The "D" in "3D" stands for "Dark Side".
It’s official. I hate 3D.
I had sincerely hoped the new technology would lead to new classics, new stories, and new ideas. Instead what I’m seeing is a whole bunch of horror and kid movies using it which, in my opinion, is why interest in 3D movies died out the first couple of times around. It’s why it’s been a fad in the past and may very well be a fad this time around.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved some of the stuff that’s come out. Avatar may have been a retelling of “Pocahontas” or “Dances with Wolves” but the alien landscape really came to life in 3D. Not enough for me to see it more than once or want to throw down three grand for a 3D capable TV so I can watch it at home but as a sci-fi buff, I was sold on the technology when the first alien critter seemed to leap off the screen.
Since then, I’ve watched several movies using the tech with varying reactions. “Despicable Me” was hilarious but did it really need the 3D treatment? No, it was touching, sweet, and funny with or without it. Could I have watched “Resident Evil: Afterlife” in regular 2D? Most assuredly so, but it was one of those movies that was actually able to make me flinch with the use of 3D and so the experience was heightened with its use.
Would some older movies benefit from making the move to 3D? I honestly can’t say. The age of the movies has to be taken into account. I certainly don’t want to sit through “Casablanca” in 3D. In all honesty, I can’t think of a single movie that I saw over the years that would benefit from it. Well, there’s “Jaws 3D” but then we’re back into the whole “horror movies” shtick.
That brings me to my next concern. One Mr. George Lucas.
You see, I’ve watched with a small degree of horror as Lucas has gone back time and again and made changes to the superb story I grew up watching over and over. I cringed at the introduction of Jar Jar Binks but managed to forgive him that folly. I died a little inside when Anakin blew up the droid equivalent of a small Death Star and yelled, “Woo-HOO!” as he did it. But again I forgave and came back for two more installments.
I understand it’s his galaxy and he can do whatever he wants in it. I’m willing to believe that he had something different in mind for some of the scenes. I’ll argue about Han shooting first but ultimately, it’s his ball and I don’t have to play with it if I don’t like it. But I sincerely believe the well is dry, George. You keep coming back but this time, I don’t think I can be there for you.
The recent announcement that Star Wars was going to be released in its entirety in 3D met with my numb acceptance. I’ve come to terms that such a move was inevitable after the success of certain movies in the format. I’ve even accepted the fact that the movies will be released in actual order with Episode 1 leading the pack rather than Episode 4. I even like the fact that another generation will be able to grow up with the movies, experiencing the magic of the Star Wars’ universe for the very first time. So why am I not overjoyed at the prospect of getting to sit through the movies again in 3D? Simple. These aren’t the movies I’m looking for. Yeah, I went there.
I have the original trilogy on VHS. They are the only reason I still have a functioning VCR. I’ve watched them to the point that I’m afraid that each time I put them back in the VCR will be their last from wear and tear. This will actually be the second set I’ve owned on VHS and they are the original, unedited versions and I will cling to them like a drowning man to a piece of flotsam to stay afloat.
Now, before some of you go all high and mighty on me and tell me how if I were a true fan that I’d love the new stuff and find a way to embrace it, I want you to think about what I’m faced with here… 16 years. That’s the amount of time that passed between the launch of Return of the Jedi till the day Phantom Menace was released.
During that time, I’ve watched, rewatched, and re-rewatched the series. 16 years of Han shooting first, Jabba being a very large puppet, of no CGI scenes, space battles with flickering backdrops, and, most importantly, no Jar Jar Binks. George, you left me alone with my VCR tapes for 16 years and now, there’s no going back for me. There’s your current vision and there’s the vision you showed me oh so long ago. I already shared one of them, I just can’t see my way to sharing another.
Do I think the series will benefit from the 3D treatment? Most definitely. If there has ever been a series of movies dying for a 3D overhaul, it would be the Star Wars’ license. Do I agree with the launch of the movies in chapter order rather than chronological order? Absolutely not. The movies happened a certain way for me and I think the story was that much richer for being told in that order. I simply can’t agree with showing them in any other order.
So why am I against the 3D treatment? Because I know that there are some inevitable changes coming to the original trilogy in order to make it “pop” for the 3D audience. And I’ve had all the changes I can take to my childhood memories. I have no doubt that the changes will make the movie leap off the screen but next thing I know, Han won’t have shot at all, instead holding up a deflector that caused Greedo’s blaster bolt to fly back at the screen making the audience jump and putting an end to ol’ sucker head.
I truly hope the overhaul works out. I hope George makes millions more off of his story and that a whole new generation will fall in love with the series like I did. I won’t, however, be contributing to those millions this time around.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back in my cave and firing up my “ViCaR”.
(P.S. – Han shot first.)
Gritskrieg – End of Line