Dark Victory

AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE NEW STAR WARS EPISODE: HOW THE YOUNG DARTH VADER FELL IN LOVE AND GEORGE LUCAS REDISCOVERED THE HEART AND SOUL OF HIS EPIC SERIES

Maybe George Lucas ought to get out more. For the past three years, as he ruled his multimedia empire from the palatial redoubt of Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, Calif., Lucas has dwelt in the lovely dream that his 1999 Star Wars movie, Episode I--The Phantom Menace, was universally loved. Lately, though, inquiring journalists have slapped him awake. "I'm getting my education now from the press," he says. "They come in and say, 'Wow. People hated your movie. What do you think about that?'"

That's what happens when the Wizard of Oz gives interviews. But Lucas' first Star Wars film in...

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