There’s some hype going around about George Lucas planning to release 3D versions of the six Star Wars films in 3D. UK’s Telegraph reports that Lucas has already put a $10 million price tag on the conversion, and the article further cites a company in San Diego who says they can convert an older film into 3D in about 16 weeks.
Access Hollywood paints a less definitive picture. Lucas, when asked about Cameron’s success with Avatar, responded to Access saying “We’ve been looking for years and years and years of trying to take ‘Star Wars’ and put it in 3-D.” He further added, “[the] technology hasn’t been there. We’ve been struggling with it, but I think this will be a new impetus to make that happen.”
But do fans want to see yet another release of the original Star Wars trilogy? (Remember the trilogy was re-released to theaters in ’97?) And, would the last three films draw the same crowds they did for their premieres if they were re-released in 3D? Not an issue. The Star Wars fan-base could prosper even if some fans boycotted any future re-releases. Marketability, (and profitability) aren’t the problem here. Exploitation is.
The original Star Wars film from 1977 remains one of the finest cinematic works in history. There was nothing really hokey about “A New Hope,” or “Empire Strikes Back” for that matter. The ewoks hadn’t been introduced yet and Jar-Jar Binks was still light years away. Well, actually light years earlier.
And, the first three films were far from the sappy love scenes we find in Episode II, notably Annakin and Padme’s romantic interlude in an over-saturated Nabooian field that looks less like sci-fi and more like Strawberry Shortcake. Don’t touch those first three films!
Do we really want to see Star Wars in 3D? Yoda hopping around with his mini lightsaber was goofy enough. Jar-Jar in three dimensions would just be over-the-top. Although I have to say I would get a kick out of seeing Count Dooku flying around on his broom stick in 3D.
So what about Lord of the Rings? The Telegraph article (citing no references) indicates Peter Jackson is considering the same, and that the trilogy “is lined up” for the 3D retro-fitting. Please no. The Lord of the Rings trilogy holds up just as well as Star Wars, and only dips into hokiness in the third film as Samwise preaches about good and evil in the midst of Mount Doom. But just about every movie has its flaws.
Enough with the gimmicks already. Let’s just concentrate on making good films.