Ever since I was a little kid I have always loved Star Wars. In fact, it was one of the biggest experiences of my childhood having my dad show the movies to me at home when I was about 6 or 7. I automatically fell in love with not only the characters, but this story of good and evil set in space. After the special editions of the original trilogy were released I found out that they were going to release the first of the prequels in two yrs and I was so excited, but when it happened I was a bit disappointed with the first prequel movie — Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace — itself.
Flash forward to present day. It has been 13 years since Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released and now since everything is going 3D, I guess creator George Lucas had to jump on the bandwagon and convert the film to 3D — the 3D reversion was released in theaters this weekend.
OK, I have a few concerns with this decision to convert the movie to 3D: 1) Why would you release the prequels first in 3D and not go in the original order they were released in theaters and show A New Hope first? 2) Why are you waiting to give us the other movies in a year by year fashion and not just knock out one trilogy this year and the next trilogy next year?
I really have a love/hate relationship with The Phantom Menace and here is a few reasons why:
1) It was the first Star Wars movie in 16 years and there was tons of buzz around it because it had been kept under wraps for so long; plus, we were still reeling from the re-release of the tweaked Special Editions in which a certain scene — amongst many — was changed (See Eve’s rant about that).
2) Episode I had so much potential to be a truly kick ass Star Wars film; it had some characters that were written so well, but poorly acted and I do blame Lucas for that. If he had just done what he did by getting different directors like he did with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, we would have had one kickass character-driven movie that was action-packed. In my opinion, Lucas definitely sacrificed character development for special effects in Episode I. Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite scenes and characters in all of Star Wars are in this movie. I think that Qui-Gon Jinn (played by badass actor Liam Nesson) still carries this movie along with Darth Maul (played by stuntman Ray Park).
Now we come to the question that you have been asking, “Is it worth it to see Episode I in 3D?” Well, I just saw the 3D version this weekend and I’d say the answer to that is both yes and no. If you’re going just for the 3D factor, the movie as a whole is all right for 3D, but it’s not perfect because let’s face it these movies weren’t originally shot for 3D, so it loses some of the luster. So, don’t run out to see this if you’re a 3D lover. Now having said that, I feel it is definitely worth going to the movie if you’re already a fan of it and want to see it again on the big screen. It’s a great way to have an awesome time and it is Star Wars after all, which makes up for a lot of it. The movie itself still looks great even after 13 years and it is still awesome to watch that final lightsaber fight at the end.
Keep in mind, though fellow geeks, that in this 3D theatrical release we are watching the cuts that they also made for the Blu-ray Edition in which the horrible-looking Yoda puppet has now been replaced by a digital Yoda and that looks good. The podrace is fun like it was when I first saw it on the big screen 13 years ago. The subsequence is actually one of my favorite things they did in 3D as well as the lightsaber fight. Let’s face it, I also really dug the 3D red and black glasses that they gave us. I did go to the midnight showing with a few people I work with and one of my best friends of 14 years, and I have to say it was more enjoyable with them there. Is Jar-Jar still annoying? Yes, he is but I got through it because of my passion for these movies.
I guess I have this to say to George Lucas, please stop jumping on bandwagons that you shouldn’t be jumping on especially with 3D. Just give us this live-action TV show that you have been working on and telling us about forever because as much as I love the Clone Wars animated series, I want something more. I can only take so much from the comics books and novels. Also, you are not starving for cash, I mean come on you have so much money that you don’t even need to work anymore. Just hand things over to someone like Dave Filoni who is already the supervising director for the Clone Wars TV show and just retire and relax!
Thank you for reading this everyone. If you’ve seen Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 3D, let us know your thoughts in the comments section here below. If not, do you plan on going to see the 3D theatrical release?