And yes, that was a pun. Figure it out yourself.
Alas, the Star Wars franchise has jumped on the bandwagon and apparently the entire saga will be re-released in theaters in 3D. Boy did we not see that coming, with or without 3D glasses. Well of course we did. It’s a shame that we did, too. It’s a shame that we’ve discovered that Star Wars will become a part of everything when maybe it shouldn’t. I will go into detail why this 3D release is not a good idea but I’d first like to clarify a few things.
I love the original Star Wars trilogy. The original series was an epic plot with western themes and roaring action sequences shot into outer space. It also broke ground visually with its special effects that may look a bit dated now but not enough for them to be criticized. It was a film lover’s dream both for the audience and for George Lucas himself. Like most directors of successful series, maybe Lucas should have started on something else once Star Wars was done. When I was a kid, Phantom Menace came out. This was great. Not because of the film itself, but I friggen’ loved the podracing video game that came with it.
Truth be told, I had a shit taste in movies as a child (but who didn’t?). I loved Batman and Robin: Probably the worst superhero movie ever made (I can’t watch it anymore. I tried. I can’t do it). Even back when I was a kid and I first saw The Phantom Menace, with my terrible taste in movies, did I pick apart horrible moments. The scene in the seas with the scary big creature attacking the ship (forgive me, Star Wars fans, I can’t remember names or places all that well) could have been great, but instead a bigger fish comes and eats the creature. This was the first time I have ever been disappointed with a film. As you can see, my memory of this scene and the entire film is a bit vague but I haven’t watched it since. Can you blame me?
So Phantom Menace wasn’t good. It’s not like other proposed sequels/prequels where filmmakers and studios would have to give up after critical flops (well, considering this was a financial success, it’s not like those flop right? Sigh). Even if it was a financial flop, Lucas would have been able to have released the following two films anyways, so their arrival was inevitable. How? Because he’s George Lucas.
So Attack of the Clones came and although it can’t hold a candle next to the original trilogy, compared to The Phantom Menace, it wasn’t too bad. The final film came out and to be honest I kind of enjoyed it. I can’t stand Hayden Christensen and a lot of the dialogue was terrible (including the “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO” scene, which may be the best unintentional comic relief ever), but as a whole it was pretty well done. Still, it didn’t compare to the original trilogy. So, what happened? Lucas just didn’t want to let go of his biggest creation. In fact, he still can’t (I will not go into that Clone Wars show. I won’t, I wont, I wont…). You can buy Star Wars anything now, from hats to fridges to actual mini R2-D2s to condoms and etc. Star Wars is the KISS of the film industry. Unlike KISS, I can actually stand George Lucas. One area Lucas and his strive for money have done exceptionally well is in the video game department. As I said, I grew up with the podracer game and that wasn’t even the best Star Wars game (nor was it close, but dammit I still loved it). Ask anyone about the Knights of the Old Republic games and they can tell you how breathtaking these games are. In a nutshell, I have nothing against Star Wars as a whole. However, with that cleared, I still think the movies being released in 3D is a stupid idea.
Firstly, I have a huge peeve when it comes to 3D movies. Not as a whole, as they can be done exceptionally well. Instead, I really don’t think remaking older films into 3D films is a very good idea. Films that are meant to be in 3D like Avatar and Hugo are shot with the right equipment and the right shots. They use 3D in a way that the film and even the story truly benefit from it (and as we all know, Avatar needed all the help it could get in the story department). Films that weren’t made to be in 3D won’t benefit from 3D. Plain and simple. Adding 3D effects won’t add all that much. Even the “best” of the effects will seem shallow and pointless. 2D films made into 3D lack the visual depth and experience that true 3D films have. So we can’t take advantage of the newer trilogy, never mind the older and better trilogy (at least the newer trilogy had CGI which could be worked around). But okay. If we absolutely had to have Star Wars released in 3D, couldn’t it have just been the original trilogy?
Many of us weren’t fans of the first prequel, and I can guarantee that most of us prefer the original trilogy. I’ll get into how this is a good idea later but first let’s cover the bad, since I’m a cynical prick. The Phantom Menace being the worst film in the entire series as the very first film works chronologically but it won’t work financially. Especially with raised ticket prices to make up for the 3D aspect, it doesn’t seem likely that people will go out on a limb and see this. Of course many will, but maybe not as many as Lucas had hoped. The whole Disney 3D craze is happening as we speak too, but at least those were films we grew and cherished, so people will be curious to see them. The Phantom Menace? Probably not. The first film (as Lucas can’t stop calling A New Hope for some reason… None of us will call it that)? Sure. Hell, I’d go see it even if the 3D isn’t outstanding. Why? Because I have not seen that film on a full theater screen, and the majority of my generation haven’t either. It would be huge. Phantom Menace most of us saw. It’s a bit of a shame that Star Wars turned into a money vehicle, because George Lucas could have been even bigger as a filmmaker and maybe even better. It seems unlikely now, but imagine if he had tried. THX 1138 was pretty good and so was American Graffiti. The original Star Wars movie was when he had discovered how to truly make a film, so who knows what he could have made after the trilogy (or during, considering he didn’t direct the latter two films).
Instead he stuck the series that made him. He stuck to a series that created a new world and thus tired plots and flat characters came out. He stuck to a world where characters were mysterious and gave them explanations that turned them into bland. While some good ideas and characters did come out of the new trilogy (you can’t deny that General Grievous was awesome), many were failed attempts. After all of these harsh comments, I do have to admit that I don’t entirely blame George Lucas. This is the series that made his career. While there was still money behind everything, there is still a feeling I get that Lucas is just trying to make his best idea into a reality. He’s so attached to this saga because we are. Whether we buy all of the Star Wars merchandise or edit information on the Star Wars wikipedia, Lucas knows that the biggest fans will buy and research anything about his brainchild. As mediocre as the new trilogy is, it didn’t exactly kill the franchise right? Lucas is just doing what he loves. I still think releasing the films into 3D is a bad idea, but for some reason I can’t say it absolutely shouldn’t happen. There will still be delighted fans that forgive Lucas for the original trilogy and will even check these out just to relive their childhoods/teen years. In a sense, Star Wars is both a huge pseudo-corporation and our favorite childhood memory. It gets Lucas money and helps the majority of us live our youth, so why not?