Pros and Cons of Seeing ‘The Phantom Menace’ in 3D


George Lucas announced in September 2010 that he would release 3D versions of all six “Star Wars” films, one a year, starting in 2012. In a rare instance of George Lucas doing exactly what he said he was going to do, “Episode I — The Phantom Menace” does indeed open in 3D this Friday.

The “Star Wars” fans who hate George Lucas as much as they love “Star Wars” have been conflicted these last 18 months. After making the obligatory jokes about whether Jake Lloyd’s performance would be three-dimensional (har!), they wondered: can we pay to see these movies? Remember, we agreed as a society that we hated the prequels and would hate them forever, no matter what. That’s why they’re only the 7th, 32nd, and 14th highest-grossing films of all time, respectively, and why they only made a combined worldwide total of a measly $2.4 billion, because everyone hates them.

But even these despised prequels have moments that the hardcore detractors have to admit will probably look pretty spiffy in 3D. People rant and rave about how “The Phantom Menace” has the twin evils of Jake Lloyd and Jar Jar Binks — but when push comes to shove, they sure love that pod-racing scene.

So it’s a thorny dilemma. It’s probably the greatest crisis our generation has ever faced. To help you make sense of it all, we have compiled this list of the pluses and minuses.


– Qui-Gon Jinn might be less boring if we pretend he’s being played by the Liam Neeson we saw in “Taken” and “The Grey.”

– No movie can be completely worthless when it has Ewan McGregor, Terence Stamp, Dominic West, Samuel L. Jackson, AND the voice of Frank Oz. Science has proven this.

– With regard to Jar Jar Binks, one of two things will happen. Either you’ll find he doesn’t irritate you as much as he did 13 years ago, which will be nice; or you’ll find you still hate him just as much as before, which will be satisfying in its own way.

– 3D glasses will help you avoid being recognized by anyone who might mock you for being there.

– The people who legitimately like this movie — generally speaking, people who were 15 or younger when it came out — are all going to be there. Wouldn’t it be fun to share in their happiness? Or, if it turns out they don’t like it anymore, in their disappointment?


– You hate these movies, remember? You totally hate them. George Lucas took your childhood out to dinner, took advantage of your childhood, and then never called your childhood again. George Lucas ruined all your happy memories of the original “Star Wars” trilogy. He is history’s greatest monster. When the original trilogy gets its 3D release, then we’ll have something to talk about. But you HATE these prequels.

– Those #@!*% 3D glasses and those $%^&@* 3D ticket prices.

– You might think seeing the lovely Natalie Portman would be a “pro,” but sorry: she was only 17 when this was filmed. You’ll have to wait for “Attack of the Clones” to appreciate her beauty guilt-free.

– George Lucas is already the richest fat-necked man in the world, and buying a ticket to this will only make him richer and his neck fatter.

– You know what else opens this weekend? That thing with Denzel Washington, “Safe House,” where NO ONE IS SAFE! That looks pretty good.