George Lucas is not done tinkering with his science fiction space opera, after all. For the release of the “Star Wars” saga on Blu-ray, all traces of actor Billy Dee Williams have been wiped clean from “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” In his place is Bears head coach Lovie Smith, playing a character named Lovio Calsmithian.
“I wanted to update these classic films for the 2011 audience,” said Lucas. “While Billy Dee Williams was a respected actor in 1980, no one knows who is he today. So I had the CGI guys brush him out. I then asked my producers, ‘Who has the gravitas to replace him?’ The answer was unanimous: Lovie Smith. I don’t care that he isn’t an actor. I mean, did you see the “Stars Wars” prequels? Acting ability isn’t really a pre-requisite anymore.”
Like the character he is replacing, Lovio Calsmithian joins the Rebel Alliance after his friend Han Solo gets frozen in carbonite. Some of Billy Dee Williams’ famous lines have been altered to suit Lovie Smith’s monotonous and humdrum demeanor, including:
“The first quarter is over. I am pleased with our progress against the Empire but we still have three more quarters left to revolt.”
“Ackbar is our admiral.”
“I thought Han was in control of the Falcon…he managed it well. He did what rogue smugglers are supposed to do.”
Look for further changes in the re-re-release of “Star Wars” in 2012. Bears wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher will appear as an Ewok and Cubs’ President Crane Kenney will play the role of evil Emperor Palpatine.