Lucasfilm Postpones Plans for Further STAR WARS 3D Re-Releases

     January 28, 2013


The 3D re-release trend seems to have come and gone rather quickly.  Just recently we learned that Disney had canceled its plans to re-release The Little Mermaid in 3D, and now Lucasfilm (also owned by Disney) is rethinking its re-release plan for the Star Wars films.  The trend of post-converting popular older movies to 3D and putting them back in theaters was kicked off by The Lion King to great success, but subsequent re-releases like Beauty and the Beast and Finding Nemo didn’t really catch on.  We learned today that Lucasfilm would rather focus their attention on the new Star Wars films, so they’ve decided to postpone plans to put the previous Star Wars films back into theaters.  Hit the jump for more.

star-wars-episode-1-poster-drew-struzanPer, Lucasfilm wasnts to focus all its efforts on the new Star Wars trilogy:

Lucasfilm has decided to postpone this fall’s scheduled release of Star Wars Episodes II and III in 3D. Given the recent development that we are moving forward with a new Star Wars trilogy, we will now focus 100 percent of our efforts on Star Wars: Episode VII in order to ensure the best possible experience for our fans. We will post further information about our 3D release plans at a later date.

It’s unknown how long this postponement will last, or whether the 3D re-releases will ever see the light of day.  This is kind of a bum deal, since the only Star Wars re-release we got was Episode I: The Phantom Menace in February 2012.  That film didn’t do great in its theatrical re-release, but that’s what Lucasfilm gets for starting with the prequels instead of first giving fans the chance to see the original trilogy on the big screen again.  I’m no oracle, but I can almost guarantee that the 3D re-releases would’ve been a much greater success had they started with A New Hope.

Alas, Lucasfilm and Disney are now focused squarely on getting this new trilogy of Star Wars films right.  We finally learned that J.J. Abrams will be taking the helm of Episode VII, and given that all of Disney’s recent tentpole films have been in 3D (including those from Marvel and Pixar), it’s a pretty safe bet that Episode VII will also be released in the format.  Abrams shot Star Trek Into Darkness in 2D and post-converted to 3D under a directive from Paramount, so I wouldn’t be shocked if a similar situation happened here as well.  The big question is whether the filmmaker will shoot Episode VII on film or digital.

What do you think, Star Wars fans?  Should the new films be film or digital?  Should they be shot in 3D or would a post-conversion suffice?



  • TK

    1. Not all Disney’s recent films have been 3D. “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” was not.

    2. Is it coincidence that all these decisions come shortly after we learn about legal issues with the company who owns the tech that post-converts for Disney? Didn’t I read recently something about that which might effect Disney’s ability to legally keep distributing post-converted 3D classics? And now all of Disney’s post-converted films have been scrapped. Hmm… Whatever Lucasfilm is saying, I’ll bet it all comes down to these legalities thanks to the Disney merger.

    3. New movies should be shot on film, and thus not 3D. But of course they don’t care what I think and they’ll do them in 3D anyway, which these days means shooting on video. So if that’s going to happen then dear God let it not be at a high frame rate.

    • Greyson

      Notice how they said “tentpole films”. Timothy Green was hardly a tentpole.

  • Person

    I like the idea of shooting it on film, it’ll tie it a bit better to the older episodes. Of course the 3D will probably ruin that effect, but if they can do film and 2D, there shall be hope. Also, Disney should know they can basically print money by releasing a Star Wars movie, I hope they don’t feel like 3D is mandatory to really make a huge profit. Hopefully Abrams convinces them to avoid the extra dimension.

  • Cody B

    I totally would have gone to go see the Star Wars Saga in theaters again… If they had rereleased them without the 3D. Why can’t studios just rerelease movies without the 3D gimmick?!

  • Jake

    Why even rerelease in 3D then at all? Just wait until closer towards the release of VII and just do a standard theatrical rerelease of each film once a month until VII.

  • sloan

    Good, who gives a shit about finicky, gimmicky 3D. Just try watching Avatar without 3d. It’s last of the mohecans, which was a better movie, but still not that great. The novelty wears off in 15-30 minutes and you’re stuck with a goofy pair of Richard Belzer’s on and you can’t tilt your head. AND, and! you have to pay more to be inconvenienced. Another good move on Disney’s behalf to right the wrongs of a bloated blowhard.

  • Doug

    It’s hilariously sad that Episode I was the only one released. Ugh.


    Good move disney! Concentrate all firepower on making the next films great as can be!
    I was looking forward to seeing Star Wars in 3D though, Phantom menace was still a horrible film, but in 3D i found it improved visually. The actors didnt looked bluescreened, the sets and virtual sets had depth so looked less composited, and mainly the cgi characters shared the same virtual space as the actors improving the overall feel of the film. In 2D the film looked like actors and cgi characters were cut n pasted on. So I was looking forward to seeing the others this way, well the OT was perfect as it was but i’m still curious to see that in a way that i havent before.

    However, that can wait, i’d rather see the films FIXED first before 3D. As in edited out horrible dialogue and those stupid bluray edits that were added to the OT.

  • Northern Star

    As the whole 3-D theatrical releases were nothing but further profiteering from Lucas (to cover the enormous overhead costs of running his company), it’s a wise movie on the new management’s part to cancel them… stereoscopic imaging won’t make the prequel films any better, at least, short of a major and extensive re-editing! Now that FOX have an opening in October for one of their films, may I suggest they fast-track the ’24′ movie, get it shot this summer, and release it on October 24th this year…

  • PhillB

    I hope Peter Jackson’s bet on 48fps flops just like 3D did. Moviemaking has acquired ubiquitous standards, and so far, few technical gimmicks have blended well with movies.

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