George Lucas on Altering Movies, 1988

Lucasfilms hat die Änderungen an den Star Wars-Filmen, inklusive Darth Vaders „No! Nooo!“ am Ende von ROTJ, bestätigt (via Daniel), meine Vorbestellung der BluRay hatte ich ohnehin gestern morgen bereits gecancelt. Derweil hat /Film dieses Zitat von George Lucas aus den Archiven gekramt. Es stammt aus einer Rede von Lucas vor dem Amerikanischen Kongress am 3. März 1988, als die Diskussion um die Coloration von Schwarz/Weiß-Filmen bis in die Politik reichte.

People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians, and if the laws of the United States continue to condone this behavior, history will surely classify us as a barbaric society. The preservation of our cultural heritage may not seem to be as politically sensitive an issue as “when life begins” or “when it should be appropriately terminated,” but it is important because it goes to the heart of what sets mankind apart. Creative expression is at the core of our humanness. Art is a distinctly human endeavor. We must have respect for it if we are to have any respect for the human race.

These current defacements are just the beginning. Today, engineers with their computers can add color to black-and-white movies, change the soundtrack, speed up the pace, and add or subtract material to the philosophical tastes of the copyright holder. Tomorrow, more advanced technology will be able to replace actors with “fresher faces,” or alter dialogue and change the movement of the actor’s lips to match. It will soon be possible to create a new “original” negative with whatever changes or alterations the copyright holder of the moment desires. The copyright holders, so far, have not been completely diligent in preserving the original negatives of films they control. In order to reconstruct old negatives, many archivists have had to go to Eastern bloc countries where American films have been better preserved.

In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be “replaced” by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten.

George Lucas Speaks Out Against Altering Films in 1988