Well chaps, it’s been far too long since last we spoke. We have a trove of comic tales gathered over the many months and will be publishing them on a regular basis from now on! Our daytime gig at the Nexus paper is up for the summer and *gasp* perhaps for good. Don’t fret though – we have a new sugar daddy: the venerable Daily Blitz. A daily web mag/blog/thingy of some repute, ill or otherwise. A new NSP comic will be their Saturday feature every Saturday without fail from now until our cruel new masters send us to the dilithium mines. One day Holograms shall be free!

… to pursue singing operas and writing puerile plays and fuck I hate Star Trek Voyager.


I Got Beef (The Hova and Nas union changes nothing)


I would like to take this opportunity, now that we’re back and updating again after an extended bought of laziness, to discuss a matter entirely unrelated to the comic, or anything of real importance for that matter: Star Wars. Specifically, the recent announcements concerning the release of the original *unaltered* trilogy on DVD this coming September. To understand where I’m coming from, it would be good to give you a primer on who I am.

I’m what you might call an “Old School” Star Wars fan. I’ve been hip to the series since my earliest days, aware of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker even before I would come to know Big Bird or Oscar the grouch. There was a long period of my life where I was a walking encyclopedia of Star Wars knowledge and trivia. I could tell you the name, race and home planet of any given alien in the cantina. I could tell you how many turbo laser batteries were standard on a Victory class Star Destroyer. In Short, Star Wars was my life.

Then, something happened. George Lucas lost his mind. One day he just started doing crazy things, like adding scenes and changing things in the Original Trilogy (Hereafter referred to as the OT). At first, my Star Wars mania was such that I could not allow my brain to process the notion that George was capable of error. So it was that I fooled myself into thinking that the changes to the OT that he made for “The Special Editions” (hereafter referred to as the SE’s) were bearable. However, as the years ticked away, I began to lose faith. More and more, the books I read fell flat, the rumors I heard left me uninspired, and the more I watched the SE’s, the more I realized that George had lost his artistic direction.

George, however, loves him the SE’s sumthin’ fierce. For years he’s categorically denied that the original prints even existed anymore, and swore blind that he would never, ever, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die, release the OT again. Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that George is a compulsive liar. Here comes the OT! And there was much rejoicing… for a little while. Then, information began to surface. Troubling information. Information that lead to the inescapable conclusion that George Lucas is, what leading experts in the field refer to as, an asshole.

Here’s the deal kids. George is releasing the OT in non-anamorphic widescreen, mastered from the laserdisc prints for the 1993 release of the trilogy on video. Can I get a “What the Shit?”. I have long contended that I would be more than happy with a bare bones release of the OT on DVD. No special features, nothing, just the movie. Some would argue I’m getting what I asked for. I say no. Honestly, if Lucas is finally going to bow to fan pressure and release the OT on DVD, he should, at the very least, present them in anamorphic widescreen. The reality is that Anamorphic enhancement is the industry standard for the presentation of widescreen films on DVD. This isn’t some kind of alchemistic process, it’s a standard practice on DVD and has been for years now. Lucas used to be so adamant about the presentation quality of his films that he created the THX certification process to ensure it. What the hell happened?

Hop onto the amazing Interweb and you’ll find all manner of excuses and official statements about why this release is being handled this way:

1) the original film negatives are gone, destroyed as part of the process of creating the 1997 special edition versions.

Sadly, this is true. Seems like an entirely bonehead move if you ask me, but no one did at the time. Still, the original negatives aren’t the only way to transfer the films. What about the interpositive prints? What about the separation masters? There’s a lot of high quality release prints available. Seems to me this excuse is a crock. Moving on.

2) There are just no quality film elements remaining anywhere that could be used.

RIIGGGHTTT. I believe that. No, truly I do! Look at this face, this is the face of sincerity! Even if Georgie boy destroyed all of the original negatives, it’s practically impossible, not to mention horrendously unlikely, that he also destroyed all of the interpositives, the separation masters, and all of the release prints. The fact is, we know this is bullshit. The anamorphic footage of the 1977 opening crawl from A New Hope from the Empire of Dreams documentary, where did that come from if not from surviving film elements? However, for the sake of arguement lets just say that George, on a mad impulse, stormed the Lucasfilm Archives and obliterated every scrap of the original negatives and all of the components thereof… High quality die transfer release prints exist in a number of archives and private collectors. Any of these would be suitable for the creation of a high-definition transfer, certainly superior to the 1993 non-anamorphic laserdisc transfer. It’s not the best solution, but if we’re going to buy the bullshit that the Lucasfilm PR department are trying to feed us, it’s the best we can do.

3) The 1993 laserdisc masters are the best source material that can be found for use on DVD after exhaustive searches of the Lucasfilm Archives.

Re-fucking-diculous. Come on, If this were true, George would have fired his entire archival staff. Even if Lucasfilm’s vaults were so unbelievably incomplete, surely Lucasfilm could track down the elements where they exist elsewhere. Somehow I just find it hard to believe that the Lucasfilm archives are so poorly managed.

There are more excuses, but it’s just not worth covering them all, because they all amount to the same kind of bullshit PR spin. I think the most likely reasons for the way this is being handled are as follows:

1) George doesn’t believe anyone wants the OT. He’s truly convinced that no one really likes the OT more than his SEs. Despite the evidence to the contrary. So, he’s releasing them in the cheapest way possible. However, it’s also possible, and indeed likely considering what we know of Lucas, that he’s worried about bruising his ego, so the hope is that all those fans moaning for the OT won’t buy it in this form, giving George the legitimate excuse of “Well, we released them and no one bought them, so clearly no one wanted them”. Insidious!

2) Lucasfilm sees their last opportunity to milk the fans one more time before the 30th anniversary editions hit next year, and before HD-DVD and/or Blu-Ray take over the market place. So, a quick and dirty release now, which people will buy for fear of never getting them again, then next year we get our anamorphic restored OT print, followed in later years by their HD offerings.

Diabolical I tells ya.