What Lucas is saying by replacing David Prowse with Hayden Christiansen at the end of “Return of the Jedi” is that the blue ghost’s appearance is a Jedi at his peak. Alec Guinness is in their as himself (and not Ewan McGregor) because he was at his peak when he fought Vader in “A New Hope” and Yoda is old because he was at his peak at his death.
But wait. Where is Qui-Gon’s blue ghost?
Qui-Gon died a violent death and was cremated.
Obi-Wan died a peaceful death and crossed over (the instant before Vader’s blade touched Obi’s cloak).
Yoda died a peaceful death and crossed over.
So Vader is the one who breaks all the rules…he gets redeemed by his son, dies at peace with himself, doesn’t disappear, get cremated and still crosses over. Unless of course, the only thing burning at the end of Jedi is Vader’s armor as Vader has already disappeared…
I guess you can say that cremation is just for proper disposal of the body. The returning to nature of the midichlorians within the Jedi.
So in essence that’s what a Jedi’s soul is…midichlorians. A peaceful death is being in touch with one’s midichlorians. Qui-Gon was dealt a mortal blow before he had a chance to focus and is therefore wiped from existence. But what about the fact that he lay dying for a good 10 minutes before Obi-Wan finally killed Maul and was able to coddle Qui-Gon. Was Qui-Gon’s death such a shock to himself? No I think it’s the mortal blow thing. If you don’t get a hold of your midichlorians before a mortal wound, you’re screwed (basically).
But wait…maybe there’s something else going on here. If you look back at the last seconds of the Qui-Gon/Darth Maul fight, you see Qui-Gon glaring at Maul. Could his mind have been clouded with hatred? It would probably be very difficult for a Jedi to cross over if he’s corrupted by the dark side, right?
But then there’s the undisputable fact that it is Qui-Gon’s voice calling out “Anakin, NO!” when Yoda is meditating in Attack of the Clones (Episode 2) after Anakin slaughters the sand-people…so he ended up in the force…but he’s not a blue ghost?
The ghost of Hayden was created during off-time in the Episode 3 shoot, which means the “new blue” Anakin appears the same as Anakin in Episode 3. Lucas probably didn’t think about the consequences of the change…well of course he thought about the ramifications because he was (once again) altering the original films and this whole thing is his vision. But it’s also curious to note that Luke probably has no clue what his father looked like when he was younger.
But I think history will prove that these changes were made for the better.*
My kids will see it in the proper order and will love them…but hate the originals because they won’t make sense (original unaltered I mean).
*Well of course history will prove the changes better, everyone will get all the bitching and moaning out of the way now. Especially since the original films are not available on DVD (which I truly believe will be the standalone format in the future, if not the near future). VHS will be resigned to museums of the 20th century as technological breakthroughs of their time while DVD’s come to the forefront.