George Lucas has been tweaking the original Star Wars saga for so long now that it almost doesn’t make sense to complain anymore. At this late date, the tweaks have generally become so minor and unimportant (Oooo, now we’ll be bored by a digital Yoda in The Phantom Menace!) that the aging Star Wars fan almost feels the need to defend Lucas’ eternal tinkering: “Hey, so long as Lucas still lets us have our beloved original theatrical versions, with Han shooting first and John Motherfreaking Dykstra in the house, who cares if he turns the Max Rebo band from a badass space-jazz doo-wop band into an obnoxious late-90s swing-rock collective?”
And yet, there is something horrifically familiar about the decision — much-discussed on the Internet and officially confirmed by EW — to make Darth Vader squeal “Noooo!” during the climax of Return of the Jedi on the film’s new Blu-Ray edition. First, because it makes one of the few subtle moments in Jedi feel just as hackneyed and forced as everything else in that Ewok-plagued film. Second, because now we know that George Lucas will not rest until every member of the Skywalker family screams like a girl. And third, because this new “Noooo!” is a slap-in-the-face reminder of the infamous “Nooo!” that ended Revenge of the Sith, the precise moment when Darth Vader stopped being one of the great villains in cinema history and started being a punchline.
EW confirmed the change with a representative for Lucasfilm, who said: “‘No!’ has been added to the Blu-ray.” Although the YouTube video clip embedded below has not been officially confirmed by EW to be the revised scene in question, the video has been used by The New York Times and other news organizations and claims to be the revised video clip. (The same YouTube user has also posted videos in which an Ewok appears to blink thanks to newly-added digital effects, and a video in which Obi-Wan Kenobi’s fake dragon-call has been given a Phil Spector-esque reverb.)