EXCLUSIVE: I learned of this decision just now from Lucasfilm‘s promotional partners who are telling me the studio now owned by Disney wants to focus only on “rebooting the franchise” with three new Star Wars films. This surprising decision follows the underwhelming box office performance of Episode I: The Phantom Menace re-released in 3D in February 2012. It debuted to only $23M domestically but maybe even more importantly hardcore fans felt it was yet another craven cash grab by George Lucas. Back in September 2010, Lucasfilm and then-distributor Fox announced that all 6 films in the Star Wars franchise would be converted to 3D. Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (first released on May 16, 2002) was to hit theaters in 3D on September 20th, 2013, while Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith (first released on May 19, 2005) was to play in 3D on October 11, 2013. This news comes just days after Disney confirmed that J.J. Abrams will direct the new Star Wars: Episode VII scheduled to be released in 2015. It’s the first new Star Wars movie since 2005. Michael Arndt is writing the script. Disney bought Lucasfilm in October 2012 for $4 billion, with the Star Wars franchise obviously the jewel in the crown. At the time, Disney CEO Bob Iger said three more Star Wars films were in the pipeline.

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