I was watching one of the introductory lectures for the Comics & Graphics novels course that I’m taking ( https://class.coursera.org/comics-001/class ) and there was a very interesting discusison on the topic of what is the definitive edition of a comic book.
The lecturer made an interesting comparison with Shakespeare’s Hamlet which also appeared in several editions. Which of course made me think of Tolkien’s re-writing of sections of The Hobbit to fit better with The Lord of the Rings.
This lead me to thinking about George Lucas’ continual changing of small elements in his Star Wars movies. To fans great irritation. I’m not going to defend most of the changes as good changes, but I do think people should recognize it as a legitimate part of the storytelling process to modify and refine the existing work to meet a particular artistic vision.
And that lead me to thinking about Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movie trilogy which is in some ways an alternate vision and presentation of Tolkien’s original story.
It’s a weirdly modern notion that the story is the story and it should never change. It’s really only been about for the last century at most. For most of history stories are in constant fluctuation depending on who is telling or re-telling them.
Worrying about if this is the correct or true version, misses the point just like worrying about continuity usually misses the point. Because the point is the vision and the story, not the facts.
Perhaps if people were to approach adaptations with that mindset instead of worrying if it is faithful to the original… they might enjoy them a lot more.
Sits back and waits for all of the important points to be missed and people to start whining about Lucas raping their childhood…