Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Star Wars Saga to be Re-Released in 3D

Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, hitting theaters in 2012, will be the first of the six films to be released in the new format.

According to Variety, LucasFilm has confirmed that they are in the process of converting all six films in the Star Wars Saga into 3D format. The first film, Episode I: The Phantom Menace, will hit theaters sometime in 2012.

20th Century Fox will once again distribute. Fox domestic distribution prexy Bruce Snyder called the series "perfectly suited" for 3D and said "I expect this to be as much fun for people that have not experienced 'Star Wars' as it was for people who were there in 1977 staring at the screen with mouth agape."

No word on release dates for the following films as that will be determined by the length of time it takes to actually convert the films over to the new format.

John Knoll, visual effects supervisor for Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic, is overseeing the conversion. Knoll says that the studio is committed to making sure the resulting products will be just as good as those that are filmed in 3D format. He also says that they will avoid using the typical exaggerated 3D scenes that have marked previous stereoscopic films.

"Having seen a lot of stereo material, I have very strong opinions about what I like and don't like about stereo," Knoll told Variety. "I'm going to be applying my aesthetic. It's not going to look like (conversions) we've seen in the past."

I think it goes without saying that this will be received with very mixed reviews, as 3D films are seen by some as nothing more than a gimmick for studios to scrape more money out of movie goers. Others feel that it adds a new experience to a film that would otherwise be drab and uneventful.

Way say you ComicBookMovie users? Is this a smart move for LucasFilms or just a ploy for the studio and Lucas himself to grab as much money as possible from us?


George Lucas Guest Stars on The Clone Wars!

When The Clone Wars airs on Cartoon Network this Friday, October 1st, fans will see George Lucas cast as the character Papanoida in Sphere of Influence."
When Pantoran Chairman Papanoida's family is kidnapped and held for ransom, Ahsoka Tano must team up with Senator Riyo Chuchi to aid the new chairman in recovering his family. It’s a journey deep into the dark underbelly of the Coruscant crime scene, with an unlikely – and immediately recognizable – protagonist painted into a corner and forced into action.

Seen only briefly as a background character in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, Papanoida will nonetheless appear very familiar to Star Wars fans, film buffs and pop culture aficionados. He is, of course, modeled after Star Wars creator George Lucas – who also wore blue face paint for the character’s live-action cameo debut.

“My appearance in Episode III was just for fun. Mostly, I did it for my kids,” says Lucas. “I was wrapping the series, and I’d never been on-screen in a Star Wars film, even though I’d been making them for decades. With The Clone Wars, I get the best of both worlds, because I get a starring role but don’t have to do any acting or wear any blue make-up.”

Lucas’ children – Amanda, Katie and Jett – also appeared with the director in the live-action outing, and they, too, make their Clone Wars debut in “Sphere of Influence.” None of the Lucas family provides voice-acting for the series, however; Jett’s doppelganger is voiced by Robot Chicken’s Seth Green, while Amanda and Katie’s avatars are voiced by Meredith Salenger (who also voices Barriss Offee) and Nika Futerman (Asajj Ventress), respectively. Lucas himself is voiced by Clone Wars regular Corey Burton (Count Dooku, Cad Bane) – who based the character’s distinctive sound on Orson Welles’ Harry Lime from The Third Man.

While Papanoida is featured fairly passively in his live-action incarnation, the character has an opportunity for a considerably more active role in The Clone Wars. Taking him deep into the Coruscant underground, the Pantoran Chairman’s mission gives him the chance to demonstrate his chops in a few decidedly action-oriented sequences.

“We actually made Papanoida into kind of an action hero,” says Dave Filoni, supervising director of The Clone Wars. “The bad guys have his family, and he goes after them, blasters blazing. Shoot first, ask questions later. His character is very focused on finding and protecting his kids; it’s a desperate situation, and he steps up. It’s a fun episode with a lot of action – and it’s unique, in that our normal heroes give up the spotlight while Papanoida takes matters into his own hands. This was a surreal episode to produce, since the guy on screen was sitting right next to me while we were making it.”