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Thursday, 13 May, 1999, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
The Force is back - for two minutes
star wars
Ewan McGregor plays the young Obi-Wan Kenobi n the new film
Star Wars is back on Britain's cinema screens - in the form of a two-minute trailer for the forthcoming prequel movie.

Star Wars
Around 800 fans and invited press saw the UK premiere of the trailer at a special screening at the Odeon Leicester Square, London.

It begins with two-legged pack beasts slogging across a misty swamp land before the words "Every generation has a legend ..." appear on screen.

It is followed by a burst of evocative scenery, lavish special effects - which cost $80m - and pieces of dialogue from stars Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor and Samuel L Jackson.

The film, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, is the fourth in the Star Wars series. It tells the story from the beginning, showing how the young Anakin Skywalker grew up to become the evil Darth Vader.

samuel l jackson
Samuel L Jackson also stars in the film
When it was first screened in the US in November, fans queued just to see the trailer, leaving cinemas before the main feature started.

But fans in London were more restrained. The Odeon Leicester Square reported "steady business" for the film the trailer is supporting, The Mark of Zorro.

anakin
The film follows the young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd)
However, those at the morning's special screening clapped and cheered the trailer, prompting a second showing.

Fan Shaun MacCartney, 24, who works at a London comic book shop, said: "I was hoping to really hate it because of all the media circus that has surrounded the screening, but I actually thought it looked quite good.

"There was a little bit too much computer animation and I don't think it's ever going to capture the same sort of feeling of the first Star Wars films, simply because the first one was made in the 70s. This one didn't look as orangey and fusty and grainy."

The trailer is running at the Odeon Leicester Square and at selected cinemas across Britain until Friday, when it goes nationwide.

Although the film is being released in the US in May, British fans will have to wait until July to see the full length epic.

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Video
The BBC's Emily Reuben previews the Star Wars trailer
See also:

18 Nov 98 | Entertainment
18 Nov 98 | Science/Nature
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