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XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX MON MARCH 28, 2002 00:11:09 ET XXXXX
SECURITY BREACH: NEW 'STAR WARS' FLICK SCREENED BY NET REPORTER
Panic has hit the 20TH CENTURY FOX lot and LUCASFILM LTD as a rough cut of STAR WARS, EPISODE 2: ATTACK OF THE CLONES has been leaked and viewed by renegade Internet movie reporter Harry Knowles -- months before the latest installment of the sci-fi saga is set for public consumption.
Knowles, whose Ain't It Cool website regularly out scoops the Hollywood press from his Texas outpost, has hit maximum controversy by being the first person to see the film outside George Lucas's tightly controlled production crew.
Knowles even boasts that no one from FOX has seen a cut of the movie yet!
Knowles says that while at a book signing in Austin this weekend he was extended a secret invitation by a mystery source for a private viewing at a hotel room during the South by Southwest Film Festival.
And Knowles says there's no way the LUCASFILM or FOX will ever figure out who gave him this extraordinary access.
"The source is so protected that Lucas will never find out. The film is safe. It won't be shown further. The source wanted ME to see it. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the material was already safe back in Marin County as we speak!"
Knowles predicts that team Lucas has hit paydirt with a film that explains away many of the flaws of STAR WARS, EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE, including minimizing the presence of the heavily criticized character Jar Jar Binks.
"Jar Jar has a 15 second 'StepInFetchIt' shuffle speak routine that is so offensively awful that it will make you recoil in horror and remind you of all of the worst aspects of his character from THE PHANTOM MENACE."
"But fear not," Knowles says. "He is only in the film for about two minutes and the cinematography of this film is beautiful, and the story lines add a depth that was greatly needed after EPISODE I."
On his site Knowles writes:
"Upon first viewing, in less than ideal circumstances, I must say that I feel that this is by far the most entertaining Star Wars film to date. It may not have that innocent sense of wonder for the first film. It doesn't have that sense of intimacy that EMPIRE STRIKES BACK had, or that film's desperation. However, it also doesn't have the trivial frivolity of JEDI or MENACE. ATTACK OF THE CLONES is a turning point in the saga. The point of no return."
Filed By Matt Drudge
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