Rights versus Integrity
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Jonathan Dresner - 9/10/2004
I don't know THX1138, so I really can't say.
And I'll grant you Star Wars, for that matter. I never thought Solo's actions were as morally ambiguous as all that: when faced with a situation in which someone wants to, and is clearly prepared to, kill you, 'fair fight' just doesn't apply. And the rest of the changes were just tinkering, playing with the new technology and the storyline. I don't see any great virtue in that.
Aeon J. Skoble - 9/10/2004
Say I give you that one -- what's Lucas' excuse in Star Wars, or in THX 1138?
Jonathan Dresner - 9/9/2004
There's a long tradition of works being revised to meet contemporary standards. Back in the days before intellectual property laws, in particular, this was not at all uncommon. Updating, sometimes in spectacularizing fashion, sometimes in the above-noted Bowdler tradition, is common to cultural properties.
The example of the Nancy Drew books, in particular, comes to mind.
In the case of Lucas and Spielberg, though there is a legitimate problem of age-appropriateness. I'm an advocate of waiting until children are emotionally and mentally ready before exposing them to something like ET (one rough measure that I think works remarkably well is that the viewer should not be significantly younger than the protagonist), but there are lots and lots and lots of people who do not think terribly clearly about these things. By removing the guns from ET he is arguably making it less scary, not to market it to children, but to protect those children who are already being inappropriately exposed to it.