In somewhat shocking news this afternoon, Lucasfilm and Disney are canceling their plans to re-release Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones 3D and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith 3D, both of which are completed and were scheduled to hit theaters later this year.
Lucasfilm and Disney cancel 3D re-release of Star Wars prequels
Lucasfilm and Disney are looking to focus primarily on "rebooting" the franchise. The disappointing box office of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace's 3D release, which brought in a paltry $23 million, is partly to blame. Also playing a factor is the fact that this prequel trilogy is not thought of favorably amongst fans, and the two studios are hoping to get the three films out of the public consciousness. It also didn't help that a lot of the hardcore fans felt these 3D re-releases were yet another blatant cash grab by George Lucas, and that he was preying on consumers.
This news comes just days after J.J. Abrams was announced as the director behind Star Wars: Episode VII.
All six Star Wars films were slated for a 3D release over the next couple of years. Most fans were anticipating Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope in 3D, but it's unclear if that film, along with Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi will ever make it into theaters in their converted form. If they do, it won't be until after the new trilogy is off the ground.
Star Wars: Episode VII may be the first film in the franchise to be shot in 3D. It is also possible that some of the movie will be shot in IMAX, as J.J. Abrams did with Star Trek Into Darkness. None of this has been confirmed by Disney and Lucasfilm. Stay tuned for an official announcement soon.