A long time ago in this very galaxy a man named George Lucas shared a story. It was a science fiction story called Star Wars that was told in three parts, and it made people very happy. Some time later, Mr. Lucas decided to tell another story, a runthrough of the events that shaped his original. This one wasn’t so hot among fans. There were a bunch of lightsabers though, and Yoda jumped around like a little ninja-lizard, so it was cool.
The Lucasfilm team announced last September that all six of the Star Wars films, starting with Episode I – The Phantom Menace and continuing on chronologically after that, would see annual re-releases in the coming years with a shiny, new coat of 3D paint. Fans predictably went wild, even though the announcement meant that Jake Lloyd-as-Ani Skywalker and Jar Jar Binks would be the first to take their theatrical bow.
The first of those release dates has now been confirmed on the official Star Wars website: February 10, 2012. The timing falls in line with the window Lucasfilm used for its 1997 Special Edition re-releases of the three Original Trilogy films, as opposed to the late-May opening that each of the six original films had when they were first released. The plan for these new 3D conversions is to continue chronologically through the series with yearly releases, which means we can probably expect the remaining five films after The Phantom Menace to fall sometime in February as well.