Star Wars goes 3D next year

You may have never cared about a 3D movie yet. This entire phenomenon may just have passed you by. But no matter who you are, this announcement is bound to at least make your head turn – the first of Lucasfilm’s transformation of the six Star Wars films to be recreated in 3D will be complete next year.

Yes, George Lucas has found another way to bring all entries in the Star Wars film franchise back to theaters – 3D. This time, though, the movies will be presented in their true chronological order.

That means it’s Star Wars Episode I, not the original Star Wars (Episode IV) from the 1970s. That one, as well as all of the other titles, will eventually get the 3D treatment as well. But Episode I is the first to go 3D, and it’ll be ready on February 10, 2012.

3D box office revenue from 2010 reached more than $2.15 billion, or approximately one-fifth of all ticket sales in North America. That’s double the amount of sales that 3D raked in during 2009.

While it will take some time for all six of the Star Wars titles to be remastered in the new format, many experts are saying this 3D thing is here to stay. James Cameron, director of Avatar, which many consider to be the most important current 3D movie, says he expects 3D to become the new de facto format. It will be as important to the medium as the transition from black-and-white to color and the revolution from standard definition to high definition.

It’s still a gamble for Lucas to pull off this long-term strategy, but if people like Cameron are correct, this will be another big squeeze from the Star Wars cash cow.