George Lucas is going ahead with his plan to retrofit all six Star Wars films in 3D and has earmarked a 2012 launch.

The release pattern will go in numerical order so Lucas and his team at Lucasfilm are preparing The Phantom Menace to kick off the series.

Fox is on board to redistribute the franchise and if the first film performs well enough at the box office then sequels will follow each other at yearly intervals.

Lucas has been linked to the 3D project for a while and a breakthrough came last January.

The film-maker told reporters that he had been impressed by the 3D work on James Cameron’s Avatar, so much so that it had given “new impetus” to revisit the beloved sci-fi series.

According to reports Lucas will supervise the process closely and it can take up to a year to work on each film.