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Star Wars Prequels Media Movies

Lucasfilm Explains Lack Of TPM DVD 180

DanteKy writes " has another article on the release of the VHS release of The Phantom Menace. Also, Lynne Hale, a spokeswoman for Lucasfilm 'explains' why there is no DVD just yet. The article also mentions that in some Asian locations, TPM will be released on VCD. I know it isn't DVD, but at least it is a start." I'm still waiting for Episodes IV, V and VI on DVD, as well. I'm beginning to wonder if we're going to have to wait until they're all finished before we see them at all.
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Lucasfilm Explains Lack Of TPM DVD

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Once something gets into the home market (even in a relatively small way), standards don't change, and the format lasts... and lasts... and lasts... :-| Look at history:

    - Laserdiscs. The only major changes made to this standard after the introduction of the first home laserdisc player in 1979 or so were to add dolby digital to the NTSC standard discs. These discs could still be played on players not "upgraded" to dolby digital, just in mono. CX noise reduction was also added. This didn't make a hill of beans of difference to older players. CLV and CAV were (my guess) supported by all home players. I know my 1985 Pioneer LDV-6000 does both. I still haven't rented anything that it won't play (although a few such discs probably do exist, but that's life).

    - Audiocasette. You can still buy them at the local CD store. Maybe not of old music without ordering, but they are still widely availiable. 8 tracks have disappeared, but they enjoyed a healthy couple of decades, and they didn't disappear until cassette players were cheap. And neither format changed to the point where new tapes wouldn't play on play on old players.

    - Records. They survived until 15 years or so after CD was released. That's at least 60 total selling years. And still, records are avaliable for a (dwindling) portion of music. All the changes (except speed) were backwards compatible, although a gramaphone needle will quickly wear out a stereo LP. And, (my guess, I'm no expert) I bet old gramaphones could be regeard and needles changed to play new LPs properly.

    - Videocassette. Yeah, a very few non BETA/VHS players made it into the home market. They didn't last long enough to matter at all, and the cost was always too much for casual interest. BETA and VHS were release at nearly the same time, so it was understandable that one format would die. Otherwise, buy a VHS tape today, and play it in an original RCA VHS VCR, and you'll be A-OK.

    - SVHS. Never really could buy anything from a store in this format so it doesn't count. Hi-8, DV, DAT, MiniDisc, Digital VHS [well you say it exists, I dunno] etc... fall into this category too. Sure you can record your own stuff, but that's your personal stuff. You probably won't lend it to your neighbour (and if you did I bet he won't be able to play it!).

    Did I miss anything? :-) If history repeats itself, any changes to DVD will not be welcomed by anyone. DVD is a set standard, and has fallen well below the casual interest cost. DVD has been around for enough years (5 or so) that it isn't possible for a VHS/BETA war now. If a new format is released, regular DVD will be availiable for a long time after. Probably about as long as Records were availiable while CDs were out.

    Just my opinion... :-)
  • Slashdot is used all the time to put pressure on hardware manufacturers (Matrox), software manufacturers (Be, Apple, Sun), content providers (RealNeworks and FOX), and just about anyone else that someone here thinks should support Linux.

    It's the same means to a different end, as far as I'm concerned.

    - A.P.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • How about a URL to one of these lists then?
  • First of all, you talk like all the moderation is done by Slashdot administration. The moderation system was designed so that the community itself is the one moderating. Don't blame Rob and all for moderation, blame your community :)

    In fact, most of the things you say are wrong with Slashdot can be blamed on the community simply in that they need to go make something better. Noone's forcing anyone to real Slahdot, and it's not as if it's the only webpage on the Internet.

    The community gives them their power, and if the community feels the power is misplaced, the power will leave them. Appearantly the community doesn't feel that the power is misplaced. I know I certainly don't. BTW, I agree that the DVD release is just to maximize profits, buy it's still something I and many other people find interesting. If nothing else, it's an example of a little social hacking.

    ~Chris Carlin

  • Often it seems that people loose sight of what Slashdot is.

    Slashdot is a webpage started by Rob Malda so he can talk about things he thught were interesting to the geek community. Since then he has selected other people to post, and Slashdot has gotten help with the money side of the whole thing. Even though all of this, though, it is still his page, and he has the right to post whatever he wants and allow anyone who wants to to post too.

    If this were the only source for news, then you would might have a reason to worry about biases and such, but it's not, you're not (directly) paying for it, and you have no reason to call them on ethics. They're not journalists, just people talking about what they find interesting.

    I for one think this story could be important as it might be a clue as to why others are taking a while to adopt DVD and other technologies. For example, if piracy turned out to be a large issue, then it would have been provoked discussion on piracy issues. Because piracy was not a large issue here, it was equally important because it showed just that.

    Chris Carlin, really late at night

  • I wish Lucas would see it in his heart to release the Star Wars Trilogy plus One on DVD...

    No extras

    Just the straight film

    He could then call it "Star Wars: Whiners Edition"

  • For one thing, people would by a VCD because they have a conscience and would like to own a legal copy. Secondly, VCD is a widely used format in many parts of the world, especially Asia. It's almost as mainstream as VHS, whereas DVD is still years away from catching on.
  • "George would love to do something special with the DVD release, but he won't do it until he has time to concentrate on it."

    Ah, so then the videotapes won't be anything special, they'll just be quick dumps of the movie to tape, right?

    Okay, so I'm not missing anything by skipping the videotape release and getting a pirate DVD of the movie, then.

  • The fans and film-buffs will go for the better VCD.

    I compared an official legal VCD on my system with a laserdisc of the exact same title, and there simply is no comparison in video quality, and Laserdisc has far better audio. Usually DVDs are better than their Laserdisc counterpart too.

    The only reason VCD can be considered at an advantage is its copiability.
  • RCA, Panasonic and such have Digital VHS decks NOW. They cost 1000$, but keep in mind that some analog VHS decks also go that high. The digital decks have firewire connections too. If you know anyone that gets Home Theater magazine, scan the index once in a while. Even Radioshack will let you order one.

    Ditital Beta has been around for a while I hear.
  • As with most technology, do you expect it to stay expensive?
  • It's already run on Slashdot that none of the movies would be released on DVD until ALL of them were out. Lucas said it after TPM came out. Then he's going to release all of them on DVD.

    Besides, I really don't care if I _ever_ see TPM on DVD. Jar Jar Binks was bad enough in the theatre. Like I really want to see him in my home.. :-/

  • The SUSE ad in the Slashdot banner says that the distro is out on DVD now. This raises a host of interesting questions and maybe opportunities.

    First of all, does this mean that there is no major licensing/royalty issue with the underlying format as long as the content is not encrypted?

    And does this also mean that we can stamp out our own DVDs commercially at reasonable cost if we have appropriate content, eg. maybe our own computer-generated films or reporting footage?

    Does anyone know what the cost of pressing and the minimum size of production run is for DVD? And which production facility did SUSE use?
  • It wasn't so much so that the pegans could say they were converted, but rather for the missionaries to claim that the "heathen" celebration was really a Christian celebration. The Christmas tree comes directly from the pegan tradition.

  • This will not happen for marketing reasons, but manufacturers could offer an inexpensive blue laser upgrade to players. I don't imagine a blue laser would play a red laser disc, so that would complicate things a bit (a need for dual or triple laser players), but most models are dual laser now, so I'd guess a blue laser upgrade could be offered quite profitably for $100-$150. I'd be willing to pay that for the immense increase in capacity/quality that would offer.
  • Maybe you should ask for your money back?

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews ( [])
  • What I wish for is that this thread DIE on here. I am tired of reading about this every week or so. Isn't there more important news going on? I'd rather read about Madonna at the Super Bowl than more whining about a stupid movie not coming out on DVD. Big whoop. Move on. There are more important things in life to worry about. Sheesh....
  • Not everyone devotes their lives to IRC and the pirating of everything in sight with their elite budz in #elitew4r3z or whatever. Many people actually pay for what they want. Perhaps it is a bit of a foreign concept, but it actually does happen.
  • I saw VCD on a trip to Hong Kong, and I'm puzzled as to why this format has had any success at all. IMHO, the image quality of VCD is considerably *worse* than VHS, with really bad compression artifacts and even perceived jerkiness. Worse, a lot of movies don't even fit onto one VCD - you have to change over in the middle of the movie.

    Aside from the convenience of slightly smaller media and no rewind, why would anybody use such a crappy format?

  • He got a copy of TPM and edited out Jar Jar where possible.
    I haven't seen it, but apparently the movie is *MUCH* improved. . .
  • It's an icon, a legend, an unreachable goal.

    Well, it was supposed to be all of those things, but instead it turned out to be the most diappointing movie of all time.

    Who cares about whether it was a crappy movie? That's hardly relevant - after all, by that same measuring stick, the original trilogy was just about as crappy!

    Hardly. Even the wost of the earlier films, Return of the Jedi, was many times better than TPM.

    Maybe, if it comes on cable some night, and I have nothing else to do, and my computer is broken, I'll watch it again, but until then I'll stick with the originals.

  • Using the subway denies others a seat

    What if there are plenty of unoccupied seats? Or what if the subway is cramped, and lots of people are standing? There is no difference in price between those standing and those sitting. And to the subway car, there is no difference between those paying and those who don't.

    Adobe doesn't _expect_ a home user to buy photoshop, so it doesn't factor into the equations.

    Um, the law expects people to pay for the services they receive when that service has a cost attached by the service's provider. What Adobe expects doesn't enter into it.

    The storekeep paid for the food. You are stealing MONEY from the storekeep.

    As I said: Food which is to be destroyed anyway is a loss for the storekeep, whether someone steals it or it ends up in the trash.

    If you don't agree with me, then why would you even suggest a GPL product (gimp)?

    Because the provider of Gimp does not charge for it, whereas the provider of Photoshop does. Which is their decision, not yours. If wou want to spend $0, you get something that costs $0.

    Read RMS comments on "piracy" and what it isn't before you talk about GPL software agian.

    I strongly disagree with RMS on a lot of points. If he wants to sit in his ivory tower it's his choice, I choose not to.

    The leeches on the software industry are getting way desperate in their arguments - again.

  • What did Easter displace?

    Well, in addition to the pagan festivals for the winter solistice (the ever-green tree) (and the Roman Saturnalia (presents)) and spring (the bunny), they "replaced" the old Jewish holidays Hanukkah and Pesach.

    Christianity is/was like Microsoft - it adopts and alters instead of inventing, then seeks to become dominant through any means necessary... :-)

  • i pay for stuff, when its worth it. i can justify software pirating. i wouldnt pay for photoshop, so adobe loses no cash.

    You don't pay for it, but you still use it? That's being a leech. Do you also not pay the fare on buses and subways, since they're going where you want anyway? Do you shop-lift food on the expiry day on the grounds they would be thrown away soon?

    If you don't want to pay for the benefit, you don't get the benefit. Use Gimp instead of Photoshop, since that's free.

  • White TV detector vans go by neighbourhoods occasionally to check if you are paying fees or not (I s**t you
    not, my privacy loving American. In the UK you are VanEcked all the time). IIRC, you also need to get
    extra licenses (at a reduced fee) for extra televisions. No wonder I never saw more than one TV in any
    house in England, and no wonder the Pizza dishes started there first (Sky TV).

    Not quite right. The TV Licence covers an address, and all TVs under the household are covered by the licence (unless it's a flat/apartment/hall/commercial operation, obviously). And you have to pay even if you only use a satellite dish.

    If you do get an old VCR without a tuner, prepare for a few visits from the TV Licencing mob; they can't believe that people can live without TV 8-).

    Oh, and the Licence also pays for the BBC Radio network.

  • Ahh... no matter how much we hate moderation around here, i need to preface this with this:

    I hate the slashdot mentality.

    Just because you can get something for free doesn't mean that's what you should do. You trully just don't care about quality if a VHS copy made from even a Hi-8 deck in the theatre is a comparable experience to the theatre, a DVD or even a VHS version.

    Just like x86's better than Alpha or Power PC, or IDE's better than SCSI, or anything else... It's the lowest common denominator factor. Yes it's cheaper. But is it nearly as good? no! but you'll settle for it anyways, because of the percieved value of the dollar.... dollars come and go you know... no like star wars is spiritual... TPM was aweful in my opinion... but still.

    You're sick. That's the entire reason I disagree with opensource... NOt creating anything new, just reinventing the old for cheaper. Yay!

    Good night. I'm drunk... And I'll stop now. But moderators, do your jobs... i expect this to be a -1 flamebait or offtopic by the tiem i wake up....
  • There are two reasons that VCD is used in the far east, climate and politics.

    In the high humidity, high temperature climates of most asian countries (where air con is unheard of for most areas), tapes rot, the tape gets wrapped around damp video heads, and generally have zero longevity.

    VCD gets round most of these limitations. The political portion are the Chinese, who prefer VCD over VHS.

    There is a DVD player available in Hong Kong, that not only plays the usual DVD, VCD and CD, but will also play MP3 CD's, which is indicative of the far east's reverance for copyright issues.
  • Here's why I think Lucas isn't releasing a DVD yet... He can make more money this way. He's going for market saturation on the VHS front, then waiting until a critical mass of the market has a DVD player, then he can sell these poor saps a SECOND COPY OF THE FILM on the new format. He'll clearly get a lot more second buys than if he sold it on DVD right now. The man's knows how to make money... reminds me of a whiney geek up in Redmond. I'm going to buy stock in Lucasfilm while I bitch and moan about the lack of a DVD.
  • Actually, I read somewhere that it wasn't really his own money. The movie was paid for before production ever even began by the Pepsi/Pizza Hut/Taco Bell/KFC endorsements.

    He's not a great man. Delaying DVD releases is just plain evil

  • why must almost everything be hyped to the point

    of where it becomes stale ?
  • If they plan a VCD reliase in asia, there obviously not to worried about Piracy.....

    Ok, I hope this comes up in Meta-Moderation, because this is most definately NOT flamebait, it's completely true... since China (and maybe others, I'm not sure) doesn't usually bother to recognize international copyrights, movie piracy is a HUGE problem there. There are even "legitimate" businesses whose sole purpose is the piracy of VCDs. They get a copy, make a billion copies, and sell them, either on the streets or in stores, and nobody does anything about it. This comment (the one I'm replying to) should be moderated up to insightful, not down to flamebait. Unfortunately, I don't have any moderator points right now :-(

    "Software is like sex- the best is for free"
    -Linus Torvalds

  • And that includes Phantom Menace. I'd happily buy the trilogy on DVD. But if Lucasfilm wants my home video dollars, they'll just have to catch up with the 21st century.

  • Yesterday, my Karma went down by exactly 5 points, on 5 of my last 7 posts.

    I'm pretty sure someone just went in to my user info and blew all there mod points on me, for some reason.

    "Suble Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    If they plan a VCD reliase in asia, there obviously not to worried about Piracy.....

    "Suble Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • Well, if everyones so annoyed about it, why not make one yourself.

    Everything seems to be available:

    1. The encryption/decryption code for DVD's

    2. The raw video footage in digital format

    3. DVD writers

    So some enterprising soul could build one. Or is it more complicated than that?

  • ...the year of the gigantic non-events. Beginning with Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, leaving you with a big 'doh' feeling, going on with the millenium hype and panic, and subsequent non-event newyears eve and ohmigod, a few webpages with 19100 on them. How... exciting.

    Maybe we didnt see much of Darth Maul in TPM because he escaped from Hollywood and put lithium in the worlds watersupply (except the medias who seems to have found a supply of mineral water containing high amounts of uppers).
  • Number one, whomever moderated this post as a Troll doesn't understand the moderation system. HomerJ brings up a good point: many people here have complained about the substance of TPM, so why are people hopping mad about not being able to buy it on DVD?

    I accept Lucasfilm's position that they want to make the DVD releases "special" by enhancing them with additional work. However, I don't understand why Lucas would require more than a supervisory role to get the job done. Think about what items would be on a "default" TPM DVD:
    - the movie: only widescreen version, can't include a pan & scan version unless released as a dual-sided, dual-layer DVD based on the length of the movie, even without lots of extras
    - theatrical trailers: which we've already downloaded as Quicktime videos, but it would be nice to see them on a larger screen
    - cast & crew notes: which would be regurgitated from the immense amount of material already written about the movie
    - other features: Dolby Digital soundtrack, which would have to be downmixed from the Dolby Digital EX soundtrack (info here []), subtitles, alternate language soundtracks, perhaps.
    - packaging: simple DVD carrier

    What on this list would Lucas need to personally manage? Perhaps he would supervise a pan & scan mixing of the movie itself, but other than that, I don't see what the big deal is. If he wants to include more features than what I've listed, he could certainly create an enhanced version later; and by stating this upfront he probably wouldn't even impact the sales of the initial DVD significantly.

    I think the reason they're not releasing it on DVD initially is to ensure that they've milked this cash cow as efficiently as possible. Think about it: many of us who would purchase the DVD but not the VHS version of the movie will probably rent it at least once. And the more voracious of us would probably not hold out until 2005 to purchase a copy of the movies for our libraries, so they would probably buy the VHS version anyway (widescreen, collectors version with all the goodies, of course - certainly more than $20). So what they're really saying is that they have such huge sales projections in the home video market that the 3% of the market with DVD players is not important to them. And another item to consider is that a third- or fourth-generation of DVD might be on the market in 2005, perhaps Lucas thinks he can make a better product, hence more money, later.

    All of that being said, let me say that I enjoyed the overall story of the movie, the cinematics, and even some of the Jar-Jar slapstick. I would purchase the "default" DVD I decribed, perhaps for even more than the $20-$25 average price. However, I'm not going to lose sight of the fact that the major movie market is one that responds passively to its fan base (each individual either pays to see or own a copy of a movie or they don't, and the studios don't know any of us from Adam), and that fan feedback plays very little role in the process, except for those who participate in test screenings. The reason why many Slashdotters wants a DVD copy of the movie for their collections is due to its cultural significance, technical excellence, and Natalie Portman. ;)
  • The problem with this idea is that 'the DVD industry' hasn't made a linux DVD player. In fact, 'the DVD industry' hasn't made a Windows player either. Various software companies, like Xing, have made Windows players - write them and tell them that you want a linux DVD player.

    Writing a letter to Time Warner that you bought their latest DVD release and are using a tool they're against to view it isn't going to bring a DVD player to linux. Writing Xing and telling them that you can't spend $50 on their dvd player because you run Linux *is* a way.

    If you don't want to pay for a player then I'd say you can prepare for a long wait unless the patent issues are resolved, because there are 70-something patents involved in writing a DVD player (and I happen to know of a company that plans on releasing a non-free, but fairly priced player for Linux some time in the near future).
  • Wow, another geek who doesn't like Star Trek. And all this time, I thought I was the only one. It's nice to know I'm not alone. Thank you for brightening my evening AC.
  • According to the guy I sit next to at work(Who is more into Star Wars than any healthy person should be) They are going to bring out all Star Wars epsiods at one.

  • they can't believe that people can live without TV 8-).

    That's disturbingly true. A friend of mine who is a resolute TV hater got a 'visit' from the spooks a few years back. He was minding his own business reading a book (yeah, people still do that, don't ya know?) when he got a knock on the door. It turns out that the Detector Van had been patrolling the area and they were wondering why there weren't any RF signals (or whatever they use to detect) coming from his house.

    When he told them he didn't have a TV, the response was: "But how do you enjoy life?"

  • Yeah, if only they'd stop putting a gun to your head and making you read the articles...
  • I haven't seen the movie either, but I think the people who were disappointed in the movie are probably more vocal than those who enjoyed it. Also, cynicism is much more rampant now than it was when the first movie came out. I think some people just enjoy knocking something for the hell of it.

    From the way Lucas made and marketed the film, it appears his primary audience was adolescents. The knocks about Jar-Jar coming from 30-50 year old adults seems misplaced, at least to me. They seem almost offended that Lucas tried to make TPM an event for today's kids, almost forgetting that's exactly what he did for them 20 years ago.

  • You nailed it on the head with:

    Now if it were coming out on DVD with all sorts of bonuses and commentary and so on, i would happily fork over 15, 20, even 30 bucks for it, and so would alot of other /.ers and SW fans in general.

    Lucas is the master of hype. He is going to make sure that the release of the Star Wars saga on DVD is a spectacular event. I'm sure there will be content on there from even the first movie that no one has ever seen before. People will flock to the stores.

  • Abuse of the "power of Slashdot" are you mad? What about the abuse of our pockets by lucas film in making us buy the film at least twice!!!

    Shame on them!!!
  • It is quite significant. To quote the DVD FAQ.

    Any company making DVD products must license the patented technology from a Philips/Pioneer/Sony pool, a Hitachi/Matsushita/Mitsubishi/Time Warner/Toshiba/Victor pool, and from Thomson. Total royalties are about 6% (minimum $6) for a DVD-Video player, 6% (minimum $6) for a DVD-ROM drive, 5% (minimum $2) for a DVD decoder, and 10 cents for a DVD disc.

    An MPEG-2 patent license may also be required, from MPEG LA (Licensing Adminstrator). Cost is about $4 for a DVD player or decoder card and 4 cents for each DVD disc, although there seems to be disagreement on whether content producers owe royalties for discs. Contact MPEG LA for more info: .
  • If they'd Open Sourced TPM, then we could edit out all the scenes with Jar-Jar Binks! ;-)

  • From what I've seen of Lucas, especially during the pre-Ep1 hype, was that he's an amazing control freak. Sure, Star Wars is his creation entirely; he dreamed it all up. I can understand his pride in wanting to make sure it was done right.

    But, as seen on 60 Minutes, he personally supervised EVERY minute detail: every costume, every design element, all the way down to the individual sounds of the podracer engines. The 60 Minutes piece actually showed him in the sound editing room, listening to barely-indistinguishable engine sounds. "No, it should be more like 'brrrrrrummmm', not 'barrrrummm'," he was seen meticulously instructing some poor hapless flunky.

    Personally, I buy the "George wants to personally oversee the DVD" excuse. I imagine he's like that. He's going to wait until he's done micromanaging Episodes II & III before sitting in the DVD mastering lab, hectoring every tech in sight to make sure it measures up to his anal-retentive "vision".

  • Lucas did an interview on Entertainment Tonight where viewers could submit questions and the most popular/best ones got picked to be asked (hey, that sounds vaguely familiar). He said then that he would not release the videos on DVD until he had finished ALL the prequels. So, if we aren't all ready to lynch Lucas and if DVD hasn't grown obsolete by 2005 or 2006, maybe then we can buy them.


    "Futuaris nisi irrisus ridebis"
    --Carlton in Eric Idle's The Road to Mars

    "Futuaris nisi irrisus ridebis"

  • And if you want B5 in anamorphic widescreen on DVD, don't forget to sign the petition! []
    Paul Gillingwater

  • So go easy on Lucas, okay? He's only trying to make a buck.

    Funny, but true: Lucas is only trying to make some money. The article says that Lucas funded the entire production himself and received no studio money. Everyone who paints Lucas as a money-hungry greedy little bastard is a bit wrong-headed on this point. How would you like to create a movie with a budget of at least $100M out of your own pocket?

    Let's just say that I'd have to umpire a lot of Little League baseball games to make my bank account healthy again...

  • Supposedly the reason for no DVD version is that Lucas doesn't have the time to "DO" it?

    What has to be done, other than duplication?

    When I purchase a movie for home use, what I want is an exact copy of the same movie that was shown in theatres. The finished artwork.

    Why does the content depend on the media? Other than to try and boost the price?
  • *Applauds the bean-counters in their ivory towers*

    And so it continues... they will release the films in the cinema. It being a cult showing, everyone will go to see it, fan or not.
    The fans, film-buffs, and general public will buy the VHS when they release it.
    The fans and film-buffs will go for the better VCD.
    The fans will go for the DVD when they release the films one by one at the end of the I, II, III, IV, V, VI sequence.

    Remind anyone of the Vinyl/Compact Cassette/CD fiasco of the late seventies and early eighties??? Yay, I had three formats of Brothers in Arms!

    Me, I'll wait.
  • George is still working on each of the already released eps to "perfect" them.

    I hope that doesn't translate as "insert Jar Jar Binks into the storyline"

    some of us actually liked them the way they were. Am i the only one who thought that the "special editions" were... not so much bad, as a pointless exercise. The additions gave little either atmospherically or structurally, and weren't as far ahead technically from the current competition as star wars was back when it was first released.

    i say release them, fans want them for what they are. if lucas wants to do a super-duper-300-dvd set in 2005, let him. we'll probably buy that too.

  • it's the mpeg layer 2 compression format that you pay $$$ for.
  • Well it seems to me that it was marketed more toward even younger kids than the adolescents you are referring to and the overall "feel" of the picture suffered because of it.
  • Hmm. I see several holes in your logic.

    There's no way we'd be able to kill DVD's simply by us geeks boycotting DVD's. There's just too few of us. If us geeks/slashdotters were so influencial, most people would be using Linux, right?

    Supposing our boycotts/"cluelessness" did have a noticable effect, the industry would relax its iron grip on the technology. Problem solved! No more reason to boycott! Sales go back up again and everyone's happy.

    My boycotting DVD's is not an attempt to 'kill' the format. It's simply because the idea of my hard-earned greenbacks going to those who sue or otherwise harass open source developers turns my stomach.

  • >your forgetting the slashdot effect Now you aren't making any sense. We publicly posted RMS's "boycott amazon" message. Is amazon suffering (fiscally) because of that? No.
  • Yes, Star Wars is his baby. Yes, he has special plans for releasing it in digital form. No, those plans don't have anything to do with DVD.

    Anyone who has actually paid close attention to what he's doing with filming directly on digital media and what Lucasfilm has been doing in the area of increasing the quality of home video would have a good idea of where he's going.

    Imagine if you had blue (or even UV) lasers that could cram nine or even sixteen times as much data onto each layer of a DVD, and a dozen or more layers per side, so that you could have an HDTV quality picture with THX quality sound on a DVD-size disc. And you could probably even have multiple camera angles for each and every scene.

    I can't say that this is exactly what he has in mind, but he's exceptionally well plugged in to where digital media is going, and helping to drive a lot of the technology.

    He's got extremely high standards, and if he's going to release an audio/videophile version of his movies, you can be damn sure that it's not going to be a crappy DVD.
  • It will feature a special THX(TM) Anti-Gungan Feature that will allow you to eliminate Jar Jar entirely from Episode 1 each time you watch

    I'd pay for that! In a heartbeat..
  • Oh, please.

    Slashdot is a media outlet, and like all other media outlets, it doesn't owe you, the reader, crap. Nor does it owe the "Linux community," which has many, many other gathering places besides Slashdot thank you, anything.

    Media outlets try to get and keep the attention of an audience. If they can do this successfully they make money.

    I don't care too much about Star Wars, but apparently a lot of people here do. So it becomes a story, people read it and comment, and Slashdot gets eyeballs it sels to advertisers.

    If Slashdot posts crap no one cares about, readers will cease to visit and there goes your ad revenue and Rob Malda gets to stand on the unemployment line.

    The best way to send a message of disapproval is to stop coming, and start your own damn website. Hell, Slashdot will even give you the code.

    You're no different than all the fools here complaining that Lucas "owes" them a movie on DVD. The world owesyou nothing, and if all you do is complain, then nothing is al you'll ever get.


  • "Right now he's writing the script for 'Episode II,' then we go right into principal photography this summer in Australia. And after that, he'll be working on 'Episode III,' so it could be some time before he's able to devote the time needed to work on the DVD," Hale said.

    What's the big deal? Why does it take so much effort just to put out a DVD release?

    Is he afraid it will be pirated (which would be a silly reason not to release) or is he just trying to get people to buy two copies?
  • You can do bad quality VCDs, just as you can record with bad quality onto a VCR.

    Buy a real VCD sometime, yes, they're available. Done the right way, they surpass VHS played on high-end VCRs (I know, I own one).

  • It's the same in Sweden.

  • It would be easier for them to say that the entire trilogy is out and you have X number of days to buy it before they stop shipping it.

    Better to do the marketing all at once, saves money.
  • I worked in a video store last year, and the word leaking out from the distributor was that Lucasfilm had decided not to make any Star Wars DVDs until all the prequels are out of the way.

    The reasoning was that they could get a lot more money out of the consumers. What else did you expect?
  • The excuse:

    "George would love to do something special with the DVD release, but he won't do it until he has time to concentrate on it," said Lynne Hale, a spokeswoman for Lucasfilms Ltd. "Right now he's writing the script for 'Episode II,' then we go right into principal photography this summer in Australia. And after that, he'll be working on 'Episode III,' so it could be some time before he's able to devote the time needed to work on the DVD," Hale said.

    Bull-crap! Too much time to work on the DVD my ass. Does EVERYTHING have to be a gigantical special effect for this man!? I mean, sure, DVD stuff is really nifty, but it does NOT have to be produced with hard work by Lucas! Someone else can handle it. We just wanna see the frikkin movie on DVD for !@#$^& sake!

    And...feh...that's that, dammit.

  • >i pay for stuff, when its worth it. i can justify software pirating. i wouldnt pay for photoshop, so adobe loses no cash. its an old excuse, sure, but its the truth. Perhaps if you're using it you should send what you think its worth ... if not to Adobe, to a free software fund.
  • The real reason Lucas snubbed DVD is that DVD didn't use his precious THX standard and instead went to Dolby's new AC3 sound standard it helps if you know what you are talking about before you make stupid comments about it.

    thx is just a certification for high end audio gear saying that it can do timbre matching, it has real low distortion, and a slew of other stuff.

    the 3 digital formats at home right now are ac-3, and dts. another one in the theatre is sony sdds.

    please inform yourself before you speak loudly.
  • My understanding was they had made money but had chosen to re-invest it back into the company, which also happened to piss off quite a few shareholders. There was talk of this on CNNfn, I wasn't paying full attention at the time so I could be wrong. -BK
  • I love the idea and will do it for every movie I currently have and for any new ones I buy, a simple script'll do the trick nicely! -BK
  • You do have another option of course.

    No, we can't moderate writers, but what you can do is, if you don't like a story, simply don't reply to it.

    If certain writers consistently get no comment at all apart from the First Posters and stuff, then the message will be got.
  • Well, alternatively, they could release them all now, and then when the whole series is finished, put even more pointless CGI all over all the films, chuck in even more stupid songs that no-one will like, and release the Super Special Edition box-set, which all the Star Wars fans will obviously have to go and buy, cos it's, like, Star Wars.
  • Right on. Star Wars' popularity has nothing to do with the merits of the movie, but instead with the merits of the event. On a deeper note why is Star Wars an event?

    Because it means something to the geeks who write this now. It has meaning as a reminder of the memory of the original Star Wars movies. You remember the fantasies you created in your mind, the challenge of figuring all of Yoda's subtleties out, the amazement at the special effects, the simplicity of the story that allowed you to understand it, and the millions of pieces of merchandise that your parents bought for you.

    Why does this remembrance have such an influence on the geek community?

    Because fundamentally geeks are big kids. They live among other things to satisfy their curiosity, they can be so obsessed by their ideas that they lose track of their lives, they don't mind staying up till 1:30 to write of Slashdot. They live their lives balancing adult life and child desires, and when they can remember when life was without this stress they enjoy it greatly. And all to often obsess over it. Star Wars is no more of a cultural icon then Rocky Horror Picture Show, yet both have devout followings. For the same reasons.

    Is Star Wars valid for Slashdot? The answer lies in the basic identity of Slashdot, is it a cultural center on the internet, or a technical discussion board? If it is the first, it fits perfectly if only the second it should not have been posted here.


    P.S. TPM was not *that* bad, even with Jar Jar.
  • and with the release of audio DVD, ill own yet another copy of the white album
  • The real reason Lucas snubbed DVD is that DVD didn't use his precious THX standard and instead went to Dolby's new AC3 sound standard. He's had a hissy fit about that since day one of DVD. Lucas Films is currently one of the last (if not THE last) film companies to start producing DVD's. If this was just about the Star Wars movies and money making, then where's the Indiana Jones movies? After Last Crusade there were no more plans to make any why not release them?

    He's just being a baby about his sound standard now being obsolete.


    BTW: Wasn't THX just Dolby Pro Logic with Lucas's stamp of aproval on everything...including the smegging cables?
  • I remember seeing an interview with Lucas shortly after TPM came out. I distinctly remember him stating that we wouldn't see DVDs of the movies until after Episode 3 hit the market.

    George is still working on each of the already released eps to "perfect" them. Once all 6 movies are released, THEN he was going to release them on whatever the current standard for digital media would be at that time (so some time after Episode 3 hits the stores as a VHS release, 2006 or something like that...).

    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!
  • Well, it was supposed to be all of those things, but instead it turned out to be the most diappointing movie of all time.

    Who cares about whether it was a crappy movie? That's hardly relevant - after all, by that same measuring stick, the original trilogy was just about as crappy!

    Hardly. Even the wost of the earlier films, Return of the Jedi, was many times better than TPM.

    Wrong on two counts.

    (i) Return of the Jedi wasn't the weakest film, The Empire Strikes Back was the weakest. ROTJ rocks.

    (ii) The Phantom Menace didn't suck, Jar-Jar notwithstanding. In fact Jar-Jar wasn't even the most annoying thing in the film, it was the patronising arrogant boob version of Obi-Wan played by Ewan MacGregor.

    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • Hilarious! And miles better than the ASCII-mation version.

    Now go and do the *rest* of the film. I'm waiting...

    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • I've seen *worse* one-man shows in London. And the interpretation is everything. Better that you film it and put the MPEG on the net though. You'd get top billing on Slashdot!

    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • The Star Wars DVD saga is really bothering me, not because I keep reading about it but because Lucas doesn't see fit to release the freakin things on DVD. I think they would look really pretty if they were set up similar to Star Wars: Behind the Magic; good interface, some littles goodies that make it worthwhile, and a little bit of behind the scenes stuff. I would settle for the SEs released on DVD, they would make enough money for him to make four TPMs. I understand him wanting to make them look good but we've been waiting for years to get just the original trilogy on DVD.
  • quote:
    Here in UK you have to pay 100 Pounds Sterling annually to own a TV (as licensing fees)

    Is this for real???

    um, sigs should be heard and not seen?

  • I hate the slashdot mentality. Just because you can get something for free doesn't mean that's what you should do.

    There is a small but vocal minority on Slashdot who believe intellectual property is wrong, and that all forms of media should be freely copyable. I feel you are being unfair in generallizing their behavior to cover the entire Slashdot readership. I certainly agree with your assertion that no charge != better.

    Near as I can tell, most (not all) of these people are trying to justify their pirate copies of Quake II and The Matrix after the fact. I guess they must have a pretty guilty conscience, since they seem to need to keep justifying it, over and over and over again.

    The rest have a legitimate belief that IP is wrong. They are entitled to their opinion, but personally, I think their logic is flawed. In any event, they are not the ones who post comments like "Heh, heh, I've had it on CD since it came out. I'm so 1337!"

    but you'll settle for it anyways, because of the percieved value of the dollar.

    Well, in many cases, you have to look beyond just price or just performance to the price-performance ratio. True, brand XYZ may be twice as fast as brand ABC, but if XYZ costs three times as much, you are often better off buying two of ABC for less then one XYZ will cost. Not that this really has anything to do with pirate video. :)

    That's the entire reason I disagree with opensource... NOt creating anything new, just reinventing the old for cheaper.

    Hmmmm. Seems like an obvious troll, but since I'm already here: "reinventing the old for cheaper" is hardly what Open Source Software is about.
  • Yeah, he's rich, so he's cool for risking more money than the not-rich can.

    Ummm. Okay.

    If I have $5k, and risk $2k on something, does that make me as cool as Lucas? I mean, that's about the ratio. He just has a lot more to start with.

    And it's not like TPM could have failed, from a cash POV. It did fail, imho, as a decent SW movie, but he still made shitloads. Moronic SW fans watched back to back for 24h, to prove some stupid point, like that they could give Lucas a lot of money.

    So wow, he spent maybe a third of his own money on a sure investment, that makes him so cool.

    Wow! I just paid the phone bill, *out of my own pocket*, wow, I'm an investment genius.
  • In The Netherlands the license fee is about to be scrapped. In future public broadcasting will be paid for by the taxpayer directly. I suspect this is because according to the European Treaty on Civil and Political Rights (or something like that) there is a 'freedom to transmit and receive signals'.

    So a license fee is really a no-no. Also license fees for receivers smack just a bit too much like the licenses one required from the Nazi German occupier's government in 1940-1945.. Only Nazi sympathizers, who could be trusted not to listen to allied propaganda, were allowed to own radios..

    Ow BTW, the BBC also has a few digital channels in the UK, BBC Choice and BBC News 24 are two I can think of right now. On the competing side there's a national Channel 5, and I think Rupert Murdoch's BskyB and ITV are also in the digital TV game.. (digital TV != HDTV alas)

    Also the BBC's output has declined in quality ENORMOUSLY in recent years. Almost their entire output exists of Interior Decorating, Antiques Roadshow and Fly On The Wall Documentaries. No wonder people start wondering WTF they're paying for..
  • Nonsense- this whole "time" issue is ridiculous- Lucas had more than enough "time" to spend on tons of other promotional projects- and the DVD release need not even be done by Lucas himself, nor need it include tons fo extra media. They're just covering their asses, plain and simple.
  • Why would you boycott DVD's in the first place?

    The DVD industry obviously thinks that the people who use Linux are a bunch of pirates, because they're the ones that created DeCSS.

    What you should do is after buying a DVD -- and I'm dead serious about this -- is write a nice little letter to the movie company that released it saying something to the effect of...

    "Hello, my name is XXXX, and I'm a Linux user. As such, I have been unable to play DVDs on my computer system, so I have not purchased any DVDs until now. Now that DeCSS is released and in the general public, I can finally play DVD movies, and have purchased your movie "...". I plan on watching this on my Linux computer system using DeCSS. I understand your worries about DVD pirating, but you must realize that our intentions are to allow us to view your movies, and in effect to be your customers, to put food on your dinner table. I thank you for your concern with our movement, but feel it is misguided, and you do not realize our true intentions, creating something which the DVD industry has overlooked -- DVD players on "non-mainstream" operating systems. I thank you for your time, and for your movie."

    Do this for every movie you purchase. It's a protest, it's a public declaration that you're using a product they fear and wish to abolish, but at the same time, it's a letter telling them that you're supporting their product ONLY because someone filled the gap they created -- the lack of linux DVD players. It's definately worth a shot.
  • OK, so Lucas has an excuse -- but what about Straczynski? His CBS deal [] with Chris Carter is off, so maybe he can persuade WB to cut a deal for those anamorphic Dolby 5.1 DVD versions of the episodes of Babylon 5 we're still waiting for.... thanks for listening!
    Paul Gillingwater
  • I don't buy the idea that making a DVD version requires all that much time. It seems like he would want to focus on "Special Features" on the DVD.

    But who ever uses those things?

    If it came down to DVD titles being released simaltaneous with VHS and without special features or DVD with special features a few months (in this case YEARS) late, I would take a DVD w/o special features 90% of the time!

    I've NEVER looked at "cast & crew" info for my DVD movies, and only a few times have I seen the "making of" parts, and I still would have bought the DVD without those features. To me, a DVD means a movie that won't degrade over time with awesome picture and sound. Case in point: Saving Private Ryan, DTS edition. Every DVD should be made this way. Emphasis on quality, the menus are simply and well-desgined. If Lucas is going to spend his time making stupid animated menus, forget it.
  • Unless the DVD Control Association suddenly becomes clueful and opens up the technology, I have no intention of lining their pockets in any way by purchasing a DVD player. I just have a thing about buying things from people who sue open source developers ;) -V
  • The real reason Lucas snubbed DVD is that DVD didn't use his precious THX standard and instead went to Dolby's new AC3 sound standard.

    Nope. THX is not a digital audio format like AC-3, it's a process for certifying the presentation quality of movie sound, regardless of what format the sound is presented in. The 3 major surround sound formats in theatres today are Dolby Digital AC-3, DTS, and Sony SDDS. A theatre (or piece of home theatre equipment) using any of these formats can be THX certified, as long as it conforms to Lucasfilm's quality guidelines. So the decision to standardize DVD-Video sound on AC-3 in no way threatens Lucasfilm or THX. (Lots of high-end AC-3 home theatre components are, in fact, THX-certified.)

    -- Jason A. Lefkowitz

  • IHMO, the chances that any Star Wars episode will be delayed on DVD for five or so years are so slim as to be ludicrous. IT WON'T HAPPEN!

    Fox has and always had a long term plan to drip feed Star Wars releases and DVD is no different. Fans don't come into this except as the saps who are regularly milked to boost the revenues by the latest release.

    They have no intention of sitting on a gold mine. No, they will to build up demand by denying that the DVDs will appear anytime soon and then suddenly release them for a limited time so that purchasers frantically snap them up for fear "they'll be gone forever", to quote from a previous marketing campaign. Probably this will be tied in with Episode 2 in some way, such as appearing a few months beforehand to drum up interest in the new movie. Of course, they won't admit this was their original intention - when it happens they'll pretend they caved-in to demand from "the fans".

    Expect to see DVD releases in standard, collectors and special edition formats ad nauseum. The "standard" edition will the first - be a pricey DVD with near-zero extras followed by collector's editions with an even bigger pricetag later.

    Lucas might try to worm out from his earlier lies by saying the DVD format is now too mainstream to ignore, or that he's listened to the fans and has changed his mind. This is all bollocks of course.

    I might be completely wrong in all this, but if no DVD appears in five years, then I'll be happy to retract my opinions.

  • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Saturday January 08, 2000 @08:15PM (#1390095) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic...

    Boycotts just don't work like this.

    Do you really think you are lining their pockets? What fraction of the cost of the player do you think they are getting?

    I really don't think it is as high as 10$ a player, possibly as little as 1$ or lower. This is just guessing, but licencing costs for technology aren't as high as you think.

    The present version of DVD will be supersceded in a couple years anyhow, this is well known now that blue lasers can be made with good reliability. DVDs presently still use higher frequency red lasers AFAIK. Then there's digital VHS available NOW that can record HDTV bit for bit with no loss, the present DVD standard can't display at the higher resolutions without obvious artifacts, and the recordable DVD cant record any better.
  • by mochaone ( 59034 ) on Saturday January 08, 2000 @07:26PM (#1390096)
    There you have it. Now I hope you people stop whining and get off the man's back. He is not trying to milk you for an extra buck. The man is a billionaire. He doesn't need an extra buck. He fancies himself as an artist, and whether you agree with his assessment, Star Wars is his baby and he wants to show it in the best light possible. DVD allows for such creative license so let him exercise it.

    I hope we are through with these TPM DVD stories for a while.

  • by Nastard ( 124180 ) on Saturday January 08, 2000 @07:25PM (#1390097)
    Why release ep1 on vcd ? I've had ep1 on vcd(illegal) since about a week after it hit theatres, and its a damn good copy. i even copied it to VHS for a friend. So why the hell would i shell out 15-20 bucks on something ive had for free for months ?

    Any kid with a decent connection, some time, and a cd burner already has this or can get it if he/she/chooses.

    Now if it were coming out on DVD with all sorts of bonuses and commentary and so on, i would happily fork over 15, 20, even 30 bucks for it, and so would alot of other /.ers and SW fans in general.

    Lucas fucked up in '99 with Jar Jar
    Now he's topping himself in 2000
    by charging us for something we got for free 9 months ago

  • by Hrunting ( 2191 ) on Saturday January 08, 2000 @10:32PM (#1390098) Homepage
    Does this article really give us any more information about why the DVD isn't being released, or is it really just a load of horse poopoo?

    Personally, what does Lucas have to do with the Phantom Menace to release it on DVD? Does it need some fancy interface that he needs to be personally involved in? Does he have to do yet another cheesy interview with Leonard Maltin (yes, I realize that the videos may have needed something more humorous, but honestly, I can only laugh at the fakeness of the interviews for so long)? Does he need to add more footage to it (how so?). Does something need to be done to make it fully digital? Hell, it was already filmed digitally. They released digital copies in the theatres. You can push that straight to DVD. Slap some nice GUI on it that Lucas' companies have been producing for years in their games.

    Slashdotters are suckers if they think that Lucas doesn't have the time to devote to a DVD. He doesn't need to. And if, for some reason he has something really special in mind, well hell, release a regular DVD, and then release a Special Edition DVD a few years later when you get some free time. It worked once before, and I personally won't mind paying some more for it. I'm stupid like that. I'm a consumer.

    Lucas doesn't need time to make a DVD, and neither does LucasFilm. This article does nothing except give us another worthless quote and absolutely no answers at all.
  • by HomerJ ( 11142 ) on Saturday January 08, 2000 @07:21PM (#1390099)
    /* not flamebait, just an observation */

    When Episode 1 was released, the VAST majority of Slashdot thought it was a horrible movie. Everything from Jar Jar sucks, Anakin had a big melon head, Darth Maul didn't have enough screne time, etc. I've personally haven't watched it, so I don't have an opinion one way or another.

    So why the big deal about no DVD? If the majority of Slashdot didn't reall care for the movie, why go out in droves to buy a Slashdot-proclaimed bad movie? Is it JUST because it's Star Wars?

    I know if I went and saw a movie, ANY movie, and thought it was bad, I wouldn't run out and get it on DVD. Is it to play the "Jar Jar Drinking Game" at home? The one where everytime Jar jar is annoying you take a shot? I would think that most wouldn't really care, considering they wouldn't have bought it anyways. That is, unless they make a habit of buying moives they don't like.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 08, 2000 @07:30PM (#1390100)
    a hidden room deep within the labyrinth of lucasfilm...

    lucasfilm stooge #1: the star wars fans will continue to gain support in the marketing division...

    lucasfilm stooge #2: the marketing division will no longer be of any concern to us. i've just received word that mr. lucas has dissolved the department permanently. the last remnants of the old lucasfilm have been swept away!

    lucasfilm stooge #1: what?! that's impossible! how will lucas maintain a presence in retail outlets?

    lucasfilm stooge #2: mr. lucas himself now has direct control over the retail outlets. fear will keep the merchants in line. fear of this studio!

    lucasfilm stooge #1: and what of the open source pirates? if they've obtained illegal copies of tpm, it is possible, however unlikely that they may find a distributor... and exploit it!

    open source man: the copies you refer to will soon be back in our hands!

    homosexual lucasfilm stooge: any attack against this studio would be a useless gesture, no matter what illegal copies they've obtained! this studio is now the ultimate power in hollywood! i suggest we use it!

    open source man: don't be too proud of this merchandising terror you've constructed! the ability to addict children to film merchandising is insignificant next to the alluring power of natalie portman!

    homosexual lucasfilm stooge: don't try to frighten us with your lustful heterosexual ways, open source man! your sad devotion to that young actress has not helped you conjure up the illegal tpm copies, nor given you clairvoyance enough to find....

    open source man holds up a picture of natalie portman to the homosexual stooge.

    open source man: i find your lack of heterosexuality disturbing!

    lucasfilm stooge #2: enough of this! open source, release him! this bickering is pointless! now open source man will provide us with the pirate sites! we will then crush the hackers with one swift stroke!

    thank you.

    the fat-time online serial []!! feel the power of this force!!
  • You don't understand.

    This is not just any movie. This is Star Wars, Episode I we're talking about here.

    It's an icon, a legend, an unreachable goal. It's the thing that's been on the minds of movie geeks everywhere since 1983. Who cares about whether it was a crappy movie? That's hardly relevant - after all, by that same measuring stick, the original trilogy was just about as crappy! That's not the issue at all! The issue is that Star Wars is a cultural icon. It's important. It's news for nerds; it's stuff that matters. It should be on DVD; we should be able to watch every scene from five different angles in a dozen different languages, whether we like it or not.

    (About me: I do not, at the present time, own a DVD player of any kind. I'm not a "real" Star Wars nut by any stretch of the definition. I rather enjoyed TPM - except for Jar Jar - and watched it twice. I just really like to rant.)
  • by Maul ( 83993 ) on Saturday January 08, 2000 @08:22PM (#1390102) Journal
    My 1337 inside sources, who know someone who has a brother whose best friend's brother works for Lucasfilms, has leaked this following exclusive information!

    George Lucas is working hard on Episode II: Jar Jar's Revenge. He's taking extra special care this time to make sure an otherwise cool movie would be ruined by one annoying computer generated character that he can sell toys of to little kids.

    In the mean time, Lucasfilms is working on the special DVD release to be released with Generation Pi DVD players. It will feature a special THX(TM) Anti-Gungan Feature that will allow you to eliminate Jar Jar entirely from Episode 1 each time you watch it on your Home DVD Generation Pi with DIVX Enhanced Features Player. To do this you have to insert a five dollar bill each time you watch the film, or else Jar Jar returns to annoy you.

    So go easy on Lucas, okay? He's only trying to make a buck.

    "You ever have that feeling where you're not sure if you're dreaming or awake?"

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.