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9 p.m., Monday, May 28
It’s not enough to merely like the “Star Wars” franchise, or to have simply enjoyed watching some or all six of the films. You have to be a “please-come-see-my-action-figure-collection” fan to sit through this two-hour uncritical and not-terribly informative tribute to the franchise and its creator, George Lucas. It comes from Prometheus Entertainment in association with Lucasfilm Ltd.
In interview after interview, punctuated with film clip after film clip, one “Star Wars” authority after another compares the stories in the films to great epics and classical mythology. During the course of two hours, experts (an assortment that includes anchor Dan Rather, director Peter Jackson, journalist Linda Ellerbee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and political satirist Stephen Colbert) find parallels to “The Iliad,” “The Odyssey,” “The Lord of the Rings,” “Paradise Lost,” “Jason and the Argonauts,” “Hamlet” and the story of Christianity, among others. Rarely has so much time been spent on elaborating the obvious.
RELEASE DATE Nov 30, 1999
On this, the 30th anniversary of the first “Star Wars” film’s release it would have been more interesting to assess how well Lucas fulfilled his vision, but there is not a syllable of criticism uttered. Not even about Jar Jar Binks. And, despite this being a Lucasfilm co-production, there isn’t a single frame of Lucas discussing the underlying philosophy of “Star Wars,” how it evolved and how well, in retrospect, it was reflected in the films. Was he off in some galaxy far away?
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