It’s probably fair to say that the Star Wars franchise has had a complicated relationship, over the years, with 3D. The Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie in 2008 was produced and released in 3D. In 2005, Lucasfilm announced plans to convert and re-release all six movies from the original and prequel trilogies in the 3D format, and after years of fits and starts, Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace was released in 3D in February of 2012. The poor performance of that release led the company to cancel 3D release plans for the other five films. This coincided with the purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney and the announcement of a new generation of Star Wars movies.
When Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrived last December, it showed on some screens in 3D and 3D IMAX, with those premium ticket prices contributing to the film becoming the highest-grossing theatrical release in U.S. history. More recently, Disney announced the upcoming release of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D Collector’s Edition, a combo pack that includes a 3D Blu-ray Disc of the film. The same 2D to 3D conversion used for The Force Awakens will also be applied to this year’s new film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. And now, we know there’s another new way to watch Rogue One in 3D.
Along with the announced toy releases for Rogue One, Disney has announced the release of exclusive 3D glasses for the upcoming Star Wars film, in collaboration with Australian manufacturer Look3D.
The glasses, which are Real D certified, will work in equipped theaters as well as “passive 3D TVs, monitors and laptops.” Featuring color schemes that are designed to match those of either Deathtroopers (black) or Stormtroopers (white) in Rogue One, the glasses will have a suggested retail price between $9 and $12. A separate round of four special edition 3D glasses (being theme around Stormtroopers, Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma and BB-8) were released last year for The Force Awakens.
These glasses (see above) undoubtedly look cool, and will give the sort of fans who like to attend opening night in costume plenty of opportunity to accessorize creatively, when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives this December.
On the other hand… are the glasses really necessary? If you go to the theater and see a movie in 3D, glasses are provided for you, and there’s no indication that the premium glasses work better or improve the viewing experience. As for using the glasses at home, the 3D TV market, in case you’re not aware, has been in collapse for many years, with only a small niche actually buying 3D Blu-rays or watching 3D TV. You can have the glasses in order to improve your viewing of Rogue One at home… except that Rogue One probably won’t be out on 3D until a year after its release.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D Collector’s Edition will be in stores November 15, 2016. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.