LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - He said "Revenge of the Sith" would be his final "Star Wars" film, but creator George Lucas is taking another shot at silver screens with the animated "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" in movie theaters in August.
Lucasfilm Ltd. and the Warner Bros. film studio said on Tuesday they would release the movie on August 15, ahead of the fall debut of an animated TV series of the same name on cable television's Cartoon Network and TNT.
"I felt there were a lot more 'Star Wars' stories left to tell," Lucas said in a statement. "I was eager to start telling some of them through animation and, at the same time, push the art of animation forward."
The six-film "Star Wars" series is one of Hollywood's most lucrative franchises. It started with the initial "Star Wars" in 1977 and ended with 2005's "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith."
At the time of "Sith," Lucas said he would not make another "Star Wars" movie, but has said he was in development on the animated TV show. In fact, Lucas told Reuters he thought he might go back to making artistic films, although he never said exactly what he had on his mind.
The "Star Wars" movies tell about battles for intergalactic superiority in space, and "Clone Wars" promises more of the same stories -- only in animation. Key characters such as Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala will be joined by new heroes like Anakin's padawan learner, Ahsoka.
Lucasfilm said each episode on TV would be like a 30-minute "mini-movie" with Jedi Knights battling villains such as Count Dooku and General Grievous.
Also on Tuesday, Lucas' company began showing "web-only documentaries" telling of the development of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" on the Web site starwars.com.
Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Eric Beech