Lucas calls new 'Star Wars' a titanic tearjerker
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Director George Lucas had a message for fans as he previewed a glimpse of the final tale in the billion-dollar "Star Wars" film franchise: leave the lightsabers at home, but don't forget the tissues.
"It's not like the first one. It's more emotional," said the director of the upcoming space adventure "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith," which arrives in theaters May 19.
"I describe it as a 'Titanic' in space. It's a real tearjerker, and it will be received in a way that none of us can expect," he told theater owners at the ShoWest convention.
ShoWest is a major gathering of movie theater owners in the United States and a launch pad for Hollywood's summer movies.
Film studio 20th Century Fox teased a packed house here with the first six minutes of "Revenge of the Sith," marking the first time the scenes had been shown to audiences.
Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) wage a furious fight against their adversaries in a battle of deadly spaceships. In this episode, Skywalker becomes the notorious Darth Vader.
Lucas and the promotional clip did not divulge much about the "tearjerker" love story. But Senator Amidala (Natalie Portman), who married Skywalker in a secret ceremony witnessed in the last movie, plays a key role.
If Lucas's comparison to "Titanic" is to be believed, there must be heartbreak in "Revenge of the Sith" because 1997's tale of the doomed ocean liner stirred audiences with its tale of an ill-fated affair between characters played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
Love can work wonders with movie audiences. "Titanic" is the highest-grossing movie of all time with more than $1.8 billion in worldwide ticket sales. In the No. 2 spot is "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" with $1.1 billion.
The "Star Wars" films are no box office losers, either, but there hasn't been much romance in them -- not yet, anyway.
The adventures began with 1977's "Star Wars" and have sold nearly $3.4 billion worth of tickets at global box offices.
(Bob Tourtellotte in Los Angeles contributed to this report.)
Now call me crazy, but to me Titanic was a chick flick and any film comparable to it must also be a chick flick.
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