George Lucas explains why ‘Star Wars 1’ is now on 3D
“Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace” is back in 3D.
The movie stars Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn and Ewan McGregor as his apprentice Obi-Wan-Kenobi, a determined young Jedi Knight. Natalie Portman plays Queen Amidala. Jake Lloyd stars as Anakin Skywalker.
First released in 1999 and set 32 years before the events of the original “Star Wars,” “Phantom Menace” follows Anakin’s journey as he pursues his dream and confronts his fears amid a galaxy in turmoil.
Writer, director and producer George Lucas, creator of the phenomenally successful saga and also of the “Indiana Jones” series, directed his first feature film, “THX 1138,” in 1970. In 1971, he formed his own film company, Lucasfilm Ltd. Two years later, he co-wrote and directed “American Graffiti.” In 1977, he wrote and directed “Star Wars,” which broke all box-office records at the time, and won seven Oscars.
What drives this story?
The primary story is about fathers and sons. “Star Wars” is about one generation living with the mistakes of the previous generation and trying to correct them. The story is twofold: Why does somebody who starts out being good become bad? It reflects the father’s journey, how he turns bad, and follows the journey of the son who refuses to become bad and, in the process, redeems his father.
What made you want to convert this film into 3D?
Originally, I was not a big fan of 3D. I really thought it was a gimmick. But later, I was trying to get digital projectors into the theaters, doing a presentation in Las Vegas, when Bob Zemeckis and Jim Cameron came up to me and said, “We want to get 3D into the theaters. Would you join us in showing the theater owners that you can do 3D?” I said, “That’d be good because to do 3D you have to have digital theaters. So it would promote my idea of digital theaters.” When I saw the test that we did of “Star Wars” in 3D, I saw how great it looked.
How does seeing the film in 3D enrich the experience?
It’s like the difference between watching a film in black and white and watching it in color. It works in black and white but it works better in color. You don’t have to watch in 3D, but it actually works better in 3D. The depth brings a lot of reality to the digital characters like Jar Jar Binks and Watto. You feel that they’re more realistic.
Who are your influences?
As a young director, I was inspired by Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Richard Lester and John Ford. Now that I’m an old man, I guess I do more inspiring than I am inspired.
What is the future of film?
Digital technology will democratize the business—which means anybody can do it. For a $5,000 investment you can build a whole studio—special effects, editing, cameras, the whole thing.
How significant is 3D?
I think 3D is here to stay. It’s a better way to watch a movie—makes it look more real. It works especially well on fantasy and science-fiction films.
(“Star Wars Episode 1 Phantom Menace” in 3D opens February 9 in all 3D cinemas in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, Laguna, Ilocos, Dagupan, Baguio, Tarlac, Pampanga, Clark, Bicol, Bohol, Tacloban, Gensan, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro.)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.