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'Star Wars' 3-D prequels postponed to make way for 'Episode VII'

By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times (MCT) • Jan 29, 2013 at 11:18 AM

LOS ANGELES — The Millennium Falcon is changing course.

Now that “Star Wars” has a new studio home, a new movie in the works and a new director, other adjustments are in store for the franchise: Lucasfilm is postponing this fall’s scheduled 3-D re-release of “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of The Clones” and “Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.”

“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,” Lucasfilm said in a statement. “We will post further information about our 3D release plans at a later date.”

The changed plans don’t come as a huge surprise — last year’s 3-D re-release of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” grossed only $43 million, demonstrating that audiences had little appetite to see the films in the format.

And Disney, Lucasfilm’s new studio, has been backing away from its own 3-D re-release strategy after its animated films “Finding Nemo” and “Beauty and the Beast” underperformed.

After years of nostalgia, the focus at “Star Wars” now seems to be squarely on the future — on Friday, Disney and Lucasfilm confirmed that J.J. Abrams will direct the next movie in the franchise.

“I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller,” George Lucas said in a statement. “He’s an ideal choice to direct the new ‘Star Wars’ film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”


©2013 Los Angeles Times

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