Cinema: The Empire Strikes Out WILLOW

Directed by Ron Howard; Screenplay by Bob Dolman

"It was a time of dread," reads a legend at the start of George Lucas' new epic. Surely it was. We speak not only of the dour Middle Ages in which this sword-and-sorcery film is set but of the late 1980s, when Lucasfilm hit its dark age, after nearly a decade as the most profitable dream-mongering empire in movie history. By 1984 Lucas had produced five of the eight all-time top grossers. But that was a long time ago, in a land far, far away. Lucas' fantasies went murky (Labyrinth) or smirky (Howard the Duck), and his empire suddenly looked as...

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