Force Goes Global

Britain’s Prince Charles joined “Star Wars” creator George Lucas and celebrity guests — including “Phantom Menace” stars Samuel L. Jackson and Ewan McGregor — Wednesday night at the British premiere of the latest episode in the hugely successful series of intergalactic adventures. Hundreds of fans wanting to be part of the opening night buzz flocked to London’s West End theater district to catch a glimpse of the festivities. “You try to make it as entertaining and exciting as possible,” Lucas told reporters, “and then you go to the theater and it’s always a surprise.”

  • Despite mixed reviews (both from professional movie critics and in notices posted on websites), “The Phantom Menace” is on target to eclipse the ocean-going love story “Titanic” as the highest-grossing movie of all time, reports Reuters.
  • In other news of George Lucas, his high school in Modesto, Calif., which served as the inspiration for his 1973 “American Graffiti,” was damaged in a four-alarm electrical fire Tuesday. The pre-dawn blaze gutted three classrooms and damaged a wing at Downey High. (Lucas was class of ’62.) No one was injured. Damage was put at $1.6 million.
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