Star Wars to get 3D conversion
The marketing god of George Lucas has moved forward once again and decided there's another opportunity to drop a festering nail in the heart of the Star Wars franchise by converting them all to 3D and then releasing them one per year in 3D cinemas, presumably followed by a new 3D release on Blu-ray at the same time.
I'm all for the opportunity to see Star Wars on the big screen, but why is there the need to mess with the films once again, and deliver a process that studios and directors have said is poor and has been blamed for many a terrible film performing poorly at the box office. Is this the fate of the beloved Star Wars?
3D conversions don't do well, it's obvious from releases and box office figures, and don't take my word for it, directors and studios are saying the same thing. After the Clash of the Titans remake did so poorly through the conversion process, those involved on the project said quite openly that the film would be going pure 3D next time and there have been many open criticisms of the final process.
After all it takes a 2D image, cuts sections out and makes it look like 3D. It's like when you see an old photograph and they've cut round the objects in the photos to make objects nearer the camera move at different speeds to those behind, to give the illusion of the camera panning around the photograph and a depth to the layers. Of course there's no 3D in the details of the objects, just the objects themselves.
It's this kind of “fooling” the audience that goes on with the 3D conversions, and it's also the conversion films that look so poor on screen and have been used for the cheaper productions.
So why treat Star Wars this way?
George Lucas will be overseeing the conversion process, which will take a year for each film so that they can release one, see if it does well, convert the next, release it, and so on. The Hollywood Reporter remind us that Lucas previously said the experience of Avatar (Filmstalker review) convinced him that Star Wars is, let me quote the article, although not directly Lucas:
...ready for the state-of-the-art 3D treatment.
Hold on a minute. Avatar was not a one year conversion of an old, 2D film. Avatar was a project that lasted for years and years, creating new technology and captured the images in 3D from the beginning. We're not talking cutting out the characters and sticking them at the front of the screen, we're talking capturing the depth of every single item on screen, the ridges on someone's face, the rise and fall of the knuckles on their hands, create that intricate 3D world with a 2D conversion process which Hollywood is happily bailing out on for their bigger films.
The article goes on to point out that home cinema 3D technology is rapidly increasing in complexity, I won't say saturation but it definitely is getting better technically, so Lucas and the company are thinking that as soon as the films are done in the cinema release them on the 3D home market for another round of revenue.
Let's be honest here, that's what's behind all this. A 2D conversion can never be as engaging and have so much depth (visually) as Avatar, there just isn't the technology, and looking at something like the recent Clash of the Titans lines us up for what to expect from a 3D conversion of Star Wars.
Oh, and as an aside the cinema release will begin with Episode I, the Phantom kiddie and the greatest misuse of a fantastically franchise friendly baddie ever.