Hoping to cash in on the 3-D phenomenon, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox announced the long rumored plan to re-release "Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace" in 3-D.  "Phantom Menace" will be the first to hit screens in 2012 although an exact date hasn't been set.

No doubt trying to offset any concerns over digital conversions, John Knoll, Visual Effects Supervisor and Oscar winner said, ""Getting good results on a stereo conversion is a matter of taking the time and getting it right."

Knoll continued, "It takes a critical and artistic eye along with an incredible attention to detail to be successful. It is not something that you can rush if you want to expect good results. For 'Star Wars' we will take our time, applying everything we know both aesthetically and technically to bring audiences a fantastic new Star Wars experience."

Knoll's credits just happen to include the last three "Star Wars" films, the second and third "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, "Speed Racer" and "Avatar." 

Lucasfilm's early announcement is no doubt intended to put pressure on theater owners to give them early guarantees for a large number of 3-D screens.  Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie," "Men in Black III," "John Carter of Mars," "Ice Age: Continental Drift 3D" and Sony Animation's "Hotel Transylvania 3D" already have set release dates throughout 2012. 

The last time Lucasfilm re-released the "Star Wars" films was when special editions of "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi"   hit theaters in January, February and March of 1997.  The films grossed $138.2 million, $67.5 million and $45 million respectively.

More updates on this story as news warrants on HitFix.