With all the tinkering George Lucas has done with his sextet of "Star Wars" films up to digital 3D, you have to wonder what else he's been conflicted on when it comes to making the films how he wanted. Out of many issues, you have to wonder if he wishes he'd made "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" first and built up to Episodes IV, V, and VI. One of the most complicated chronological problems in movie history was filming the last three episodes of "Star Wars" first in a time long before the age of special effects advancements.
It's a significant problem for classic sci-fi movies that relied on special effects back when the only thing filmmakers could use was studio ingenuity. Perhaps it's a just excuse to why Lucas perpetually tweaked the last three episodes to the point of them looking like a Hollywood plastic surgery junkie after an umpteenth chin tuck. Nobody can look at the more recent "Special Editions" of the last three "Star Wars" episodes and say they don't have all-too-obvious CGI touch-ups looking intrusive amid the more austere effects.
Those setting aside time to see all six "Star Wars" films may think the transition is done well enough in the characters. But it seems impossible to go from the special effects orgy of "Revenge of the Sith" into "A New Hope" without seeing a dramatic shift in presentation, regardless of CGI enhancements. This is one reason why the bridge between Episode III and IV will again be a big deal during the 3D re-releases.
This ultimately won't happen for a few more years, based on each "Star Wars" 3D movie being re-released annually. By then, 3D may be mostly relegated to classic fare reconfigured into an enhanced 3D experience. It's that enhanced 3D technology, though, that could make it easier to pick out the disparity between the 1977 "Star Wars" and "Revenge of the Sith" from 2005.
The recent Blu-ray release of the entire series still proves how wide the gap is from the '70s to the 21st century. While transfers of the original trilogy are extremely good, you can only do so much to the persona of the actors and general quality of the film without noticing its age. You don't even need to put on glasses or be a more astute viewer to notice them.
One example is the comparison of acting between Ewan McGregor and the late Sir Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi. McGregor does a good job of mimicking a Guinness voice, yet possesses a hipper acting persona compared to the old school approach Guinness used. The differences are quite apparent in the Episode III-IV transition.
It's the lack of digital sheen, however, that might be distracting when the latter trilogy is viewed in 3D. Viewers will literally be seeing through those films made before digital transfer meant anything and regular 35mm film meant everything. Even with CGI enhancements, flaws from 1977's "Star Wars" are sure to be noticed by those not even born yet, along with noticing the general aura of 1977.
Yes, no matter how hard the series tried, the time period in which it was made is still evident in the astute observation of styles. That may not bode well for other classic movies possibly getting 3D re-releases to climb on the bandwagon. 3D is simply going to add another layer of scrutiny to the "Star Wars" movies amid all the obsessive, scrutinizing layers they've already received.
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- George Lucas
- Star Wars