Seeing as 3-D in movies is a gimmick to begin with, it’s no surprise that George Lucas is rereleasing all six “Star Wars” films in 3-D one at a time over six years, starting with “Episode I – The Phantom Menace” in 2012. Even though there’s no word on whether they’ll make it onto Blu-ray and DVD after they play in theaters, given how many iterations there are on DVD as it is, the opportunity to pick it up yet again in 3-D is sure to come sooner or later. “Star Wars” devotees would be happy to get their hands on something like that, but oh, if only they didn’t have the last eight retreads already…
You can see why Lucas probably doesn’t view this whole 3-D idea as much of a gamble, though it may be riskier than he realizes. For starters, he’s not just bringing back the original three movies – he’s doing the same thing with the prequels, which came with a built-in fan base but owed a big part of their success to folks who wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Now that everybody knows how Anakin found his way to the dark side – and how phenomenal his story became only after he got there – it remains to be seen if there’s anything in them that’d make audiences part with their money to sit through twice. If you’re drawing a blank trying to remember a favorite line from any of those prequels, that might not be a good sign.
The other three have a lot more going for them, but what’s interesting is that the very cultists who worship this might have a problem with Lucas breaking them out again, what with all the CGI footage he spliced in during the ‘90s that came across as its generation’s answer to colorization. Although it’s bad enough to see old Jabba making a cameo in “Episode IV – A New Hope” and Hayden Christensen turning up in “Episode VI – Return of the Jedi,” reflect that when Lucas added those updates, they were supposed to be the finishing touches that finally let the older “Star Wars” films live up to what he had in mind. If this 3-D redux is more advanced, that final-cut stuff must’ve just been a warm-up.
Come on, though – even if he does upgrade everybody’s favorite sci-fi saga more often than Steve Jobs upgrades the iPhone, people will probably wind up checking it out anyway to get in on the good, consumerist fun. Heck, I might be seduced by the dark side myself.
This article originally appeared on AllMediaNY.com