now and here.’) But it also consisted of special effects which had never existed before … done without the help of digital computers which couldn’t have done such things then.
To me, frankly, it’s been all downhill from there.
The first movie didn’t have “story,” and really didn’t need one. It was Saturday Morning TV. It was Buck Rogers in the -135th Century. It was, “a yarn, well-told.” There was a fierce economy of storytelling because the movie cost a lot of money to make and no one believed that it would ever break even. You used your imagination. You had to. You loved to.
Well, you aren’t even allowed to buy, today, a copy of exactly what’s on those RCA discs of yours, Wolfman. You can only buy a copy of what “The George” decided would be “better” … a digitally-replaced Anakin, two (or is it three?) conflicting and redundant “actual encounters between Han and Jabba” (when the original movie didn’t need one), and so on. Far more attention has been lavished on “making the original movie consistent with The Franchise,” than to recognize, as the National Archives did, the original film itself.
Hey, I’ve got a great idea. Let’s make Casablanca II, and then let’s go back and “improve” Casablanca. First of all, we’ll digitally replace Bogey’s face in all the shots with a computer model of an actor who, according to the latest surveys, will appeal more strongly to ‘the modern audience.’ Since we have the technological capability to do that now, and we own the rights to “The Casablanca® Franchise,” let’s go do it.