Star Wars to get a 3D makeover

Cos

George Lucas always has a way of discussing things with the media. He never divulges everything at once. I remember back when Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace came out on video (yeah, back in 1999/2000) he kept saying that he didn’t believe in the DVD medium and he wasn’t going to put his movie on DVD and the sales for the video were huge. I never purchased the video, I didn’t really like Episode 1, and I had already put money down on a DVD player back in the summer of 1999 and didn’t really want to back track into videos…good thing I didn’t!  A year later, he decided to put it out on  DVD (I remember it was sometime late in 2001 because I was with Melissa in a Walmart and I saw it on sale) and the sales were huge.

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Lucas definitely knows how to play his cards right. Timing is everything. I remember when the original series came out on DVD, they were all the “Special Editions” of the movies. Some fans had an out cry that they wanted the original trilogy movies and not the altered Special Edition movies. (I have to say, I probably would have purchased both if I was a little younger, but I don’t sit and watch the movies enough to actually care enough which edition it is). Lucas stated that since they had the special editions out, this was the only version you would be able to see. About a year or two later they put out the original trilogy in their original form on DVD (sold it for a limited time) and they sold really well.

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For George Lucas, timing is everything. Which is why I’ve never put my full stock in his decision to not make a sequel trilogy to Star Wars. He’s always wanted to make Star Wars a trilogy of trilogies. I know he’s been working on a TV show, but recently they’ve run into the snag of budgets for the show (seeing that the amount of special effects would be extremely expensive). And just like how the re-issuing of the original Star Wars trilogy back in 1997 as a Special Edition series was more an experiment for Industrial, Light & Magic, to see if they could create realistic looking special effects in a  way to prepare for the onslaught of effects work on not only The Phantom Menace but the entire Star Wars prequel trilogy. I find that the more Lucas denies that there is anything in the foreseeable Star Wars movie series the more I think he’s got something in the back burner to continue the Skywalker family on the big screen.

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But honestly, that’s just me being the conspiracy theorist that I am. I might be completely wrong.

Anyway, here is one thing that he has always been upfront about, putting Star Wars on 3D. George Lucas will probably go down in history as the man that could and did put his masterpieces in the theater the most amount of times and actually made a profit each and every time that they did. Here is an article from 2008 that I posted on the blog Lucas to turn Star Wars into 3D just to give you an idea of how long this 3D idea has been gestating

I don’t think its a surprise to anyone who reads the blog that I am not a fan of 3D. Melissa and I saw Resident Evil: Afterlife the other week in 3D and it was exhausting. My eyes hurt and I had a headache. I couldn’t imagine going into hyperspace in 3D. Probably make my eyes bleed…or the pod races from Episode 1, imagine those in 3D. I mean it does sound exciting, don’t get me wrong, but I just don’t know if I’d be able to sit through it.

Anyway, Variety.com broke this officially yesterday and I for one know it will make some good money, I may even go see it, even though it hurts me to see it:

‘Star Wars’ saga gets 3D makeover

Converted ‘Phantom Menace’ to hit theaters in 2012

Posted: Tue., Sep. 28, 2010, 6:05pm PT

Star WarsStar Wars ‘Episode I: The Phantom Menace’ will return to theaters in 3D in 2012.
Visit Variety.com to become a Variety subscriber.

After more than five years of teasing, Lucasfilm disclosed today that work is under way on converting the “Star Wars” saga to 3D.

All six pics will get theatrical re-release in stereoscopic starting with “Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” which returns to theaters in 2012.

Exact release date has not been announced, but a Lucasfilm spokesperson said the pic will open wide and “as close to day and date (worldwide) as possible.”

The prospect of six “Star Wars” pics released in 3D should stifle speculation that the format is a fading fad. It also promises to reintroduce the franchise to young auds who are used to 3D and only know ‘Star Wars’ from homevideo and the “Clone Wars” Cartoon Network skein.

20th Century Fox will once again distribute. Fox domestic distribution prexy Bruce Snyder called the series “perfectly suited” for 3D and said “I expect this to be as much fun for people that have not experienced ‘Star Wars’ as it was for people who were there in 1977 staring at the screen with mouth agape.”

Spacing of the re-releases has not yet been determined, as that will depend on the pace of the conversion effort.

There are no plans yet for a homevideo release.

John Knoll, visual effects supervisor for Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic, is overseeing the conversion, which is being done by outside vendors with close oversight by ILM.

Knoll said Lucasfilm is committed to ensuring that the 3D conversion delivers results as good as a movie shot and authored in 3D. Knoll said that it’ll be used to make the experience more immersive and he’ll avoid some of the more jarring, exaggerated uses of 3D that have marked previous stereoscopic pics.

“Having seen a lot of stereo material, I have very strong opinions about what I like and don’t like about stereo,” Knoll told Variety. “I’m going to be applying my aesthetic. It’s not going to look like (conversions) we’ve seen in the past.”

Knoll said there are no plans to add or fix visual effects on the movies. Over the years, Lucas’s digital tweaks on the original trilogy pics have generated pushback from fans.

Contact the Variety newsroom at news@variety.com.

Read more: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118024771.html?categoryid=13&cs=1#ixzz10v8HAjja
Visit Variety.com to become a Variety subscriber.

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UPDATE:

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This just in from darkhorizons.com:

“Star Wars” Gets 3D Re-Releases

By Garth Franklin Wednesday September 29th 2010 10:20AM

"Star Wars" Gets 3D Re-Releases
George Lucas is reportedly set on re-releasing all six films in the “Star Wars” franchise with new 3D conversions in 2012 says the trades.

Fox will release the 3D versions starting early 2012 with “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace”. Each subsequent film will be released annually around the same date over consecutive years.

Lucasfilm is taking at least a full year with each conversion and will use several higher-end conversion houses to work on the project. The reason for the 2012 release of the first film is that Lucas is waiting for enough 3D screens being available to create a ‘huge event’.

Lucas purportedly is lining up the re-releases as a lead-in to the ultimate home-viewing experience as home 3D TV technology is being perfected in coming years. This won’t affect Lucas’ plans for a comprehensive 2D Blu-ray Disc set of the six films next year.

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