‘Star Wars: Episode I’ Officially Set For 3D Re-Release In February 2012

Published 3 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:08 am,

Last fall brought the news that George Lucas and 20th Century Fox had plans to re-release the entire Star Wars saga in 3D. Fast-forward to today and that threat promise has taken one more step forward to becoming true, as the 3D version of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace has an official release date.

The Phantom Menace is now slated to return to theaters on February 10th, 2012 – more than fifteen years after the special edition of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope was released in theaters, matter of fact.

Here’s an official statement from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Fox on the matter:

Set against the thrilling and exotic backdrop of a “galaxy far, far away,” Star Wars is perfectly suited to the immersive 3D theatrical experience, and ‘Episode I’ delivers some of the Saga’s most stunning and spectacular sequences – from the Naboo invasion to the Tatooine Podraces to the climactic lightsaber battle between Darth Maul and the Jedi.

Supervised by Industrial Light & Magic, the meticulous conversion is being done with utmost respect for the source material, and with a keen eye for both technological considerations and artistic intentions.

All three chapters in Lucas’ Star Wars prequel trilogy feature a ton of digitally-created F/X, scenery, alien creatures, vehicles, etc…. and since computer-animated movies that are converted into 3D tend to look decent enough, the post-production conversion of The Phantom Menace should actually be okay as well.

The Phantom Menace Podrace scene Star Wars: Episode I Officially Set For 3D Re Release In February 2012

The bigger issue is whether or not there are actually that many people who are willing to cough up the cash to see The Phantom Menace in 3D. It’s still by and large considered to be the weakest link in the Star Wars franchise (and considering fans’ feelings about the prequels in general, that’s saying something). Also, and this is more my opinion than anything else, the digital F/X in the film haven’t aged nearly as well as those in the original Star Wars trilogy – back when miniatures, matte paintings, and practical sets were all the rage.

On that note: sit down sometime and (if you dare) re-watch some of the footage from any one of the Star Wars prequels. Most of the time the camerawork is very sedentary, and there’s little in the way of creative movement or angles. Nearly every frame of those films are crammed full with computer-animated objects that distract from the fact that the camera is never really exploring these worlds, but instead just sitting back and admiring it all from a distance.

Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars Episode 1 The Phantom Menace Star Wars: Episode I Officially Set For 3D Re Release In February 2012

There's him, too.

The Phantom Menace may end up looking really impressive in 3D up on the big screen when it arrives next year on February 10th. But do you really want to sit through this mess of a movie in a theater again?

Source: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm

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61 Comments

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  1. If I had to pick only one of the original trilogy for 3D it would have to be Return Of The Jedi if anything for the final 20 – 25 minutes. It’s simply Star Wars at its most epic without doubt.

    I’m too of the opinion that if Lucas is going to keep producing more Star Wars content, that he should create a fresh new trilogy or just leave it alone and perhaps try something different.

    For me the real trilogy to wait for a 3D conversion is still Lord of the Rings. To have all three extended editions in the format would truly be something to behold and I wouldn’t hesitate paying to see all three.

  2. I loved all six star wars movies and I think box office gross seems to suggest that the majority of movie patrons agree with me , so haters you are in the minority. I am so looking forward to seeing all six films starting with the very much under rated but beautiful THE PHANTOM MENACE in 3 D. And just so you all no with out Jar Jar who was the prototype for all humanoid cgi characters in a live action film then you would not have a great character like Golum in TLOTR. I love jar jar I never understood the hate he garners. Long story short we should all be kissing George Lucas’   A $$   for revolutionizing cinema for the better and giving us the greatest film series of all time plus the whole Indiana Jones thing he did come up with the idea, story and the characters. GEORGE LUCAS IS GOD….

    • @ LEOLUCCA RANDISI

      I know i can’t to see all six films in theaters. You know that saying, if you’re not the first than you’re the worst if not to be line. About Jar Jar, its not like the film was focused on him throughout the film. Better him than listening to C-3PO more again like in the original trilogy.

  3. its so hard to predict what lucas is going to come up with next, I for one hope some day the books might be turned into films, that he might write a whole new chapter. Well for phantom I think the one thing that kinda got to me was not so much jar jar. I was really impressed by darth maul, I only wished he had more screen time, more action, and that he was not killed of. He was a brilliant figure to be in the star wars universe, I remember seeing him in the the add for phantom and I was knocked out by it but darth maul. you could do a whole film on him alone it such a pity that he could have had have more scenes and stuff. Tho I think lucas has realiesed this because in the clone wars series they done a mauls planet and stuff and that was just so cool.

    Lining up to see this should be a good day out at the cinema, Its possible that seeing this in 3d might be the only way to see this film. When you think about the pod race! in particular I feel lucas had a very good idea what was coming down the line when he made phantom. I believe him and cameron where talking for years about the 3d possibilities even before phantom was made, I think there is something even bigger than 3d coming, and all these 3d films like the starwars series are being used to push beyond the limits of film making and making space films in particular.

    The only thing is we will all have to run out and get 3d tv screens to enjoy them on dvd release,, and thats where it is kinda of annoying. Having to fork out big money for the whole series in 3d, thats my only problem there maybe the price of 3d screens will come down. We will wait and see how the future of film takes hold. tho I am looking forward to seeing them all, maybe the money from these 3d versions might be pooled into future starwars projects like the ones we would love to see. Mind you the one I cant wait to see in 3d is Empire Oh My God I just love that one, its incredible its possibly one of the greatest sequels of all time for a major film so I that will be something to look forward too

  4. I REALLY LIKE THE WHOLE ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

  5. Dude, I don’t know what your beef with the prequel trilogy is, but I think it’s safe to say that fans are just as interested in the plot as the theatrical effects. Is Phantom Menace the greatest of the six movies? Absolutely not. They do, however, provide a logical base to new fans. There’s no need to knit-pick at the visual quality of the movie. The entirety of this series is being re-released to an ever-growing fan base. The best thing to do is celebrate that these movies are reaching a knew generation.

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