Star Wars in 3D: First Our Childhoods, Now Our Eyes…
So, Star Wars in 3D, then?
It was sort of inevitable that George Lucas would be jumping on this bandwagon. Indeed, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek piece for Total Film over the summer imagining a 3D reboot of the whole saga.
But that would be giving too much credit to Lucas, whose rep is increasingly that of a cinematic graverobber, exhuming the corpses of his own family to fuck them up one more time. The sad fact is that Lucas gave up being a creative force a long, long time ago; now he’s just another baby-boomer rebel who turned into a businessman.
Will 3D add anything to the experience? Some might argue that, for example, the famous opening shot of the Star Destroyer looming across the screen will look awesome if, instead, it actually comes out of the screen. But the spectacle has always impressed me through clever framing, innovative sound design and the sheer scale of the thing. Y’know, the old-fashioned illusion of cinematic art. Given the paucity of post-conversion 3D, I can’t help thinking that what we’ll see in a few years is what appears to be a cardboard spaceship dangled limply in front of our eyes. (Then there’s the small detail of the Star Destroyer actually heading away from the screen in the original: what’s Lucas gonna do? Get Greedo to turn the fucking ship around?)
I’ve long had my doubts about the whole ‘come back and have another go’ approach of Lucas’ generation. Even Ridley Scott’s endless tinkering with Blade Runner bugs the hell out of me. A few years ago I wrote a piece – it’s in Total Film #155 – arguing against the trivialisation of classics: “part of Blade Runner’s charm was the handmade genius of those pioneering visuals. Fixing the flaws makes it seem less…well, human.” But at least Ridley had artistic goals there. Plonking a false third dimension onto old films is little more than the recolourisation fad promoted by Ted Turner in the 1980s…and look what happened to that revolution.
Please, please, please, George – if you insist on Star Wars being done in 3D, leave it to the experts. The people who have been making Star Wars in 3D for over thirty years…