LOS ANGELES, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- George Lucas said the decision to re-release the Star Wars films in 3D was not about making money, but letting young audiences to see the films in the theater.
"Star Wars is one of those films -- old films -- that was designed for the big screen," Lucas told the Hollywood Reporter Friday. "It makes a big difference to see it on the big screen with the overwhelming sound, the picture and now 3D. We've had two generations be able to see it on the big screen and it was great. Now kids who have never seen it on the big screen, who have no idea how powerful it was -- because all they had was DVD -- have that chance."
"Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace," the first in the six-part series though filmed fourth, will open in more than 2,500 North American theaters Friday. Lucas said the plan is to release one Star Wars movie in 3D each year for the next five years.
At first, Lucas said, he "wasn't a giant fan of 3D. The process was very difficult, and it wasn't something that I felt that much affection for. I just didn't think the effect was worth it. It was all about the effects and putting everything right out there. The idea of going to a movie and having people stick things in your face just because of an effect or the trick of it wasn't really that interesting to me."
But in 2005, after converting 10 minutes of one of the Star Wars films into 3D, he thought " 'Hey, this actually looks better. This is actually more interesting to me. The three-dimension is actually the better way of looking at things,'" he recalled. "So I got converted at that point."