Money-grubbing 3D re-release of The Phantom Menace got you down? Here’s John Scalzi on why we should all just shut up and learn to accept the fact that the Star Wars films aren’t going anywhere:
Star Wars has the books, games, merchandising, and so on, but at the end of the day the movies are at the heart of the universe, and Lucas is smart enough to know he has to engage each new generation with them. In that respect, the theatrical re-releases aren’t aimed at the people who saw the films when they were originally in the theaters; they’re aimed at the ones who have never seen them there — or indeed possibly have not seen them at all. Lucas is explicitly taking a page from Disney, which before the age of home video would re-release its classic movies every seven years or so in order to bring in a new crop of fans to Snow White and Pinocchio and Dumbo (and which is also using 3D right now to do the same trick — note the recent releases of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast).
To be blunt about it, if you’re an older Star Wars fan, your exasperation at the 3D release of The Phantom Menace – and the future 3D versions of the other five films in the series — is almost totally irrelevant, because you’re not really the intended audience. Your kid is. And, speaking as the father of a 13-year-old girl, I can assure you that your child finds your exasperation quaint and adorable. The good news here is that in 10 to 12 years, when a new Star Wars release is out, you’ll smile when your child has his or her own nerd rage about how the films have been changed. It’s the nerd circle of life.