'Star Wars' 3D and Live Action TV Series Update from George Lucas

The director behind the greatest space opera of all time offers new details on the 3D process, and explains the long delay on the TV series.
George Lucas talks Star Wars 3D and TV show delay
George Lucas talks Star Wars 3D and TV show delay
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue has recently launched at Disneyland, and to help promote this rebooted ride, Star Wars universe creator and director George Lucas made an appearance on G4's Attack of the Show, where he talked exclusively about the 3D conversion of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, and why the live action Untitled Star Wars TV Series is still being delayed.

When asked why we should trust that his Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in 3D is going to be better than the recent 3D converted films that we have seen, this is what George Lucas had to say.

"We got into the 3D field a long time ago. We've worked for years and years to build a group of people who could do this in an economic, reasonable time frame. It wasn't until the last few years that we achieved that. We had Industrial Light and Magic supervise the whole thing. They are very familiar with it. The problem is that the people doing the conversion don't know what the sets looked like, or where the people were standing. Those are critical issues. We were able to have people who were there, who knew where the actors were on set, and who were experts in the technology. They could help the company grow to a whole new level. And I think we have taken it to a level that is equal to anything that is being shot in 3D. There are two kinds of 3D. One is behind the screen, and the other is the traditional "effect" of 3D, where they poke things in your face. I am not a big believer of poking things in your face. I am a believer in watching a 3D movie, which is a better experience than watching a 2D movie. It's like going from black and white to color. It's a better way to watch it. Its three-dimensional, it feels much better. That's what you are going to get from the new Star Wars."


When asked if there were any particular moments in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D that utilize the process to an effective degree, George Lucas didn't really sell the idea as necessary.

"There are a few moments, but they aren't big moments. There are moments when a person is standing in the background that has a key piece of information. In the 2D movie, they sort of blend in with the background. You don't notice them that much. Now, in 3D, they stand out. You really get to see what they are talking about. You get the story much faster and much better. It's nothing overwhelming. It's just a better experience, and it's easier to understand the story experience."


Talk then moved onto the live action Untitled Star Wars TV Series, which has been delayed indefinitely. George Lucas explains why.

"It sits on the shelf. We have 50 hours. We are trying to figure out a different way of making movies. We are looking for a different technology that we can use, that will make it economically feasible to shoot the show. Right now, it looks like the Star Wars features. But we have to figure out how to make it at about a tenth of the cost of the features, because its television. We are working toward that, and we continue to work towards that. We will get there at some point. It's just a very difficult process. Obviously, when we do figure this problem out, it will dramatically effect features, because feature films are costing between $250 to $350 million. When we figure this out, they will be able to make a feature film for $50 million."


You can check out the entire interview in the clip below.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope was released May 25th, 1977 and stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew. The film is directed by George Lucas.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace was released May 19th, 1999 and stars Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Pernilla August, Oliver Ford Davies, Hugh Quarshie. The film is directed by George Lucas.


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Comments (60)

  1. Worth5Bucks

    @skywise gotcha lol

    3 years agoby @mattbierwagenFlag

  2. skywise

    @mattbierwagen LOL of course i was talking about Jones sir! I recently watched all of the Indiana Jones movies back to back and even though i knew that final installment was garbage it really shows just how bad it is when you do an Indiana marathon. So, for the record, i was not putting down your state!

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  3. Worth5Bucks

    @skywise im from indiana, but you might have been talking about indiana jones

    3 years agoby @mattbierwagenFlag

  4. skywise

    @mattbierwagen i'm sorry, what do you mean get down on your state?

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  5. K-Man

    @mattbierwagen - Actually, he was very inspired by Star Wars.....so much so that he took everything he loved about it and tried to apply it to Star Trek, which he actually didn't even like growing up as a kid.

    Now, if he didn't even like Star Trek (neither did I before I saw J.J.'s version) and made a Star Trek movie as friggin AWESOME as he did......then imagine what he could do with a Star Wars movie, something he loves.

    Read this article: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/27216676/ns/today-entertainment/t/star-wars-fan-jj-abrams-takes-star-trek/

    3 years agoby @k-manFlag

  6. Worth5Bucks

    @k-man im not sure about abrams directing this. I dont think hed take on the job. Think about it. Hes making probably the best scifi production probably in the last ten years. Theres an article on what inspired him and the movies that changed his life. Notice, star wars is not on that list. Im sure he likes the original trilogy, but i dont think hed give it his all if he was never inspired by it. I think the best way to go about this it wipe lucas's memory of the last 30 years.

    3 years agoby @mattbierwagenFlag

  7. Worth5Bucks

    @skywise hey dont get down on my state :P no actually i agree, i dont like it much here either

    3 years agoby @mattbierwagenFlag

  8. Avian

    I heard nothing but good things from GL yet some people are still resorting to bashing the man for what exactly?

    3 years agoby @avian005Flag

  9. Xenon

    Hold up is that 50 hours of episodes or just fifty hours of work. If it's episodes then air them you idiot.

    I would rather see new films anyhow. So if three to four episodes were put together, it would still be considered a film.

    3 years agoby @xenon56Flag

  10. Paul McConnochie

    I have a FEELING they are holding out for a realtime CG render engine. Gaming engines are getting better and better - As soon as they go photoreal (not terribly far off) that will revolutionise visual effects for film... There will be no more need for render farms, or the time currently involved in rendering CG elements. :)

    3 years agoby @Paul-McConnochieFlag

  11. jae1169

    the franchise has run out of gas either give us a new movie or let it be !!! No need to package and decorate the box if the contents are still the same.....

    3 years agoby @jae1169Flag

  12. Xenon

    Mr. Lucas is insane.
    I just want another film to watch

    3 years agoby @xenon56Flag

  13. renodc

    One comment that Lucas made that I really liked and hope that others in the film industry pick up on is that it is absolutely crucial that they start finding ways to decrease swelling production budgets on feature films. These huge budgets are driving ticket prices sky high domestically, which is greatly affecting theater attendance. When you look at the numbers, it's alarming how many films either didn't make or barely covered their budgets off domestic sales in the last couple of years. If it wasn't for the foreign box office, a ridiculous number of films would have failed.

    3 years agoby @renodcFlag

  14. Space101

    I totally agree with skywise on this, they should make a 7th movie with the original characters and actors, but the movie would have to take place a couple of years down the line of course. It still has to be kept on a realistic time line as well. As for Star Wars in 3D, I ain't buying it. 3D isn't the way to go with this franchise and and making a TV show isn't either.

    3 years agoby @space101Flag

  15. skywise

    ...and we all know how that last Indiana thing turned out...

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  16. skywise

    The only way you could really bring back the original characters is if you deal with time. The actors are all older so that ammount of time will have had to pass in the SW universe. I would be ok with that as long as those actors were ok with handing over the series to the new young Jedi that the new Reuplic is placing so much faith in. Yes, Luke is training young jedi at the acedmy but lets have the action focus on the twins and other characters.

    However, i doubt that Mr. Ford would be happy to play second fiddle to some young whipper snappers...

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  17. Stiles

    If only Lucas would focus on story, characters and script. he's lost all site of what a film is about

    3 years agoby @stilesFlag

  18. Mr_Jellyfish

    Is George Lucas totally divorced from reality? Not only does he expect people to go and watch Phantom Menace again, as if the film were a real treat, but he claims that 3D is simply better than 2D, like going from black and white to colour? First of all; some things are better in black and white, like all the films that were shot in black and white and take advantage of the effect, and secondly; OH MY GOD HE'S INSANE.

    3 years agoby @mr-jellyfishFlag

  19. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @k-man I say JJ Abrams because the only movies I have going for from this dude is Star Trek and Super 8,(sic-fi wise)

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  20. K-Man

    @dan1 - I like Jackson and Blomkamp as a team.....but they wouldn't be right for Star Wars.....well Blomkamp wouldn't be, anyway. I'd take Jackson any day of the week.....but not Blomkamp.

    The Star Wars films are in desperate need of someone who understands that nostalgic feeling one gets when you think of Star Wars in it's prime and understands what makes people love it so much.....but that person also needs to understand what made them so special back before Lucas ruined it.

    So whoever directed the next installments needs to be someone who can make it seem familiar with those traits but also bring a new edge to it.......a more modern style with a classic feel, so to speak.

    That is just the beginning, though. The director would also have to be someone who is fond of miniatures, bigatures, large set-pieces, realistic looking environments (dirty, grimmy spaceships that feel used and lived in), prosthetics, etc.....all things that seemed to be lacking in the prequels but were very much present in the originals...... but that person also needs to understand Special effects and know how and when to use them properly.

    Now, I'm not saying that Blomkamp doesn't know how to use special effects......but he wouldn't be able to come close to making it feel new and classic at the same time like J.J. Abrams would.

    And for anyone who doesn't know what I mean when I say "new and classic", just look at Super 8. He has managed to give that classic Spielberg feel but with a very modern style.

    There is a lot that goes into something like that.......including how you choose your camera angles/move the camera, choosing the composition within the frame (all the visual elements we do or dont see at any given time), choosing how much is live action or miniatures or CG or all of the above.....etc.

    and yes, it seems we do have a consensus here, dont we? He is just the perfect guy for the job.

    How about this:

    Directed by J.J. Abrams

    Produced by Peter Jackson, J.J Abrams and Steven Spielberg

    Executive Produced by George Lucas (only because he would bitch and bring the production to a hault, otherwise)

    Written By: Someone with f*cking talent and who isn't fond of stupid "mesa usa all bomb bad" lines and annoying characters.

    @bawnian-dexeus@incmob@diaigma - And yeah, when I said 7, 8 and 9.....I didn't necessarily mean a continuation with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and all that gang. I'd be down for a really good story that takes place in either the distant past, like KOTOR or the distant future, like SW Legacy. I'd take any "year" as long as it is a good story with great characters and some good old lightsaber action.

    3 years agoby @k-manFlag

  21. Pjwolsker

    yeah f*ck this tv show. it sounds to me like itll never get made. i want to see a Star Wars saga on how the Jedi first came about, that Sith War, or whenever it was when the Sith first took over

    3 years agoby @pjwolskerFlag

  22. Nautical

    Yeah it sucks movies cost soooo much to make now days. Maybe there is more money to be had in a TV series then in a movie. Only thing with that is the quality suffers.

    3 years agoby @nautical05Flag

  23. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    Star Wars 7,8 & 9:

    Director: J.J. Abrams or Ridley Scott or Spielberg (he's great with sci-fi and such) or and (if he were still alive) Stanley Kubrik

    Writer: Lucas and David S. Goyer

    Producer: George Lucas

    I'm bored but this wouldn't bother me.

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  24. Dan

    Jeez.. okay fine, how about KOTOR trilogy, with maybe another team up of Jackson and Blomkamp? No good?

    3 years agoby @dan1Flag

  25. incmob

    okay... i for one am the minority in the topic of j.j abrams doing star wars, or star wars related... i dont think there is an be all end all director and no matter how good he did on star trek and revitalized that franchise, does not necessarily mean he would do good on star wars, especially the fact that take a look abrams only has three films under his belt, and one of them has yet to be released, and for arguments sake... yes he has CO-CREATED some good shows, however he also co created UNDERCOVERS. remember that one... nope, oh, well that is because it was cancelled... NOW..

    i am not a J.J hater, or anti abrams, however you might label it, in fact i love his films... star wars though... there is a chance he could pull it off, but also 5 or 6 other directors as well. look at irvin kerschner in 1980, prior to taking on star wars and headbutting with george, take a look at his filmography and you will see that he had many films under his belt but nothing with the success that empire gained. So my point is this... abrams is cool... but he would not necessarily need to be involved for star wars sequels to be good and/or successful. @slysnide i agree, too much has happened in the books and EU to really go forward anyhow.

    3 years agoby @incmobFlag

  26. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @slysnide Hey, I'm all for Old Republic, just that Jacen Solo is one of many solid story arcs that can work for some. We could have Mark return as Luke too and what not. Although Old Republic can dish out various new faces.

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  27. Dan

    I can't win. It's like arguing Israel vs Palestine :P

    3 years agoby @dan1Flag

  28. slysnide

    @diaigma: Ditto.

    @bawnian-dexeus: That's part of that epicness I was talking about. It worked with Anikan cuz the Sith created him and in doing so he was their undoing as the prophecy proclaimed milleniums earlier. The rise of the new sith order was rather done for the sake of continuing the series. And it sorta retconned the prophecy and ultimate accomplishment of the rebels to fall right back into the same cycle. Albeit the realistic outcome.

    3 years agoby @slysnideFlag

  29. Diaigma

    @slysnide - I'm all for an Old Republic saga . . .

    3 years agoby @diaigmaFlag

  30. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @slysnide There's always the story of Jacen Solo

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag