True Definition

A three-dimensional take over

In 3D, Star Wars, Three-Dimensional on October 19, 2010 at 2:59 am

It was recently announced that George Lucas plans to convert his beloved films to Imax 3D. As nerds around the world rejoice at the chance to watch a three-dimensional Princess Leia strangle Jabba the Hut, I find myself asking why? Why even bother converting Star Wars to 3D? I mean does it really matter now, George? You’ve already created one of the most praised trilogies of all time. Is blue-ray not good enough for you? Okay, enough with my rant on Mr. Lucas. I guess the better question to ask is, why not?

Right now, 3D technology is becoming what High Definition used to be to analog. Things like the Nintendo 3DS, which is basically the new game boy, allows the user to play in 3D… without even using glasses. Can you believe that? It’s now starting to feel like the future finally. Shouldn’t we have flying cars and intergalactic alliances with other species by now?

It’s surprising that 3D technology has been around for as long as it has. Longer than most would imagine, dating back to 1856 when a man named J.C d’Almeida demonstrated that you could project a 3D image by using two stereoscopic images. For those of you unaware of what a stereoscopic image is, it’s when two views of the same thing are photographed at slightly different viewpoints. There is usually a two and a half inch difference between images as to represent the distance between a pair of human eyes. D’Almeida had the idea to color one image red and the other green, and to use a pair of red and green colored lenses to view the images. When viewed in a rapid sequence, the green image can only be seen through the red lens and vice versa. After the brain processes these images a three-dimensional picture is constructed. This method of displaying 3D images was used down the road in The Power of Love, the first 3D film in 1922.

I know how cliché it is to quote Bob Dylan in a piece like this, but the reality is that the times really are changing. Mark my words, companies will soon be advertising in 3D, causing us to leap from our seats when a Big Mac flies out of our television set, making mouths water across the country. It will be interesting to see how this new technology will be implemented into our lives within the next decade.  My only concern, from a film and television perspective, is whether 3D and HD technology will lower the quality of the stories and characters and be more focused on the video effects rather then substance. I question whether this is a step backwards in the film industry. Could converting a film to 3D be a cheap way to make money, or is this going to be the next technology standard and if so, should we embrace it?

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  1. I believe that Lucas’ plan isn’t exactly a terrible one. I can certainly see how some fans will be offended that such a beloved and classic story is being modified, but I believe that this film is exampling what happens if you take a classic story and add 3-D elements to it. Just as much as Star Wars is a popcorn flick, it is a tremendous drama with deep characters. The film is so incredulously written that the story carries the movie forward without the need for flashy special effects.

    So when you are now adding 3-D, I believe that Lucas can help example how such an impressive movie can effectively be presented in 3-D.

    This isn’t the first time that Lucas has put his foot in the door of 3-D. Lucas has licensed 3-D attractions at amusement parks, and told original stories that immersed the audience with 3-D technology to make people feel as though they were actually a part of the Star Wars universe.

    If we have fans thirty years later dressing in C3PO suits and wearing honey buns on their heads during Star Wars conventions, what’s wrong with a little realism with the original cast?

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