This year has seen plenty of massive blockbusters so far, from Beauty and the Beast to Wonder Women to Thor: Ragnarok, but the biggest is still to come. On Dec. 14, Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi will finally hit theaters, and it's expected to be the biggest hit of 2017. And since just about everyone and their mother plans on seeing the movie in theaters, many are wondering if they should spring for 3D tickets. So is The Last Jedi in 3D worth it?
Probably not. The 3D revival has been going on for the last decade or so, but its effect on the industry seems to be waning. When it comes to making movies in 3D, there are essentially two ways of producing them. The first way is to film the movie in native 3D using special cameras. This has become extremely rare and few movies do it anymore — Transformers: The Last Knight is the only 2017 film to do so, according to realorfake3d.com — and it doesn't bode well for the industry that the most impressive example of a film utilizing this technology remains Avatar — which was released way back in 2009. The second technique, and by far the most common, is to film the movie in traditional 2D and then digitally convert the footage to 3D after the fact. This results in a far less rich 3D experience than when the footage is filmed natively in 3D, but it's become the go-to for nearly every 3D film seen in theaters today... and that includes The Last Jedi.
Like The Force Awakens before it, The Last Jedi was not filmed in native 3D, but was converted afterwards for 3D screenings. The Force Awakens was the first Star Wars movie to ever be shown in 3D, but underwhelmed in the format due to the conversion. You can expect the same from The Last Jedi, but this time around there isn't even the novelty of it being the first 3D film in the series. In some ways, you could even argue that since Star Wars is such an old-fashioned franchise, it's almost a disservice to watch the movie in 3D, and fans should even seek out screenings on 70mm or 35mm film, of which there are several scattered about the nation. The Last Jedi apparently thinks so little of its 3D version that fans can even opt to see the film in IMAX without 3D, a relative rarity for films of this stature as IMAX screenings typically come bundled with 3D as a default, according to comicbook.com.
Although it's probably not worth seeing The Last Jedi in 3D, that doesn't necessarily mean you should eschew all forms of new technology when deciding what kind of Star Wars ticket to buy, as the movie is most definitely is worth seeing in IMAX. That's because portions of the movie were filmed with special IMAX cameras, meaning these scenes will really pop when shown on the format's gigantic screens. Not only that, but the scenes in question are said to be key sequences in the film, according to comingsoon.net, making the IMAX showings that much more important.
The gold standard for seeing The Last Jedi would have to be watching the movie in 70mm IMAX. This combines the best of both worlds by showing a Star Wars movie on actual film — like the Force intended — while also making use of IMAX technology. Unfortunately, there aren't many places in the country where you can view this version, with only 10 theaters in the U.S. meeting the criteria. But if you can seek it out, definitely try.
Whether you see The Last Jedi in 3D or not is ultimately up to you, but if you really want to splurge on your ticket, making a trek to a 70mm IMAX showing may pay off even better than Rey's trip to Ahch-To.