Will The 3D 'Force Awakens' Mean That The Originals Will Be In 3D Now, Too? It's Unlikely
The Force has spoken, and it wants to be seen in 3D. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is making history by being the first Star Wars film to be released in 3D on its original run, and the higher ticket prices for 3D and IMAX screens are set to help The Force Awakens become the highest grossing Star Wars movie ever. It might even break box office records set by Avatar (2009), which shattered expectations in part thanks to director James Cameron's insistence the film be made in 3D. With The Force Awakens predicted to dominate the box office over the holiday season, it stands to reason that Disney might be thinking about re-releasing all previous Star Wars films in 3D as a special event release. So, will the prequels and the original Star Wars trilogy be in 3D, now, too?
Like Lucasfilms before them, Disney did have plans to re-release all the Star Wars films in 3D, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In fact, the first of the Star Wars prequels, The Phantom Menace, was re-released in 3D in 2012. However, the disappointing box office results, coupled with the announcement of J.J. Abrams' new Star Wars film, caused Disney to abandon plans to release Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in 2013. Disney released a statement at the time, which THR reported as saying the wanted to "focus 100 percent of our energy on Star Wars: Episode VII" and promising to update fans on any future plans for a 3D release. In April of 2015, Disney finally made good on their promise, with the debut of Revenge of the Sith in 3D at the Star Wars Celebration, along with 3D screenings of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.
The original Star Wars trilogy — A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi — have yet to be re-released in 3D, and any special 3D re-release seems unlikely at this point, especially with The Force Awakens getting ready to take the world by storm. As Jurassic Park proved with its 3D re-release in April of 2013, it makes more sense to do a 3D re-release before the franchise is rebooted. Releasing Jurassic Park in 3D two years before the release of Jurassic World helped drum up new fans who were too young to see the Jurassic Park when it was originally released in 1993. (I should know, I was one of them.) And, with two long years in between the 3D re-release of Jurassic Park and the release of Jurassic World , the franchised did not run the risk of over-saturation. Any Star Wars re-release would not have that luxury, as Star Wars: Episode VIII is expected to hit theaters in May of 2017.
Before you get too sad, remember that 3D conversions are not always successful, especially if the original film was made using outdated technology. Instead of buying a $20 ticket to see Star Wars: A New Hope in 3D, spend the money on a DVD and watch it in the comfort of your own home as many times as you want.
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Images: Walt Disney Pictures; Giphy (2)