Star Wars 3D conversions on hold

So now JJ Abrams is officially aboard to helm the next Star Wars film, and he’ll be making a big leap from one amazing sci-fi franchise to another.

This would leave many girlie-man writer / directors quivering with fear, but like Lucas, Abrams is a fellow empire builder himself, and like Spielberg, his radar’s still very strong for what the public loves.

Yet now comes the news that we won’t be seeing any of the Star Wars films in 3D any time soon. It’s been planned for some time that all six Star Wars movies would get 3D conversions, and the 3D version of Episode One came out just about a year ago on February 10, 2012. So with Star Wars mania about to hit the world again several years from now, why put the 3D transfers on the back burner? 

To paraphrase the official response, the most important focus right now is not on rehashing the glory days of Star Wars for the three-trillionth time, but on the future. As Collider reports, the official release says: 

“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.” 

As Deadline points out, the Episode One conversion was not a box office bonanza, making $23 million domestic. This year we were going to see Episode Two in 3D on September 20, and Revenge of the Sith was going to come out in 3D on October 11, but now of course those releases have been halted, perhaps indefinitely. 

Now putting out too many Star Wars movies, cartoons, toys and home video reissues has never been a concern before, so you don’t get the impression this is out of fear of oversaturating the market. Collider pointed out that another big 3D conversion recently got cancelled, The Little Mermaid. Disney’s 3D version of The Lion King did very well, but Beauty and the Beast and Finding Nemo in 3D didn’t set the world on fire. (Thankfully 48 frames a second conversions haven’t caught on either…) 

So it’s good that there’s new Star Wars films to come instead of re-releasing and re-re-releasing the same old movies. Besides, why not wait until there’s nine Star Wars films so you can convert those to 3D and keep re-releasing them for generations to come?