by Sterling Wong
"Star Wars" fans, are you ready for Jar-Jar Binks in his full 3-D glory?
Wesa think you better be, because news is out that the 3-D version of "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" is arriving in theaters on February 10, 2012, just in time for a "Stars Wars"-themed Valentine’s date!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox will handle the release of the film, while creator George Lucas’ own Industrial Light & Magic is in charge of the 3-D conversion, which the company will do with a keen eye for both technological considerations and artistic intentions.
A 3-D version of "The Phantom Menace" definitely holds some exciting potential, especially set-pieces like the Naboo invasion, the Tatooine Podraces (a la "Tron’s" bike race scenes) and the epic lightsaber battle between Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn. Perhaps the 3-D version can allow us to spot the difference between Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley, who played Queen Amidala’s decoy in the film.
The February release date would mean that the film avoids the crowded summer blockbuster season, which gives it a good shot at racking up some serious dough at the box office. We’re sure George Lucas is hoping for "The Phantom Menace" to garner "Avatar"-like numbers.
It's already known that the remaining five films of the franchise are also getting the 3-D treatment, with each getting a release a year apart. If "Star Wars" fans get their way, we'll be encountering the galaxy far, far away for at least the next six years to come.
Are you excited about a 3-D version of "The Phantom Menace?" Let us know in the comments section or on Twitter!