Thursday, March 3, 2011

George Lucas to tell them 3D-converting amateurs to get off his lawn: Star Wars 3D kicks-off with Phantom Menace in February 2012.

Rejoice or protest nerds! The Star Wars series is indeed returning to theaters post-converted to 3D starting on February 10th, 2012 with The Phantom Menace. After that, it's one movie a year, which will finish off in 2017 with Return of the Jedi, just in time for the 40th anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars: A New Hope. If you don't like it, don't buy a ticket. I'm looking forward to this if only to watch George Lucas show everyone how a real 3D-conversion is done. Back in 2002, he was the only one, with the arguable exception of Robert Rodriguez, who could shoot on HD-Video without it looking like a home movie. 3D is at that point now. Even the good 3D work (Drive Angry for example) still looks dark, muddy, and cheap befitting the non-film it was shot on. Point being, we're at that growth-spurt stage with 3D where everyone wants to do it, and some of them are even skilled at it, but you can still 'see the strings'.

It will be interesting to see what Rob Marshall can pull off with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which will be shot with a 3D Red camera, which is easily the best HD camera in existence. And for those who are sick of cheap post-conversion 3D, seeing a (theoretically) top-notch 3D conversion is going to make audiences that much-more unwilling to pay surcharges for rush-jobs. Point being, say what you will about Lucas as a director of actors, but the man doesn't do anything half-assed on the technical side. I'm personally dying to see what someone like George Lucas can do with a 3D conversion.

I tell this story a lot, but it bears repeating. Several months ago, I was with my three-year old daughter at a playground and there were some young (7-10 years old) kids playing Star Wars themed-games. A good time was obviously being had. Point being, I didn't hear any of them complaining about midi-chlorians, or about how Jar-Jar sucked, or whether or not Han shot first. And I certainly heard no conversations alleging that Lucas had raped even one of their respective childhoods. The prequels have their issues, but so do the original films when viewed from an objective distance (A New Hope is no better-acted than The Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones). But kids are still growing up today loving Star Wars just as much as we did back in our day. That's gotta count for something...

So, Star Wars is coming back to theaters next February. Find the biggest screen you can find and enjoy what should be a splendid piece of 3D conversion. Or don't... but no one is forcing you either way.

Scott Mendelson

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