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The Playlist

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'The Empire Strikes Back'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 21, 2012 11:00 AM
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  • 6 Comments
After thirty years, three terrible prequels and acres of spin-off material, the "Star Wars" brand has been somewhat tarnished. The fans are still legion, but it's become harder and harder to get excited about the series, and the highlights drift further and further from memory. That being said, we'll always have a place for the original trilogy in our hearts, and much of that comes down to the second (or fifth) installment, 1980's "The Empire Strikes Back" Despite the success of the original, creator George Lucas seemed to have taken some of the criticism to heart and took a back seat for the follow-up, handing over the directorial reins to his old film school professor Irvin Kershner ("The Eyes of Laura Mars," "The Flim-Flam Man") and hiring veteran screenwriter Leigh Brackett and bright young thing Lawrence Kasdan, who'd come to fame thanks to his as-yet-unmade scripts for "The Bodyguard" and "Continental Divide."

George Lucas Insists Greedo Always Shot First & Says 'Star Wars' Is "Not A Religious Event"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 9, 2012 6:10 PM
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  • 18 Comments
It's kind of amazing that after putting fans through countless tweaks and changes, a dreadful prequel trilogy, and shoveling mountains of shitty merchandise their way, the "Star Wars" faithful have still supported the filmmaker and turned his sci-fi adventure into a $20 billion industry. George Lucas has always had disdain towards the very people that built up his mountain of wealth, and there's a reason why -- the fans have allowed him to. With every iteration of a "Star Wars" re-release, the faithful grumble and moan and make threats and then hand over their money anyway, so what reason does Lucas have to change anything he's doing? So it's no suprise that on the eve of the 3D re-release of 'The Phantom Menace,' Lucas has no problem shooting from the hip because he knows that come Sunday night, the movie will have made him a few more million dollars anyway.

George Lucas Says 'Red Tails' Is His Last "Blockbuster"; Plans To Focus On Personal & Experimental Films For The Rest Of His Career

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 17, 2012 2:29 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Is George Lucas leaving "Star Wars" behind? It sure seems that way, as the writer, producer and director behind the biggest sci-fi franchise of all time and -- no matter what you think of him -- a massive influence on a generation of filmmakers and pop culture in general, is ready to draw down and take some risks.

Watch: 7 Minutes From The George Lucas Produced WWII Film 'Red Tails'; George Lucas Says Black Cinema Riding On Its Success

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 10, 2012 2:11 PM
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  • 8 Comments
In the works for decades, the George Lucas-produced WWII film "Red Tails," about the famed Tuskegee Airmen, first started filming way back in 2009. And there is a lot riding on this movie, including no less the fate of financing for movies centered around or featuring black actors in the lead role. According to Lucas, the future of those types of films may inadvertently be in the balance as Hollywood eyes the success (or failure) of "Red Tails."

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