Star Wars 3D conversions were likely inevitable. After all, the 3-D update wouldn’t be the first time the series is re-released with new changes. But after George Lucas brought back the original trilogy with new scenes in 1997, he is putting both of his trilogies in a new dimension, starting in 2012. Since audiences are starting to turn on new movies in 3-D, Lucas figures that they’ll respond better to the format with old movies. However, the Star Wars 3D theatrical experience may just be the beginning, as Lucas wants to transfer it to home-viewing as well.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the re-release of all six movies will start with The Phantom Menace in early 2012. Yet since the movies will come out again in consecutive years, it will be a while before the more beloved films in the franchise return to theaters.
Although the Star Wars 3D treatment may just make fans annoyed at Jar Jar and young Darth Vader in new dimensions at first, it is part of a grander plan from Lucas. Now that the 3-D market has been expanded thanks to Avatar, Lucas is convinced that there are enough theaters to make this a big event.
Speculation is that Lucas is also timing this with the expansion of the 3-D television market. Samsung and Sony are leading the way in that front thus far, with Samsung making 50,000 3-D sets thus far. By the time the Star Wars 3D experience starts, it could be easier to watch 3D movies at home as well.
For all of the revolutionary changes Lucas made to movie technology, and the movie-going experience, James Cameron still beat him to the punch in this market. The Star Wars 3D conversions will seek to close that gap, and do more to advance it in new environments.
This news comes during a time when movie goers are souring on the format, however. Since Avatar, the 2010 3-D movies have done little to capitalize on the new movement, as high prices, occasionally poor conversions, and poorer movies are forming a backlash. Yet that may be because few others can match up to Cameron and Lucas in exploiting movie visual technology.
With Star Wars 3-D, Lucas hopes to find yet another new way to improve the movie-goer experience, both in theaters and perhaps at home. However, his fans have grown weary every time he makes a change to the saga, or attempts to add new chapters and dimensions to it.
But while they wait for the Star Wars 3D alterations, they can warm up by catching all six films on Blu-Ray, as that conversion will be released sometime next year.
Hollywood Reporter- “Star Wars saga set for 3D release starting in 2012”