The medium is the message. If you don't think that CGI have a negative effect on how filmmakers approach the creation of a film you have your head up your ass. Does anyone here think that the great epic blockbusters of the pre-CGI era are not superior in nearly every way to the modern garbage we are fed? Yes, I am including overrated mediocrities like LOTR and Avatar as "modern garbage"
A tool is never just a tool. If you don't recognize that you end up like Mr. Lucas.
I don't think CGI has a 'negative effect' in the slightest. Crap is crap. It's always been made. I don't think there's much more of it now than there ever has been. I think we've been "fed" as much garbage since the advent of cinema.
Perhaps from the vantage of your glorious high-horse you can better define what you mean by "great epics" and "modern garbage." Or is this just another fine example of '...kids today... crap... off my lawn... grrrr.... Jar Jar... grrrrr....'
The 1963 classic Jason and the Argonauts is a series of special effects sequences strung together with the slimmest of plots and no ending. Are you counting it as a classic epic? Many do. Perhaps if they hadn't been so obsessed with stop-motion they would have given the story an ending. Or are you comparing Lawrence of Arabia to Attack of the Clones?
Perhaps I am just biased then, but I can't help but feel that CGI and the effect it has had on filmmaking is, in great part, why we have to have a website like OT.com. I know I am assuming that is has had an effect of course.
It just seems weird that there are people on this forum who are defending CGI as "just another tool" when it seems to me that this "tool" is largely responsible for our current dilemma; no proper release of the OOT. I doubt George would have bothered trying to make 'special editions"without CGI effects. And if he had, they would have in all likelihood looked a lot better since he would have been forced to use traditional effects that would have blended in with the original material more effectively than CGI.