Star Wars. Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars…how we love and hate thee; how we wish the prequel trilogy, though in some ways we still love it, had been better, so much better; how we wish we could change the past. And now, inevitably, 3D Star Wars, heading to screens near you in 2012. Are people going to be excited by this? Probably. Is it worthwhile? To be brutally honest, unlikely.
But let’s stick with the positives. George Lucas, for all his faults, has given the world a lot, and not just directly in film. He started Industrial Light and Magic, the dedicated effects group that worked on the original Star Wars, the computer division of which would eventually go on to form Pixar – something we should not forget and should be eternally grateful for.
But is the main draw of these planned re-releases simply the chance for fanatics to see the films all over again in cinemas? There is a slightly dubious trend emerging for re-releasing films that generally tends to reek horribly like a commercial cash-in; see Avatar: Special Edition and Back to the Future for recent evidence. Yes, there are arguments to be made for re-releasing classics – getting a new generation to see Star Wars is a positive thing in my book – but is that enough to warrant full cinematic releases? Probably not. Anyway, throwing all six films back on general release is going to bring in a bucket load of cash, naturally, and this is still a profits driven industry.
Star Wars 3D probably won’t make a huge impact, but it will certainly make a few dollars for those involved. Let’s hope that George Lucas’ genuine passion for advancing technology and special effects will benefit the project and ensure that this is far more than a shoddy retrofitting. If that turned out to be the case, the world may be drowned in a wave of fanboy tears, mine amongst them.