How do you all think the rerelease of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in 3D is going to go over? The thing screams “creative disaster” to me, since the more popular/respected 3D films have been ones made with that idea from the outset, while the ones I’ve seen (Last Airbender, the third Narnia movie) were obviously 2D films with only a slight bit of a third dimension at all (also, they sucked). Which makes it seem unlikely that the 3D would be worth it in this case, but it’s also that this movie has become sort of a punchline for years now, and it’s kind of strange to billboards up there in a world where Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Red Letter Media, etc., have spent the past fifteen years turning the movie into a mockery. The entire thing is surreal to me, and I can’t imagine who would want this.

On the other hand, Star Wars fans have perfected the art of grumbling about Lucas’s self-indulgent, moneygrubbling rereleases and just going to purchase them anyway. It’s been happening for as long as I remember. Say what you like about Star Trek fans, but we generally just didn’t buy when they were presenting us with junk like Voyager and Nemesis, and managed to force the powers that be to actually give us something decent. I don’t know that Star Wars fans ever did that. So I wouldn’t bet on the movie being a flop, especially since it’s going to be really cheap as the filming is all done already.

Still, I tend to think that Lucas missed a trick here. It would have been a smarter business move to release the original three movies first in 3D, go with a straight nostalgia pitch, then do the prequels for those who have interest in them. The way Lucas is doing it seems sure to make the project as a whole much less commercially successful by reminding people how lame the payoff was to all that anticipation over the prequels, dampening interest in seeing the “classics” ruined. Lucas no doubt sees things differently, and if I had to guess, this venture is probably partly to keep up his insane rivalry with James Cameron (who is releasing Titanic in 3D, of course), but more as a way of getting people to appreciate the prequels more by making them even more visually flashy. Way to learn the right lesson there, George.

  1. Metavirus says:

    I just wonder how many countries have a GDP higher than George Lucas

  2. Mark Schumaker says:

    You might have a point there, but remind me again who has built a huge profitable business machine from and idea and is very wealthy from it.

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