Star Wars 35th Anniversary: 35 Changes from 1977 to 2012


ALTOn May 25, 1977, director George Lucas changed pop culture forever. Star Wars was the ultimate hero’s journey and a fantasy sci-fi film like richer and more tangible than any seen before. It immediately hooked those who saw it, its diverse, colorful world primed for more adventures — which would eventually come, in the form of sequels, TV shows, comic books, novels and even Christmas Specials.

Since its release 35 years ago, fans of Lucas’ saga have been conflicted. They love Star Wars, but they’ve also seen their cherished franchise torn apart and reassembled time and time again. Lucas has become notorious for his insistence in changing Star Wars with each subsequent release, evolving the effects, tinkering with details and adding new footage to better suit his vision. That hasn’t gone over so well with the devotees — the war crime film The People vs. George Lucas is a clear indication — and three and a half decades later, there are more rants, tirades and scorned love letters associated with the Star Wars films than there are movies. Whatever you think about Lucas’ creative decisions (is it his right to do what he wants as the author of the movies? That is my stance!), there’s no question that the 35 years between the first release of Star Wars (oh wait, I’m sorry, A New Hope) and its modern incarnation has been a bumpy one.

For your historical pleasure, here are 35 changes we’ve seen to the original movie, from 1977 to 2012:

1. “A New Hope” added to title crawl (1981 Re-release)

2. CG Dewbacks added to the Stormtrooper Tatooine Search (1997 Re-release)


3. The Jawas Sandcrawler is given an upgrade in size. (1997 Re-release)

4. Aunt Beru’s line “Luke, tell uncle if he gets a translator, make sure it speaks Bocce!” changed to “Luke, tell your uncle if he gets a translator, make sure it speaks Bocce!” (Blu-ray)

5. Added CG rocks to hide R2-D2 (Blu-ray)


6. Obi-Wan’s “Krayt Dragon” noise. (Continually changed)

7. Obi-Wan’s home expanded through CG. (1997 Re-release)

8. Luke and Obi-Wan’s landspeeder ride into Mos Eisley enhanced, the city fleshed out. (1997 Re-release)

9. Ronto added to the bustling spaceport of Mos Eisley. (1997 Re-release)


10. Added shots of expanded Mos Eisley. (1997 Re-release)


11. Wolfman alien replaced with hookah smoking lizard alien! (1997 Re-release)


12. Greedo shoots first (Re-release), Han and Greedo shoot at the same time. (Blu-ray)

13. Added scene of Jabba the Hutt intimidating Han before the escape. (1997 Re-release)


14. Stormtroopers fire at the Millennium Falcon as it takes off. (1997 Re-release)


15. The Millennium Falcon flies away from Mos Eisley — at a new angle! (1997 Re-release)