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776: Streep talk
775: World of difference
774: Shocks and Bonds
773: Viva La Revolución
772: Jacqui Bayne
768: Beyond the universe
767: Yasuhito Endo
766: Aroon Mahtani
765: Dr. Hidemi Akai
764: Badr Hari
763: Mizuki Kubodera
761: Patrick W. Galbraith
760: Jean-Pierre Felix
759: Philippe Grau
758: Emi Kashiwara & Elekiteru
757: Aura Virginia Chirculescu
756: Aaron Davis
755: Happy days
754: Bryan Au
753: Martin van der Linden
752: Qinggelete
751: Chuck Johnson
750: Mike Applegate (aka Magic Mike)
749: Yukie Kito
748: Steve Kaufmann
746: Samira Zarghami
745: Raising the Bar
744: Pierre-Gilles Delorme
743: David F. Hoenigman
742: Miwa Gardner
741: Kevin Cooney
740: Kyle Cleveland
739: JJ
738: Bruce Stronach
737: Yoichiro Dennis Ide
736: Mike Garrett
735: Hiroki Suehara
734: Rise and Shrine
733: Patrik Washburn
732: Michael Bumgardner
731: Patricia Bader-Johnston
730: Darin Maki
729: Hiroshi Fujimaki
728: Misha Janette
727: Jon Mitchell
725: Hokuto Konishi
724: Rita Lamah Hankach
723: Kisui Nakazawa
722: Angela Jeffs
721: Simon Wood
720: Yasuko Yokoyama
715: Jason Kelly
714: Dominica Serigano
713: Erik Gain
712: Genevieve Maylam
711: Masahiro Gono
710: Eikou Sumura
709: Eikou Sumura
708: Malcolm Thompson
707: Makiko Tsuji
706: Dominic Allen
705: Maria Heitanen
704: Beckie Cassidy
703: Jett Edwards
702: Yoshinobu Furuichi
701: Silvestre Jacobi
700: Jah-Light Sound System
699: Daniel Velazques
698: Lynne Charles
697: Eric Bragg
695: Susan Nichols
694: Anna Kunnecke
693: Kenneth Pechter
692: Kazu Wakui
691: Antonio Inoki
690: Hiroko Noguchi
689: Richard Bysouth
688: Eric Bjorndahl
687: Andrew Shuttleworth
686: Sayuri Suzuki
685: Yurie Hatanaka
684: Miogi Takii
683: Thierry Cohen
682: Ahmed M. Elmardi
681: Aya Kitagawa
680: Suzanne Ng and Yoriko Soma
679: Ricco DeBlank
677: Takenari Shibata
676: Kirk R. Patterson
675: Satoko Yahata
674: Flavia Nishimura
673: Ryo Shoji
672: Chip Eckton
671: Yuko Ito
670: Marja Kullberg
669: Laur Meyrieux
668: Slavomir Stanislaw Kowalewski
667: Ryan McGuire
664: Life force
663: Steve Marshall
662: Jeff Klein
661: Ahn Soon Han
660: Straight shooter
659: Marcello Pietrantonio
658: Glitterball 2006
657: Alison Roberts-Brown
656: Girl on the go
655: Rob Hoey
654: Kahori Ochi
653: Ed Wells
652: Haruka Orth
651: Laura Cook
650: Uleshka Asher
649: Full speed ahead
648: Katsumi Namekata
647: Top talent
646: No heels, no life
645: Joanna Roper
644: Lu Nagata
643: Kirill Konin
642: Gabriele Roberto
641: Carlos Gibbs
640: Blair Falahey
639: The Three Waiters
638: Simon Woodroffe
637: Tony Virili
636: Paul W. Creager
635: Randy Channell
634: Mari Takeuchi
633: Stephanie Schueller
632: Tara Tan Kitaoka
631: Katherine Mok
630: Bob Tobin and Hitoshi Ohashi
629: Tommy Kullberg
628: Toshio Nagashima
627: Eiko Kondo
626: Embrey Ramon Williams
625: Neil Day
624: Mong-Lan
623: Tor Hideki Kashio
622: Elizabeth Heilman Brooke
621: Louis Carlet
620: Theo Panagiotoulias
619: Lionel Gougne
618: Sarajean Rossitto
617: Christian Hassing
616: Kiho Takashima
614-615: David Wagner
613: Heather Stuart
612: Erica Angyal
611: Jack McLean
610: Fumine Yakumo
609: Yasutoshi Hirabayashi
608: Yoko Hijikata
607: Jim Frederick
605: Yuka Murakami
604: Chayne Ellis
603: Marco Antonio Nakata
602: Kicking Back
601: Stand by your man
600: Hero worship
599: The Candy man
598: Heart strings
597: Sweet and sour
596: Subtitle subtleties
595: The right moves
594: Mother’s day
593: The clone ranger
592: A career kicks off
591: Woman of substance
590: Final conflict
589: World Ready for ‘War’
588: Fun in the sun
587: New life for an old hero
586: Fun and games
585: Knockout punch
584: Patrick’s day
583: Marcia marches on
582: Brunch break
581: Kingdom come
580: Gentle as a beast
579: Prime time
578: Devil of a time
577: In first Gere
576: Bright spark
575: Rei of sunshine
574: A star is reborn
573: In search of geisha
572: Marshall law
571: In the Nic of time
570: Holding a grudge
569: Bourne again
568: Soap opera
567: Alexander and friends
566: Oceans apart
565: A night at the opera
564: Just joshing
563: McPain in the neck
561-562: Hanks for everything
560: Reading between the Klines
559: Risqué business
558: Sky highs
557: Korean boom
556: Queen Victoria
555: Glitter Ball
554: Peter Miller
553: Ralph Frehner
552: Dimension K
551: Tokyo Game Show
550: US Embassy
549: I, Robot Premiere
548: Mauve
547: Xterra Japan
546: Earth Celebration
545: Idée R-bar
544: Laforet Museum
543: Hara Museum
542: Fuji Rock Festival’04
541: Bunkamura Museum of Art

star struck

Final conflict
George Lucas brings the curtain down on his Star Wars saga
By Chris Betros

Hayden Christensen, left, Ian McDiarmid and George Lucas
Chris Betros

If you do a search for “Star Wars” on Yahoo, you’ll get about 58.5 million results. Given all the websites and chat rooms populated by “experts” on the 28-year-old space stories, it’s refreshing to hear for a change from the man responsible for it all—George Lucas, who made a quick visit to Japan this month with Canadian actor Hayden Christensen, 24, and Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid, 61, to promote Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Unless you’ve been living in a galaxy far, far away, you’ll know the story of Sith—how a young Jedi knight named Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) is seduced to the dark side of the force by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (McDiarmid) and enters the pantheon of pop culture as Darth Vader. Reflecting on the enduring appeal of the six Star Wars films, Lucas, 61, said, “Star Wars is based on mythological motifs from different countries. Some of them are stories that are 1,000 or 2,000 years old. Their emotional elements are very strong and still work today in a storytelling medium.”

Christensen, who wasn’t even born when the first Star Wars was made, said he felt overpowered when his character finally becomes Darth Vader. “Getting into the costume, the helmet, the whole deal—it was the way everyone on the set looked at you, taking in Darth Vader for the first time.” Now that it’s all over (although filming finished nearly two years ago), he admitted to a bit of a letdown. “It’s been a large part of my life for the past five years. It’s come to a close and that’s a hard concept to get my mind around. It’s very bittersweet.”

McDiarmid, who revels in the role of the villainous Palpatine, said he is enjoying his newfound exposure. “In the early films, I was behind a mask. I never thought I would revisit the part. In Episodes I and II, I was manipulative and hypocritical, just like a typical politician. In Sith, it was a great pleasure to be so evil at last.”

For Lucas, Sith marks the end of a long journey. “It’s taken 10 years to finally see it all put together. These are very difficult movies to make because as you go along, you are imagining how it will look and making decisions based on that,” he said. It was just as difficult for the actors, said Christensen. “We had to wait two years until the editing and special effects were put in to see how it turned out.”

Lucas’ next challenge, besides producing the fourth Indiana Jones movie, is to convince the legions of Stars Wars fans that there will be no more films in the series. “There really is no more story,” he said. “We’ve gone from Anakin as a little boy through to him going over to the dark side to his ultimately tragic death. I am working on an animated TV series called The Clone Wars, which should be out in a year or so. Later, I might do a live action TV series based on minor characters of the Star Wars world.” But Lucas knows his Star Wars characters will always be with him. “I love them all. I can always pull out a DVD and watch them,” he said. “But if I had to name a favorite, I’d say Yoda, then Anakin, the Emperor, and, of course, Jar Jar Binks.”



Stephanie Black
Bringing an anti-globalization cause to FILM

Documentary films have reached the mainstream in recent years, but Stephanie Black was winning awards 15 years ago for her first film, H-2 Worker. Her second, Life and Debt, shows at Uplink Factory in Shibuya next weekend

Tell us about Life and Debt.
I was living in Jamaica and became aware of how the policies of organizations like the International Monetary Fund were crippling the economy and making people poorer.

Why were you living in Jamaica?
For H-2 Worker I visited camps in Florida where Caribbean workers were brought in temporarily to harvest sugar cane. There was an amazing Jamaican culture inside—the people, music and food. I visited Jamaica and fell in love with the country. I feel like my soul is rising when I’m there.

What other projects are you working on?
I produce segments for Sesame Street and Nickelodeon and I make music videos. This year I filmed a reality TV show about Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, and a documentary in Ethiopia about celebrations to mark Bob Marley’s 60th birthday.

Did anyone at the IMF see the film?
I know they did, because I received a very noisy telephone call.

Why have documentaries become more popular recently?
The news media doesn’t look in depth at anything any more. And it tries so hard to be “objective” it never presents any perspective. I think people are craving information and perspective.

What documentaries have you liked?
Control Room, about the goings on at Al Jazeera.

You finished Life and Debt in 2001, but you’re still touring?
People are still interested because they want to know why people are opposed to globalization. The news media never cover that bit.

So what’s the solution?
Raise awareness and transparency. Buy locally from small-scale producers.

What are your impressions of Japan?
Through reggae culture there’s obviously already a strong link with Jamaica. In general, it seems like a very gentle, calm place with lovely people. It looks like a lot of fun.

Uplink Factory. July 23, 2:15pm. July 24, 4:15pm. ¥1,500. 37-18 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-6825-5502. www.uplink.co.jp AV

Would you like to comment on this article? Send a letter to the editor at letters@metropolis.co.jp.