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

Published 2 years 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.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Deadline

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. Finally some brains in the outfit. Good move!

    • I don’t get why it’s such great news… I didn’t like the prequels so I didn’t watch the Episode 1 re-release and wouldn’t watch 2 or 3 either, but at the same time, who cares, if you don’t like 3D and don’t want to see it, just don’t go. I don’t get how them re-releasing a movie in a format you don’t like is somehow “bad” and them not doing it is somehow “good.” To me it makes no difference either way since I wasn’t planning on going anyway. But now for those who might have wanted to go see it, they can’t. So I can see how this is a bad thing for some, but can’t see how this is a good thing… I know it’s “cool” to just hate on everything 3D and make sure you’re as vocal as possible so everyone knows you hate it, but seriously, just don’t go see it. Pretty simple, nobody is forcing you to go just like nobody was forcing me to go…

      • They only said it was a good move, no need for a rant. Maybe they just think that re-releases of old films in 3D is energy and money best spent on something new and interesting.

        Also, the article asked for opinions.

        And this is mine…

        3D SW 1-6 in 3D was clearly only every going to appeal to the more die hard fans. The prequels aren’t worth the price of 2 cinema tickets and we’ve all seen 4-6 so often that who’d honestly pay to see them once more, this time with less light and stupid creatures presumably tacked onto the shot that jump out at you.

        I’m curious to see if the TV series finally gets made. After a dubious start and some wrong moves, I’ve really been enjoying the Clone Wars for what it is. The 5 part (or maybe 4) story last season which only looked at clones trying to take a planet, centring around the space port was really quite good.

        It’s allowed us to see more of the universe other than the Jedi and the Skywalkers which has been wonderful.

        Disney have suddenly become one of the better studios for accessible sci-fi/hero films, their over all control of the Marvel films (despite how so-so Thor was and how dull Hulk was) has given me much hope for VII. They’ve been improving steadily as they get to grips with this new aspect of their portfolio and hopefully with a great choice of director VII will be what we all hoped Phantom Menace would be all those years ago.

        Wouldn’t it be wonderful if VII started with a swath of Gungans being gunned down?

        I’m looking forward to it already.

        • Oh my hell,

          “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if VII started with a swath of Gungans being gunned down?”

          I swear the Screen Rant community have some of the best one-liners on the internet.

      • I agree with your statement. While it annoyed me that they were trying to do another cash grab with the Star Wars films and basically milking it dry, and kind of deep down I wanted the 3D re-release to fail (to discourage post-conversion re-releases altogether), the fact that it made some money means SOME people wanted to see it, so they should at least have had the chance.

        Well, since it wasn’t really cancelled but postponed (the story needs updating SR), they’ll still get the chance. But I still hope it only makes a bit of money (just enough to cover the budget), but not enough to encourage them to do this more and more so as to take away cinema real-estate from more deserving films.

        • I like the idea of spending the time converting these properly (instead of just using generic function on 3D TV with 2D source) but I agree these shouldn’t take the place of new movies in the theater–they should be direct to 3D BD.

          (I personally don’t understand why anyone would want to pay like $15+ a ticket to see something in the theater when it will available a couple days/weeks later (in the case of the recent Disney 3D converts or those Fathom Events 1 night only things) and you could have put that money towards owning it to watch as many times as you want.)

  2. Well, at least we got Star Wars: Episode I in 3D. Cause you know, that was the most important one. LOL

    • @Bryan

      LOL, yah, Episode 1 was terrible. Episode 2 and 3 were “less bad” but still not good, lol.

      • Part 3 kicked ass. It was ***almost*** as good as the original trilogy…

        • I thought it was the worst :(

          While all of them are absolute garbage Episode I was at least kind of new and original. Episode II had moments where it actually felt like a star wars film with the droids back in the midst and some farmiliar faces & themes.

          Episode III had overly corny villains and a twist/revelation we saw coming. Also the no thing *shudder*. Anyway I don’t know why I’m writing this, this is nothing that hasn’t been said before.

          • I think calling the prequels “absolute garbage” is a little extreme, whilst all have problems (mostly the same problems across all three films), their faults lie mainly in the clunky and overlong final cuts that were released, with far too many extraneous scenes of pointless exposition and characters discussing the plot rather than forwarding it… plus the honking ‘romance’ scenes in Episode II, which are a fault onto themselves!

            If George Lucas had not only plotted out all three films in detail in advance and brought in outside screenwriters to help shape and mold a dynamic script, but hired an outside editor – someone like his longtime friend and confidante, Walter Murch – to help shape and lock a significantly tighter and more focused final cut than what was, I think people would be amazed at the difference it would have made to those films, with maximum running times more like the following, with difference in running times to the current cuts in brackets;

            ‘Episode I – The Phantom Menace': 125 minutes (11 mins less)
            ‘Episode II – Attack Of The Clones': 127 minutes (15 mins less)
            ‘Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith': 135 minutes (5 mins less)

            • Very true, some people might be surprised by what you can do with editing.

          • wrong. clones is almost impossible to watch, and on blu-ray it’s the crapiest looking one. but Sith was as good as Jedi, and it has the best climax/fight of all 6.

      • nope watch em again…menace isn’t nearly as bad as clones. but sith was off the hook.

        • “menace isn’t nearly as bad as clones in my opinion.”

          There, fixed it. You’re welcome. :-)

  3. It makes sense that this is happening but I was really looking forward to the original trilogy because I have never seen them on the big screen due to not existing at that time. Instead I am left with the haunting memories of experiencing the prequels in theatres. Oh the agony.

    • I agree, it would have been AMAZING to see the original trilogy on the big screen. The acting is better, but the fights just don’t hold up, one of the few things the prequel trilogy got right

      • As far as making the fights look good. The fights may not hold up in the originals but what makes them better is that they have significant character development and story behind them. Prequels was just random ninja cgi action. But it looked awesome. Best lightsabre duel: Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan vs Darth Maul.

        • @deadpool

          Yah, that scene was awesome, but I also really liked the Obi-Wan versus General Grievous scene as well. He was fighting one light saber versus 4 and he pwned him with confidence…

          But I have to agree with the overall sentiment, the story and acting in the prequels were pretty bad. Especially the guy who plays Anakin, I seriously wanted him to just STFU…

          • Hayden Christensen as Anakin, yeah pretty bad. He could have been so much better if ,you know, had a better script and character plot. Come to think of it the prequels have brilliant actors for the most part, its just everything else that sucked.

          • seriously?? the mustafar battle was easily the best fight of all six, not to mention the emotional crux of the entire prequel saga and ewan mcgreggor’s best acting.

            • I agree though I don’t think the prequels are all that good, I think McGregor was amazing as Obi-Wan I felt like they just dug up Alec guinesses’s corpse and placed it in a time machine until he looked however old Obi wan was supposed to be in the prequels and just gave life to the new Alec Guinness but named him ewan so no one would know the secret of the time device.

              • @conor

                Ewan McGregor was definitely the best part of the prequels. He is probably the only reason I wouldn’t say they were terrible, they’re just not good. But honestly, some of Ewan’s scenes made the movies enjoyable.

                For example, Episode 1 was pretty much all crappy, except that epic light-saber scene between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul. Then in Episode 2, Obi-Wan jumping out the window without hesitation to grab onto that flying droid was also epic. Then in Episode 3, Obi-Wan versus General Grievous was such an awesome scene for me. So really, I just enjoyed watching Obi-Wan in all three of the prequels. They should have just called them the Obi-Wan Chronicles and focused mostly on him and they would have been amazing movies, lol.

          • For me the best fight scene had to be Yoda’s in Episode II. Just because we’d never really seen Yoda fight before, and seeing him fly around the room like that while whipping his mini lightsaber was too awesome for words.

  4. good call. keep the eyes looking forward, not backward

    • Nicely put

  5. great news. now if only they could retrospectively cancel the 2D releases of II and III …

    • episode 3 was ok, 1 and 2 were garbage

      • yea i liked episode 3. and the darth maul fight scene (though it could have been longer) in episode I. but yea the rest was garbage

  6. Bull. They were not canceled to “focus on Episode VII”, they were canceled because Episode I 3D tanked…hard.

    The “Mouse House” would release Episode II & III if it was worth the money to them.

    • check your facts, it was considered successful.

  7. honestly, i was looking forward to seeing ESB in 3D, but i can live without it. I would have liked to see the opening of Revenge of the Sith in 3D though.

  8. For what it’s worth, LG 3D TV’s have a 2D-3D mode. It’s not nearly as good as a dedicated 3D conversion but it does look pretty cool to some movies. I recently watched Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure in 3D and was pleasantly surprised by the results. Put the trilogy through that sometime if you have the means. Will be about the closest thing we get for awhile.

  9. Ok im slightly bummed. Only because I wanted to see revenge of the sith in 3d. Oh well probably for the best.

  10. I think it is great news, the focus needs to be on the new trilogy. Let J.J. WORK HIS MAGIC.

    • Agreed

  11. that is a lie. that’s the biggest lie I’ve ever heard in my life.

  12. So, then, if the plan was to re-release all of the films in 3D, that would have been a GREAT lead up to Episode VII, but, oh well.

  13. so,. Everything was canceled,
    Due to a high rate of incompetency all around…

  14. this is misleading because they weren’t “cancelled”, they’ve been POSTPONED, according to the official press release. rest assured, I’m sure we’ll still see eps 2-6 in 3D on the big screen BEFORE we feast our eyes on ep 7.

  15. Nice to see the new management of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise is learning from past experiences in the way that George seemingly never did, a wise move all round to dump these utterly pointless 3-D theatrical releases… short of an extensive re-editing, the stereoscopic imaging process won’t make the prequels any better films!

    Now while they’re seemingly on a roll, how about a new DVD and Blu Ray release of the original Trilogy’s unaltered theatrical versions…

  16. While I’ll be caught dead watching Episode I in theaters again I was actually kinda looking forward to at least Episode II and even some of Episode III. Disappointing, but no doubt a smart business move. Can’t blame em. Plus the more focus and resources to put towards Episode VII the better.

    • ummm…you do know that attack of the clones is the terrible one right?

  17. and it would be pretty stupid of Disney for a number of reasons, to NOT release them, the first one is simply because they’re already done, all they have to do is put them out and make guaranteed money on a built in fan base, especially leading up to their new film. from a business standpoint, which is the #1 deciding factor on any production, why would they not want to do this?? I’m quite certain the bulk of the appeal of the sale was the billions of dollars the prequels still continue to generate, NOT simply nostalgia for the originals and a desire to appease internet geeks.

  18. Hopefully they re-release the Original Trilogy in it’s original format (similar to Indiana Jones) in like IMAX or something before Episode VII comes out.

  19. I wish they would re-release Episode 4-6 to theaters, I don’t care if they are in 2D or 3D, but I hope they undo some of Lucas’ changes like Greedo firing first instead of Han like it should have been…

  20. I was actually looking forward to seeing 3 in theaters, and was REALLY looking forward to the original trilogy. I can’t imagine the original trilogy not making a bug profit. How are they gonna release Finding Nemo in 3D and not Star Wars?!

    • Yeah, 3 would have been AWESOME!!!

  21. I was actually looking forward to seeing them in 3D along with the original trilogy. Though on the other hand I’m happy to see Disney and Lucasfilm giving the new trilogy their full attention. :)

  22. Actually to me, the best lightsaber battle was Kenobi vs Anakin in Episode III (the musical score was tremendous), although the Darth Maul battle was good too.

  23. I think this is a mistake if this indeed true,I thought all of the Star Wars 3D re-releases were already done and paid for.

  24. I wish they’d just skip the cinema and release them direct to 3D BD. No high ticket prices and no need to spend money promoting theatrical releases. (I actually wish they’d just do that in general–I’m so over the overpriced and inconvenient theater experience with increasingly inconsiderate fellow patrons.)

    • because home 3D is worthless

      • While you make a compelling, well articulated and well thought out argument, I love watching 3D in the comfort of my own home–looks great, and there are no surcharges and no one using their cell phones or chatting away during the movie, and I can get my own popcorn and soda for under $2.

  25. Well I know one thing. My local movie theatre will play all six star wars simultaneously, so you can go from one theatre to the next all the way up to VII.

    They did this with every prequel release. They’ll do it with Star Wars. They’re starting to do this with Star Trek and they said if Indy 5 comes out they’ll do it for that movie saga.

    Pretty neat.

    • im shocked your theater hasn’t had a cease and desist letter.

  26. It does seem to me that the flight through the asteroid belt in ESB and the high speed forest scenes in Return could make good use of 3d.

  27. This could just be Disney’s way to stick up their middle fingers to Fox and deny them profit from the releases. It’s a bold move and now that I think about it, Fox only currently retains the right to release the films, not work on them themselves. So in essence Fox got screwed out of millions. It doesn’t mean they can’t release the 2D versions on their own but if they do that, Disney would still profit. It’s a total loss to 20th Century Fox.

  28. HA HA!

    Is it just me or is Lucasfilm only good for one thing? Star Wars?

    it seems that Disney didnt buy Lucasfilm for movie making but for the Star Wars “brand”.

  29. I’m glad they decided to postpone the 3d releases of the prequels so they could focus on episode 7, although the battle sequences in episode 3 would have been in 3d