These current defacements are just the beginning. Today, engineers with their computers can add color to black-and-white movies, change the soundtrack, speed up the pace, and add or subtract material to the philosophical tastes of the copyright holder. Tomorrow, more advanced technology will be able to replace actors with “fresher faces,” or alter dialogue and change the movement of the actor’s lips to match. It will soon be possible to create a new “original” negative with whatever changes or alterations the copyright holder of the moment desires. (...) In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be “replaced” by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten. - George Lucas, 1988. Yes, really.
The original Star Wars trilogy is considered to be one of the greatest film trilogies of all time, consisting of Star Wars (later known as A New Hope), The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but the later release of the prequels prompted George Lucas to make re-edited versions of the original three films, which resulted in a colossal amount of backlash from fans.
List of changes in Star Wars
"Han shot first"
"Han shot first" is a phrase referring to a controversial change made to a scene in the original Star Wars (1977), in which Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is confronted by the bounty hunter Greedo (Paul Blake) in the Mos Eisley cantina.
Han Solo and Greedo both independently work for Jabba the Hutt, a crime lord based on the desert planet of Tatooine. Before the events of the film, Jabba puts a bounty on Han, a smuggler for Jabba, after Han jettisons some cargo to avoid capture by an Imperial search party. In the Mos Eisley Cantina, Greedo corners Han and forces him at gunpoint to sit down in a booth. Solo tells Greedo that he has the money to compensate Jabba, but Greedo demands the money for himself. Han says he doesn't have the money at the moment, quietly readying his own blaster under the table. Greedo tells him that Jabba has run out of patience with Han and that Greedo has been "waiting for a long time for this", referring to Han's capture. Han replies, "Yes, I'll bet you have." The scene's conclusion varies depending on the version of the film.
In the original 1977 theatrical release, Han pulls out his blaster and shoots Greedo in the chest, killing him instantly. As Han leaves the booth, he tosses a coin to the bartender and says "Sorry about the mess."
However, in the 1997 Special Edition re-release, a few frames were inserted in which Greedo shoots first at Han and misses, before Han returns fire and kills Greedo.
When the Special Edition was released, the Star Wars fandom heavily criticized the revamped scene, considering it remove Han's moral ambiguity and diminish his plot arc by having him start out as a regular guy instead of a roguish anti-hero. Lucas' claim that the original scene made Han look like a "cold-blooded killer" led to additional criticism that Lucas had drifted so far that he no longer even understood his own characters.
Addition of CGI
Various scenes in the original trilogy were re-made using CGI, or CGI simply used to add more background clutter to scenes. A substantial amount of these re-made scenes were heavily criticized by Star Wars fans; most notably the scene where Han Solo meets Jabba the Hutt at Mos Eisley Spaceport (especially the 1997 Special Edition version) in "A New Hope", and the entire "Jedi Rocks" musical sequence at Jabba's Palace in "Return of the Jedi".
In some cases, actors from the prequels were inserted in place of the originals. When Boba Fett speaks in the 2004 DVD re-release, he is voiced by Temuera Morrison (who played Jango Fett in Episode II: Attack of the Clones) instead of the late Jason Wingreen, and when Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader's Force Ghost appears to Luke at the end of Return of the Jedi, it is shown as a prequel-age Hayden Christensen rather than an older man (played by the late Sebastian Shaw).
In the 2011 Blu-Ray release of Return of the Jedi, a "Nooooo!" was added from Vader as the Emperor is killing Luke, supposedly meant to parallel his infamously stupid reaction to being told Padme was dead in Revenge of the Sith. This did not exactly please fans.