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TO FEBRUARY 20

True, this film doesn’t need any more press. After all, $200 million worth of merchandise was sold last year alone. Items like Star Wars Soap, pictured. “Lather up with Leia and you’ll feel just like a princess yourself” read the instructions. But we are already lathered up, and the reason is that George Lucas not only has his finger on the pulse—he is the pulse. Steven Spielberg gets all the attention, but the fact is that he’s just a craftsman. Lucas is the visionary. Even before Star Wars, his film American Graffiti prompted the ’50s nostalgia craze that led to Happy Days and Sha Na Na. When he combined myths and legends from around the world and called it “the Force,” of course it resonated. We already believed in the Force. We just didn’t know that it had such a cool soundtrack. But like the miracle byproducts from NASA, the spinoffs of Lucas-directed research are shaping the world we live in and the world we will live in. PhotoShop software grew from Industrial Light & Magic explorations and is today changing the nature and practice of photojournalism. Likewise, Lucas’ dream of nonlinear, digital film editing is remaking Hollywood and is available for home desktops. The workers may control the means of production, but the storyline belongs to George. See you at the altar, 10 o’clock show. At area theaters; see Showtimes for venues. (Dave Nuttycombe)