Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 3D Feb, 2012

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Fox and Lucasfilm have announced (via Deadline) that on Feb 10th, 2012 we'll see the "first" installment of the two Star Wars Trilogies in 3D. Of course, this announcement is hardly a surprise since it was announced last year, but we'll pretend like a release date is big news anyway.

I'm not a fan of 3D, and I'm barely a fan of Star Wars any more, but I'm somewhat excited by this, despite the fact that they are going in story order and not chronological by original release date.

Now here is where I'm going to go get myself in a little bit of critical trouble: I like Episode I. I even think it's the best installment of the New Trilogy, even. Yes, it is chock full of flaws, but, honestly, so what? It did one simple thing that Episodes II and III didn't do: it elicited the same feelings I had about the Original Trilogy that I had as a child.

Really, it's that simple.

That's all I wanted it to do, and that's what it did. I don't know why the rest of you can't get past Jar Jar and Jake Lloyd and accept it for what it is. You can't approach any of the Star Wars with conditions, they are to be loved unconditionally or not loved at all. They're not the kind of movies to be watched with a critical brain -- and yes, we're allowed to have those films even in an adult world.

Naturally everyone brings up the pod race as a point of interest in the 3D conversion, but it's the Jedi/Sith fights I'll be looking forward to. Especially, it has to be said, the arena battle at the end of Episode II and Luke and Vader's lightsaber fights in Empire and Jedi. It's the laser blasters in your face that I'm kind of dreading, but it can't be helped I suppose.

But the biggest thing I'm curious about -- a morbid curiostiy, I'll admit -- is wondering what a good over/under on how many hundreds of millions of dollars George Lucas is about to add to his bank account between the Bluray box set at the end of the years and the theatrical re-re-re-re-releases? And, no doubt, the many new toys and video games to be made. $300m? $500m? More? Less?

Even with being a multibillionaire, I can't imagine how sore Lucas must be about trading those Star Wars back end points with Steven Spielberg for Close Encounters back end points. But if he's sore about that, they must both want to strangle John Milius, who got Star Wars and Close Encounters points in exchange for Big Wednesday points. Oh, George.

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