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Lucasfilm makes decisions about future of Star Wars franchise

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Jan 30, 2013 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
It's been a big week for Star Wars fans with the announcement that popular director JJ Abrams (Lost, Fringe, Mission Impossible 3) had officially agreed to direct the previously announced Episode 7 of the film franchise. Abrams, who was responsible for rebooting the Star Trek film franchise with great success (the second film, Star Trek Into the Darkness arrives in theatres this summer) mentioned in an interview late last year that he wasn't interested in taking the helm of Episode 7. However, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was able to talk him into changing his mind, even though some reports suggest she had Ben Affleck (Golden Globe winning director of Argo) as the next director on her wish list. Episode 7 has a scheduled release date sometime in 2015, which lead to Lucasfilm and Disney making another Star Wars-related announcement.

In an apparent effort to leverage the excitement of securing Abrams to direct Episode 7, Lucasfilm decided to put a hold on its plans to release 3D editions of both Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. In an official statement given to Entertainment Weekly, the studio said, "Lucasfilm has decided to postpone this fall's scheduled release of Episodes II and III in 3D. Given the recent development that we are moving forward with a new Star Wars trilogy we will now focus 100 percent of our efforts on Star Wars: Episode VII in order to ensure the best possible experience for our fans. We will post further information about our 3D release plans at a later date." Perhaps not unrelated, the 2012 3D release of Episode I: The Phantom Menace only made a disappointing $43.5 million at the box office. In addition, some Internet skeptics wonder if the decision is evidence that Disney and Lucasfilm are hoping to help moviegoers forget the prequel trilogy, widely considered to be inferior to the original Star Wars trilogy, as anticipation grows for Episode 7.