Filmmaker George Lucas lashed out at fans who say that his tinkering with the original "Star Wars" trilogy, released earlier this week on DVD, is "ruining their childhood."
"I still own the copyright to my movies and I wasn't satisfied with them," he said over lattes at the grand opening of the second Starbucks franchise on Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, Calif. "I said so at the time they came out. Great strides have been made in special effects since the late 1970s and early 1980s, and I want the original trilogy to reflect that.
"Besides," he continued, "I'm an old man; old men like to tinker. How does it look when Greedo shoots first? Hmmm, how about when they both shoot at the same time? Same resultct either way -- fried lizard.
"As for editing Hayden into the end of Return of the Jedi, all I can say is if I had been smart, I would have gotten Ewan McGregor in there, too. Why? People don't see themselves as they really are when they get old. ... You don't think I imagine myself with this swollen neck thing, do you? Of course not. I imagine my self as about six-four, 250 pounds of solid muscle, a little gray in my hair, not much, with Natalie Portman on one arm and Sofia Coppola on the other and my ex-wife and Linda Ronstadt [his post-divorce-rebound former girlfriend] wailing and gnashing their teeth in the background. I have a heart attack when I look in the mirror every morning."
Lucas indicated that he doesn't want to release the original movies on DVD, saying "Those versions no longer have any meaning to me." Asked if negative fan reaction might make him reconsider, Lucas turned purple and growled, "These young fools who keep telling me I ruined their childhood are ruining my old age."
This is the same George Lucas who testifed to the United States Congress against colorization of old movies and has been quoted as saying he thought the introduction of sound was the worst thing that ever happened to movies. Asked if he was being a little inconsistent, Lucas threw his double tall extra-hot nonfat sugar-free vanilla Metamucil latte in a reporter's face and stormed off. The reporter was treated for second-degree burns at a nearby hospital and is filing a $3 billion lawsuit against Lucas.