Opening the perverebial can. Have you noticed that there seems to be a new evolution in sci-fi storytelling? There seems to be a trend that the science fiction fan is looking to go towards... Special Effects are not enough. I remember that night on May 22nd, when I was in a line made of 400 fans waiting to see the revelation that came to awe us with it's viuals and disapoint us with it's story. While in the front of the line around 10pm, two hours 'til showtime, I notice a group of forty people in a line for a different movie. These people were of the same multifaceted background that the 400+ starwars fans were. I asked one of these people what they were going to see. They said 'The Matrix.' Ah yes, that movie that came out two weeks before star wars, I thought. Well after seeing Episode I 10 times in theaters I was pretty much tuckered out on the idea. So I went and saw the Matrix and suddenly I was as energized as the day I saw ANH for the first time. Here was a story of a man(Neo) discovering his own powers and learning how to put faith in himself and his abilities. The story was well crafted and the visuals enhanced that story into a masterpiece. And the story has literary themes! The Matrix was like watching all three of the star wars films at the same time. Evolution proves that groovy special effects are not enough to keep the science fiction fan satisfied. Even in the second week, Rush Hour 2 beat planet of the apes in weekend box office sales. We like to think! We like to see things blow up! And we like to feel empathy with the characters. We want to see Han and Leia argue and then make up.(that's what made ESB so great; luke's story was only 1/4 of what was going on in that movie. Could you imagine Empire with the story as: Luke escapes Hoth; Luke goes into Training; Luke gets his butt kicked by the Darkside? No Han and Leia story? You could have titled the movie TPM if it didn't have Han and Leia. Speaking of TPM: I still watch it. I fast forward through every scene with Jake Lloyd. Heck! To be honest I usually only watch the lightsaber duel at the end of the video. But when I stick in the Matrix and I can't miss a single scene. The story captures me. George Lucas can direct, he can produce, he's an amazing editor. As a writer he's not that great. It took him four drafts to get ANH sold to a Studio. He didn't even come up with the force until that fourth draft. Could you imagine if the force had been replaced with Kyber-Crystals? The problem Lucas is having with the prequels is that he's only writing one draft per film! He doesn't have to answer to anyone to tell him to make the story better, anymore. Except for maybe the fans come box office time. As a producer and story author he's made some wonderful movies...For example: Willow. Willow was a story he wrote and then he turned it over to a gifted screenwriter. I can tell you now George did not write the diaolgue and inuendo filled situations that made the chemistry between Sorsha and Madmartigan come alive. "A special effect without a story is a very boring thing - George Lucas" well let's hope the rest of the prequel movies are 'stories' rather than 'special effects.' I'll see AOTC once. Heck, I'll see it opening night. But if the story is lame then I'm not going to it twice. Or ten times for that matter. I'm in it for the story. Not for my fanatic convictions that say: it is star wars therfore it's good. I own the Matrix on video, but I don't own TPM. So who wants to respond with praise or scourn? Do you worst.