Cinema: The Phantom Movie

George Lucas' new Star Wars epic showcases some dazzling visual effects but is short on human magic

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We know too--anyway, some of us do--that the original Star Wars was at times a stilted enterprise, and that, as secret alliances and bloodlines were revealed, the series matured, grew into emotional resonance. For now, The Phantom Menace is a phantom movie, the merest hint of a terrific saga that the final two episodes of the new trilogy may reveal. At least, that's what we, and Hollywood, want to believe. Hype, after all, is just moviespeak for hope.

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