The jazz of 3-D effects unnecessary and distracting add-ons to original films


It’s no secret amongst colleagues, compatriots and all-around cockamamies that I harbor a burning, quasi-erotic passion for the ways of the Jedi Order.

Whether this manifests by way of me waving my hand around all mystical-like, grimly intoning “I have a bad feeling about this” whether or not the occasion merits such sentiment, or grabbing a jagged slab of birch I’ve decided is a lightsaber and brutally accosting some hapless passerby I’ve decided is a Sith Lord (by the by, “please stop” actually means “I warmly welcome what you’re doing and feel it’s of crucial value to our societal fabric”).

One thing is certain: I better stay on those pills because if I violate my parole it’s all going down the pisser.

It is much too easy, after all, to stray from the path of sunshine and gummi bears and licorice farts.

There’s always someone or something around to grind your gears and shatter your serenity with the sadistic glee of some bearded fellow knocking a box of hot wings clear out of your hand.

(Apologies for the inside jokes – with each passing week I’ve got less and less opportunity to wheel them out, so I’m taking full advantage of what little time I have.)

That example is uncannily appropriate since it just so happens that the actions of another bearded fellow have driven me away from the light and onto the soapbox.

I recently rewatched the “original” Star Wars trilogy with a friend whose childhood had somehow been Force-free.

I place “original” into quotational quarantine because we only had access to the Special Editions.

I belonged to what may have been the last contingent of youngsters whose first exposure to Star Wars predated George Lucas’ incomprehensible assault on his own legacy (that includes the prequels), so I know in the marrow of my bones that Greedo shot first, ESB Palpatine is a chimpanzee eyes-clad old woman, and that whole unfortunate Hayden Christensen business just never happened.

It may seem somewhat absurd to be so protective of what is essentially very well-made and entertaining kitsch, but I can’t help feeling unsettled by Lucas’ efforts to eradicate the memory of the untouched originals.

It’s no longer even advertised that the current releases have been significantly altered, and word is that the upcoming 3D versions will fall victim to even more ill-advised tinkering.

However you feel about them personally, these movies form an integral part of pop cultural history; they’ve outgrown the petty whims of an artist-turned-bored mogul and his expensive technological toys.

And make no mistake – whatever line he’s currently taking about how he’s merely bringing the films up to speed with his original vision, this is all about generating revenue.

It’s part of a larger pattern that seems to become more pronounced as the entertainment industry’s desperation increases.

Most obvious of late is the onslaught of 3D re-releases, running the gamut from Titanic to The Lion King.

There’s no real reason why most of these flicks needed a fresh coat of paint, but as long as people are willing to fork out jacked-up fees there doesn’t need to be.

I get that Hollywood’s big, big business and the cash flow must be kept steady, but examples like Star Wars make one worry that cultural staples will continue to be steamrolled in the name of the bottom line.

Ironically, Lucas himself said it best when he spoke out against the colorization of black-and-white films, citing the desire for his children to experience classic cinema the same way he first did.

Gotta wonder if he actually hears himself when he speaks or just drifts in and out.

Regardless, the preservation of significant pop culture is just as crucial in its way as that of literature, music et al..

I can only implore you to save your money (hard-earned or otherwise) and not enable destructive cash grabs.


Justin Levesque can be contacted at

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