Star Wars: The Force Awakens will not be shown in its full glory in all UK cinemas; in fact, only two have the necessary technology.
While sales for the latest in the Star Wars franchise have hit all time highs and IMAX is responsible for many of the ticket sales, according to JJ Abrams most fans won’t be seeing the film the way it is intended.
He told the Associated Press: “As someone who really hasn’t been the most vocal advocate of 3D, the strangest thing happened to me on this.
“When I was watching the reels in 3D, there were a number of shots – and I know this sounds insane – that I hadn’t understood in the three-dimensional space quite the way I did when I saw them in 3D. I actually felt that there were things that were playing better in 3D.
“I had never felt that before. And if people have access to a theatre that has laser projection, it is shockingly better.”
The problem with Abrams’ request is the fact that just two UK cinemas have laser projectors thus far; and they’re both in England.
Naturally, one of the only cinemas with the projector is the expected location of the world premiere – Empire at London’s Leicester Square – while the other is Cineworld in Sheffield.
So why are those the only cinemas capable of showing the film at its full glory? Well, according to Abrams there are several key components that need to be put into place for optimal viewing pleasure.
Firstly, viewers need to be watching the film on an IMAX screen – which is what hundreds of thousands of people are already doing, with IMAX accounting for a third of pre-release sales for Star Wars.
At least one scene was filmed at full-width 70mm IMAX resolution – which means not just any IMAX screen will do, as it will need to be displayed on a non-cropped IMAX display.
Then lastly only a laser projector is good enough for the 70mm output.
Unfortunately, all those requirements mean than many people watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it comes out on December 17 will not be seeing it as Abrams intended.