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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Mark Lawson talks to George Lucas
Mark Lawson has been in Cannes with Newsnight Review where he has been talking with the man behind Star Wars.

Mark Lawson
By Mark Lawson
Newsnight Review

Having finally completed almost 30 years of work on his Star Wars project, director George Lucas talked to me about the shifts in American politics, movie technology and the status of his work since the premiere of the first film in the series in 1977.

George Lucas

This week, the release of Revenge of the Sith completes a six-movie, 15 hour sequence in which the trilogy of films released in the last six years (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and now Revenge of the Sith) form a prequel to the original Star Wars films released between 1977 and 83, numbered parts IV-VI (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi).

They tell the story of the conflict between the Empire and the Republic and the corruption and desertion to the dark side of Anakin Skywalker, an idealistic freedom fighter who becomes Darth Vader, a father doomed to fight against his son, Luke Skywalker, inheritor of his original idealism.

The transformation of Anakin into Darth Vader is the key moment in the latest and final film.

When I have interviewed George Lucas in the past, he has seemed reticent, defensive and bemused about the movies.

But this time - perhaps because the three decades of work on one project is now over - he was relaxed and analytical, discussing how a political fantasy first fuelled by Vietnam, Watergate and the Cold War has now turned into an oblique commentary on the Bush administration and the Iraq War.

He also talked thoughtfully about the effect on cinema of the two biggest technical developments in the period over which the Star Wars films were made: computerised special effects and the rise of the DVD.

He also, as a former anthropology student, reflected on what it has been like to create a cultural myth which wins obsessive, almost quasi-religious interest from some fans.

Mark Lawson's interview with George Lucas was shown on Newsnight on Tuesday 17 May, BBC2.

Star Wars receives world premiere
15 May 05 |  Entertainment


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