Some were discovering Star Wars for the first time, others could remember watching Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace on the big screen 13 years ago, but all were keen to see how it looked in 3-D.

Local personalities including Matt Moran, Gary Mehigan, Richard Wilkins and Damien Leith were drawn to the Australian premiere of Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace in 3D, many of them towing children who weren't even born when it hit cinemas back in 1999.

A live orchestra played the stirring Star Wars soundtrack on a red carpet in Sydney, which was guarded by storm troopers who happily posed for photos with fans as they filed past.

Radio personality Merrick Watts, a self-confessed Star Wars fan, introduced the film, saying director George Lucas had been working on the 3-D conversion for two years with an "army of nerds".

"Nine nerds died making this film," he said.

He went on to ask who in the audience saw Avatar in 3-D.

"Well, it's crap compared to this film," he said lightheartedly.

However, many audience members disagreed after watching the film.

While one fan said he liked the movie, the 3-D didn't live up to his expectations.

"To be honest, I don't think the 3-D was as good as Avatar," he said.

Another said he had seen better 3-D post-conversions.

"The high hopes was that Industrial Light & Magic (Lucas' visual effects company) was going to show what 3-D conversion is all about, but I don't think they did," he said.

A group of avid Star Wars fans thought "the 3-D was great" but "the movie was crap as always".

"It's only for the kids this one," one member said, adding the group were bigger fans of the original movies, although "the droid battle was pretty good".

The first Star Wars movies were released in 1977, 1980 and 1983, Lucas created three prequels to the trilogy in 1999, 2002 and 2005.

The first of these prequels, or Episode 1, is The Phantom Menace.

One fan said he never really liked Episode 1.

"It's not one of his (Lucas') strongest but it was made for the big screen so I guess it's good to see it back there and hopefully they'll release the original films again," he said.

His friend said he was happy to have brought his son along.

"He's seen it on DVD, he's seen it on Blu-ray, so forget the 3-D even, it's just a chance to see a Star Wars film on the big screen," he said.

His son enjoyed the film but thought it looked better on Blu-ray.

But all agreed it was good to see the film's villain Darth Maul in a lightsabre battle with Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor).

"It's been 13 years since we've seen that on the big screen," one said.

His friend added: "Darth Maul and Qui-Gon - when they cut loose, that's the Jedis that we always wanted to see."