It’s perhaps a reflection of how little interest I take in the film world these days that I was alerted to the upcoming release of a 3D version of Star Wars: Episode I by seeing an advert for it on those lovely interactive advertising hoardings that you get at every football ground these days.
The kind of stadium advertising that only ever used to exist in Spain but which now offer an alternative source of entertainment to an English audience whenever things on the pitch get a bit dull.
My initial reaction was “Great, Star Wars in 3D!” – until it quickly dawned on me that it was The Phantom Menace that was being advertised. I didn’t see that at the cinema in regular 2D format, waiting instead to get a copy on DVD when the home cinema version was released.
I wasn’t impressed.
My hope for the original trilogy before it was released was that it would feel like Star Wars, and not be reduced to a special effects CGI fest. That the spacecraft would be models, and the aliens would be normal people kitted out in rubber masks and “alien” clothes.
For me, that was the approach needed to give the new trilogy a genuinely authentic Star Wars feel, and become a worthy addition to the original trilogy – three of the most well-loved films of all time.
Unfortunately the result of Episode I: The Phantom Menace was a movie that wasn’t a patch on any of the original trio, a movie lacking a story with enough depth to require its own feature film, and which was filled with CGI effects that no doubt involved an incredible amount of skill on the part of the computer animators, but which often looked too unrealistic for my liking when dropped into footage containing actual people.
No better example of that was in the creation of Jar Jar Binks, in my opinion the most annoying, unnatural and unnecessary character to appear in any of the six Star Wars films. Converting him into 3D isn’t going to change my mind on that.
Although it is sure to be visually impressive, the depth to both plot and its characters will still be lacking, and that’s why I’ll be giving the re-released film a miss.