In a move that will probably disappoint no one, Disney has announced that they will be canceling their upcoming 3D re-releases of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Originally Lucasfilm had planned to re-release all of the Star Wars movies in 3D at a rate of one per year, but they changed up that strategy after Episode I hit theatres, announcing that the next two would be released back to back in September and October of 2013 instead. The assumption was that they just wanted to get to the original trilogy since that was what fans were most interested in anyway. Now it’s unclear if the original trilogy will get a 3D re-release at all, but for the time being Disney is just focused on rebooting the franchise.
The 3D version of Star Wars: Episode I was released last February and made just $43 million domestically. Although it made over $100 million worldwide, the numbers were clearly weak enough to make Lucasfilm wary. In general, it seems that 3D re-releases are losing steam very quickly as of late; for example, Fox canceled their Independence Day re-release late last year. However, Disney is the one studio that has had some decent success with 3D re-issues (The Lion King 3D being the biggest hit).
It’s interesting to note that the official Star Wars site says that the 3D re-releases have just been “postponed.” It’s possible that the 3D versions will come out closer to Episode VII as a way of generating hype. However, it is now looking like Episode VII may not necessarily be locked down for a 2015 release as originally reported, so who knows when that will be. Are you disappointed by this news? Would you still like to see the original trilogy re-released in 3D at some point?