Back in 2010, it was announced that all six original Star Wars films would be re-released in theatres ... in 3D. Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) began this planned slate in early 2012, but, since then, we have not seen the remaining five films follow suit.
“Oh, yeah! I remember them announcing that!”
Fans can’t really complain since we've definitely gotten our fair share of Star Wars in the last few years, with that little buy of Lucasfilm from Disney and the hugely successful Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and Rogue One (2016). This really is key to why we have not seen the other 3D films. Lucasfilm and Disney probably wanted to focus primarily on getting Episodes XII, XIII, and IX in development, as well as the standalone films (i.e., Rogue One) underway and into production. This is fair enough, and even the diehard Star Wars fans probably have enough going on right now to keep themselves occupied.
Most audiences probably have enough Star Wars to watch as it is, and Lucasfilm understandably doesn’t want audiences getting tired with Star Wars thrown at them all the time. We’re already getting a Star Wars film ever year, at least from 2015 to 2019. Maybe, once there is a large break again between movies, we will get some more of these to help alleviate our Star Wars yearning while simultaneously whetting our appetites for more.
Some audiences might remember Disney Animation’s own 3D re-releases of Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Lion King (1994). The Little Mermaid (1989) and Aladdin (1992) were to hit theaters not long after this. What happened? Not enough return revenue? I’m a fan, and I know I saw them. Maybe there just aren’t enough 3D re-issue fans. PIXAR did this too, originally planning to re-release their 3D films not far ahead of their upcoming sequels. Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 2 (1999) had a double feature 3D release less than a year before Toy Story 3 (2010), along with Monsters, Inc. (2001) re-releasing about six months ahead of Monsters University (2013). The one film that didn’t follow this trajectory was Finding Nemo (2003), re-released in 2012. Monsters, Inc. was the last PIXAR 3D re-issued film in 2012, and Beauty and the Beast was the last Disney Animation 3D re-issued film earlier that same year.
While we still receive a good share of 3D releases now, there was admittedly more of a craze and demand for 3D back in 2010. As a Disney Animation and Star Wars fanatic, I am happy with what both properties are presenting us with right now, but would love to see some of their original films re-released in theatres. I want to see them more for the fact of just getting to experience them on the big screen, rather than the new 3D conversion treatment, and I think there are many like-minded fans out there. I would love to see the original Star Wars trilogy on the big screen. Who wouldn’t?
Maybe we’ll get some word or an update in a few years. I hope so. It also begs into question what all goes into the 3D conversion process. While I am sure it is complex and takes time, does it really take as long as the average film does if you have the completed film/file in front of you? While 3D may not be as popular now as it was only a few years ago, I would hate to have the prospect of re-releases die out at this point. Disney certainly has the money.
Did you see The Phantom Menace in 3D? Or any of the other Disney or PIXAR films re-released in the same way? Do you wanna see more? Let us know in the comments below.