We have to tip our hat to this decision, because financially, it finds the studio walking away from easy money. As you might recall, “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” was re-released just over a year ago, the first in a planned series of rejiggered “Star Wars” re-releases, this time in 3D. It did pretty modest business — $22 million, which isn’t bad considering what they spent on marketing and conversion didn’t cost all that much — but it’s certainly not “The Lion King” sized numbers either (which went on to surprise everyone by making over $90 million). But even though “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones” and “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith” were slated for back-to-back releases later this year, that’s off the table.
Deadline has learned that Lucasfilm has kiboshed the prequel re-release plans, so they can focus on “rebooting the franchise.” We’re not sure what one has to do with the other — 3D conversion re-releases probably have zero to do with anything J.J. Abrams is working on — but if anything, their testing may suggest that the limited crowd that came out for ‘Phantom Menace’ might be even smaller for the next two movies. You know, because they’re crap. And while the re-release of the original trilogy back in theaters probably would’ve had crowds out in droves, perhaps Disney doesn’t want “Star Wars” fatigue to set in before Abrams gets a chance to drop his movie.
So cancel your plans, and put away your Darth Maul costume for now. Are you bummed or glad these plans are shelved? Let us know below.