Star Wars 3D – a new insult?

WHY IS it that whever I hear the words Star Wars in 3d, something like this happens in my head?

If you haven’t heard, George Lucas has said he has been so impressed with Avatar, he is seriously considering upgrading the Star Wars films using the same technology.

He said: “Well, we’ve been looking for years and years and years at trying to put Star Wars in 3D, but the technology hasn’t been there and we’ve been struggling. I think this will be a new impetus to see if we can’t make that happen.”

I mean, it should be awesome, right? It should be cool to get the Avatar technology pulsing through a galaxy far, far away? To make the scenes more vivid, more real?

I remember feeling that way in the late 1990s when the original trilogy was re-released with updated special effects. Once the thrill of seeing Star Wars on the big screen again had worn off, the additions were hit and miss at best.

Some of the extra background action was nice, and the space scenes, but young Anakin replacing old Anakin wasn’t and don’t get me started on a certain correllian smuggler and his after you Alfonse gun battle.

Those jarring moments felt like disinterested meddling by a film-maker who was second guessing his younger self and almost always coming up with the wrong decision. What’s more, his response to fan disapproval was to basically say fuck you.

I may be wrong, and if Lucas’s aim is to introduce the films to a new generation in a cool new way, then I wish him all the best. What’s more, I don’t believe the original films should be absolutely untouchable, as long as someone with a feel for the films and an acknowledgement of the wishes of the fans is making the changes and not taking the piss.

And as long as the changes are more than making things look like they are flying out of the screen. As long as they improve our experience as viewers.

But if, as I fear, the driving force is not the improved technology but the realisation that 3d sci-fi is a licence to print even more money or prep the ground for a new series of films, I wonder if the vision of the 1970s rebel will become even more distorted by the 2010 Emperor?

Even worse, will we see scenes like this leaping out of the screen at us?

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