Leonardo da Vinci once said that art is never finished, only abandoned, and that's something Star Wars creator George Lucas was never quite able to do.
For decades, this cinematic legend couldn't leave his original trilogy alone, continuously adding in prequel-style visual effects, changing Return of the Jedi's musical numbers, and, most notoriously, tweaking the "Han shot first" scene from 1977's A New Hope.
George's habit was rare in comparison to how other directors and studio heads. But, then again, so was Star Wars.
However, in recent years, another fan-favorite franchise that also falls under the Disney umbrella has joined its ranks not only in revolutionizing the film industry but also tinkering with its projects after they've been released.
MARVEL MIMICS GEORGE LUCAS?
Months after Marvel's WandaVision's finale aired on Disney+, fans noticed changes to the episode's second post-credits scene involving Wanda Maximoff in that secluded, wooded cabin hearing the voices of her two children, Tommy and Billy.
While the events of the scene remain unchanged, Marvel Studios added additional trees to the landscape and around Wanda's cabin along with color alterations and a few minor adjustments.
That's not all. Marvel also updated the credits to note the use of Michael Giacchino's “Doctor Strange Theme" from 2016's Doctor Strange.
Most likely, these changes were made to better complement 2022's Doctor Strange and in the Multiverse of Madness in which Wanda Maximoff is also set to appear and therefore completely understandable.
Yet, the real question is what kind of precedent is Marvel setting by tinkering with an episode after it's been released? And, is Marvel Studios' now fluid definition of a "completed" project falling in step with that of George Lucas?
ARE POST-RELEASE CHANGES A BAD THING?
It's worth noting that just because George Lucas signed away his galaxy far, far away, that doesn't mean Lucasfilm hasn't kept up his tradition.
In "Chapter 12" of Season 2 of The Mandalorian, fans spotted a crew member in jeans and a t-shirt at the 18:54 mark when the episode streamed on Disney+. But, the error didn't last any longer than Greedo in Mos Eisley as Lucasfilm later re-edited the Disney+ episode to digitally remove the error. Sound familiar?
Streaming makes post-release changes from both Marvel and Lucasfilm not only possible but easy. And, from the perspective of Marvel Studios, why not employ the George Lucas technique when it benefits the aesthetic and the overall story?
The MCU is always going back to past films and adapting details and events for current and future stories. Is going back to an episode of WandaVision to adapt it for a future story all that different?
If streaming is rewriting the rules for how audiences consume content, why not the prior confines of what determines a "complete" episode or film? While few fans are likely to sing the praises of George Lucas' edits and additions, they did connect the various films and eras of Skywalker Saga. Ultimately, if it betters serves the MCU story at large, the apprentice could become the master regarding Marvel Studios.