The “Star Wars” saga has always enjoyed the best of technology. From its beginning, George Lucas went above and beyond in search of the best way to bring his visions to life, and what a vision. Time was also a friend to the saga because with every new year, newer, more improved technology becomes available.
It was exciting when the films were released on VHS format and the fans were able to actually own their favorite movie. If you watched it later, when it was converted to Laserdisc, I am sure you felt the way I did – it was breathtaking. When DVD became popular, the fans also waited anxiously for the movies to be converted to this format. It was obvious that with each new technology, the original trilogy looked and felt more real. With the new trilogy, Lucas went all out, and we were treated to the best, most advanced digital technology. Though the storyline was criticized by many of the fandom, our eyes couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
Should Lucas have gone back and tweaked the previous movies to properly match his original vision and align themselves with the entire series? This was the cause of much debate amongst the fans, yet the movies still enjoyed great success. Personally, I found that when watched consecutively, the final work makes great sense (though I agree, the new series brings up a lot of questions, and at times doesn’t match the original series). But now, we have 3-D and Blu-ray and once again “Star Wars” is being re-mastered.
Five years ago, Lucas teased he was interested in converting the entire series into 3-D, saying he felt this was the direction movies would be going in the future. His feeling was correct — 3-D is extremely popular now. But it seems his plans hit a speed bump since the technology five years ago was not capable of creating the sound conversion he sought, as well as waiting until there were enough screens available to make Star Wars 3D a sizable event. So he waited and it appears because of “Avatar,” and James Cameron’s tenacious expansion of the third-dimension technology available, Lucas is now ready to make the 3-D transformation happen.
It is now being reported that Industrial Light & Magic is overseeing the 3-D conversion (which is being done by outside vendors, with close oversight by ILM) of all six films, starting with “The Phantom Menace.” Also, we are being assured they are committed to ensuring that the 3D conversion delivers results as good as a movie shot and authored in 3D. This has been the greatest complaint about converted movies, and surely the first concern from the fans of the series. Lucas’ visual effects supervisor John Knoll said, “We will take our time, applying everything we know both aesthetically and technically to bring audiences a fantastic new Star Wars experience.”
I believe it is safe to say, this conversion is in safe hands, and with no new scenes or special effect being added, the fans should breath a sigh of relief and simply hope to enjoy their films in a new, fun format.
With the “Phantom Menace” scheduled to be released in 3-D as soon as 2012, how do you feel about this 3-D conversion? Sound off in the comment section at right.
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