Episode III-D? 3-DPO? R3-D2?

The news from George Lucas at ShoWest gets weirder. Quoth The Hollywood Reporter:

George Lucas is such a fan of the latest 3-D technology that he is planning to remaster all of the “Star Wars” films for rerelease in 3-D.

Appearing as part of a sextet of high-profile directors promoting 3-D and digital cinema at film industry convention ShoWest on Thursday, Lucas said he hadn’t yet committed to a precise schedule but hoped to have the first film ready for the 30th anniversary of the original “Star Wars” movie in 2007 and that he would then rerelease one “Star Wars” film per year in 3-D.

Well, why not. Given that Lucas has sacrificed decent characterization for special effects in pretty much every single film (it wasn’t quite so noticeable in the original trilogy, thanks partly to Irvin Kershner’s direction of Empire), he might as well keep pushing these films in the direction of pure, aimless spectacle. It’s about time something in these movies had depth.

Okay, I admit it, I’m going for the cheap punchlines here. But seriously, every time Lucas turns his eye to one of these films again, he makes things worse, and he always, always focuses on the wrong things.

Back in 1997, I hated the way he pandered to his fans by sticking a gratuitous shot of Boba Fett into the original Star Wars — he even stops and looks at the camera. And then, when the film came out on DVD last year, Lucas stuck in an annoying sound effect in the scene where the stormtrooper in the background accidentally bangs his head on the blast door; what used to be an almost imperceptible “blooper” that was fun to point out to your friends has now become a stupid, obvious gag (on par with, say, adding an “oo-la-la” sound effect to the shot of Han Solo accidentally grabbing Princess Leia’s boob in Return of the Jedi).

Expect more of the same if and when Lucas ever gets around to fulfilling this newest plan of his. Who knows, he might even decide never to release the films in 2-D again. Sigh.

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