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- Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 
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I was watching a show on the History Channel and I saw a promo for a new show coming up the end of the month about the legacy behind the Star Wars movies. It looked interesting, so I went digging for more information to share with you.
The full press release is included below, so I won't repeat many of the details here, but here are the high points:
Where: The History Channel (DirecTV Channel 269)
When: Beginning Monday, May 28, 2007 at 8pm Central (2 hours)
Synopsis: The story of Anakin Skywalker's descent into darkness and his son Luke's quest to conquer evil has spellbound audiences for 30 years. The reason for this is simple: the saga of Star Wars is universal and firmly rooted in the mythology and the political history of the entire planet. May 2007 will mark the 30th anniversary of George Lucas' space fantasy that grossed billions worldwide. For the first time take a profound look at the serious subtext behind Lucas' six film milestone. The influence of ancient mythology from Greek legends to King Arthur is visible; but also more recent historical influences, from the political rise of Napoleon to the machinations of Adolf Hitler can be seen.
Check out the commercial on YouTube.
30 Years Later ... Star Wars: Why It Endures, Why We Need It ... And Why It's Still Such Fun
Newt Gingrich, Nancy Pelosi, Dan Rather, Peter Jackson, Camille Paglia and Other Thought Leaders Discuss the Charm, Enduring Impact and Mythic Underpinnings in Two-Hour Special
STAR WARS(TM): THE LEGACY REVEALED On The History Channel(R) World Premiere Monday, May 28, at 9pm ET/PT
NEW YORK, May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirty years ago, an unheralded film known as Star Wars opened in theaters and took audiences on a groundbreaking journey to a galaxy far, far away. It instantly seized the public's imagination, and three decades later still claims that grasp.
Now, a new special from The History Channel seeks to understand why the emotional impact of the Star Wars Saga remains as relevant as ever. The two-hour special, STAR WARS: THE LEGACY REVEALED, is a World Premiere on The History Channel on Monday, May 28 at 9pm ET/PT.
Through interviews with politicians, academics, journalists and critics - all of whom weigh in on the enduring appeal of George Lucas's creations - the special demonstrates that Star Wars isn't just a high-action adventure in space. It's a remarkably complex and sophisticated story about power, politics, sin, spirituality and redemption-almost Shakespearean in its power, humor, presentation and influence.
The special makes the argument that Star Wars' intensely compelling stories-borrowed from diverse traditions, from Greek mythology and American westerns to the Bible and even Vaudeville-compel us to explore some of the biggest questions of our time. STAR WARS: THE LEGACY REVEALED explores that view through interviews with politicians, academics, journalists and critics, who all weigh in on the creations of George Lucas. The special shows how seldom a movie can make us laugh and think about our role in the universe- which may be why it has stood the test of time.
"The enduring appeal of Star Wars," says Tom Brokaw, "is that it's this vastly entertaining piece of cinema that also leaves you ... with the idea that there are some real issues out there that we ought to be thinking about- good and evil, and right and wrong, and heroism. Generations of people a long time from now will be enthralled by it, just as we are enthralled by the story of Robin Hood or King Arthur's Court or any of the Shakespearean tales."
The special unites a diverse group of high-profile Star Wars fans, from filmmakers to politicians to journalists. Their comments punctuate the still jaw-dropping footage from all six episodes of the Star Wars Saga.
"The idea of the underdog who's on the right side defeating the overdog who's on the wrong side is a deeply American mythology," says former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who climbed a high political fence to agree with current Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the movies' impact. Says Pelosi: "The legacy of George Lucas fits very comfortably among the classics of all time, whether ancient or modern. "
Adds Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson: "You don't even have to ask, 'Will it stand the test of time?' It has and it will."
This action-adventure film with lighthearted moments and touching purity, demands that we focus on current fundamental themes, including environmentalism, racism and the temptations of power and greed. As author Carl Silvio notes, at times the movies seem prophetic: "In Revenge of the Sith, when we hear Anakin say, 'You're either with me or against me,' it's almost impossible not to hear that quote and think of another very famous quote," a point the special underscores with a clip of President George W. Bush's November 2001 news-conference quote: "You are either with us or you are against us in the fight against terror."
The dichotomies of good vs. evil and mechanism vs. humanity is apparent throughout the movies, which carry themes of politics and power. In the Star Wars universe, dictators are ruthless yet charismatic, and while some politicians are well-meaning, as Princess Leia Organa demonstrates, leaders are born from courage and conviction, not from gender.
With regard to other kinds of power, C-3PO and R2-D2 demonstrate that machines can be beneficial, while the feared Death Star shows us their danger. The Ewoks, instrumental in the eventual defeat of the Empire, remind us that natural, environmental solutions have as much as (or more) power than man-made ones. That the movies are fun only gives their central questions and observations more credence
How long will that endure? "A hundred years from now," says Joan Breton Connelly, an associate professor of fine arts at New York University, "someone will be sitting here discussing the impact of Star Wars and they will be seeing different things in it than we are seeing today, just as today we have classes in the university on Homer."
Filmmaker Kevin Smith: "It is bad guys versus good guys and everyone wants to see that story. That story will never grow tired, never grow old."
STAR WARS: THE LEGACY REVEALED is produced by Prometheus Entertainment in association with Lucasfilm Ltd. Executive Producer is Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Kevin Burns (Empire of Dreams, Look, Up in the Sky!). Executive Producer for The History Channel is Beth Dietrich Segarra.
The History Channel(R) is a leading cable television network featuring compelling original, non-fiction specials and series that bring history to life in a powerful and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. The network provides an inviting place where people experience history in new and exciting ways enabling them to connect their lives today to the great lives and events of the past that provide a blueprint for the future. The History Channel has earned four Peabody Awards, three Primetime Emmy(R) Awards, 10 News & Documentary Emmy(R) Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History(R) campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. The History Channel reaches more than 91 million Nielsen subscribers. The website is located at http://www.History.com.
Source: The History Channel
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