Disney’s Lucasfilm: New Blood, New Focus, No More ‘Star Wars’ 3D Prequel Releases

Hot on the heels of last week’s explosive news that Star Trek director J.J. Abram will helm Star Wars: Episode VII — the first of at least three new Star Wars movies — comes word that Disney is indefinitely pausing the release of further Star Wars prequels in 3D.

With the exception of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which was re-released in 3D last February, previously announced plans to re-release Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith in 3D later this year have now been scrapped.

Whether this is due to the fact that Menace took just $23 million domestically or — as Deadline puts it — dark rumblings in the fandom about “craven cash grab[s],” it’s clear Disney is looking forward not back.

With Abrams now freshly installed as the director of Star Wars’ next chapter, Disney say they want to focus on “rebooting the franchise.”

Indiewire muses that Disney’s decision to halt (possibly) commercially viable roll-outs of more 3D prequels might be an attempt to stop “Star Wars fatigue” from setting in before Abrams’ franchise debut.

Whatever the reasons, it sounds like everyone involved is singing off the same hymn sheet.

George Lucas and J.J Abrams: New Blood, New Focus

Of Abrams’s directorial chops, George Lucas said:

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

As for Abrams, recipient of the Norman Lear Achievement Award Saturday’s Producers Guild Awards, the 46-year-old told reporters at the event that his latest stellar gig was “as surreal as it is exciting.”

Alongside Abrams, Bryan Burk and Bad Robot will produce the Star Wars: Episode VII along with Lucasfilm and Disney. Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) is writing the script, and the film is scheduled for release in 2013.