EXCLUSIVE: No More ‘Star Wars’ 3D Prequel Releases; Lucasfilm Passes To Focus On New Trilogy

EXCLUSIVE: I learned of this decision just now from Lucasfilm‘s promotional partners who are telling me the studio now owned by Disney wants to focus only on “rebooting the franchise” with three new Star Wars films. This surprising decision follows the underwhelming box office performance of Episode I: The Phantom Menace re-released in 3D in February 2012. It debuted to only $23M domestically but maybe even more importantly hardcore fans felt it was yet another craven cash grab by George Lucas. Back in September 2010, Lucasfilm and then-distributor Fox announced that all 6 films in the Star Wars franchise would be converted to 3D. Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (first released on May 16, 2002) was to hit theaters in 3D on September 20th, 2013, while Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith (first released on May 19, 2005) was to play in 3D on October 11, 2013. This news comes just days after Disney confirmed that J.J. Abrams will direct the new Star Wars: Episode VII scheduled to be released in 2015. It’s the first new Star Wars movie since 2005. Michael Arndt is writing the script. Disney bought Lucasfilm in October 2012 for $4 billion, with the Star Wars franchise obviously the jewel in the crown. At the time, Disney CEO Bob Iger said three more Star Wars films were in the pipeline.

Comments (100)

  • What a colossal waste of time that 3D detour was (which is what many of us said when it was announced).

    Comment by Bradley — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:31pm PST  
    • And for all the people who hated the idea of Disney buying Lucasfilm… they seem to be making all of the good decisions Lucas was incapable of making while in charge.

      Comment by Bradley — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:34pm PST  
      • Culdn’t have said it better myself!

        Comment by jtowns32 — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 1:19pm PST  
      • Let’s not give Disney too. Uh credit for integrity. If Episode I 3D made decent box office they would have followed through. The decision is all about money.

        Comment by Scott F — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 1:43pm PST  
        • I actually will give Disney credit on this one. Anyone with any sense and knowledge of Star Wars would tell you that if all films were re-released, episode would do the worst. I’m sure that if they kept the conversions going they would only get more and more money as they kept going. Anyone expecting a huge take-in from episode 1 is delusional.

          Comment by Carl M — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 4:11pm PST  
      • you’ve gotta be crazy to think that JJA was a good decision

        Comment by Anonymous — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 6:46pm PST  
        • Then consider me crazy. I’m just thrilled Lucas won’t be sucking the life out of any more actors.

          Comment by RoFo71 — Saturday May 4, 2013 @ 8:14am PDT  
      • Hey Lucas did a good job when he was n charge

        Comment by Dominic — Saturday February 23, 2013 @ 6:49pm PST  
    • What a colossal waste of time all the prequels were.

      Comment by PQM — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 8:06pm PST  
  • I actually think this is a mistake. Re-releasing the original trilogy in theaters before the new Episode VII would be a smart promotional idea.

    Comment by DFT — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:32pm PST  
    • Agreed, but the original trilogy WASN’T 3D. Lucas was turning the original trilogy (which he seems to have a real disdain for) into rides/gimmicks.

      Re-release the original trilogy as is aways was and people will come.

      Comment by Bradley — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:53pm PST  
    • no…they were releasing the Prequel trilogy in 3d only, the Original trilogy would not of been redone for 3d

      Comment by Mpoff — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:57pm PST  
      • The original plan was for one STAR WARS film to be re-released per year in 3D, staring with EPISODE I. But since no one gave a shit about that pic, McCallum clarified Lucasfilm’s position as saying they’d release the the prequels one per year and, depending on box office, move onto the original trilogy…which was basically their way of saying, “Better cough up some money for the shitty ones if you wanna even have a chance of seeing the good ones.”

        But, yeah, if Disney is smart, they’ll start talking with Fox — if they haven’t already — about getting A NEW HOPE, EMPIRE, and JEDI ready for 3D re-release over the next two years.

        Comment by B.D. — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 2:19pm PST  
  • Very silly, as Episodes II and III would have looked great in 3D, given they were digitally shot and rendered throughout.

    Comment by Dillan — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:32pm PST  
    • They would have looked like shit in 3D because they are shit.

      Comment by Scott F — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 1:44pm PST  
    • @Dillan: “Very silly, as Episodes II and III would have looked great in 3D, given they were digitally shot and rendered throughout.”

      Lets just say I am familiar with how things were being done on II and III, and this was not how it was being done. It was the same process used on Episode I. Also, the vast majority of the work for II and III was being done in India, whereas the first one had much more work being done in the states, with India as support.

      Comment by mir — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 6:01pm PST  
  • Smart movie–the 3D releases would pretty much be negative advertising for the new films.

    Comment by Anonymous — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:34pm PST  
  • Can’t say I am disappointed, but I am surprised the company is so willing to shift so quickly from Lucas’ direction. Maybe there is hope for the future of the franchise, though.

    Comment by No One Of Consequence — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:35pm PST  
  • Maybe this Disney deal wasn’t a bad idea after all.

    Comment by M — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:35pm PST  
  • I think I’d rather gouge out my own eyeballs than shell out $20 to watch Jar Jar Binks and Hayden Christensen in 3D…

    Comment by AdmittedNerd — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:38pm PST  
  • What about the original trilogy? I wouldn’t mind paying to see A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back in 3D.

    Comment by hmm? — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:39pm PST  
  • Death to 3D

    Comment by hello — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:39pm PST  
  • Good – you can put new frosting on old doughnuts but they’re still old doughnuts.

    Comment by Jeff — Monday January 28, 2013 @ 12:39pm PST  
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