Who Needs ‘Star Wars’ in 3-D?

By now, I’m sure that everyone has heard the news that George Lucas intends to convert all six of his ‘Star Wars’ movies to 3-D and re-release them to theaters one per year, staring in 2011. Is anyone actually excited for this? Certainly not me. I’m much more amused by this decidedly 2-D recreation of the original trilogy in paper animation. Seriously, check this out. (Embedded video has been fixed. Sorry about that.)

I think I made my feelings about George Lucas and his obsessive revisionism perfectly clear back when the ‘Star Wars’ series was announced for release on Blu-ray, but only in the craptastic “Special Edition” versions that plaster CG garbage over footage shot 20 years earlier.

George says he always intended his movies smothered in crappy CGI? Of course he did. He just didn’t have the technology to do that back in 1977. He says he always intended Greedo to shoot at Han Solo first (and miss wide despite sitting a foot away)? Of course he did. He just didn’t have the technology in 1977 to make the actor pretend to shoot first. That was beyond the ability of any filmmaker to do back then. He always intended a young actor play the ghost of Anakin Skywalker at the end of ‘Return of the Jedi’? Sure he did, but back in 1983 it wasn’t possible to cast actors younger than 60 to play ghosts. True story. Fortunately, our technology has caught up, and George can now CG Hayden Christensen’s face onto the scene.

So, now Lucas always intended the ‘Star Wars’ movies to be in 3-D? Of course he did. Next year, when he thinks of something else, he will have always intended that too.

At this point, I guess I’ve just come to accept that Lucas is going to keep tweaking and tinkering with these movies forever. They’re his movies to do what he wants. I just wish he’d have the decency to also restore the original unaltered versions and preserve them for history at the same time.

Anyway, singer Jeremy Messersmith is apparently not too fond of the idea of ‘Star Wars’ in 3-D either. For his song “Tatooine,” he’s created a three-minute condensed version of the original trilogy using 2-D paper animation (‘South Park’ style). Take a look at this:

The song is perhaps a little twee, but the video is pretty terrific. It plays just as well (maybe even better) with the sound off.

I especially like that there’s no stupid “Praxis ring” around the Death Star explosion.

[via Craftzine and Boing Boing]


  1. There are certainly some scenes that will benefit from 3D conversion. One of the fan edits I saw actually rendered a few scenes in anaglyph (sp?) 3D, and it was actaully pretty impressive. The chase scene in Attack of the Clones will be great in 3D, as will several scenes in the later series.

    At least, as far as 3D is concerned, we will still have the old 2D versions around. Unless Lucas decides to change something ELSE.

    In whole, if all he is doing is rendering the movies in 3D, heck yeah I will go to see it! Just as long as it gets an Alice In Wonderland quality 3D conversion (or better)instead of a Clash of the Titans style conversion.

    Just don’t think I will see a movie of his until 2012 though – I HATE The Phantom Menace!

    • Josh Zyber

      I’m fairly certain that there will be additional changes beyond just the 3-D conversion. For example, Lucas completed a new edit of Phantom Menace that replaced the puppet Yoda with CG a while back, but has yet to release it. I’m sure that change will be incorporated in the 3-D version.

      One of the important factors that made Alice in Wonderland convert to 3-D fairly well is that the movie was always planned to be 3-D. Burton had 3-D specialists on set to advise on the best ways to shoot scenes that would facilitate the 3-D conversion. (The same applies to Piranha 3D.) The Star Wars movies obviously won’t have that advantage.

      • You know, the CG Yoda never really bothered me. It was one of the few changes that actually looked good – as in, he looked very similar to the puppet, he just moved a bit smoother.

        My thing with changes is, I like how they did it on the Star Trek Blu-Rays, yes, you can do the nice CG effects, but give me the original version as well. At least with Star Trek, I feel most of the changes benefits the story, and actually haven’t watched the original effects AT ALL. That being said, I just like the idea that I CAN watch the original.

  2. Scott

    While I’m not a fan of the special editions or 3-D in general, I will say that I’m looking forward to at least seeing the original trilogy in theatres since I didn’t have the opportunity to do so when they were released. I think this will make a lot of younger Star Wars fans that weren’t around for the original release very happy.

    • motorheadache

      Don’t like people complaining about Star Wars in 3-D? Then don’t read articles about people complaining about Star Wars in 3-D.

  3. Rob

    I really hate the idea of having Star Wars in 3-D. 3-D should just die right now. Does anyone think that 3-D will still be around byt the time he releases Return of the Jedi?

    Unfortunately my son is a huge SW fan at age 5. So I will be there best seat in the house to see these movies. As much as I hate it, it will be the only way for him to experience these on the the big screen.

    • Each generation of Star Wars fans suffers more. My dad saw then when they came out the first time, and I had to wait for the special edition versions.

      On the plus side, my dad is awesome and called me in sick from school so we could go see ‘A New Hope’ when it hit theaters 🙂

  4. EM

    Josh, why don’t you tell us how you *really* feel?!? 🙂

    I have some conflicting feelings:

    1. “I like the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy” vs. “George Lucas keeps mucking up the original trilogy more and more with every new release”.

    2. “I appreciate well-done 3-D” vs. “How do I know this conversion would be done well?”

    3. “I am open to new editions of movies” vs. “I am usually disappointed by new editions of movies”.

    Likely my opinion won’t matter to George Lucas. Unlike my money, it hasn’t mattered to him yet.

  5. JeffR714

    Just release all 6 films on blu already these studios play two many games. He already knows there gonna sell (I’m buying them) Just get it done

  6. motorheadache

    Seriously, I’m really interested to see how this goes at the box office. I can’t imagine there are many people who will pay ticket prices to see the Phantom Menace again under any form, but you never know– sometimes you shouldn’t underestimate the hardcore fans who love every Star Wars anything that comes out.

    I can’t help but think though that this might tank like the Clone Wars theatrical release and what would happen then? Would they still release the rest of the movies? Maybe they’d just skip over to the good ones 🙂

    • RedVIII

      Unfortunatley my 6 year old son will!

      Have to mention though that whilst he loves star wars and out of all the star wars characters he has never mentioned Ja Ja and does not want any Ja Ja toys. So if Ja Ja doesnt relate to 6 year olds, really what is the point!

  7. Star Wars has been mastered in HD! How do you think he came up with the SE? He had to make a master. The original “Han Shoots First” scene was broadcast on German tv in HD May 15, 2007.
    Why Lucas keeps turning his back on history is beyond me.