The in-depth interview focuses on the movie's technology and explains the director's extended hiatus

By Josh Wolk
March 26, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

George Lucas has been parceling out tidbits from ”Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” (posters, trailers, pictures) for the last few months, keeping his fans from passing out from unrequited curiosity before the movie’s release on May 19. The latest opportunity for Force Fanatics to grab a new peek of the upcoming blockbuster happens this Sunday, when Lucas is interviewed on ”60 Minutes” (CBS; 7 p.m.). He is bringing with him previously unscreened, effects-heavy scenes that highlight his latest creatures, spaceships, and cities.

During his chat with Lesley Stahl, Lucas will discuss his efforts to seamlessly integrate his living ”Phantom Menace” actors with the computer-generated characters, who are present in 95 percent of the film. ”The audience is watching actor Liam Neeson,” he tells Stahl. ”We have to come up and make the computer images as real… or the audience will pick up on it immediately…. You can’t have it be like ‘Roger Rabbit.”’ Lucas will also discuss more earthbound issues, like his divorce, his children, and his 22-year sabbatical from film directing. His moviemaking peers Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola will comment on their fantasy-minded friend.

These mighty morsels will hopefully help calm down fans who are still apoplectic about Fox’s announcement that it won’t allow any advance tickets to be sold during ”Phantom Menace”’s two opening weeks, to prevent scalping. That means ”Star Wars”-ophiles will be camping out in front of theaters. All the better for the ceremonial opening lighting of the sabre.

  • Movie
  • PG
  • 134 minutes
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