‘Star Wars’ 3D Re-Releases Cancelled; Focus now on ‘Episode 7′

Published 1 year ago by

Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace 3D Review Star Wars 3D Re Releases Cancelled; Focus now on Episode 7

Unfortunate news to some; a completely understandable and relieving announcement to others. With Star Wars: Episode VII now boasting a director in the form of J.J. Abrams, and Lucasfilm’s new corporate leadership focusing on rejuvenating and expanding the Star Wars brand, the decision has been made to leave the past in the past, and look to the future.

With a bright horizon for the galaxy far, far, away, it’s being reported today that the 3D theatrical re-releases of Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith have been cancelled.

The report comes courtesy of Deadline, and is less than surprising, given the reaction and box office take for the 3D re-release of Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Despite failing to make the problems of the first prequel any easier to look past (read our review if in doubt), the 3D release only brought in $103 million. More than enough to cover the post-conversion with a healthy profit, but clearly the risk of saturating the market isn’t worth it for the series’ new trustees.

The promotional partners cited as the source of this update explain that the decision was made to shift focus and attention towards the next three Star Wars films (currently being written). While it’s still too early to tell how successful Episode VII will turn out, this move should be seen as a good sign going forward.

There was money to be made by post-converting the previous films – and charging higher ticket prices for the 3D experience – but perhaps Disney learned lessons that the previous incarnation of Lucasfilm refused to. Namely: if you’re trying to convince people that the best is yet to come, it’s not wise to regularly remind them of what happened the last time that was promised.

Star Wars 3D re release Star Wars 3D Re Releases Cancelled; Focus now on Episode 7

Disney’s desire to wipe the slate clean, and build numbered sequels and spin-off films has already been seen with Marvel, so it stands to reason they’re not banking on much nostalgia for the Star Wars series post-1990s. That being said, there’s still some hope (pun) for seeing the original films re-released in 3D at some point. Even modest projections would put a 3D release of Episode IV – A New Hope above The Phantom Menace‘s $23 million domestic opening, and love of the series’ first trilogy has yet to wain.

Of course, that all depends on whether Lucasfilm maintains the reported intention of releasing 2-3 films a year. With spin-off adventures already being pitched, a live-action TV series back in the discussion, and Episode VII a certified production, the calendar would fill up mighty quick. There’s no reason Disney couldn’t find room in their Marvel/Lucasfilm schedule (December releases, for instance), but if push comes to shove, the old will likely make way for the new.

For now we’ll stifle our faintest of desires to see Episode II and III on the big screen again (and wish that the 3D re-releases had begun with the original trilogy even more), but what’s your take on the cancellations? A wise move, or were you looking forward to introducing friends or your own kids to the franchise in theaters?

Star Wars Episode 7 is due in theaters in 2015.

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Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Deadline

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  1. This headline needs to be edited Screenrant.

    The Star Wars 3D releases HAVE NOT been cancelled. They’ve been POSTPONED.

    The official press release:
    “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 INFORMATION ABOUT OUR 3D RELEASE PLANS AT A LATER DATE.”

    They’re still coming. It’d make no sense for them NOT to release them. It would only be more profit.

    • Damned! I knew it sounded too good to be true.

      • Yah, now we will all be forced to watch something we didn’t want to watch. Damn these magical gremlins that force use to do things we don’t want to do… ;-)

        • Well, I hate what they’ve done to the prequels with a passion. They are heartless, sterile, loaded with super-stilted acting and just unpleasant in other ways. The less time they take away from other movies desperate for silver screens the better.

          • @TheLostWinchester

            I’m with you there, but you have to remember, they were re-releasing them in order to get the hype back for Episode 7, which means after they are done with 1-3, they would have re-released 4-6 as well, and I really loved those movies and would have watched them on the big screen again just for the heck of it…

    • Yeah they have been cancelled. There never going to be releases.

  2. HuZAAH!

  3. Good decision to postpone/cancel them. Focus on new content. The only one that I was interested in 3D was Episode III, because I liked that one but missed it in the theater. I would only consider going to see the classic trilogy if it was the original theatrical versions, not the Special/2004 Editions. But those films were not intended for 3D, and it would do them no real justice or respect to use them that way.

  4. I hope they keep re-releasing them in 3D. I don’t particularly like 3D but it just seems like a good idea if Return of the Jedi heads to theatres early 2015, just before Episode VII. (Assuming they WON’T postpone it.)

  5. i know i was hoping to see all six films on the big screen. So it’s a drag to me.

    • @Wally

      Oh, but don’t you know, for those people who don’t like 3D, them releasing in theaters is such a horrible thing. Just their presence in the theater somehow harms all of those who don’t want to watch it. So this is actually a good thing, because, now the people who don’t want to see it wouldn’t have to SUFFER over seeing the title on the theater marquee…

      I’m kidding Wally, kind of mocking those people who seem to think it’s such a horrible thing for them to be re-released in theaters. I would think you can just exercise free will and not see it if you don’t want to, but apparently they won’t be happy unless nobody can watch them for some reason… :-D

      • @ Ken J

        I thought that very samething too. Im not really big on 3D myself nor a very big Star wars fan. I just never seen the original trilogy on the big screen or Episode 1. Wasn’t a fan yet by the time that was on DVD/vhs. Still i would i would of seen all 6 films, 3D or not. Never been to Imax because i have to drive 60 miles to the nearest theater like that & im not thrilled about paying more money for that than 3d unless for sure it’s worth it.

        • @Wally

          For Star Wars, IMAX wouldn’t be worth it because none of it was filmed in the format, so you’re just going to get the same picture blown up. If a movie actually has a lot of scenes show in the IMAX format, with the bigger negatives, it is actually pretty cool, the picture is super sharp despite the screen being so extremely huge… A lot of the scenery shots look like you’re looking out a big opening in the building instead of at a screen.

          • @ Ken J

            But im a cheap sob,lol. Like said, it has to be a good film to pay that much & drive such a distance for a movie.

          • @ Ken J

            Btw, been awhile. Whats your toughts on the Terminator 5 news so far?

            • @Wally

              I can’t really think of how they can redeem the series at this point. Terminator 3 kind of made a serious franchise cheesy, then 4 messed up a lot of the continuity, well, 3 did that as well… But anyway, I honestly think, and I know this has been said many times as a joke, but I seriously believe that the ONLY way to really redeem the franchise and have it taken seriously again is to continue from 2 and ignore 3 and 4… There’s really no way to keep the things that happened in 3 and 4 and have a good movie that can be taken seriously…

  6. Having never seen the original trilogy on the big screen, and having always wanted to, this is very disappointing.

    I completely understand though – and it’s not totally unexpected – but hopefully the opportunity will arise again one day…

    • I agree. I was really looking forward to see the original trilogy, 3D or not. I actually don’t mind the 3D, so it’s no big deal for me, but this sucks

  7. I hope J. J. and Disney reboot the franchise and we actually get to see Darth Vader hunt down and kill the Jedi and not get short changed on Clones killing them. I want to see Obi Won train an older Anakin. Please make it so Number 1!

  8. What are the odds that Disney will listen to the fans, since Lucas is not running the show, and post convert the original cut of Episodes 4, 5, & 6 for theater release and eventual blu-ray release?

  9. “wane.”

  10. I heard 7 was postponed too, wasn’t gonna see it anyways after Disney bought it. In my opinion, Star Wars screwed itself over at Phantom Menace, Revenge of Sith, not bad, but not good as the final one – #6, forgot name – this is why I hate Disney so much, why I plan to watch Iron Man 3 with a mind of “It could suck, or could be good…” why I think Avengers 2 will be just as bad as the first, I mean, humor in an alien apocalypse, what? I get dark humor like Breaking Bad, but dark humor when the world is ending, only works with Will Smith (Irobot, Men in black trilogy, etc.)

  11. I’ve seen all six movies in the theater, and Ep.1 in 3d. I wasn’t impress with the 3d conversion and don’t see making Ep.2-3 3d as more money grab. I still have the original Star Wars(Ep.4-6)on VHS and they look dated, so otherthan Han shooting 1st, & Vader’s “noooo”,(the only lame changes, IMO)George’s new edited versions are HIS vision of the films and take it for what they’re worth. I enjoyed all the films, though Ep.1 did suck, but Maul. The factors that really flop the prequels were cheesy/John Ford movie style storyline & directions, kiddie theme/ dumb down plots, toy marketing ploy/undertones.

  12. Bummer I think releasing EP V and VI would have become really sweet leading up to EP VII (3d or not). As a longtime star wars fan I missed seeing EP V in the theater due to always being too busy during all of it’s re-releases. So I would have definitely seen EP V.
    Also maybe 2015 is too soon to do a great job with the new EP VII movie. Maybe it will really be postponed ’till 2016 due to postproduction etc.
    And when it’s finally ready to be released they could release it on or around MAY 4 aka Star Wars day (“May the 4th”).

  13. Although episodes I-III were a disappointment I wanted my kids to have the big screen experience. Luckily the Star Wars world is nearly unlimited and will continue to grow. Hopefully Harrison, Mark, and Carrie are not just a cameo. And hopefully it doesn’t turn out bad.

  14. I think star wars sequel will be in IMAX 3D because it will be awesome and exciting.

  15. I would like to see Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi all released in the theater again before Episode 7 is ready.

  16. I understand Lucasfilm is more focused on the new trilogy, but here’s my point: I don’t really care about the episodes I, II and III, although I choose the latter for some season. I’m always more interested in the episodes IV, V and VI; those should be released in 3d, because they’re the best Star Wars trilogy ever made, and I would feel happy if I could just watch them in theaters once (or more than once). I really hope the first trilogy could be re-released, even before the premiere of the new movies, if possible.