We have to stop and think that there was more than just "Star Wars: Episode VII" at stake behind the postponing of the 3D re-releases of the space franchise's prequels. The idea that iconic films from more than a decade ago can suddenly manifest into something greater in 3D has been one of the most misguided, ego-driven exercises in movie studio history. Any exception to that seems to be at Disney where they somehow managed to apply a magical 3D filter to the studio's 1990s and 2000s animated classics.
But it's much more difficult to shine up live action, particularly when said films are a product of a different special effects era. Even with "Star Wars Episode I -The Phantom Menace", the reviews of the 3D re-release last year were tepid at best and bordered on labeling the formatting pointless. Lucasfilm perhaps found out that no matter how cool the special effects or intriguing the plot, sometimes it just looks too obvious to stick a "Star Wars" film in 3D.
So what can be done to make 3D look less ostentatious? In the context of recent "Life of Pi" and other attempts at integrating 3D as atmosphere rather than special effects, it's possible a harsh lesson has been learned. Just two years ago, you could see stars in the eyes of numerous notable directors wondering how their past iconic films could possibly make a new fortune being reintegrated with 3D.
Some of us even feared Steven Spielberg re-releasing all of his classics in 3D down the road. Wisely, he reneged on that, despite so many others not yet adamantly throwing down the gauntlet. Outside of Martin Scorsese making 3D what it can potentially be in "Hugo", you have to imagine most fans wouldn't have ever wanted to see his wish of "Taxi Driver" or "Raging Bull" originally released with a third dimension.
It seems to be turning out that Real D technology is really meant for films of the near future and in limited supplies. Audience minds have too many decades of being acclimated to the 2D format to evolve this fast into watching every other movie in a more dimensional format. The same thing is perhaps going to happen to 48 frames-per-second, no matter that a minority adamantly support the technology going mainstream.
At this point, the best thing that could happen is the entire industry following suit with Lucasfilm and saying all future 3D re-releases are on hold, pending future study of Disney. And while Lucasfilm is at it, let's be grateful if the original trilogy is nixed as 3D re-releases. I've noted before that seeing the 1970s and '80s "Star Wars" films in 3D would easily expose too many of the era's special effect limitations without massive cover-ups.
The real question, though, is whether "Star Wars: Episode VII" will be filmed in 3D. If not, it's a hint of special effect films gravitating away from the format due to too much gimmickry. 3D now has to have a compelling rhyme and reason for existing rather than an excuse to have foreign objects in space or on earth hitting you between the eyes.
With so much emphasis on the mere excitement of the plot for "Episode VII", the "Star Wars" movies won't even need a single 3D element to remind everybody that intrigue of plot trumps how any film is viewed.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Star Wars
- special effects