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‘Star Wars’ is in digital HD, and Lucas can have all my money

It only took 38 years, but now you can watch the “Star Wars” movies in HD the way people in a galaxy far, far away would have watched movies — without a barbaric disk.

Even though the “Star Wars” series has got to be the most remastered and re-released collection of classic goodness ever, Lucasfilm is still finding new ways to make fans drool and throw money away.

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Image courtesy of IMDb. “Star Wars” was released May 1977.

I am one such fan.

Some may say $90 for six HD movies that are 30 to 10 years old is a scam. Those people … are probably right.

The bundle doesn’t really add anything new. There are some new extras, sure, but they aren’t earth-shattering secrets and certainly aren’t worth your money. They are already all over the Internet — go look them up if you need to know.

And Disney, in an attempt to spread its evil and exact its cruel grip on the world of entertainment, didn’t release the original theatrical cuts. Blasphemy.

When “Star Wars” was originally remastered, new editing decisions were made and extra special effects were added, much to the dismay of fans of the original. For example, in this version, Han shoots after Greedo, when we all know that Han is supposed to shoot before Greedo, right? They thought we wouldn’t catch on.

In addition to the Han blunder, there are added CGI aliens just derping around the screen for no good reason, and not to mention the worst added effect of them all. This one is just terrible.

See, George Lucas felt that when R2D2 was hiding in that cave in “Episode IV,” he was too lonely. He needed a friend. Solution? A giant, pointless rock for R2 to hide behind. Way to go, rock. Now they’ll never see him.

With the timely release of this HD bundle before “The Force Awakens” later this year (coincidence?), it can be easy to forget “Star Wars'” humble beginnings. As much as we would like to think so, Lucas didn’t just wake up one morning and say “Two droids, a princess, jedi, blasters, lightsabers and Darth Vader! Eureka!”

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Image courtesy of IMDb. “The Hidden Fortress” was released in the US October 1960.

Any fan of Akira Kurosawa will know that his film, “The Hidden Fortress,” had a large influence on “Star Wars.” The film takes place in 16th century Japan, in the middle of a fictional civil war. The story is told through the eyes of two bickering and funny thieves (R2D2 and C-3PO) who get caught up in a fight between the Akisuki clan (Rebels) and the Yamana clan (Empire). They meet a wise and battle-hardened general Rokurota Makabe of the Akisuki clan (Obi-Wan), and are involved in a plot to rescue the Akizuki princess (Leia). But an enemy general and old foe of Makabe (Darth Vader) gets in the way.

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Does it sound familiar yet? There are gun fights, sword fights, similar scenes and even similar symbols for each side. There are more in-depth comparisons online.

“The Hidden Fortress” is also available now on iTunes in digital HD, for any hardcore “Star Wars” fans or film fans in general. Kurosawa’s other glorious and influential films are also available and begging to be watched.

Collegian A&E Writer Morgan Smith can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @MDSfilms.

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