The Phantom Menace: to 3D or not 3D?

The re-release of Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 3D is officially a box office success. The film has grossed nearly $80 million worldwide and has crossed the $1 billion threshold – the first Star Wars film to join the prestigious billon-dollar club.

It may surprise you to know that I have not contributed a penny to its box office receipts. Not that I’m opposed to seeing the Star Wars saga in 3D. I would simply prefer to see the films in the order that I originally saw them, which is the order I think everyone should see them. PRODUCTION ORDER.

Out of order: Once again, George Lucas puts dollars before sense.

One of the reasons the Star Wars prequels work for me is that the original trilogy came first. Having experienced the adventures of Luke and Han, what fan wouldn’t be curious to know the Skywalker family history? What happened to Luke and Leia’s mother? Why did Anakin turn to the Dark Side? Was Yoda always green?

I pity any Star Wars fan that watches The Empire Strikes Back today and doesn’t share Luke’s utter shock and disgust when Darth Vader reveals hismself to be Luke’s father. But if you start with Episode I, this is not news to you. However, when I first saw the film in 1980, my friends and I debated for three years whether it was the truth or a lie.

George Lucas is a great filmmaker, but an even greater business man. He knows that releasing films in chronological order will mean more box office bucks for him and his Empire. I know legions of fans are going to see The Phantom Menace, and pay premium 3D ticket prices, just to ensure the release of the Original Trilogy down the line.

Thanks to all of you! I look forward to joining you all in line in 2015, with my son (who will be about 6 by then), to see A New Hope – the best of all the Star Wars films – in its 3D incarnation. Until then, Lucas will have to wait a little bit longer to get more of my money.

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