As 2015 rapidly reaches its end, I’ve somehow found a few minutes of time to ring out the soon-to-be old year with a couple of thoughts.
First up and excuse the sentimentality: I want to thank all those out there who’ve read and enjoyed my books and have subsequently taken the time to either review them on Amazon or Goodreads or Library Thing or personally send me kind words regarding your experience.
Though I’m not arrogant enough to think all of my novels will or should be enjoyed by everyone out who gets their hands on them, words cannot express how grateful I am to hear from those who have enjoyed the material I’ve worked so hard on.
To all of you, there is much more coming and I appreciate your patience in waiting for the next book’s arrival.
The reality of writing is that it takes an awful long time to get each of my novels finished in a way I’m satisfied with. Trust me when I say I’m as eager to get them out as I’m sure many of you are to read them. The new books will come. Slowly but surely, they’ll come. And when they do, I guarantee they will be the very best works I’m capable of delivering.
The second and last thing I wanted to talk about before bowing out for the year (Don’t worry, I’ll be back to posting no later than January 3rd or 4th) is, of all things, Star Wars.
No, I have not broken down and gone to see The Force Awakens (If I catch the movie at all it will be when it reaches home video). What I’d like to talk about is the original 1977 Star Wars.
You know, the movie I’ve gone on and on (and on and on) talking about how when I originally saw it in 1977 I was the right age and a sci-fi fan and how I just couldn’t get into it and so on and so forth and how, to this day, I never became a Star Wars fan…
Well, draw a deep breath: I’d like to see the original film again.
No, not the “Special Edition” I saw a few years back when George Lucas tinkered with the movie and replaced/expanded many of its special effects along with adding the whole “Greedo shoots first” bit. I’m talking about seeing the original film I saw back in 1977.
While I remain, at best, ambivalent towards the whole Star Wars phenomena, I can’t deny the zeal (and box office success) resulting from the release of The Force Awakens. It is this zeal which has (ahem) awoken in me a desire to revisit the first Star Wars film and, to be very honest, give it another chance.
Thing is, I can’t.
Not legally, anyway.
Sure, I can see a smudged, poor sounding copy that was released to VHS tapes and, later laserdiscs before finally being put in as an add-on to the “Special Edition” releases, but let’s be honest here: The quality of those copies is horrendous.
So to repeat, the only way to see the 1977 version of the film in a print that looks and sounds as gorgeous as it did back in 1977 when it was originally released and without the many add-on special effects George Lucas inundated the film with…is to do so illegally:
The article’s heading tries to be too kind. To see a beautiful restored HD copy of the original 1977 Star Wars you have to go to a torrent site and download it. There you will find the work of a group of Star Wars fans who were eager to see the film they treasured in a sparkling clear format. To do this, they found multiple sources and cleaned up the various elements and ultimately recreated the film for this HD era.
According to the article above, their work is nothing short of breathtaking.
However, by making it available to others to download, they are engaging in -and causing those who download their copy of the film- into performing illegal acts. Though they make not one cent from their work, they are still releasing copyright material they have no rights to.
I suppose the one good thing which may come from their efforts is that Disney/Lucas may finally be forced to release a cleaned up HD copy of the movie on their own. That is, of course, unless George Lucas still refuses to allow its release.
George Lucas’ obvious disdain for the original 1977 version of Star Wars remains one of the great modern mysteries in the movie world. Given how successful his film was and is, whatever qualms I may have over the film obviously pale compared to Mr. Lucas’ views.
Which, in a very long winded way, brings us back to what I wrote about my own novels above. I absolutely don’t want to release any of my works unless I’m certain they’re “good enough” to be released. Perhaps Mr. Lucas is caught in a version of this, only his “rough draft” copy of the film was already released to great acclaim.
The Special Editions will always exist.
Why not give fans access to a pristine, cleaned up HD copy of the original, unaltered, original version?
Anyway, see you in 2016!
Have a great Holiday Season and a terrific New Years!