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Sunday, 22 April 2012

AFICIONADO CLASSIC BLOG 2008: 'STAR WARS" 3D - THE LONG WAIT?..



There’s been a lot of talk in the last week or so about a comment made by ex-DREAMWORKS animation/film-making guru Jeffrey Katzenberg- he’s stated that George Lucas is planning to re-do all six STAR WARS films in the 3-D markets. Yep, it’ great news, and news that we’ve been hearing rumours about for years now, but it may be wise to have some cautious optimism here as to how long it will be before we actually get a chance to see them. Prior to his own 3D film release, the fun family adventure JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH, actor/goofball Brendan Fraser saw footage of the beginning of the first STAR WARS and said it was exciting to watch in the new format. Additionally, however, we’ve heard that that is the only footage that has been re-done in the process–that nothing else for the movies, apart from a few extra first movie DEATH STAR battle shots, have been done (and what was done was literally as a teaser to get more people in the film industry interested in the format and the possible ways it could rejuvenate both the film industry and bring in it’s money making potential). If Lucas has been moving on this project for a while now-and he is very good at keeping secrets as we all know- just how far along on the production schedule has he moved since 2005, when producer Rick McCallum hinted at CELEBRATION III that the 3-D re-inventions would become a reality?

Despite having been in operation since the fifties, 3-D, believe it or not, is still a pretty niche market and even with all the refinements made to this exciting visual process, it’s gonna be a long time yet before we see STAR WARS back on the big screen where it belongs, and I think it all depends on how well James Cameron’s BATTLE AVATAR (sic), and, we hear, Tim Burton’s new production, with Johnny Depp, of ALICE IN WONDERLAND (also being shot in that format) performs at the Box Office (particularly the American box office) -I understand that AVATAR-a sort of outer space version of the American War of Independence meets MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, but against a backdrop probably not unlike STAR WARS, is going to be not only completely in the 3D process but also goes beyond it in technological innovation-what does that mean, I wonder?? If either, or hopefully both, movies are hits and the money does indeed pour in, then you can bet your britches that STAR WARS will be fast tracked into release- back to the theatres in possibly an even bigger and bolder way than the SPECIAL EDITIONS were in 1997, and may even inspire LUCASFILM to work on other old and new projects in that medium (could the building success, year after year, of films like BATMAN BEGINS and HARRY POTTER in partial IMAX format/release also be a good sign of things to come for new technology?). But, as far as fast tracked is concerned, just how long will it take before we see them-if we’re lucky, and AVATAR is a hit, perhaps we’ll see the first, newly restored (again!!) STAR WARS back at the cinemas by 2010/2011, with a new film every year from there? This isn’t going to happen overnight, people.

Having been one of the core group of film-makers determined to save the theatre from extinction against the current climate of increased DVD sales and more TV and the Internet being watched by more people, it’s just a shame that Lucas can’t pioneer the 3D way first-this time we’re in a situation, one of those rare occasions, where the people that have been inspired by his ground breaking work are starting to take the jump ahead of him instead...

Let’s wish James, Tim and George all the success possible. We want STAR WARS back. Not just BIG, but BIGGER!!!

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