Who doesn't love Star Wars? Towering giants of blockbuster cinema, the Original Trilogy revolutionised the entire industry and has gone on to define the childhoods of multiple generations. But beyond that, they're just great movies. Epic is scale and a hell of a lot of fun, few other films can compete on sheer entertainment factor. Heck, the franchise is so strong that everyone was able to look past the prequels and get unconditionally excited for everything Disney's offering up in the next few years. Yeah, everyone loves Star Wars
And yet most people haven't actually seen Star Wars. Well, at least not in its original, medium redefining form (and those who have probably haven't in decades). Since as early as 1980, George Lucas was tampering with his movies set in that galaxy far, far away, adding subtitles, swapping out lines of dialogue and coating his practical masterpieces with a good dose of CGI.
By far the biggest changes came in the 1997 Special Editions, which cleaned up the original prints, but also added in a bunch of new elements, intended to update the practical effects, but paradoxically only dating the films more so. Since then, in 2004 and 2011 (for the DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the films respectively) even more changes have been made, bad on both a conceptual and execution level.
Making new versions of a film isn't terrible in and of itself, but the fact that these newer takes have overriden the original versions (the theatrical cuts aren't widely available, and the most high-profile release of them since the widescreen VHS in the mid-nineties was an incredibly low quality print sold as a bonus feature) is a cinematic atrocity. It's now impossible to watch the Star Wars movies that caused snaking queues round cinemas the world over in 1977. Instead, we're forced to stomach films with some God-awful alterations (or source some poor pirate copy).
Now, everyone knows about the Han shot first controversy and the CGI gumbo of Jedi Rocks (let's not even get to Hayden Christensen's Force ghost), but that's not all - there's also countless minor changes that have been made to the films that are so pointless you probably never even realised they'd been made.