James Dempsey: 3D adds little to the re-release of this made-to-order Star Wars flop
IT was a period of frenzied expectation. George Lucas, emerging from Skywalker Ranch, had just finished his first film in 22 years, the first of a trio of prequels that would bring balance, and backstory, to the force. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was franchise cinema’s ultimate release, with enough power to redefine an entire cinematic universe for generations to come.
Having already conquered the silver screen with the original trilogy in the late 70s and early 80s, Lucas had bided his time, waiting for technology to catch up with his grandiose plans for this most epic of space operas. By the mid-90s, Lucas had polished off a script 20-years in the making, and invested heavily into making his Industrial Light & Magic studio the masters of CGI technology.
It was all primed for greatness. The long-awaited history and lore was about to be revealed. Just where did Darth Vader come from, what was the myth behind the Sith, and what had caused him to slide over to the dark side and a life of laboured breathing and dithering robots?