Earlier this year, George Lucas said he was considering re-releasing the movies in 3D, and yesterday sources spoke to the Hollywood Reporter claiming it was a done deal.
Lucasfilm confirmed the rumors earlier today on the official Star Wars website and said fans can expect a 2012 release for the 3D version of Episode I. Lucasfilm says the studio will take its time and work slowly in converting the movies to ensure fans get the best possible experience.
"Getting good results on a stereo conversion is a matter of taking the time and getting it right," said John Knoll, Visual Effects Supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic. "It takes a critical and artistic eye along with an incredible attention to detail to be successful. It is not something that you can rush if you want to expect good results. For Star Wars we will take our time, applying everything we know both aesthetically and technically to bring audiences a fantastic new Star Wars experience."
According to the Hollywood Reporter's sources, George Lucas has wanted to do a 3D release for a long time but was waiting for the number of 3D screen to increase to ensure a sizable release. Each movie is said to take a year to convert to 3D; with The Phantom Menace expected in 2012, THR says we can look forward to the rest of the series being released in chronological order over subsequent years.
The Blu-ray versions of the Star Wars series are still set for availability in the fall of 2011.