In an e-mail interview, [Mike J. Nichols] said he re-edited "The Phantom Menace" out of his love for "Star Wars." After the release of "The Phantom Menace," he said, "fans threw it in the trash like a new toy that became boring."
Lucasfilm has been supportive of such fan-created derivative works as the "Star Wars"-meets-"Cops" parody "Troops," but it views remakes of its own releases differently. "We always appreciate fans' enthusiasm and love of 'Star Wars,' but we can't allow them to duplicate and distribute our films for profit," said a spokeswoman.
Both [Joshua Griffin] of TheForce.net and [Bill Hunt] of TheDigitalBits.com noted this issue while complimenting Nichols's work. Other "Star Wars" fans have been far more critical, decrying the edited version as "an edit too far" and "artistic rape" in essays on TheForce.net.
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