Is 'Star Wars 3-D' a good idea?
It's more entertaining than a Darth-Luke light saber duel to imagine how the "Star Wars" faithful will react to the news that the sci-fi franchise is coming back, and along the Z-axis this time. Blind rapture? Abject skepticism? A Jabba the Hut-size pile of confusion?
Fox, undeterred by its middling re-rerelease of "Avatar" this past summer, will take on the mothership of all re-releases. It's putting George Lucas' epic back in theaters after a massive conversion of the space opera to 3-D. "The Phantom Menace" will come first (as it does chronologically) in 2012, with the five pictures following it in sequence. Lucas has come around on the format, making several comments of late that he may be willing to give conversion a shot. And now, apparently, he is.
There's plenty to chew over here — the box office ripple to all the other tentpoles in the coming years not least among them — as a piece of cinema history will crash up against a piece of technology present. Yes, new generations and all that. But is it also true that part of our cultural memory is getting reworked for studio profit? Not since colorization has a technological advance been capable of creating such controversy.
— Steven Zeitchik
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Photo: Mark Hamill and "Yoda" in "The Empire Strikes Back. Credit: 20th Century Fox.