Lucasfilm is shifting its focus onto the future, choosing to direct its resources to the upcoming new feature film Star Wars: Episode VII and shelve work on 3D conversions of the Star Wars prequel tales.

The scheduled re-releases of Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith are being postponed in order to focus company efforts on the forthcoming new instalment of the outer space epic, Lucasfilm said in a statement released Monday.

The company had plans to convert all six existing Star Wars films — the three originals as well as the three subsequent prequel stories — into 3D for theatrical re-release. The announcement came in 2010 amid several high-profile announcements about existing 2D films undergoing conversion into 3D.


Director J.J Abrams, (centre), seen in December with actors Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Chris Pine, has already had success rebooting the Star Trek film franchise. (Koji Sasahara/Associated Press)

The 3D-converted Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace hit theatres in February 2012 and earned $22.4 million US in North America its opening weekend. But overall, 3D re-releases have had mixed results in cinemas, with a few (like animated film The Lion King) successful and others (like The Phantom Menace) considered box office bombs.

Last week, Lucasfilm's parent company Disney confirmed that popular filmmaker J.J. Abrams — who successfully rebooted the Star Trek film franchise — has signed on to direct the forthcoming seventh Star Wars movie instalment. It is set for release in 2014 or 2015.