How Did 3D Affect 'The Force Awakens'? It Was Definitely Worth The Extra Money
The weekend of December 18, to the surprise of absolutely no one, Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke almost every box office record there is with its worldwide release in both standard theaters and in 3D. However, considering that 3D movies for audiences weren't exactly an option during the release of all six previous films, this was definitely a different movie-watching experience for the original fans of the franchise. This made not only the theater-viewing experience itself unique, but also added to the already apparent changes for fans going to see the film. The new film was indeed made with access to many modern day visual effects — as opposed to George Lucas' preference for making the set as realistic as possible in the past — but, overall, how did modern visual effects and 3D affect The Force Awakens?
Basically, it was amazing. Director J.J. Abrams decided not to strive too far from the original intentions of Lucas, making sure that the set was made up of actors in costumes and real fire explosions, as opposed to just saving all of the major visual imagery for the editing process (as it was done in the highly-scrutinized prequels of the early 2000s). As reference, here's a behind-the-scenes look of the making of The Force Awakens that Abrams showed fans at San Diego Comic-Con:
So, does this determination to keep things similar to the past end up effecting the 3D-watching experience of today? Considering that the film was shot with IMAX cameras, that definitely says something about what formats the film would be best in. However, as always, the difference relies in the eye of the beholder. Here's what some Star Wars 3D watchers had to say about their experience:
And super cool 3D glasses do seem to help:
However, the struggle for non-3D showings over the weekend was, in fact, real:
Even though the film kept true to its original visual effect intentions, maybe vamping up the way we watch these original effects makes the overall experience all the more real? I sure think it does! But maybe you just want to sit back and watch it in a standard format. Because, honestly, the film is just as amazing either way. And, no matter what viewing format you chose (or choose), may the Force be with you all.
Images: Lucasfilm; Walt Disney Motion Pictures