Star Wars Blu-ray (out today) upsets diehard fans

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in “Star Wars.”

Lucasfilm Ltd.
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in "Star Wars."
Lucasfilm Ltd.

(CBS) - There's a disturbance in the force. Oh, that's just the Blu-ray release of "Star Wars."

"Star Wars: The Complete Saga" on Blu-ray was released today to a sea of groans from unhappy fans and critics.

For those of you who don't know, the Star Wars expanded universe has strict rules for continuity. Anyone who writes a book, or creates a video game or cartoon has to abide by these rules. Any changes made to the original story rubs diehard fans the wrong way. We're guessing that's why so many are up in arms over changes in the Blu-ray release of "Star Wars," especially since those changes come from George Lucas himself.

Star Wars: The Complete Saga released on September 16, 2011
Lucasfilm Ltd.

"Nooo," that wasn't the sound of Darth Vader's new scream when saving Luke in "Return of the Jedi," that was the sound of fans reacting to the addition of "Nooo" to that scene. Fan feel like the complexities of Darth Vader's character just got killed in the third act.

Other changes include inserting a scene in "A New Hope," where R2-D2 hides behind digitally rendered rocks, Obi-Wan Kenobi's altered dragon call also in "A New Hope" and blinking Ewoks in "Return of the Jedi."

This isn't the first time the films have been changed with an update. The 1997 and 2004 were also met with resistance. It's hard to blame fans who've been devoted for over 30 years.

The original "Star Wars" was released in May 25, 1977 and has had a strong fan base ever since. The film wasn't referred to as "A New Hope" until the release of "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace," FYI.

In a review for Wired, filmmaker Jamie Benning points out what's on the minds of many fans: "What's happening here is that the prequels are contaminating the original trilogy when ironically it should be the other way round." He's got a point. The original films are what built the foundation. Why is Lucas chipping away at it? 

Let's be clear, though, a Blu-ray update of "Star Wars" is a great thing. Anything added to the expanded universe is welcome, but changing something as iconic as the original Star Wars trilogy is a tough pill to swallow.

Some may argue that it's Lucas' creation and he can do whatever he wants with it. Valid argument, it is indeed.

Ultimately, the alterations probably won't stop fans from purchasing "Star Wars" on Blu-ray. Even with all of the unwelcome additions, there is no denying the appeal of the updates and documentaries included in the set.

Final verdict: Who are we kidding? George Lucas is going to get our money. 'Nuff said.