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<   No. 1261   2006-07-10   >

Comic #1261

1 [caption]: The cantina scene, digitally remastered by Steven Spielberg:
1 Greedo: Oochlayyoo-ma... Chess bookoo-tootachkeest-CHKREN-ko, ya ol-chka.
1 [caption]: {subtitle} That's the idea. I've been looking forward to killing you for a long time.
2 Han: Yes, I'll bet you have.
3 Greedo: {whipping out a walkie-talkie and speaking rapidly into it} Teetaka-puchno NAYOOCH-ka!
3 [caption]: {subtitle} I need backup, quick!
3 Han: {also pulling out a walkie-talkie} Help! A bounty hunter is threatening me!

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For anyone who isn't aware, Steven Spielberg digitally edited the 20th Anniversary Special Edition of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. One of the changes made was to remove all of the guns from the police officers near the end of the film, and replace them with walkie-talkies. This change has been looked upon unfavourably by some fans.

I originally wrote this strip as follows:

As you can see, I finished it in this format. Then when I was looking at it, I realised that the entire last panel was redundant. I didn't need to explain what was happening with the final caption, because anyone who would appreciate the joke would already know about Spielberg's edit. I didn't need to show a stormtrooper in the scene; that was a bad idea really, since stormtroopers don't show up in the movie until after Han has gone, and wouldn't be likely to play police in a dispute between Han and Greedo anyway. And the stormtrooper's line is just silly, written as an evocation of the stereotypical British bobby; all it does is serve to dilute the main joke with a bit of extra, unrelated silliness. Finally, it's better not to show what happens next, after Han and Greedo make their desperate quickdraws of their walkie-talkies, but to leave it up to the readers' imaginations.

So the last panel had to go. And I had to start making the entire strip over from scratch. I couldn't even reuse the scaled images, because they were scaled too small for the new version. But the good part is that I had an entire rubbish version of the strip that I could use to base an annotation on. :-)

I'm also pleased that I managed to keep a widescreen aspect ratio.

2015-12-18 Rerun commentary: Having since watched the remastered edition of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, I have to say that:

(a) The digital editing of guns into walkie talkies is pretty well done. At first I didn't even notice any changes had been made, and it was only after reminding myself that this change had indeed been made that I consciously noticed the walkie talkies at all.

(b) Honestly, it doesn't make much difference to the film. If it had been filmed that way to begin with, nobody would notice or care. It doesn't affect the story in any way.

I think sometimes people just like to get upset when stuff is changed, regardless of whether it makes any significant difference or not.

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Last Modified: Friday, 18 December 2015; 02:11:15 PST.
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