While the news that Disney chose J.J. Abrams to direct their first go-around with the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars: Episode VII, hasn’t been universally accepted as good news by everyone, it’s hard to argue the fact that there were far worse candidates the studio could have tapped. And now another piece of news regarding how Disney plans on handling the Star Wars franchise has hit, and it’s one that’s probably going to give nervous fans a little bit more confidence in their decision making going forward.
Remember how Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was post-converted to 3D and re-released in theaters, and how everyone was up in arms because not only is the film geek community sick of movies getting shoddy 3D conversions, but they’re doubly sick of everything getting recycled and repackaged, and they didn’t ever really like Lucas’ Prequel Trilogy in the first place? Sure you remember, all of us have at least that one Star Wars-obsessed friend who takes everything involving the franchise way too seriously and then talks your ear off about it.
Well, the good new is, according to Deadline, the new Disney-owned Lucas Film has decided to scrap the planned 3D conversions of Episode II and Episode III, and instead focus all of their energy on the Abrams-helmed Episode VII. So there are two less things we’re going to have to listen to people bitch about.
This makes sense for about a thousand reasons. First off, the Phantom Menace 3D release only opened to about $23m domestically, so it’s not even clear if going ahead and putting Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith out there in 3D form would make financial sense at this point. But, perhaps more importantly, we’ve been listening to the hardcore Star Wars fans who kept the franchise alive during those decades when no films were being produced complain about the Prequel Trilogy for well over another decade now. While the prequels initially made a boatload of money among casual fans and Star Wars geeks alike, their reputations have grown toxic over the years, and they’ve even taken a little of the luster off of Star Wars as a property. Doesn’t it make sense to put away past disappointments and try to focus on the promise of new, exciting things to come? Of course it does.
It should be noted that everyone still generally ties Lucas’ Original Trilogy to warm fuzzy memories though, even after the backlash to the Special Editions, so it will be interesting to see if the new Lucas Film tries to do anything with episodes IV, V, and VI in the lead-up to Episode VII. Perhaps skipping over Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith and instead putting the original, untouched versions of the Original Trilogy into theaters before Abrams’ Episode VII gets released could be the perfect marketing ploy to get hardcore fans salivating to see those stories continued? Or maybe the company would be better off halting any re-releases until they’ve got the franchise successfully rebooted? What do you guys think?