George Lucas Wants To Cash In (in 3D!)
March 3, 2011 9:59 AM   Subscribe

Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace to be released in 3D. The movie will hit theaters on February 10, 2012.
posted by andreaazure (184 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 


Surely this...
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:01 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, cause I really want to throw up in my mouth again, only this time wearing glasses.
posted by selfnoise at 10:02 AM on March 3, 2011 [41 favorites]


Well, those are two crappy things that deserve each other
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:02 AM on March 3, 2011 [29 favorites]


Oh man, where is Harry Plinkett when you need him?
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 10:02 AM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Lucas further milks Star Wars franchise. Story at 11.
posted by spiderskull at 10:02 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


You have the wrong release date. It's slated to come out on December 21, 2012.
posted by phunniemee at 10:03 AM on March 3, 2011 [23 favorites]


Meesa coming right outta the screen at you
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:03 AM on March 3, 2011 [71 favorites]


George Lucas you money grubbing whore. Why don't you add in an extra 20 minutes of Jar Jar Binks scenes, complete with a "blooper" reel during the credits.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:03 AM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Will the racial stereotypes be in 3d too?!
posted by tittergrrl at 10:03 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


DO NOT WANT
posted by kmz at 10:03 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:03 AM on March 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


I remember playing hooky from work to catch the premiere of that shitpile.
posted by emelenjr at 10:05 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I bet Lucas doesn't even care if this loses money; at this point he probably just does shit like this to hear the fans he obviously hates scream.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:06 AM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


what are you nuts talking about?!

Set against the thrilling and exotic backdrop of a "galaxy far, far away," Star Wars is perfectly suited to the immersive 3D theatrical experience, and Episode I delivers some of the Saga's most stunning and spectacular sequences!
posted by mrgrimm at 10:06 AM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Sweet jesus not only do we have to endure Jar-Jar again, we have to deal with him in 3-D.
It's like the worst kind of punishment imaginable. What did we do to deserve this?!?
posted by 8dot3 at 10:06 AM on March 3, 2011


Lucas further milks Star Wars franchise. Story at 11.

Suckers line up around the block to buy tickets. Follow-up at 11:30.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:06 AM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


oh man its like i can reach out and touch anakin's bangs

like im just runnin my fingers right through em
posted by Greg Nog at 10:07 AM on March 3, 2011 [29 favorites]


Dude, he's like 10.
posted by Think_Long at 10:08 AM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Goddammit my Star Wars obsessed 5-yr-old's going to insist on seeing this.

Gonna fill my glass half-full here: If Lucas goes with the same approach as the last format update - new graphics inserts, fundamental changes in plot points - maybe he'll actually insert something happening in the first 45 mins. I'd be open to that. Hell, Greedo randomly firing first at senators would be far and away the liveliest part of the first act of that piece of shit.
posted by gompa at 10:09 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


You can't polish a turd.
posted by ob at 10:09 AM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


In the third dimension, the deep and powerful truths embodied by Jar-Jar Binks be made clear to all. He is a Bergman film trapped in a Flash Gordon serial: "Yousa thinking yousa people ganna die?" What greater meditation upon the inevitability of death and the agonizing silence of an unseen God has ever been put in the cinema? Has the folly of man's striving ever been so brilliantly captured as by the effect of Jar-Jar's computer-rendered alien dreadlocks and the many man-hours wasted to create them? Now, at last, his depths of character and depths of soul will be matched by depths of field, as he has long demanded.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 10:09 AM on March 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


Ohh! Meso in 3d now!

F you, George Lucas. You iwe me a piece of my childhood back.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 10:10 AM on March 3, 2011


You can if it's imprisoned in carbonite.
posted by swift at 10:10 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:10 AM on March 3, 2011


Crap. Owe.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 10:10 AM on March 3, 2011


You can't polish a turd.
Can too!
posted by Meatbomb at 10:10 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


> You can't polish a turd.

Obligatory.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:11 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


ob: You can't polish a turd.

But you can now make it look like it's sitting right in your lap. Up next: smell-o-vision!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:11 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is obviously a build up to the inevitable 4D release where moviegoers will be timeshifted to a "galaxy far, far away" where only three Star Wars films exist and Han, of course, shoots first.
posted by m@f at 10:14 AM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


On the plus side, if they are doing all of them in sequence it may mean I get to take my daughter to the cinema to see the true trilogy just in time for her to be old enough to appreciate it. On the minus side, if DVD versions of it now are full of Lucas tinkering I hate to think what he will do given the opportunity to do another pass.
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on March 3, 2011


Sweet. Now not only will the acting, writing, and directing be garbage, but it'll look like garbage too. Not filmed in 3D = plywood cutouts of actors moving up and down the z-axis.
posted by rifflesby at 10:16 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm just fine with it, as long as this exists in 2D.
posted by ambulance blues at 10:16 AM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


As long as George Lucas is changing the films again, can we get this scene added somewhere?
posted by Servo5678 at 10:17 AM on March 3, 2011


Your hatred only feeds Lucas's power.
posted by Behemoth at 10:17 AM on March 3, 2011 [25 favorites]


Okay, this is as good a place to put this as any. I am completely unable to distinguish between Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman. I mean, I can see the differences in their faces, but I can never remember who's who. I was trying to remember by telling myself that Natalie Portman was in the Star Wars Prequels, but you know who else was in The Phantom Menace? KEIRA KNIGHTLEY. And now I'm going to be confused forever.

And I didn't hate Phantom Menace. Sure, JarJar's freaking annoying, but seriously? How can you pass up on Liam Neeson as a Jedi? Netflix's suggestion engine even created a "Films starring Liam Neeson" category for me.
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:17 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe this means Star Wars: The TV Series is coming soon! Can you imagine it, between 100 and 400 hour-long episodes? Filmed at a fraction of the cost of the movies? FAN-TASTIC!

Or it could be the much-rumored Star Wars sequel trilogy! Wait, what was that you said George? "The whole story has six episodes.... If I ever went beyond that, it would be something that was made up." Yeah, 'cuz the prequel trilogy, those were so well thought out. Made up? Nah!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:18 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I swear to god Lucas is using Jedi mind tricks on people. Every time he does anything at all with any of the Star Wars movies a bunch of 30 and 40 somethings go on and call him a whore and complain about him destroying their childhood or some shit.

I probably won't go see this, because I did not enjoy Episode 1, but I may have to take my son. He's 9, and to him Episode 1 is as good, if not better, than Episodes 4, 5, and 6. He'll probably love seeing it in 3D even more. I have attempted to explain to my son why 4, 5, and 6 are "better" movies but my son just roles his eyes, as he probably should. Episode 3 is his favorite movie, no matter how many times I talk about Christian Haydenson's wooden delivery.

My son is not an idiot with no taste, but he is the target market for the Star Wars movies and he has the Star Wars Lego sets to prove it. George Lucas makes movies for my son and his friends, not me and his friend's parents.

These movies are not for us, sad as that may be to accept. We might as well sit here and bitch about iCarly or that Beiber kid's haircut.
posted by bondcliff at 10:18 AM on March 3, 2011 [19 favorites]


Yeah yeah yeah. I'm looking forward to this.
posted by muckster at 10:18 AM on March 3, 2011


Oh come on guys, the movie where the guy gets cut in half and you watch both halves of his body tumble down a bottomless pit while he's still alive is for children!
posted by shakespeherian at 10:19 AM on March 3, 2011


How can you pass up on Liam Neeson as a Jedi?

Because Liam Neeson hated the experience of making it so much he nearly quit acting altogether. The poor guy's suffered enough lately.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:19 AM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is obviously a build up to the inevitable 4D release where moviegoers will be timeshifted to a "galaxy far, far away" where only three Star Wars films exist and Han, of course, shoots first.

And then in 5D you can actually climb up out of your stadium seat onto the original soundstage, walk off stage left, find Lucas hunched over his computer monitor, and smack him in his dumb mug for not bringing in a real writer and director like he did on Empire. Which I'll happily pay full price for.
posted by gompa at 10:19 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why doesn't the guy make a decent full length Star Wars 3.5? That can be in 3D IMAX XTREEM or whatever, and we could have the added bonus of new content rather than the same goddamn dreck combed over a billion times.

Seriously, it's cultural repression at this point. Do cable channels need to keep marathoning this stuff for days on end during holidays? Does another generation of kids need to play with the same damn toys? Can we re-express the timeless tales in slightly more up to date metaphors? Or, are we going to sit idly and let Lucasfilm continue to wreak its hegemony on our mythical sensibilities? It might be time to nuke Star Wars once and for all.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:21 AM on March 3, 2011


I prefer Angelina Jolie over Jon Voigt's sweaty ball sack. Even in 3D.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:21 AM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


MORE LIKE R3D2 AMIRITE
posted by cortex at 10:21 AM on March 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


It's not like I didn't think Lucas was a sell out already but he always seems to find surprising new depths to sink to. The next version of Star Wars will simply ask you for your credit card number while holding a blaster to your mint in box Millennium Falcon Action Playset.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:21 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tommy Wiseau is going to be depressed about this competition when he releases The Room 3D.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:22 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yes! Yes! USE YOUR ANGER!
posted by Trochanter at 10:23 AM on March 3, 2011 [19 favorites]


as a little kid
posted by shakespeherian at 10:23 AM on March 3, 2011


Oh come on guys, the movie where the guy gets cut in half and you watch both halves of his body tumble down a bottomless pit while he's still alive is for children!

I'm not about to defend Phantom Menace as anything resembling a good movie (and in fact, hate it quite fiercely), but I will say that seeing a bad guy sliced in half in that way pales in comparison to like 99 percent of the imaginary death sequences I used to enact among my toys when I was wee.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:23 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]




I think Lucas has just been on a long bender of trolling over the past decade or so. I mean, he botches the original trilogy with CGI, "tapes over" the original films so the DVD release has to be a rip of the Laserdisc versions, etc.

The fact he makes money goes to show that trolling isn't necessarily just for the lulz.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:24 AM on March 3, 2011


Now you'll be able to pet the cartoon rabbit! Babies will love it!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:25 AM on March 3, 2011


These movies are not for us, sad as that may be to accept. We might as well sit here and bitch about iCarly or that Beiber kid's haircut.
posted by bondcliff at 1:18 PM on March 3


What is iCarly? Is that a Carly Simon iPhone app with a big Carly Simon face and you tap her giant teeth to make them pup up and down playing circus music like a Monty Python cartoon?
posted by Pastabagel at 10:25 AM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


The only redeeming part of this film is that Peter Serafinowicz is the voice of Darth Maul.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:26 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, can we get remakes/reboots/"reimaginings"/sequels of things that were actually good now that all the big names have been covered at the box office? Or at least a terrible remake of Ferris Bueller's Day Off to be Rifftrax'd?
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:27 AM on March 3, 2011


If Conan O'Brien sends Triumph to the line and the video package they made was as good as this, I would consider this slightly okay.
posted by spec80 at 10:27 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


>> Oh come on guys, the movie where the guy gets cut in half and you watch both halves of his body tumble down a bottomless pit while he's still alive is for children!

That's nothing compared the way Disney dispatches its villains.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:27 AM on March 3, 2011


Also for the record, I'm not of the stop-desecrating-my-childhood school on this. The originals are the originals despite Greedo shooting first and everything after.

My main complaint is that as a parent of a small child you wind up watching this stuff or have it unspooling in your periphery dozens of times. A little extra effort on the writing - thanks, Pixar! - goes a long way to making that experience tolerable, even delightful. (Ellen Degeneres' Dory in Finding Nemo, for example, only gets better on repeated viewing.) Whereas with the Star Wars prequels, the more you watch, the more it stinks. You notice more sloppiness and hackery on each repeat viewing. It's fucking torture.
posted by gompa at 10:28 AM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Related news of sorts: Rights to prequel and sequel to Blade Runner being negotiated, with plans for the two new movies in the near future. Here's hoping for 3D!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:29 AM on March 3, 2011


Star Wars 4D would be terrible. Think of all the spoilers! Luke and Leia would be long worms across time, ending in space coffins or something after they presumably die of old age, and heading in the other direction towards Padame's uterus, leading the audience to know from the beginning that they're siblings.

Which would make that kiss immediately awkward, rather than an icebox moment people realize after watching the trilogy the first time.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:30 AM on March 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


I have never before hoped a doomsday prediction would come true, now that whole Mayan 2012 crap looks positively pleasant in comparison.
posted by edgeways at 10:31 AM on March 3, 2011


Supervised by Industrial Light & Magic, the meticulous conversion is being done with utmost respect for the source material, and with a keen eye for both technological considerations and artistic intentions.

Would that there was respect for the art of film, acting, and writing, and most of all, the audience, then we would have, perhaps, a good film. Unfortunately we have a film that equals the quality of the Star Wars Christmas special but with a bigger budget.

Artistic intentions? What artistic intentions?

I tip my hat to the technical staff (sound and vision are excellent in these films), the caterers, the administrators, the PAs, etc. but rather than sticking a 3D Badge on a plate of vomit they could have just made another movie, without Lucas writing it.
posted by juiceCake at 10:32 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


500,000 credits to whomever brings me Lucas encased in carbonite.
posted by Challahtronix at 10:32 AM on March 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


I was trying to remember by telling myself that Natalie Portman was in the Star Wars Prequels, but you know who else was in The Phantom Menace? KEIRA KNIGHTLEY.

It's even worse when you rewatch the thing and realize that Keira Knightley gets at least as much screen-time and as many lines in the ridiculous Queen Amidala get-up as Portman does. I remember wondering if the Queen just had an endless supply of clones or something when I first saw the movie.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:32 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can't polish a turd.

Yep. Came here to say precisely this.
posted by brundlefly at 10:34 AM on March 3, 2011


I like 3D, but I only go if here is a compelling reason for something to be in 3D. Avatar benefited from 3D. Coraline was gorgeous in 3D, and you really got a sense of the care in constructing these animated characters and sets. Piranha benefited from 3D, because, hey, how could it not? Drive Angry was worth seeing in 3D because people kept throwing things at the camera.

But this? No need.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:35 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


A little extra effort on the writing - thanks, Pixar! - goes a long way to making that experience tolerable, even delightful.

The thing is, the writing in 4, 5, and 6 is pretty bad as well. Some of the acting and lines in ANH are as bad as anything in the prequels.

But yeah, I've been on the couch at least 50 times as my son watches one of the episodes. I'll often have the laptop open and he'll tug at me "Dad, pay attention! You're not watching it!"

"Um... I've seen it before."

I was in first grade when Star Wars came out. Lucas could come to my house and take a big steamy dump in my refrigerator and it wouldn't take anything away from that Star Destroyer flying overhead and those stormtroopers blasting their way into that spaceship. I don't care what he does in the future. I still owe him for that memory.

Shame he hasn't done anything good since Raiders, though.
posted by bondcliff at 10:36 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This scene! THIS SCENE!
posted by dragonsi55 at 10:36 AM on March 3, 2011


Star Wars isn't attempting to be for children or adults in the prequels. It's trying to appeal to everyone at once, without thinking about who's toes they'll step on in the process, while not realizing that what the original Star Wars movies did was tell a relatively simple space fantasy story, mostly for children, but telling it so well that adults liked it, too.

Adults hate Jar Jar and the weird fantasy bits that don't feel like the original trilogy (Obi-Wan riding a dinosaur while fighting a robot with four lightsabers on a weird motorcycle thing).

Young kids don't like or understand the boring politics or the plot as a whole, and shouldn't really see all the violence, especially in episode 3. I mean, decapitations? Extreme burn wounds? In a family movie?

And the fact that the actors were pretty much in sets devoid of any actual details or elements for them to react to makes for performances that nobody really likes. Some characters, like Grievous, they couldn't see at all.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:37 AM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Spaceballs 2:The Search for More Money
posted by rhythim at 10:37 AM on March 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'll tell you what I would go see that involved "Star Wars" and "3D":

A full reshoot, specifically for 3D of the space battle at the end of RotJ. Just the space battle.

Best damn space battle ever shot. In the "The People Vs. George Lucas" in my mind, his sentence gets a big big reduction for that alone.
posted by AugieAugustus at 10:38 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I sense a great disturbance in the force; like a million hands slapping into foreheads, and then silence.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:42 AM on March 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


AugieAugustus, do you really trust ILM and Lucas to not overload that scene so much that it becomes overstimulating and confusing?

I say we instead wrestle the rights away from Lucas and give them to someone who can actually direct an action film well. JJ Abrams did a decent job with Star Trek, although that might result in a nerd fight over which franchise gets more attention/better treatment. I guess Cameron would do well, since he doesn't need to write anything. Or Peter Jackson seems to be better than most at telling a story with great special effects to enhance it rather than distract from it.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:42 AM on March 3, 2011


My main complaint is that as a parent of a small child you wind up watching this stuff or have it unspooling in your periphery dozens of times.

I hear this a lot, but you really don't have to, you know. It is up to you, after all.

Star Wars Talk to Your Kids PSA
posted by mrgrimm at 10:44 AM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I won't favorite my own post. But I would have favorited this for the comments that have followed. Awesome stuff which sums it up very well. =)
posted by andreaazure at 10:45 AM on March 3, 2011


Big deal.
posted by Gelatin at 10:46 AM on March 3, 2011


Some of the acting and lines in ANH are as bad as anything in the prequels.

True enough: the three leads are two novices and a carpenter and the genuine actors get tossed to peripheral roles. And the dialogue is adequate and functional at best. Still, they sell it. Everyone in my age bracket can cite exactly where lines like "You came here in that thing? You're braver than I thought," or "Sorry about the mess," or "Stay on target!" come form. I have seen all of the prequels at least twice, and I cannot recall a single memorable line from any of them... maybe one heavy-handed quip from Obi-Wan to Anakin about "You'll be the death of me," or something of the sort.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:47 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know there's a lot of Jar Jar hate here, but people need to appreciate some of the canon outside the films to appreciate his true depth of character. I propose we all spend a week playing this five-star game, and then say if we still hate Jar Jar. It's analogous to Star Wars Holiday Special's deconstruction of the wookies.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:47 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I only want to see Patton Oswald and his shovel in 3D.
posted by homunculus at 10:47 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Force is weak in this one.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:49 AM on March 3, 2011


Here's my theory:

Lucas and Spielberg think their children are stupid and need to be protected.

Think about it. Before having children, if they thought about them at all, Lucas and Spielberg just made entertainment. Han shoots first. Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen are burning skeletons. The FBI guys chasing E.T. have shotguns.

After children? "These creatures are really fucking stupid. They'll only end up hurting themselves."

And they set out making the world safe for dumb, drooling children. Indiana Jones gets Shia LeBouf. Qui-Gon Jinn should've been portrayed as being weighed down by the size of his enormous Jedi balls, but instead gets sent on an escort mission with Jar-Jar.

But even then, their choices are curious. Boba Fett holds his dad's decapitated head (well, helmet, but same thing) and vows vengeance. Dustin Hoffman stabs a child through the heart in Hook.

One wonders what the inside of the Lucas home looks like. Probably a pile of baby-proofing gear in the corner of each room, all of it kinda broken and half-ass.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:49 AM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh, dear.

We're doomed.
posted by thomas j wise at 10:50 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This needs to be in 3D, too.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:52 AM on March 3, 2011


Must . . . concentrate . . . on Ewan . . . McGregor . . .
posted by theredpen at 10:52 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a bad feeling about this.
posted by MasonDixon at 10:53 AM on March 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


> Indiana Jones gets Shia LeBouf.

Shia LeBouf was the least of that movie's problems. Two years ago I flew from Toronto to Australia and back, watched something like 15 movies during the trip and the only thing that kept that piece of crap from being the worst of the lot was G.I. Joe. In a crowded field, Crystal Skull's biggest problem was that Harrison Ford acted like he was being held hostage.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:54 AM on March 3, 2011


AugieAugustus, do you really trust ILM and Lucas to not overload that scene so much that it becomes overstimulating and confusing?

I say we instead wrestle the rights away from Lucas and give them to someone who can actually direct an action film well. JJ Abrams did a decent job with Star Trek, although that might result in a nerd fight over which franchise gets more attention/better treatment. I guess Cameron would do well, since he doesn't need to write anything. Or Peter Jackson seems to be better than most at telling a story with great special effects to enhance it rather than distract from it.


Did I say anything about "story"? I'll repeat: just the space battle. That's all.

Though I concede the point about Lucas' reshoot likely adding unacceptable revisions—a giant 3D shoe flying at the audience, Nien Numb replaced by a Gungan copilot named Numb Numb Ninks, the Death Star tossing giant walkie-talkies at the Mon Cal cruisers.
posted by AugieAugustus at 10:54 AM on March 3, 2011


why
posted by schroedinger at 10:55 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, what a piece of shit Phantom Menace was, and what a piece of shit move it is to re-release it in 3D.

But I'm still totally there.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:55 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was trying to think of something witty and incisive to say about this; but then I realized that while I can quote huge chunks of dialogue from the first three movies, I don't even remember enough about The Phantom Menace to participate in this conversation.

So carry on.
posted by steambadger at 10:56 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I spend a lot of time dreaming up Star Wars "what ifs" in my head. What if the prequels had been good? What if The Clone Wars series was set during some other era in the canon, an era that didn't completely undermine its own narrative arc? What if the rumored live-action show turned out to be good? What if they did a sequel series of movies, written by someone who could write and directed by someone who could actually direct? What if, what if, what if.

So many what ifs.

And then I think about the fact The Clone Wars has acted like a brain drain on animation production people who want to do genre/action stuff, who think they're saving the franchise but in truth it's really not worth saving, because it's too weighted down with decades of bullshit to be really great in the way it once was.

I love Star Wars. We all do, us nerds. But it's over. It's over.

I just wish the generation of talent that grew up worshipping Star Wars and Lucas could get over itself and move on to do tell new tales. Those rare times when someone takes the lessons of Star Wars and applies them to something original (say like Avatar: The Last Airbender) it can be fucking amazing.

But there will never be anything truly great that comes from Star Wars, ever again. Ever.
posted by pts at 10:57 AM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


You can't polish a turd.

Yes, but you can depth-map the fuck out of one.

Related news of sorts: Rights to prequel and sequel to Blade Runner being negotiated, with plans for the two new movies in the near future.

Hopefully the films will stay faithful to P. K. Dick's original bracketing novels, "Hey, Look, A Sleeping Android" and "I Asked, He Said He Mostly Dreams About Losing His Hair".
posted by cortex at 10:59 AM on March 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


> But there will never be anything truly great that comes from Star Wars, ever again. Ever.

"But she's got a new hat dimension!!!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:01 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


People harp on Jar Jar, Vader saying "NOOOOO!" and Shia LeBouf, but I get the feeling they're almost like those remakes' defense mechanisms. Rather than complaining about systematic errors, we focus on these tiny things that could probably be edited out to a degree.

See, The Phantom Edit which tried to salvage The Phantom Menace by removing scenes that weren't important to the plot, which mostly meant dumping things like Jar Jar Binx comic relief scenes and parts that revealed details that were never addressed later. It was more watchable, but it let you appreciate the bad acting (90% due to bad direction and writing, Natalie Portman is certainly not untalented) and confusing plot. In short, it's not like a few bad decisions sunk these films.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:04 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


How else is he supposed to fund his real life Star Destroyer?
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 11:08 AM on March 3, 2011


steambadger: I was going to favorite your comment to show agreement, but then I realized I remember every single Amidala costume in excessive detail. So very neat. The only reason I didn't walk out of the movie, actually.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:09 AM on March 3, 2011


I'll be honest: I've never seen The Phantom Menace and I probably never will.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:13 AM on March 3, 2011


I've never seen The Phantom Menace and I probably never will.

Don't bother.
posted by pts at 11:14 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


So the flat dialogue will be gone?
posted by mazola at 11:16 AM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


pts: I don't know if these things are canon, but good things have come from the Star Wars franchise since Phantom Menace. For example, the Rogue Squadron series (on the GameCube) were very fun space shooter games. Of course, that was made by recreating action scenes from the original trilogy, rather than creating new plot.

But in terms of games that actually felt like Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic, an RPG for the PC and Xbox, was really great. Good writing, good voice acting, a battle system based on Dungeons and Dragons-like rules, with an interface that let you choose between playing nerdy down to the last stat point and dice-roll or just letting the game autolevel for you. Most of the characters were pretty good, and most of the things fans liked from the series (droids! evil space stations! wookies!) made an appearance. What it did was choose a time period entirely unexplored by the movies (not sure about the books and so on), long before the events of the films. This meant they could tell an original story without being weighted down by canon or having to make homages to characters that don't entirely fit with the story, because they weren't even born yet. There was also a neat sort of Cold War over the course of the game between the Jedi Republic and the Sith, and it wasn't always black and white.

I could go on and on about KOTOR (it had a lot of great moments), but I think it's proof that the franchise isn't entirely dead. It's a shame the sequel was rushed and not nearly as good, and the next game in the KOTOR franchise is going to be an MMO instead of a regular RPG.

And franchises are surprisingly durable things. Consider all the awful Star Trek movies and episodes that franchise endured, before being rebooted as a decent action film that satisfied both nerds and the general public, which will likely get a sequel.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:16 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


What the prequels need is an added "dimension" of dramatic irony in the Tatooine scene where Anakin leaves Padme – and Luke in utero – with his stepbrother Owen Lars so he can go become Darth Vader, who will later have the Larses killed, causing Luke to become a Jedi and kill him in revenge. Please, just edit in five seconds of Hayden Christiansen blankly "acting" like something important is happening. That scene should have been portentous – it's the hinge of the whole series – but that hack Lucas wouldn't know story structure if it bit him in the ass.
posted by nicwolff at 11:17 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


In short, it's not like a few bad decisions sunk these films.

Actually, I really do think it's 1-2 errors that cause the problem, because they're clung to. Jar-Jar is a systemic error -- the error of thinking you need a comic sidekick.

I would say casting Shia LeBouf is a systemic error. Giving Indiana Jones a son or a kid sidekick is a well-trod trope of the pulp fiction it is inspired from. Just not that sidekick.

Recast Shia LeBouf. Can you imagine, say, Cillian Murphy in this role? Holy fucking shit. I'd watch that.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:17 AM on March 3, 2011


mccarty.tim: Yes, KOTOR was good. And then the same people went on to make an original SF game, Mass Effect, which (for my money) is better.

It's not that you can't make something good out of the rotting bones of Star Wars. It's that the effort is at this point misplaced; far better, I say, to put that effort towards something original.
posted by pts at 11:22 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dear Mr. Lucas.

Since you have displayed a predilection for revising your earlier works adding in CGI, changing plot points, consider this as a chance to rescue your film The Phantom Menace and thereby restoring your reputation among those who formerly considered you a genius.

First. Cut out all unnecessary scenes with Jar Jar Binks. They don't work.

Second. Any time Binks appears, have him speak in an alien language and add subtitles. Make the subtitles proper English and not pseudo-Jamaican. This will give him a little bit of dignity.

Third. Same for that flying elephant-thingie. Redub the voice and the anti-defamation league may someday learn to forgive you.

Fourth. Replace the child Anakin with a CGI actor. Or a moss-covered, three-handled family credenza. Forcing us to relive his non-acting hurts us and must be some sort of child abuse forever perpetuating this poor kid's performance. Cut the race scene in half so we want to pop Ben Hur into the DVD player.

Fifth. Run your script by any community college screenwriting instructor and let him cross out all instances of runaway exposition. We don't need to have everything explained.

You've got some very good parts to this story. The art direction, Darth Maul, the wheelie robots.

May the force be with you.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:24 AM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


I will say, as a serious Star Wars fan who saw A New Hope well over 40 times, I never saw Phantom Menace or the following sequels, and, terrifyingly enough, never felt an urge to.
posted by Samizdata at 11:25 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hi nerds, let's talk.

Can we, as a culture, decide not to reward George Lucas for continuing to shovel out shit?

Let's not buy this. Let's not take our kids to it. Let's not even talk about it. Let's just pretend it's not happening, and that it doesn't exist.
posted by empath at 11:27 AM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Just go download a fanedit, like The Phantom Edit, or Star Wars: Rise of the Empire and the worst of Lucas' incompetence is mitigated.
posted by mikelieman at 11:27 AM on March 3, 2011


Recast Shia LeBouf. Can you imagine, say, Cillian Murphy in this role? Holy fucking shit. I'd watch that.

Mola Ram Jr rips out people's hearts with the power of Kali, but Indiana Jones Junior cuts out their eyes with an obsidian scalpel.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:29 AM on March 3, 2011


YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
posted by casarkos at 11:30 AM on March 3, 2011


The Phantom Edit and Attack of the Phantom mercifully make the movies shorter (the originals clocked in at about 140 minutes each (!); Attack of the Phantom removes almost 40 minutes from the original release) but trust me, they still aren't any good.
posted by mazola at 11:33 AM on March 3, 2011


>But there will never be anything truly great that comes from Star Wars, ever again. Ever.

Have some respect.

You're talking about a once-prodigious phenomenon that has had its legs cut off, is now masked and entombed within black mechanical armor, and survives only through the force of pure greed that surrounds and penetrates all aspects of its product-line.
posted by darth_tedious at 11:34 AM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wait, seriously, I read the whole thread. No one? No One? OK, it has to be said:

It"s a trap!
posted by skewedoracle at 11:36 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


* gestures hypnotically *
This is not the movie you are looking for.
posted by warbaby at 11:37 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


****     **   *******     *******     *******     *******     *******  
/**/**   /**  **/////**   **/////**   **/////**   **/////**   **/////** 
/**//**  /** **     //** **     //** **     //** **     //** **     //**
/** //** /**/**      /**/**      /**/**      /**/**      /**/**      /**
/**  //**/**/**      /**/**      /**/**      /**/**      /**/**      /**
/**   //****//**     ** //**     ** //**     ** //**     ** //**     ** 
/**    //*** //*******   //*******   //*******   //*******   //*******  
//      ///   ///////     ///////     ///////     ///////     ///////   
   *******     *******     *******  
  **/////**   **/////**   **/////** 
 **     //** **     //** **     //**
/**      /**/**      /**/**      /**
/**      /**/**      /**/**      /**
//**     ** //**     ** //**     ** 
 //*******   //*******   //*******  
  ///////     ///////     ///////   
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:38 AM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Or a moss-covered, three-handled family credenza.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:24 PM on March 3


Perry Saturn's best finisher!
posted by andreaazure at 11:42 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Trochanter: "Yes! Yes! USE YOUR ANGER!"

See, this is what everyone is missing.

Lucas is a Sith.

Oh, he looks harmless enough. But he's definitely embraced the Dark Side. Look at the evidence:

He makes one ground-breaking movie that breaks box office records. Then, the young, bearded apprentice slays his master. (The official cause of death was a heart attack, but Wood's final words, "Kathy, I can't breathe!" reveal the truth. He was Force-choked to death.) Lucas assumes the mantle of leadership by vowing to create a proper Star Wars sequel. He hires a director and writers, and what they produced in The Empire Strikes Back was an epic, masterful film that showed the world his true potential. Beloved by critics and audiences alike, Empire left its audiences wanting more.

The two films and their merchandising rights made Lucas millions of dollars. A lesser man would have stopped there. But as a Sith Lord, Lucas' ultimate goal was an endless river of human suffering.

His third movie disappointed audiences. But audiences steeped in a culture where muppets routinely starred on television and films did not produce the outrage and anguish he was expecting.

So he tried harder.

He piled offense after offense into his newest creation. Two different racist caricatures. Pseudoscience replaced the carefully constructed mythology. Plot twists were deliberately designed to annoy anyone who had paid attention during the other three films. He farmed out the writing to the worst fanfic writers he could find. Talented, experienced actors were paired with awful, wooden ones, destroying any hope the audience might have to watch any of them produce a decent performance. He replaced the most beloved character of all with CGI. And for the coup de grâce, he entire movie was integrated with CGI constructs that no one could relate to emotionally.

He spent millions on advertising and hype. The anticipation reached heights previously un-achieved by anyone in the industry. Audiences rushed to buy tickets. In their nostalgia, they stood on line for days -- noses metaphorically pressed against glass windows, hoping to once again glimpse the magic of their childhoods.

And on Opening Day, the howls of anguish and outrage from those cheated, disappointed and tortured souls rose as one in a mighty voice.

And on that day, Lucas knew the true power of the Dark Side of the Force.

But his work wasn't over.

He rereleased the original series to theaters, but bowdlerized and carefully altered to poison the fans' happy memories.

Millions seethed. Crime Soared. A worldwide economic recession hit. Wars broke out.

But circumstances were beyond anyone's control.

And Lord Lucas reveled in the misery and suffering of his followers.

Then, another movie. And another. Each worse than what came before.

Legions of tormented, tortured fans cried out for relief. But their begging and prayers went unanswered.

An animated film. A television series.

And now, in his final act, designed to wring that last drop of bitter, twisted hatred from his fans and push them completely to the dark side, all he needed to announce was a simple, one digit and one letter combination.

3-D


May the force be with us all.

.
posted by zarq at 11:45 AM on March 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


People harp on Jar Jar, Vader saying "NOOOOO!" and Shia LeBouf...

Shia LaBeouf Says People Were More Tolerant of Awfulness in the Eighties

I have to give him some credit here: "I dropped the ball on the legacy"
posted by mrgrimm at 11:47 AM on March 3, 2011


I am completely unable to distinguish between Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman. I mean, I can see the differences in their faces, but I can never remember who's who. I was trying to remember by telling myself that Natalie Portman was in the Star Wars Prequels, but you know who else was in The Phantom Menace? KEIRA KNIGHTLEY. And now I'm going to be confused forever.

Comedy of Errors, a farce of epic proportions! Starring Keira Knightley, Natalie Portman, Jesse Eisenberg & Michael Cera! Coming this Summer to a horribly confused cinema near you.

Shia LeBouf was the least of that movie's problems. Two years ago I flew from Toronto to Australia and back, watched something like 15 movies during the trip and the only thing that kept that piece of crap from being the worst of the lot was G.I. Joe.

Look, I thought we covered this. Everything after the first scene are the radiation sickness induced hallucinations of a man dying inside a fridge.
posted by zamboni at 11:49 AM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]



Shia LaBeouf Says People Were More Tolerant of Awfulness in the Eighties


That's completely wrong. Transformers made all kinds of money.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:49 AM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like Mass Effect's story, writing, and most of the characters, but I kind of wish they kept KOTOR's battle mechanic. Yes, it was turn based, but I liked it better than the awkward combat that couldn't decide if it were from an RPG or a shooter, and not in a good way like with Deus Ex.

Did they improve it in Mass Effect 2? I might check that out if I ever buy a console or get a new computer. The first one played so poorly on my current machine, I'm worried I'd be wasting my money if I bought it.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:50 AM on March 3, 2011


Although I did kind of hate [SPOILER] that the true enemies only justified their motivation by saying humanity was too dumb to understand it, which might be a valid concern for spacefaring civilizations, but is really unsatisfying as a story. At least come up with something like them thinking the entire universe is their birthright, or they think that life detracts from the order of the cosmos, or even just say they're nihilists who want to destroy everything after realizing that extreme intelligence has caused them to realize there is no point to the universe.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:53 AM on March 3, 2011


"Starring Oscar winner for Best Actress, Natalie Portman!"
posted by mudpuppie at 11:54 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I will say, as a serious Star Wars fan who saw A New Hope well over 40 times, I never saw Phantom Menace or the following sequels, and, terrifyingly enough, never felt an urge to.

Me neither, really, though I did get roped into watching most of II and III (whatever they were called) on TV, and as expected, they stunk.

I mean, they're prequels. The story/canon has already been established. We essentially know what's going to happen. It's SW action porn (just check the dialogue), and bad action porn at that.

It was obvious that the Phantom Menace was going to suck, and early reviews more than confirmed it. Then I never, ever thought about it again. Until now.

Man, what a piece of shit Phantom Menace was, and what a piece of shit move it is to re-release it in 3D.

But I'm still totally there.


If you want the movie industry to stop making shit, stop paying them for it.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:55 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


George, when we said your new trilogy was flat, lacking depth, this is not what we meant.
posted by stenseng at 11:57 AM on March 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


"Starring Oscar winner for Best Actress, Natalie Portman!"

Heh, I was just thinking that. Remarkable how the worm has turned there. A few years ago, the general consensus was that Leon was a one-hit fluke and she was a talentless hack. Now everywhere (even here), it's generally considered that she is a good, even great actress.

Thanks, Mr. Aronofsky!
posted by mrgrimm at 11:57 AM on March 3, 2011


This will not be the thing that knocks Lucas out of the top .01% of wealth in the USA.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:58 AM on March 3, 2011


> Look, I thought we covered this. Everything after the first scene are the radiation sickness induced hallucinations of a man dying inside a fridge.

So it's a Point Blank homage?
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:03 PM on March 3, 2011


If you want the movie industry to stop making shit, stop paying them for it.

I'm not so sure that matters. There are a lot of flops and they continue to make shit regardless. One of the more dominant ideas is to make shit and hope it sells.
posted by juiceCake at 12:07 PM on March 3, 2011


I thought Hollywood was all about finding things people don't entirely hate yet, and then tricking people into seeing terrible remakes/prequels/sequels, cementing their hate? Even if they mess up and make the first movie good, they'll still make sure it has a sequel that kills the franchise. Star Wars was so beloved it needed three blows to kill.

It's like they're running a mint that incinerates our fond memories and smelts out coins these days.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:12 PM on March 3, 2011


He's just showing us how to suck in an EXTRA DIMENSION. It's kind of impressive, really.
posted by norm at 12:14 PM on March 3, 2011


There is no emoticon for what I'm feeling.
posted by dougrayrankin at 12:14 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]



Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic.
The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute.
In 3D!

posted by moonbiter at 12:14 PM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


I will say, as a serious Star Wars fan who saw A New Hope well over 40 times, I never saw Phantom Menace or the following sequels, and, terrifyingly enough, never felt an urge to.

Me neither, really, though I did get roped into watching most of II and III (whatever they were called) on TV, and as expected, they stunk.

I mean, they're prequels. The story/canon has already been established. We essentially know what's going to happen. It's SW action porn (just check the dialogue), and bad action porn at that.

It was obvious that the Phantom Menace was going to suck, and early reviews more than confirmed it. Then I never, ever thought about it again. Until now.

Man, what a piece of shit Phantom Menace was, and what a piece of shit move it is to re-release it in 3D.

But I'm still totally there.

If you want the movie industry to stop making shit, stop paying them for it.


I did. It didn't work.
posted by Samizdata at 12:19 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


The movie will hit theaters on February 10, 2012.

Finally we get a solid warning about an upcoming terrorist attack. Someone needs to slip Obama a memo titled "Lucas planning to strike within US" and hope he doesn't ignore it like that last bumbling jerk.
posted by localroger at 12:25 PM on March 3, 2011


Just to keep this in perspective, Ebert called the film at the time: "An astonishing achievement in imaginative filmmaking." (This may have been in response to Lucas' generosity to allow Ebert's dying friend to see the film first.)
Also, The Phantom Menace is ranked #13 all time on worldwide box office, ahead of the other Star Wars films. Revenge of the Sith is #23 while of the older ones, first comes A New Hope, #28. This is not just about soulless paydays - someone in the universe likes these films.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:29 PM on March 3, 2011


I've just figured it out: Star Wars (the prequels at least) is in fact Lucas' autobiographical tale, in which he is represented by Palpatine.
posted by dry white toast at 12:30 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh, I liked the movie. Just not interested in 3d.
posted by Malice at 12:32 PM on March 3, 2011


ob: You can't polish a turd.

No, but you can roll it in glitter.
posted by Soliloquy at 12:35 PM on March 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


Now jerk off to this, you lucky so and so's!
posted by jeremy b at 12:38 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


They're going to take out the bits with the serial killer, right?
posted by mazola at 12:42 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Hi, nerds. Let's talk.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:55 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can't polish a turd.

Actually, Mefi's own asavage has found that you can. But -- while he apparently was involved in the first go-round of Phantom Menace, I suspect they won't be calling on his services for this second attempt.

And that's yet another reason to give it a pass in my book. (nods)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:59 PM on March 3, 2011


Mike Binkley had it right in 1983. And he was only off by a year!
posted by norm at 1:01 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


I suppose that if anyone could make a 2D movie look good as a 3D movie, it might be Lucas. Making movies look good is just about his only consistent major strength. Most of the time.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:06 PM on March 3, 2011


I'll tell you why I'm optimistic. You know how the powers-that-be are cramming this awful 3D gimmick down everyone's throats? We're supposed to believe that "it's the future" because they say it's the future. Everybody I've talked to about it has expressed at least one of the following opinions:
  • It gives me a headache
  • It's too dark to see any detail
  • I hate the way the simulated depth directs my focus where I don't want to look
  • Wearing 3D glasses is an impediment to casual TV watching at home
  • It's a transparent ploy to make everyone empty their wallets to stay "current"
  • It's stupid
I have yet to hear anyone express excitement about this technology, who wasn't either (a) benefiting from its proliferation, or (b) briefly hypnotized by the Avatar hype machine and later went on to retract the statement.

Enter George Lucas, keen to jump on Hollywood's contrived 3D bandwagon. There are few left at this point who still drink his nasty Kool-Aid, but he's too oblivious/self-important to realize this. His house of cards is about to topple. This move will kill Star Wars, end Lucas' career, and drive the final nail into 3D's coffin. If we're lucky. If The Force™ is with us.

Eh, who am I kidding. I've got a bad feeling about this.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 1:11 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm going to try spinning!
posted by tumid dahlia at 1:19 PM on March 3, 2011


The only good thing I can think of is that it necessitates a new season of Spaced.
posted by Harry at 1:33 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


The only movie I've seen in 3-D where the extra dimension actually added to the experience in a meaningful way was the U2 concert movie* (Coraline was pretty good, too).

* Yeah, I know, U2 is teh suxxor...but the film looked great.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:57 PM on March 3, 2011


Coraline was pretty fantastic 3D, I thought - it made it like a puppet theatre.

(I also thought it really added to Avatar, but saying anything positive about that is a sure way to bring down a MeFi hatestorm)
posted by Artw at 2:04 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


> I also thought it really added to Avatar, but saying anything positive about that is a sure way to bring down a MeFi hatestorm

No, no, the 3D was quite good there. The scenes where the evil corporation workers were at their own 3D control panels within the 3D movie almost made the cash I dropped worth it. Let us not speak of any non-technical elements of the movie, however.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:09 PM on March 3, 2011


Rights to prequel and sequel to Blade Runner being negotiated

You shut your dirty mouth.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:40 PM on March 3, 2011


Personally, I think this is one film that could do with a bit of added dimension.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:03 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


3D Star Wars... Meh. I'm not feeling the joy.

When he first heard about the prequels, my friend tracked me down at a restaurant and showed up unexpectedly just glowing with happiness. "They're making more Star Wars movies!" He said. Man, that was a great night. We were both so excited. Then months pass, we go to see the first one, and it's Phantom Menace... You can guess how that went.

So now Lucas wants us to get excited all over again, except this time we already know what the movie is like. And on top of that it's going to be in light-reduced, headache inducing 3D. No doubt the transfer process will be excellent, maybe the best 3D conversion ever done. Lucasfilm is always first rate at technical things. But I don't feel any particular urge to see Phantom Menace again. Maybe some of the later movies, but not that one.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:07 PM on March 3, 2011


"When I made The Phantom Menace, digitial technology wasn't advanced enough to create the vision I originally had for the story. For instance, Jar Jar was a great character and also very popular with the kids, but there was only one of him originally. So anyway......."
posted by panboi at 3:10 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think this time around Lucas should add a few jive talking Transformers to ham it up with Jar Jar.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:13 PM on March 3, 2011


the transfer process will be excellent, maybe the best 3D conversion ever done

Maybe someone knows more about this than me, but isn't this post production way of doing 3D the thing that Katzenberg claims is going to kill the golden goose? I mean it would take something almost as revolutionary as the whole 3D thing in the first place to prevent a movie not shot in 3D from being the old collage of cut-outs looking result that became of Last Airbender, Clash of the Titans etc.

I say this as someone who has not seen any of these new style 3D movies.
posted by Trochanter at 3:22 PM on March 3, 2011


Step 1: Organize a revolution of sorts to conduct all Lucas-hating, 3D denying, prequal sufferers to opening night of this travesty.
Step 2: Heckle like mad at all move theaters across the nation during the movie!
Step 3: ?
Step 4: Profit
posted by Glibpaxman at 3:25 PM on March 3, 2011


"...but isn't this post production way of doing 3D the thing that Katzenberg claims is going to kill the golden goose? I mean it would take something almost as revolutionary as the whole 3D thing in the first place to prevent a movie not shot in 3D from being the old collage of cut-outs looking result that became of Last Airbender, Clash of the Titans etc."

That could be. I don't know, but this conversion will probably be the one to put it to the test, because you can bet that it won't be cheaply done or rushed. It's like Lucas decided a long time ago that the Star Wars films were his greatest achievements (maybe after Willow flopped), so he might as well spend the rest of his career (and the careers of the people working for him) fixing them up, tinkering and converting them with the latest technologies so they're always on the cutting edge. Technically, anyway.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:32 PM on March 3, 2011


I mean it would take something almost as revolutionary as the whole 3D thing in the first place to prevent a movie not shot in 3D from being the old collage of cut-outs looking result that became of Last Airbender, Clash of the Titans etc.

The 3D conversion of Nightmare Before Christmas is outstanding. I think the crappy conversion of those other movies is more about them doing a rush job on the process. If proper time is taken, conversion can be really well done.
posted by hippybear at 3:39 PM on March 3, 2011


He's issuing a rerun, and people are going to get excited about watching it. He deserves their money.
posted by dougrayrankin at 3:40 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


mrgrimm: It was obvious that the Phantom Menace was going to suck

How did you figure that? It had a great cast line up with Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Terence Stamp, Brain Blessed, Samuel L. Jackson, all proven actors. It had the best in high-tech special effects, with advanced animatics to visualise them. It was being shot on digital film, so the highest quality print would be shown to the audience. It had the same composer as the original trilogy. It had funding independent of the usual Hollywood studio system, so they did not have to water things down to keep investors happy.

It was not obvious it was going to suck, and it would have been very easy for the movie not to suck. Just change the director, or change the writer. Unfortunately the man in charge was both.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 3:43 PM on March 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


How did you figure that?

All the movies Lucas made between Empire and Phantom Menace added up to a really big Clue. He was moving in a definite direction, and that direction definitely wasn't "better."
posted by localroger at 3:47 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


As far as I know I witnessed the filming of the first theatrical movie scene ever shot with the new live action HD 3D cameras; it was the garage scene in The Final Destination and it was filmed in the building where I work. It was the first scene of the movie shot by the crew and the crew were all bragging that it was the first movie to actually use the technology in the field ("These cameras are so new the paint is still wet on 'em," one of the operators bragged to me). One of our technicians helped them take the camera apart and recalibrate it one night.

In order to reduce that headachy feeling the camera contains an elaborate optical bench that adjusts the two HD eye cameras convergence as focus moves in. The reason the first HD 3D movies were animated is that CGI movies don't have this problem; the entire movie exists as a 3D spacial digital image and the convergence can be adjusted by the renderer. The reason you are suddenly seeing the tech mature is that they figured out how to do the same thing with live action, which from what I saw on the set is nontrivial.
posted by localroger at 3:59 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


After Empire, Lucas made the Indiana Jones movies, and the Young Indy series. It's pretty easy to dismiss stuff like Howard the Duck and The Ewok Adventure as bad luck or poor timing, and expect his best from the new movie of the series that made his name.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 4:08 PM on March 3, 2011


Whacky, Indiana Jones illustrates the problem perfectly. Lucas does not know how to stop talking when he runs out of things to say about the subject, and it was obvious he had run out of meaningful things to say about Star Wars about half-way through Jedi. (I am in the camp who count the ruination of my innocence from the introduction of plush-toy friendly Ewoks in place of Chewbacca's people.)

And indeed, the thing that was wrong with the prequels is exactly what a lot of us to be expected to be wrong with them; they have no epic feel. They have no center. In a real sense they have no consistent protagonists, nobody to identify with, no clear goal to either be met or missed. And it was obvious that would happen because it was obvious Lucas was going to write and direct, and when you've saved the galaxy not once but twice the prequel where you are only setting up for the bad guys to angle for making the galaxy need saving in 20 years is not going to stack up.
posted by localroger at 4:19 PM on March 3, 2011


I'd pay for it. In Spanish.
posted by buzzman at 4:37 PM on March 3, 2011


I would pay for it on one condition: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett performing a live version of their Rifftrax for the movie. They might just be able to do it, too, with FathomEvents and all.

("Ten minutes in and Lucas's pantleg is already soaked with urine, having whizzed this entire film down his leg . . .")
posted by Countess Elena at 4:50 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


OMG this thread is comedy gold. I want to have babies... with all you!

Countess Elena, I would so see that. I WANT TO GO TO THERE
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 5:03 PM on March 3, 2011


The upside is he gets three practice movies to do in 3D before I go to see one.
posted by Gary at 5:04 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Do you know what's really 3D? Star Wars In Concert. I hear it's almost as good as Star Wars on Ice, complete with choreographed fight scenes against the dreaded wampa, and the gutting of a real-live tauntaun (not really, it's just a couple people in a tantaun suit, and a lot of ketchup).
posted by filthy light thief at 5:10 PM on March 3, 2011


Countess Elena, I like the way you think. Of course, if you really want 3D and Fathom can't pull that off (I kind of think the licensing would be an issue), they could just record a three-Riffer version (they have a version, IIRC, but it's one of the early ones before Mike had a dedicated cast and used guests, if he wasn't alone), and then viewers could bring it in on their iPods and listen to it with earbuds, confusing other audience members as to why you'd want to listen to your own music during the movie.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:39 PM on March 3, 2011


"A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad." ~ Samuel Goldwyn

Putting it in 3D makes it bad³
posted by Neale at 6:31 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


A fun game is to take a copy of the Star Wars script and do a find/replace to make it about 9/11.

Try swapping Luke with Bin Laden, Darth Vader with Bush, Death Star with twin towers... and you see how the whole thing was really scripted in our sub conscious in 1976. I'm surprised Loose Change hasn't gone that deep yet!

The bummer in this is that we're all just faceless storm troopers and not the cool kids.
posted by astrobiophysican at 8:14 PM on March 3, 2011


Tommy Wiseau is releasing The Room in 3D...

I genuinely think this could work as a crossover.

Anakin: HI Padme!
Padme: Oh Ani, you're so boring. Jar-Jar, you should sleep with me.
Jar-Jar: But meesa his best friend! I can't! Ok.
Padme: Ani's so boring, I just don't want to marry him.
Padme's attendant girl: But you should marry him, he's going to be a Jedi. Also I just spoke to the screenwriters, and it's true. You're definitely going to die in childbirth. Why don't you want to marry him?
Padme: He's just so boring. And he hits me.
Padme's attendant girl: But he's going to be a Jedi, that's a good solid job.

Anakin: Hey Obi-Wan, want to put on tuxedos and go race our pods?
Obi-Wan: Not today, the Emperor is making us all pay new taxes.
Anakin: What kind of taxes?
Obi-Wan: Just taxes!
Anakin: WHAT KIND OF TAXES?
Obi-Wan: I don't know, I just need to use the Force.
Anakin: WHAT KIND OF FORCE? Oh hi, Yoda.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 8:33 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


I still remember how exciting it was to see the first teaser trailer for the Phantom Menace in 1998. I literally got chills -- the first moment the swelling theme and then some kind of barely identifiable creatures shuffling around in mist, not knowing what would come next. Would it be amazing or terrible? The range of possible outcomes was very wide.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:44 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still remember how exciting it was to see the first teaser trailer for the Phantom Menace in 1998.

I waited in line at the Uptown theater in dc for an hour to see the first showing of the trailer in front of Joe Black. Completely sold out crowd. The crowd roared and cheered during the trailer. Definitely one of my favorite movie going experiences ever.

Just the trailer, though. By about 10 minutes into Joe Black, the theater was mostly empty. I made it about 20 minutes before I bailed, personally. Worth hanging around for the laughter and cheers when Brad Pitt got hit by a bus, though.
posted by empath at 9:05 PM on March 3, 2011


why
posted by schroedinger at 1:55 PM on March 3

I hope Industrial Light and Magic develops the tech to quickly transform films to 3D with decent results. After each film is released they'll get plenty of eyeballs pointing out all the flaws so they'll know where to improve the process. If their results are good they'll make a killing licensing it.

I hope the above is technically feasible. I don't know how they're going to deal with the stylistic differences required. AFAIK good 3D requires slow camera movements and few jump cuts, while 2D action films usually require the opposite.
posted by ecco at 9:24 PM on March 3, 2011


I don't know how they're going to deal with the stylistic differences required. AFAIK good 3D requires slow camera movements and few jump cuts, while 2D action films usually require the opposite.

Oh gawd, now I want to see the movies just to see how the 3D artists deal with the in-your-face Star Wars wipes.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 11:07 PM on March 3, 2011


AFAIK good 3D requires slow camera movements and few jump cuts, while 2D action films usually require the opposite.

If more 3D means the current ADHD Style of action movie filming calms down a bit I'll be all for it.
posted by Artw at 11:19 PM on March 3, 2011


I saw The Phantom Menace as a kid who loved Star Wars. Hated it, and stuff like this rerelease hurts more. But I still love the original trilogy.
The first book I read was a kid's Star Wars novel
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:45 AM on March 4, 2011


> You can't polish a turd.

No, but you can roll it in glitter
posted by vbfg at 3:10 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't think it is enough to not go and spend money on this - to get any sort of impact everyone who really wants him to stop have to organize and go out opening weekend to something else playing that weekend and prevent this from opening at #1.
posted by mikepop at 6:43 AM on March 4, 2011


About time I did one of these again...

Metafilter: No, but you can roll it in glitter.
posted by Samizdata at 7:56 PM on March 5, 2011


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