Creative Planet has a great new article on the role that DVDs play in Lucasfilm's overall marketing strategy for Star Wars. Some interesting comments and also an interview with Jim Ward at the link above. Here's a clip to get you started:
Episode III, the "final journey" for which Lucas began principal photography on June 30, is slated for theatrical release in the summer of 2005.
Perhaps it befits the creator of the industry's original epic saga-which built the idea of licensed products into an empire of unprecedented revenue; continually advances the art of special effects and digital filmmaking; and has clearly informed current industry record-setters like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter-to be years away from completion. By the time Episode III finishes its first theatrical run, the Star Wars franchise will be pushing 30, and the industry could very well be grappling with the changes brought on by a high-definition DVD disc or even an electronic video file format.
Not that any of that phases Lucasfilm. "We can wait," Lucas told reporters who at the NAB convention in April 2001 demanded to know when the Star Wars films would see DVD release. "I've always taken the long-term view of things. I'm not a public corporation. I don't have a quarter to worry about. I don't have stock to worry about. I have to worry about the product. I have to worry about what the audience sees and the quality in which they see it."