Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace (and everyone’s favorite Lucas-creation Jar Jar Binks) is set to return to the big screen after just over a decade – this time with a 3D post-conversion. As with any Star Wars release (rerelease, special edition, rererelease, etc), die-hard fans are already polishing their stormtrooper cosplays, shining their lightsaber replicas, and dusting off their Darth Vader helmets in anticipation of midnight screenings and other special events.

To reward fans (and moviegoers alike) for their continued dedication to the series – Lucasfilm is preparing free Star Wars swag and special events to coincide with the film’s 3D rerelease on February 10th.

While some of the events are definitely exclusive to larger geographic areas (more on that in a minute), most moviegoers should be able to at least score a pair of Star Wars-brand special edition 3D glasses and an exclusive Star Wars Hasbro Fighter Pod – depending on where they choose to see Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace 3D.

As mentioned there are a variety of collectibles up for grabs but availability is based on a few different criteria:

  • All AMC theater moviegoers who purchase a RealD 3D ticket for Episode I, all weekend long, February 10-12 will receive the all-new Hasbro Star Wars Fighter Pod toy (limit one per ticket – while supplies last).
  • All RealD theater moviegoers who purchase a RealD 3D ticket for Episode I on opening day will receive exclusive Darth Maul 3D glasses (limit one per ticket – while supplies last).

While we’ve yet to see exactly what the “Hasbro Star Wars Fighter Pod” looks like – you can check out those Darth Maul 3D glasses below:

In addition, 10 select AMC theater locations will be offering extra Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace events and giveaways:

  • Atlanta: AMC Southlake 24
  • Boston: AMC Loews Liberty Tree Mall 20
  • Chicago: AMC South Barrington 30
  • Denver: AMC Highlands Ranch 24
  • Los Angeles: AMC Tustin 14 at The District & AMC Ontario Mills 30
  • New York: AMC Empire 25 & AMC Garden State 16
  • Phoenix: AMC Mesa Grand 24
  • San Francisco: AMC Emeryville Bay Street 16

In addition to the aforementioned Fighter Pod toy, anyone who can make it to one of the previously mentioned locations will be also enjoy the following:

  • Exclusive Anakin Skywalker Podracer 3D glasses with purchase of a RealD 3D ticket (expect these to be offered in place of the Darth Maul glasses).
  • A LEGO feature area
  • Darth Maul face-painting; a chance to reveal your inner Sith Lord at long last!
  • Special character appearances for photo opportunities
  • Demonstrations of the upcoming Xbox Kinect Star Wars

You can check out the Anakin Skywalker Podracer 3D glasses below:

While it’s certainly possible that more exclusive giveaways will be announced, for the time being it sounds as though Star Wars fans have a very serious decision to make – will they miss out on all the special event fan-fare and succumb to the dark side (for a pair of Darth Maul 3D glasses on opening day) or join with their fellow Jedis in a celebration of the light side of the force (and score those Anakin Skywalker 3D pod racing glasses instead)?

Finally, while some moviegoers will no doubt be upset that a special event screening is not available in an area near them, Lucasfilm is still ensuring that every want-to-be Darth Maul can still reveal their “inner Sith Lord” – make sure to check out the studio’s Darth Maul Me feature over at the official Star Wars website.

Sorry folks, I gave in to the dark side of the force.

It’ll be interesting to see whether the 3D release can truly create the same energy that surrounded the release of each prequel trilogy installment. Especially considering the lukewarm response to Episodes 1-3 not to mention the fact that it’s only been seven years since Revenge of the Sith debuted in theaters. That said, while 3D post-conversion is expensive, Phantom Menace 3D box office revenues (even if they are underwhelming, respectively) should add plenty of money to the Lucasfilm coffer.

Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace 3D is scheduled to hit theaters February 10, 2012.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates.

Source: Hero Complex