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  George Lucas talks to Newsround
Updated 13 May 2002, 19.07
George Lucas talks to Newsround
George Lucas met Newsround's Lizo and talked about what it's like to be the creator of Star Wars.

Lizo: How difficult is it to put together a film which stands on its own storywise, as well as fitting into the bigger picture?
George Lucas: Well it's complicated and not only that but I'm telling the story backwards so I told the end and now I have to tell the front. But the way I'm designing it ultimately is that it will be shown one through six - not three through six, not one through three - which is the way we all know the film.

It's kind of complicated but in that it's kind of challenging and interesting and I enjoy that.

Lizo: What kind of influence do you think Star Wars and you have had on film making over the past 25 years?
George Lucas: You only have seven minutes! Ha ha ha... It's hard to say, I make film, I love to make film, I'm a storyteller, I just do that, I'm just telling stories and I try to tell them the best I possibly can. I'm hoping that people are inspired by them, moved by them, at least entertained by them.

Lizo: Spiderman has laid down the gauntlet by being the first film to take over $100 million in its first weekend, do you hope that Attack of the Clones will even better that?
George Lucas: No, I'm sure we won't - they're in 8,000 theatres, we're going to be in less than 6,000 theatres so they have a distinct advantage, they need to break records because they're more interested really in what is the stock price of the company.

I'm trying to make a good movie and I'm trying show it under the best circumstances so I'm limiting my release to theatres with digital sound and that sort of thing, so I'm much more concerned about the presentation to the audience than what Wall Street thinks of whether we're breaking records or not.

Lizo: You have a big history of making Star Wars films in Britain but you didn't make this one in London like the previous ones, you went to Australia instead - why did you abandon London like that?
George Lucas: I haven't abandoned London, we're still a British company and we worked there for about six weeks. I still shot part of the film in London, part of the film in Australia, and I shot part of the film in Spain, Italy and Tunisia. I haven't really abandoned London - I've abandoned London as a base.

Lizo: The special effects in this movie are stunning - the Phantom Menace didn't win the Oscar for special effects, it went to the Matrix people. What do you think is happening to the special effects industry where ILM were huge?
George Lucas: ILM are still very huge, it's the biggest of all the companies, I think it does the best work. In the end the Academy Awards are a beauty contest. It's not done by the special effects people, it's done by actors and a lot of people, it's a nice award and everybody likes to get the award but I think I'm still doing the very best work there is in the world.

Phantom Menace is way beyond anything else that came out that year - it's five years ahead of anything else that's been done on any level - any special effects person will tell you that. I'm really in the horse race business and I'm not in the beauty business - I'm in the business of telling stories and that's what's most important to me.

Lizo: Star Wars has a huge fan base. What was your take on their reaction to Phantom Menace - a lot of them said they were very disappointed with it.
George Lucas: Some of them were. Some of them were disappointed with Star Wars, some with Empire, some with Return of the Jedi - they hated 3PO, they hated Ewoks, they hated Jar Jar - that is traditional with Star Wars films. The exit polls which go on for four or five weeks over the world and they were 80% positive.

You actually can't get to be one of the most successful films of all time without people going back over and over and telling their friends that they liked it. That's the biggest factor for me - it's the most popular of all Star Wars films and it'll probably continue to be the most popular of all the Star Wars films.

Lizo: You're part of a very select group of people, like JK Rowling with Harry Potter, who have created a universe that has delighted millions. Are there parallels to be drawn and what's the secret there?
George Lucas: The secret for me has been that the stories are based on mythological motifs which have been around for thousands of years and the psychological underpinnings for that have come out of the tradition for story telling.

You watch the audience and see how they're going to react - if they don't react properly you know that you're not going to get your dinner.

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