'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace' Returns to Theaters in 3-D February 2012
Lucasfilm has announced Feb. 10, 2012 as the release date for the 3-D version of "Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace," the much-reviled chronologically first movie in the six-part "Star Wars" franchise.
Last fall, Lucasfilm said it would convert the films into 3-D for another box office run. Release dates have not yet been announced for the other five films. Pulling off a quality 3-D conversion has been said to take about a year, however, so expect an annual re-release of "Star Wars" films through 2017. [Read: How Hollywood Converts 2-D Silver into 3-D Gold ]
Fans of the space hexology will no doubt look forward to seeing how iconic action sequences translate into 3-D onscreen . In Episode 1, examples include the pod races on Tatooine and the lightsaber duel pitting the Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi against the Sith ninja Darth Maul.
Little else from the critically and fan-panned 1999 movie, however, would seem to be begging for a 3-D makeover. Nevertheless, 3-D movies as a whole have made a big splash in recent years, and although 3-D television sets have not taken off, many industry analysts say the Force is strong with them.
In other recent news from the galaxy far, far away, the Blu-ray versions of the "Star Wars" films remain slated for a Sep. 27 release this year.
Looking down the 3-D road, a few "Star Wars" scenes that might well make fans' eyeballs pop include the droid foundry in Episode II, the Yoda-Emperor fight in Episode III, the Death Star trench run in Episode IV, the Hoth siege in Episode V and the final space battle in Episode VI.