After 'Star Wars' became a big hit, George Lucas demanded 5 minutes be put back in 'American Graffiti'
If you're a "Star Wars" fan you know that over the decades George Lucas as altered all the movies from the sage with enhancements, including new computer-generated special effects in the original trilogy.
But in a conversation with Stephen Colbert at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, Lucas told a sold-out crowd that he actually went back and updated the previous films he made before "Star Wars" as well.
Lucas' first two feature films, the experimental sci-fi cult hit "THX 1138" and successful comedy "American Graffiti," were released in the early '70s and both studios that released them took out five minutes of the films, to Lucas' displeasure.
So when "Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope" became a box-office sensation, Lucas went back to have the films corrected.
"After 'Star Wars,' I went back to Warner Bros. and Universal and said, 'You put that five minutes back in,'" Lucas told Colbert. "They redid it and put it back in, and it was the way I wanted it to be. Now the only versions that are out there are the ones that are fixed ... the way I wanted them to be in the first place."
"I wanted to have sequel rights, not because I thought ["Empire Strikes Back"] was going to be successful, I thought it would be unsuccessful, but I wanted to finance my own movies so I'm the only one who controls them."
That is not only why Lucas could go back and enhance the "Star Wars" films decades later to his liking when the technology evolved but, as he said at the chat, "That's how I got rich."
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