The Human Story Behind the Trilogy

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The News Robot
[img2=left][/img2] Go behind-the-scenes of the behind-the-scenes epic , the unprecedented documentary of the making of the Trilogy by Kevin Burns.

When veteran producer Kevin Burns was just a budding film student working as a projectionist at a movie theater in Needham, Mass., little did he know that decades after seeing the Imperial Star Destroyer flying across the big screen for the first time in A New Hope that he'd be telling the back story of Star Wars in the epic two and a half-hour documentary Empire of Dreams.

"I would project the film 20-30 times. During college I also worked in the film industry for a distribution company and so I saw The Empire Strikes Back at a screening just for exhibitors before it opened. And I saw Return of the Jedi at a sneak preview before it opened. And of course I wasn't above buying the action figures, and the lightsabers, and I was a charter member of the Star Wars Fan Club."

But Burns' involvement on one of the most extensive looks into the story behind Star Wars began not with an appreciation for the Emperor, but for the ruler of Egypt -- Cleopatra.

"Because the back story of the movie Cleopatra is in a way a better story than the film itself, I had always wanted to make a documentary of it," Burns recalls. "It was enormously hard to do because of the personalities involved, so when we finally got to do it was a real labor of love. It became this big two-hour documentary which earned a bunch of awards, and that got Jim Ward's attention." After viewing Burns' documentary Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood, Jim Ward, Vice President of Lucasfilm Marketing and Executive Producer of the Star Wars DVDs, contacted Burns, whose other projects also include Behind the Planet of the Apes, Lost in Space Forever, Beyond Titanic, Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days and numerous "A&E Biography" specials. Ward spoke of creating a documentary about the obstacles George Lucas faced as he attempted to get Star Wars: A New Hope off the drawing board and onto film. Burns and Ward discussed the project at length, and it became extremely clear to the filmmaker that this would be no ordinary "making of" documentary. ...

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Code Monkey
Staff member
Has anybody picked up the new Trilogy DVD yet? I'm curious how the extra disc they give, the documentary is.