Tonight, ahead of its nationwide launch tomorrow, saw the FDA multimedia screening by LUCASFILM/FOX of EPISODE I 3D at London's prestigious EMPIRE LEICESTER SQUARE (still, in my opinion, the best cinema in town, and the best that's ever showed STAR WARS-the whole saga-six films-back in May 2005). And a fine event this evening was, too, with an impressive screening of the film and all its classic sequences which brings the first chapter of the Prequel saga from 1999 back to life in an exciting, if subtle, not in your face with 3D gimmicks, kinda way, and obviously supervised with care by ILM guru John Knoll. The opening scenes of TPM worked especially well, like the main titles going into space and on the Trade Federation ship Bridge, then leading to Naboo. Scenes with crowds of four or five people, like the Royal party in the Theed hangar bay before escaping were among the standouts, as was the hologram scenes involving Darth Sidious, and later seeing the Droidekas with their transparent protective shields during the hangar battle finale. The sound and music design remained as impressive as ever. And, despite the hatred toward Jar Jar, he actually stood out quite well as an alien life form in 3D, much better than he looked in his original cinematic debut all those years ago. The new-look CGI Yoda add-on proved equally impressive on the big screen. All-in-all, I think the film has held up well against many of the inferior, over the top CGI action fests that have followed in its wake. With STAR WARS, plot still matters!
Related guests and their families linked to the Saga that evening included Prequel Production Designer Gavin Bocquet (who must have thought I was a complete loon when, at the end of the film, I shook his hand and thanked him for his work on the Prequels!), prop master Ty Teiger and Classic Trilogy actor Chris Muncke. Introducing the film ceremonies with his always enthusiastic fervour was STAR WARS primary UK ambassador Anthony Daniels-Mister See-Threepio himself (Though sadly without this golden waistcoat this time around!). Flanked by 501 Stormtroopers and a Darth Maul look-a-like, FOX's UK head of Marketing was obviously pleased to re-introduce the films back to the big screen in the new 3D process (and even managed to mention the popularity of THE CLONE WARS animated series, too, which is made by LUCASFILM and sold to WARNERS rather than working with FOX, who've bottled out of a lot of animated projects over the last decade). STAR WARS fans in attendance included Scum and Villainy the likes of the JEDI NEWS crew, STAR WARS BEGINS Jamie Benning, and Ralph McQuarrie.com's Paul Bateman.
Receiving a nice clap at the end, I think the audience, like me, enjoyed their evening, especially those families with young children-the next generation of STAR WARS fans and profit makers for LUCASFILM/FOX.
With thanks to FOX and SUBSTANCE for the invite.
The latest issue of the free UK magazine SHORTLIST, out today, is a nicely produced tribute to STAR WARS: the Saga, and its launch in 3D. It's worth checking out. See their FACEBOOK page here: ShortList Magazine
|Darth Maul makes the UK cover of SPORT magazine.|
UPDATE 22/12/2012: Another British magazine supplement, SPORT, and website TALKSPORT highlighted EPISODE I on its cover and inside that release week, and on the web, here: talkSPORT Press — Star Wars Day on talkSPORT and Sport Magazine and here: Sport magazine to hand out 'light sabres' for Star Wars promotion | PR & public relations news | PRWeek
Cheers to Ian Trussler for the additional info.