George Lucas has made so many changes that Star Wars is the equivalent of Joan Rivers’ face.

People should be allowed to age gracefully. Plastic surgery ruins that. It takes perfectly decent-looking people and turns them into Heath Ledger’s Joker.

It starts with a little snip here, a little tuck there. But, just like drugs, a person gets hooked. Suddenly, the person’s mouth is way too long, they can’t blink, and any resemblance to the person they once were is gone. They don’t even look like a distant relative – more like something from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

This is what George has done to the original Star Wars trilogy. First a little cleaning, then an extra alien or two, you know, to make Tatooine look a little more populated. Then some of the dialogue had to be fixed. Then some more. And while we’re at it, might as well stick the emperor from Return of the Jedi into The Empire Strikes Back, even though he wasn’t cast at the time of the second film. Oh, and some more dialog changes, while we’ve got him in the studio. And hey, what about windows in the cloud city? Seems silly that they wouldn’t want to look at the clouds they’re hovering in, why didn’t we think of that before? And even though Han is a scalawag, it’s rather rude of him to shoot first and ask questions later – even though that’s his character throughout the series. We need to fix that. And the latest? Darth Vader now says “no!” before throwing the Emperor off the bridge, because we really didn’t understand that he had a change of heart. Us audience members are stupid like that.

I actually have the DVD special editions of the first trilogy (you know, the ones made before episode one). They have the original untouched films as bonuses. They’re the only versions that I watch. No, Lucas didn’t really care about them. They’re not cleaned up very much, and he didn’t remaster the audio, and they don’t look as nice as the Frankensteinian new versions on BluRay, but they’ve aged gracefully, and they’re still more fun, wrinkles and all.

To age gracefully is to let go. To move on. To realize that there are other horizons in life to attain and experience. The Joans of this world are trying to relive the past, the Georges, trying to rewrite it. These days, Star Wars and plastic surgery seem to have quite a bit in common.

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