Variety is reporting that live-action Star Wars is returning to theaters in 2012… but it isn’t what you may think.

Lucas has been threatening since 2005 to release all 6 films in 3D, but no one really took him serious as the technology for 2D to 3D conversion wasn’t very advanced back then. Flash forward 5 years and things have changed. While films like Clash of the Titans (a terrible example, I admit) have shown that it’s possible to make the conversion a reality, Lucas has said several times that he was done with the franchise after the debut of Revenge of the Sith.

Yet here he is tinkering again.

ILM effects supervisor John Knoll, who is in charge of the project, also worked on Avatar and the Star Wars prequels, so he knows both the 3D platform and the LucasFilm material. Honestly, there aren’t many people better qualified to work on this than Knoll, so perhaps his involvement is a bright spot.

The films are to be released in chronological order, starting with The Phantom Menace in 2012. This might turn many people off (if they aren’t already), but really there’s no sense in getting worked up about it. By now there’s nothing GL can do that he hasn’t already done, in terms of infuriating people with each entry, and this includes the bland animated material. With the 3D stuff it’s terribly obvious he’s kicking the daylights out of the proverbial dead horse, but he’s already proven he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, so why bother hating it?

If these 3D films turn out great, fantastic. If they turn out horrid, what’s new? We still have the original trilogy… if you can find them, that is.