I recently saw the new Blu-ray release of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Among the numerous extras included with the set was an audience participation feature. Using the feature you can throw popcorn and other “midnight showing” paraphernalia at the screen by pointing and clicking with the remote control. It’s silly, obviously not akin to the “real” experience, and done (at least I think) for laughs, but it’s been on my mind as I consider what movies I’d enjoy in the sort of really immersive experience that 3D technology can provide.
There will be many movies coming out for 3D as the months go on, and even some television series, I would guess. The Harry Potter finale, I understand is being shot in 3D, and I would venture to say that it will come out in 3D when it’s released on Blu-ray for home viewing.
But what I would love to see in 3D for my home 3D setup (if and when) I get one would be the great space operas: Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica recreated and released for 3D home viewing (and playing). I’ve heard that Star Wars will be released in 3D by Lucasfilm possibly beginning in 2012 with Episode I: Phantom Menace.
Now, I admit that I’m a bit of an original trilogy (that would be Episodes IV, V, and VI) snob and not a big fan of the latter three movies. So my 3D dreams tap into the purist part of me that still laughs during the hopelessly late-’70s bar scene in Star Wars and weeps for joy at the Ewok victory party when Han Solo and Princess Leia finally kiss at the end of Return of the Jedi.
I imagine myself sitting in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon with Han and Chewbacca the Wookie or in a star fighter with Luke Skywalker doing battle with the Emperor’s pilots in the depths of space. Yes, I’m sure there are games out there that let you simulate those things, but I’m talking about being “in” the scene—“in the movie” itself. I’ve tried a 3D space race game created with the new technology, and as awesome as it was, I think that bringing that experience into the film through a bonus track would form the perfect nexus between the film and gaming experience (in my humble opinion).
Obviously, the battle sequences either on land or in spacecraft are logical extensions of the viewing experience. But beyond that, what else might I imagine? What if it were possible to be at Luke Skywalker’s side as he undergoes his Jedi training with Yoda (Empire Strikes Back)—actually being in Luke’s (or Yoda’s) point of view, learning for the first time how to use the light saber. Okay, so the technology might not quite be there yet, but who would have thought that we’d be here in 2010 watching 3D movies at home, and with an experience similar (on a smaller scale) to that of a movie theatre?
Beyond the merging of game and film, the movies themselves would be a magnificent and immersive viewing experience in home 3D. There would, I suppose, be a quaint irony in seeing Princess Leia’s holographic form hovering on our side of the screen in Star Wars as she begs Luke for help. But the real “wow” factor would be in being plunged right into the expansiveness of the movies’ starscapes and stark beauty of their landscapes, enhanced by infinite-seeming depth only possible with 3D technology. The Death Star would be even more imposing, and the final battle between the Emperor, Luke and Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi would be incredibly intense.
On the other hand, I’m not so sure I’d want to experience some of the less engaging characters quite so realistically. Can you imagine, for example, being in Jabba the Hutt’s harem along with Leia? I’m not so sure I want to really go there even—or perhaps especially—in 3D. It’s a frightening enough prospect even in plain old-fashioned standard def!
So tell me your favorite Star Wars (yes even the three newer movies) and how you imagine them in 3D?