Under normal circumstances, a new Star Wars release would be met with months of hype, teaser trailer after teaser trailer, endless marketing opportunities and the distant sound of millions of film buffs across the globe quietly hyperventilating. Maybe the world is suffering from a general Star Wars malaise, but there is definitely a lack of anticipation surrounding this week's release of the 3D version of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (originally released, in the traditional 2d-no-need-for-glasses format in 1999).
There will, of course, be a hard-core of Star Wars fanatics chomping at the bit for the chance to experience the thrill of having light sabres whooshing around above their scalps. And maybe to feel just a little bit closer to Natalie Portman who has been forgiven for her wooden Phantom Menace performance, since she appeared in Black Swan. But the overwhelming response to the three-dimensional re-working of the first of the Star Wars prequels has been one of ambivalence.
Twitter users have displayed varying degrees of scorn, with Evie_Harris joking "Does Star Wars I being in 3D mean the characters are now two-dimensional?" And there are several reminders that a 3D reworking can't ever hide what made the film unpopular amongst many film buffs in the first place: Bianmbendis kindly reminds his followers "no matter what the commercials say Star Wars 3D means 3D Jar Jar. this has been a public service announcement." And even Darth Vader himself, DepressedDarth couldn't muster a smile, announcing that he wouldn't be watching the 3D release because "it's like watching embarrassing movies of yourself as a kid."