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.