At 10 theaters around the country, 20th Century Fox is taking advantage of the massive crowds for "Independence Day" to tout another little space alien project it has planned for theaters next February: the 20-year anniversary re-release of the "Star Wars" trilogy.
The crowd-pleasing trailer, showing in Los Angeles only at the Mann Village Westwood, has been the subject of considerable Internet chatter in recent weeks as cyber-philes wondered where and when it might pop up.
The trailer begins with a small TV in the middle of the screen showing "Star Wars." "For the past 20 years," the narrator says, "you've only seen 'Star Wars' like this." Then the image widens to fill the giant screen, and the voice adds: "On Feb. 14, you will see it like this."
With strikingly sharp sound and color, images from George Lucas' trilogy, "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi," burst forth in the special edition that includes some footage that has never been seen before.
All three films have been remastered employing the latest digital wizardry, bringing them close to what Lucas envisioned two decades ago. Now, new characters and characters from the different films will be added and intermixed, thanks to computer-enhanced effects. Expect, for instance, Jabba the Hut from "Jedi" to appear for the first time in "Star Wars."
Says Fox distribution chief Tom Sherak: "A lot of these kids weren't even born when 'Star Wars' came out. It made a movie like 'ID4' possible."