2012-02-10

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – The Saga Returns In 3D

by Yo Snyder

I’m not quite as much of a hater of the prequel trilogy as some. No,
they weren’t quite as great as the originals, but there is some
interesting material here. Granted, the romance in Episode II was just
plain bad and awkward to watch, Jar Jar isn’t the greatest character
ever introduced, and all the threads between the two trilogies aren’t
tied off quite as neatly as we might have liked, but there’s some good
stuff in them. We’ve never seen lightsaber fights like these. We got our
first glimpse of the Jedi order in action, which was pretty cool. The
political machinations that brought about the Empire is actually kind of
interesting. And we got pod racing, so shway. Regardless of how you
feel about them, they’re back on the big screen in 3D and here’s what
you need to know before deciding to shell out the cash to go see The Phantom Menace yet again.

First
of all, Star Wars always has been and always will be meant to be seen
on the big screen. There’s just no comparison. It doesn’t matter that
it’s in 3D, the very fact that it’s back in theaters is reason enough to
go. It’s just THE way these movies are meant to be experienced. I got
the whole saga on Blu-Ray for Christmas, so I just saw this movie in HD
at home. Yet, I still enjoyed seeing in a movie theater because it’s
just different and better. There’s something about Star Wars, a
grandness, that has to be experienced on the big screen. Not all of the
showings are in 3D, so if you don’t want to pay the extra for that,
fine, but you should still see it where it was meant to be seen.

Now,
as for the 3D. Well this definitely the best post-production conversion
to 3D that I’ve seen. The theater I was at cranked up the wattage so
there wasn’t any sort of dimness or murkiness to the film, which was
much appreciated. George Lucas has stated that he’s not really
interested in the gimmick of 3D, of things flying out of the screen at
you, so don’t expect any of that here. However, the 3D does bring the
scenes alive a bit more, especially in the space battles and the pod
racing scene. The 3D gives you a great sense of spatial awareness, a
better sense of how close or far objects are as they zip around on
screen. It’s hard to explain, but it just makes them look better. That
being said, the 3D didn’t drastically alter the experience; this is
still Star Wars Episode I and your feelings about won’t be altered just
because of the added dimension.

I should also mention that I got
very cool Star Wars Episode I Real D 3D glasses for my screening; they
look like Anakin’s goggles from the pod racing scene.  They look cool,
but truthfully, they weren’t that comfortable. And since I have to wear
my regular glasses as well, they were extra uncomfortable. Just a heads
up for you.

I still enjoy Episode I. No, it’s not the best of the
series, but I don’t think it’s the worst (that goes to Episode II;
debate amongst yourselves). The fact that that it’s in 3D is kind of
fun, but it’s really only worth it if your a huge Star Wars fan, or if
you want to see the original three in 3D (if the prequels tank, they
won’t convert the rest). However, this is Star Wars we’re talking about,
so even if you don’t go see it in 3D, you should still see it on the
big screen. There’s just something special about seeing Star Wars in a
movie theater that makes you feel like you’re twelve again; and that’s
definitely worth the price of admission.