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Star Wars Watch

George Lucas released a video boxed set of the original trilogy

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Who knew George Lucas was such a tease? On Nov. 21, the Jedi overlord released a $39.98 video boxed set of the original Star Wars trilogy — Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi — with an 11-minute documentary on Episode II, due in theaters in summer 2002. Here’s the lowdown for Force-fed fanatics.

The sneak peek contains no footage from Episode II, but Lucas does offer some dish: The plot revolves around an unstable Republic, the mysterious Clone Wars, and the troubled emotional state of a now-teenage Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen).

Hardcore fans can cross lightsabers over details of… the set of Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen’s kitchen! (For Jedi novices, Beru and Owen looked after young Luke Skywalker before getting killed early in the original film.) The couple’s farm on Tatooine pops up in Episode II, for reasons unknown as yet. ”It’s too early to talk about plot points,” insists Lucasfilm spokeswoman Lynne Hale.

Actor Anthony Daniels dons his Episode II C-3PO duds, a mishmash of metallic plates that improves on the bare circuits he sported in Episode I but falls short of his look in the first trilogy. According to Joshua Griffin of the Star Wars site TheForce.net, the droid has ignited one of the hottest questions among fans: ”Anakin started him and now he’s gone, so how did C-3PO get finished?”

While Episode II topliners Christensen, Ewan McGregor, and Natalie Portman are all no-shows in the preview, here’s some good news: So is Jar Jar Binks.