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Feature: Spotlight on Hollywood
In a galaxy not so far, far away George Lucas defends his empire and scoops the next Indiana Jones flick... By Gayl Murphy in Los Angeles. Also in this issue: Thelma & Louise writer Callie Khouri on Brad Pitt.
Attack of the Clones is doing the rounds at theatres now, with a touted DVD release date of October/November (although don't expect the original trilogy on disc for a few years yet).
Down-to-earth, soft-spoken George Lucas is about the least ‘galactic looking' person you can imagine. But that's the magic of being the Obi-Wan-behind-the-scenes, I guess. While sitting comfortably at his sprawling Skywalker Ranch on planet Earth, overlooking tranquil mountains and panoramic vistas, questions about these idyllic digs scream to be asked. Nice ranch you got here. How important is having a place like this to what you do?
"I don't know. I grew up in the country about 60 miles east of here in the vineyards of Modesto, so this is the kind of environment where I think best in."
In Star Wars: Episode II I can't tell you how happy I was to see Yoda finally kick some butt. "I've been trying to get him to walk for a long time. And it's very rewarding to me because I wanted him to be the character I designed, but the story didn't merit it before... Everybody's very proud because it was a five-year journey and very hard to pull off."
Fans of The Phantom Menace, from what I can tell, felt it wasn't the movie they'd hoped for. How do you respond to that? "Well, one, there were very, very high expectations, that's one thing. Two, there's a certain core group of fans that don't like anything that gets made... and now they're on the Internet and media uses that as its source. Normally you'd have to go to a fan convention to hear all this stuff, and nobody ever bothered. But most importantly, I knew I was doing something that was not commercially wise, but I had a story to tell...”
Is there another Indiana Jones movie in the works? Please say ‘yes'. "Yes, yes I'm working on a story. Harrison [Ford] and Steven [Spielberg] have kind of signed off on it. I've got a writer and when I finish all the publicity [for Star Wars Episode II], I'll probably get him started. While he's doing that, I'm going to be doing mine."
Are we going to see Han Solo in Star Wars Episode III? "Well, if Han Solo is in III, you gotta remember he's only 10 years old!"
by Gayl Murphy
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