Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Letter to Lucasfilm

Earlier today I posted my thoughts on Lucasfilm re-releasing the Star Wars saga in stereoscopic 3D. The article was penned in anger out of the fact it felt like a jab in the stomach. I've loved Star Wars since seeing the movie as a kid. I was one of the franchises most loyal customers (well truthfully my parents were because they paid for everything) owning and desiring anything and everything I could get my hands on with the words "Star Wars" on it. Blankets, light switches, toys, magazines, t-shirts, lunch pails, etc, etc. I've purchased every version of the VHS and DVD's that have released. I plan on buying the Blu-Ray's too. Actually I'm really looking forward to them. Star Wars is a commodity, I get that, Star Wars and the money that can be made from it are far bigger than George Lucas.

By any means I am not shocked at all that Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox are re-releasing the saga in 3D. It actually seems like a no brainer. 3D is all the rage. What studio isn't trying to find the next Avatar or Alice in Wonderland? Lucas recently played around with 3D on The Phantom Menace for the Star Tours upgrade into 3D, so it makes total sense.

Which brings me to my point, a good friend of mine @FuMikechu said to me via Twitter, "Why are people so mad at him?" Him being George Lucas, now I don't speak for all of Star Wars fandom, but for me the fact that the man has not directed a worthwhile film in 30 years and continues to tinker with what made him famous has me a bit frustrated. In my heart, I believe that George Lucas is a good director and can make a good film again, even if it means he puts down his precious Star Wars.

George Lucas could benefit from allowing the younger generation take the wheel. Sadly, for the last 30 years he's sat in the same two sand boxes as both producer and director playing only to mess them up. Essentially diluting them. Yes, two sand boxes, Indiana Jones and Star Wars. Jones I'm less upset about because even as crappy as The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is, I enjoy it for what it is. Back to my point, Lucas has spent the last 30 years mainly re-tinkering with his bread and butter. For years, I've never questioned it. Hell, I wanted the prequels and defended them. Why should he do anything else? Star Wars makes buckets of money so just keep on doing it. That idea is well and good and does comes across as a fine business model, but now, re-treading or updating throughout the same material over and over I take offense with. Lucasfilm should stick to filling in the gaps not re-doing what we already love.

Why not a new 3D Star Wars film, instead of the one's we've seen countless times? Just today the L.A. Times Hero Complex ran a piece about the possibility of a 'Force Unleashed' title. That is far more interesting to me as a Star Wars fan than re-tooling the previous films. We the fans have made Star Wars into a huge business and I understand that said business is going to continue to grow, I just wished Lucasfilm spent their time focusing on new quality projects instead of what's hot at the moment.

I love George Lucas. The man is responsible for two of the most iconic movie properties of my generation. What I am asking is he leave the original iconic franchises alone. I don't mean you can't add to them and fill in the gaps, but stop re-doing them! Lucas has already added all kinds of fancy cgi into the originals once before and it was cute for the moment, but now, I'd like the originals back. Why hasn't a commodity like Star Wars given its fans the option of buying the original versions of the saga? Don't they know that fans would eat that up? That is an instant cash grab, one that I would jump at. If they were smart, they take a hint from Disney and release the original 3 Star Wars films for a limited time only. Lucas could have a vault full of coins and dive in like Scrooge McDuck with all the money they'd make.

We as fans have been robbed from the original films and instead of giving us them, Lucasfilm wants to bedazzle us. What happens if after the 3D Star Wars come out 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm decide to wipe out the original versions of the saga? They've done it before. What's from stopping them this time? Hell, its a reason to go out and buy a 3D TV right? You won't be able to watch Star Wars unless you have a 3D TV. I know it sounds ludicrous, but so did the special edition dvd's not having the original versions of Star Wars saga. I want the option to watch Return of the Jedi, Empire Strikes Back and even Star Wars the way they originally released not with some clunky eyewear on my face.

To those of you that are excited for the 3D conversions of the Star Wars saga, I hope you enjoy them. The point of this is not to rain on your parade. I wish I could be excited, but I am not. The point of this is to simply put to bed my thoughts on the 3D conversions of Star Wars and to better explain my genuine frustration with George Lucas and Lucasfilm after hearing the news.