I finally figured out why I am ambivalent about the news that George Lucas is going to release the two Star Wars trilogies in 3D.
First off, of all of the changes he’s come up with to the original trilogy, this one makes the most sense, if that makes sense. Lucas is a B-movie type of guy. If 3D technology had been worth a damn back in the 1970s, the original series would have already been in 3D. So this isn’t like the heretical “Han shoots second” version, where the change was politically correct and fucked with my childhood. This actually kinda makes sense. So, despite my initial misgivings, I’ll give him a pass.
The second trilogy is dead to me, so he can do whatever he wants to it.
But the announcement finally gave me insight into why George Lucas does what he does to Star Wars, and why fans hate him for it.
It’s because there are two owners of Star Wars — Lucas himself, and the fans. Only Lucas, strangely enough, doesn’t recognize fan ownership. Nor does he have to. If someone tried to take fan ownership of my work, I’m sure I’d be flattered, but if they started getting proprietary about it, I’d be like, yeah no.
And it’s also because of that lack of recognition (an almost willful blindness actually) of fan ownership that Lucas comes across as disrespectful to fans, but also, and more importantly, disrespectful to his own work. The director’s cut he released was just a director’s cut on one hand, but on the other, the changes were — head-scratching. It was like he didn’t get how moviemaking worked or something.
The second trilogy actually makes my point. Compare it to the original trilogy. There was really good stuff in the original movies. There was heart and comedy, and action, and breathtaking adventure, and iconic heroes and heroines, and a love story for the ages, and “Luke! I am your father!”
In the second trilogy, Lucas took all that stuff out.
So anyway, I probably won’t go see a 3D version of the original trilogy. I have my memories, and George Lucas can’t take those from me. And I’m sort of glad that he made this announcement, because I feel like the insight I got from thinking about this was important.
Now go have fun destroying what’s left of your legacy.