[wpvideo gJIjA6yk]

Here’s something about Star Wars that I’m torn about.

When the movie first opened in 1977, it only played in a limited set of theaters. Those theaters got the movie in either 4.2 surround sound1 or stereo, depending on what sort of sound setup the auditorium had. After a few weeks the movie opened in more theaters and a mono mix was made available to theaters that didn’t have stereo or surround systems. Lucas and his team thus had more time to work on the mono mix and they tweaked a few things, including dubbing in a new voice for Aunt Beru and adding sound effects and dialog here and there. (Much more about the audio versions at Save Star Wars.)

One of the added lines was of a Stormtrooper saying “close the blast doors” while chasing Han and Chewie through the Death Star. Han and Chew then dive through the closing blast doors, and the Stormtroopers say “open the blast doors! Open the blast doors!” This line was not present in the original surround and stereo mixes; it was added for the mono release and is now part of the “special” edition’s DVD and Blu-Ray releases.

The video above shows the sequence twice. First, using the original mix without the line, then second with the line added.

Purists tend to not like the “close the blast doors” line as it 1) doesn’t really sound like most of the other Stormtroopers’ voices and 2) makes the Stormtroopers look foolish. They’re supposed to be menacing foes but are never able to hit anything with their blasters and a whole Death Star of them are no match for space pirate, a princess, a farm boy, and a Wookie.

But I think the line is genuinely funny. So my question is, do you have a preference? Reply on Twitter (below) and let me know.

  1. 4.2 surround sound: the soundtrack was mixed to a front center channel, left and right channels, a single rear channel, and dual subwoofers.

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