Disney's 'The Empire Strikes Back' 4K theater re-release plan canceled

Disney has decided to skip a previously revealed plan to debut a 4K version of the Star Wars movie The Empire Strikes Back in theaters, according to a new report. This would have been a milestone moment for the iconic trilogy, marking the first time a 4K version of the original Star Wars movies were presented in theaters. The big change here is the resolution, however, not the re-release plans.

Last month, it was revealed that Disney would re-release The Empire Strikes Back as a 4K remaster in some UK cinemas when the nation started reopening its theaters. This would have been a big moment for the original trilogy, marking the first time fans could see the movie in theaters as an Ultra HD remaster.

According to Variety, part of this plan has been scrapped — Disney will reportedly still re-release the movie in UK theaters soon, but only in 2K resolution, not 4K. The reason for the change is described as a 'breakdown' in talks with venues that had originally planned to premiere the 4K version.

Fans will instead have the opportunity to see the 2K version of the film in UK theaters starting later this summer. In order to watch the Ultra HD version of The Empire Strikes Back, fans will need to sign up for a Disney Plus subscription — it is currently the only destination for this remaster.

Disney Plus is priced at $6.99/month and $69/year, providing access to all of the media giant's past movies and TV shows, as well as documentary materials, original content not available elsewhere, and even experimental works like its new 'Zenimations' projects.