Lucasfilm removes Star Wars re-releases from schedule

News Simon Brew 29 Jan 2013 - 06:33
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The 3D re-releases of Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith have been cancelled...

After the commercial success of the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace re-release, Lucasfilm was all set to continue its plan to bring 3D versions of each of the Star Wars movies to the big screen this year. It'd moved away from the one a year schedule that had originally been announced, with both Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith marked down for 3D re-releases this autumn, within weeks of one another.

However, plans appear to have changed.

The now Disney-owned Lucasfilm has removed the re-releases from its immediate schedule, and has issued a statement about the reasons why. It reads thus:

"Lucasfilm has decided to postpone this fall's scheduled release of Star Wars Episodes II and III in 3D. Given the recent development that we are moving forward with a new Star Wars trilogy, we will now focus 100 percent of our efforts on Star Wars: Episode VII in order to ensure the best possible experience for our fans. We will post further information about our 3D release plans at a later date."

It's little secret that most of us were awaiting the re-release of the original trilogy, rather than the prequels. When the re-releases were first announced, of course, the Lucasfilm line was that they'd be stopped if they weren't financially successful. So basically, go and see the prequels if you want the originals re-released. This didn't go down wonderfully well.

Lucasfilm however is clearly re-evaluating its plans, and our guess now is that re-releases won't happen until we're a bit closer to the release of Episode VII, currently mooted for the summer of 2015.

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Damn shame. Phantom re-release made over $100 mil so financially it seems plenty went to see it and that should've meant full speed ahead for the others. Crunching Clones and Sith right next to each other seemed a backwards move, but now there's not even that. I hope Disney have something in mind with all this...maybe space them apart as a build-up to Episode VII closer to the time?

I was hoping they would fast track the original trilogy to all come out before ep VII. 3D or not, seeing them on the big screen before VII comes out would be AMAZING! This still could happen as I'm pretty sure ep VII will be put back to 2016.

It occurs to me that the reason they have gone down this route is the same reason it was ultimately decided not to repeat classic Dr Who before the new series in 2005, e.g. they want a clean start, and for people to 'forget' the prequels and all their negative baggage.

Just show the original trilogy in glorious 2D. And make it the original versions, not one of old George's CGI mash ups.

Personally, I don't care much for 3D re-releases - The Phantom Menace in 3D brought absolutely nothing new to the experience and was in my opinion was quite distracting. Everything looked like a cardboard cut out.

What I would love (though I doubt it would ever happen), is a faithful 4K restoration of the original trilogy, given the same care and attention that Lawrence of Arabia and Jaws received last year. If they can get that done before EpVII, I'll be a happy man.

I took my Star Wars obsessed 5 year old to see Phantom Menace 3D just because I thought it would be neat for him to see at least one Star Wars on the "big screen". After dropping $28 for tickets and snacks his mother asks him after how the movie was. "It was good, but it wasn't in 3D. Except for the words at the first." Out of the mouth of babes.

LOL...."Everything looked like a carboard cut out" That has got to be the funniest thing on here in years. LMAO!!! God thats funny...I have tears of laughter in my eyes right now.
I am not making fun of you here ok? It was a genuine comment. But what popped into my head on reading it was the following thought.
"Everything looked like a carboard cut out, because it was a cardboard cut out before the 3D, never mind after it...."
My mind...lol...sorry..but that was really really REALLY funny. Did you mean it to be funny? Or did it just come out like that and the hideous carboard acting never once entered your mind? Comedy gold. Sorry...I am still laughing...its just just that one line sums up the whole film. Priceless.

God I wish I could forget the prequels. There are certain moments in Revenge of the Sith that are ok and watchable, but thats about it.

Yes what can you do its a bit crap. But lets look at it from Luca$ point of view here. He was doing the 3D re release to harvest more cash from Starwars. Then he decided to sell it and get billions and just get out. So now Disney has it they know in their hearts that its just a cynical cash grab and thats it. So they are dropping it and concentrating on a new film, which I think is a very good idea indeed.
For what its worth, my view is they should not bother at all with 3D bolt ons, because if it was never filmed as proper 3D with proper cameras it always looks forced and crap. If they are that bothered about it, just release them in 3D on Bluray disk only. Then anyone who wants to see it 3D can do it that way...if they are that mad on the effect they will probably have a Tv at home they can watch it on.

To everyone on here who has posted, I send the following message to you regarding Starwars. People Like Alex C, Col Kenobi, Damon D etc...

You have all seen Starwars right? You own it on VHS, DvD, or Blueray I assume???
But now this means no releases in 3D and many of you would like to see the original unmolested 1977 film as it first stood, and the original sequels...

Try this, Google Starwars despecialized edition. And download it from where ever you can find it. A fan has taken the laser disk versions and remastered them to the best quality they can be. He has then put them out there for everyone who wants to see the original since Luca$ wont do it.
I have them all and they are very good quality, much better than VHS and you are not pirating anything, because you own it on DvD / Bluray etc already so thats not a problem.
Its going to be the only way you will see the originals I think. However a word of warning....its not quiet as good as you remember it, some of the effects are very badly dated, and its showing its age, but it still stands head and shoulders as a classic.
If anyone of you does the above and watches it, will you let me know what you think about it on this posting? Thanks!

See my other post for help on this very issue...

That's certainly true. Even adding an extra dimension through the magic of glasses and stereoscope does nothing to improve a two-dimensional performance. Who'd thought it? Oh, George Lucas did. :-)

I have to agree that I've never been a fan of 3D bolt ons and thought Thor and even Avengers were not up to scratch in 3D and always thought a 2D print could never have the demensions and depth if not shot in 3D originally... UNTIL I saw Titanic in 3D on blu ray. Wow is all I can say, whatever James Cameron did to get that look I wish all film-makers wold do it on their upgrades. He is the true master of 3D.

Seriously, the "Luca$" crap is getting old. He gave away most of the money from the sale, so I really don't think he is as thirsty for $$$ as the internet makes him out to be. Phantom Menace took over $100 million as a crappy 3D re-release and this time everyone was aware of its reputation, so obviously SOMEONE wanted to see it. Just let people have their fun.

The original Trilogy's theatrical versions don't need a restoration, they are in perfect and pristine condition on a Lucasfilm hard-drive somewhere (watch the 'Empire of Dreams' documentary for proof, footage of the 1977 film's theatrical version is shown in that doc... in an anamorphic ratio!), every single piece of 35mm film in the Lucasfilm archives has been digitized, and although George Lucas may be telling the truth when he says the original theatrical cuts' camera negatives don't exist anymore in those versions (having been altered to the 'special edition' cuts), the theatrical versions themselves absolutely exist in digital form and could have been released in anamorphic and pristine presentations at any time... the reason they weren't is because George Lucas had a long-term plan to release ALL versions and related archive material across multiple formats (theatrical + home release) over several decades to cover the enormous overhead costs of running Lucasfilm, and it is for this reason that we had spin-offs, countless re-releases, and a glut of merchandise. Lucas had every intention of releasing the theatrical versions in quality presentations at some point, but was deliberately holding back to heighten demand and also to keep a no-doubt-lucrative revenue stream for the future.

I'm glad the 3-D theatrical releases have been postponed/cancelled, the stereoscopic imaging process won't make those films any better (much like the 'special edition' alterations), and the prequels don't need a theatrical re-release, in 3-D or otherwise, what they need is a thorough re-editing to tighten and focus them considerably, removing the countless scenes of needless exposition, of characters discussing the plot rather than forwarding it, to reinstate three deleted scenes cut from Episode II that should never have been, and to remove most of the utterly honking 'romance' scenes from that aforementioned film. Now that George Lucas is no longer involved in executive decisions at Lucasfilm, it would be a good (not to mention lucrative) idea to extensively revise the prequels and re-release them as 'special editions' before the release of Episode VII in 2016... if they were much tighter and more focused, I think people would be amazed at just how different, not to mention better, those films would be.

That is actually a cracking idea! A re-edit of the prequels would be an interesting experience. Fingers crossed we get a Revenge of the Sith without Vader's "Noooooooooooooooo".

I know he gave away the money, well most of it. Its not like he needed it as he had lots more. I just think the whole thing was very cynical, leaving the money aside as a separate issue for a moment. Its simply because he would not put out the originals in 3D because a lot of the older fans wanted to see those and not the prequels. He made you, or was WANTING to make you sit through the crappy prequels first if you wanted the classics. And now its all been shelved anyway. Another point is this. If he is not bothered about the money, why not just work on and then release all the films in a simple two year period. Release the prequels a few months apart in one year, then the classics a few months apart the next. He has plenty of time and money and people to do the job so what was the problem? I can remember just before Jedi was released in the 80s a lot of cinemas had back to back showings of StarWars and Empire together, because I went to one. You saw both and then went to se Jedi too it was great!
Also, the people who went to see the phantom mongface in 3D, paid, went in and then found out the 3D was a crappy waste of time and added nothing. But by then they had paid and it was too late, hence it making $100 million etc. I wonder how much Attack of the Bores would have made when people knew the 3D would be rubbish and pointless? I know the prequels are fun on some levels, if you are a five year old etc.
It does not matter now anyway, because the bolt on 3D has now been dropped for the time being. And I think its a good idea. LucaS (ok I did not use the $ to please you ..ok?) can retire and enjoy himself and have a well earned rest now, and someone else can take Starwars in a new direction, maybe make a better job of it, and bring it to a new generation of fans. and thats a good thing too.

Does this cancellation mean that Episodes I and II will become more available on DVD individually again? I've been waiting to buy them for ages, but as I already have III I haven't wanted to buy the prequel trilogy box set.

Yeah, I definitely agree that it is time for someone new to take over. I don't think Lucas was malevolent or only after money, but I suppose I would say that he was out of touch. Collaboration between talented people is what Star Wars really needs right now.

I've hated Lucas's smugness, complacency and intransigence ever since the prequels, Jar Jar Binks, Roger Roger etc. He's just not a writer and I wish he would have handed over the narrative reins to his universe sooner. The KOTOR game series all have better stories. Sigh!

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