The entire 'Star Wars' film saga is going to be shown in another dimension – 3D, director George Lucas announced today.
The Jedi will initially return in the eye-popping format in 2012, with the 1999 prequel 'Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace', before the remaining films follow.
Lucas was never a fan of 3D but is thought to have changed his mind about the technology following the advances made with big-screen hits like 'Avatar' and 'Alice In Wonderland'.
A statement from Lucasfilm, the US director’s film production company, on the 'Star Wars' website said: “The live-action Star Wars saga will be converted to 3D.
“There are few movies that lend themselves more perfectly to 3D; from the Death Star trench run to the Tatooine Podrace, the Star Wars Saga has always delivered an entertainment experience that is completely immersive.”
It added: “The cutting edge conversion will take that immersion to the next thrilling level.”
The huge undertaking could bring a whole new generation of fans to the famous Lucas films.
On the Star Wars website, a fan, Mike Sa, wrote: “Excellent, I have been waiting to see this, for a very long time”, while another, YodaBauer2442, said: “Maybe by the time 2012 rolls around the glasses will be more comfortable.”
But some were less than complimentary, with 'Star Trek' actor Simon Pegg writing on Twitter: “Watching TPM (The Phantom Menace) in 3D would be like the car actually crashing into your face as opposed to just unfolding before your eyes.”
Industrial Light And Magic, the visual effects company which will supervise the project, said converting the films will take time.
Visual effects supervisor John Knoll said: “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.”
Lucas was recently quoted as saying that he was investigating the possibilities of 3D.
“I haven’t been a big fan of 3D, ... the technology hasn’t been there. We’ve been struggling with it, but I think this (new technology) will be a new impetus to make that happen,” he said at the time.
Last month, it was announced that 3D films such as 'Toy Story 3' and 'Shrek Forever After' had helped boost UK box office takings by 8%.