May the Force Be With You

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," May 18, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Still got those light sabers? The countdown to midnight is on. Mask-wearing, light-saber-toting "Star Wars" (search) fans will finally be let into the theaters. Some have been camping out since April.

It seems that with a wave of the hand, the Jedis have taken over our collective consciousness now for decades. In fact, for a couple of decades, fans have been getting lost in this galactic phenomena, even writing their own spin-off of George Lucas' space opera.

Joining us now is Entertainment Weekly writer Scott Brown. Scott, the big question: In the world of "Star Wars" machines and monsters, what's new tonight?

SCOTT BROWN, WRITER, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Well, you're going to see a much darker movie than the first two. The first two were very kid-attuned. You were asking who's buying the stuff, if it is just little kids. Well, no, it's adults. But I think there's more for adults, probably, in this movie than in the first two.

GIBSON: But you know, look, there are a few of us who have not seen five previous "Star Wars" movies. I've seen one. What has changed? I mean, you see all these little robots talking to you and you still fly around in these fighter jets. There are still dark forces on the horizon. There's still a Darth Vader (search) or what came before or what came after, whatever.

Is there something being added to the "Star Wars" allure with this?

BROWN: Yes. An ending. I think one thing that everybody is very excited about is that this movie is actually going to have a conclusion, that we are going to see Darth Vader become Darth Vader, and that's something I think everybody's been waiting for.

GIBSON: But this is the weird thing. The conclusion is actually the beginning. You go back to where we started, right?

BROWN: It's very Zen, isn't it?

GIBSON: We're going to see somebody become Darth Vader. We already know what Darth Vader is. So what have we got here, just six movies, two trilogies, $13 billion worth of merchandise, marketing. What is it?

BROWN: Yes, but aren't those light sabers nifty and they make that sound, "zuoh," "zuoh." Come on. What's new? I don't know. What's new is seeing Darth Vader locked into that big, black suit for the first time, I think. I think that you can't underestimate the fan ecstasy, you know, in seeing someone...

GIBSON: All right. I don't want you to underestimate it. But can you explain it?

BROWN: Can anybody explain it? I mean, the "Star Wars" phenomenon is just incredible. It's a world that George Lucas created that people would rather live in than this world. And many people have tried to explain it, you know, from Joseph Campbell to idiots like me on cable television.

GIBSON: Well, there was a few years ago with the first movie, people talked about it being, you know, essentially a western for our time, a western out in space. If anything, then that's true and it's had a 20-year run as the new western. Is that all, really, it is, is the sheriff with a light sword?

BROWN: I'd rather have a sheriff with a light sword, personally. I mean, well, I think it is in a lot of ways. It's a western for an age that has become increasingly technological and digital.

If you look at Darth Vader, he's a guy who has progressively more and more robotic parts. It's kind of — it sort of predated "The Matrix" (search) in seeing the sort of amalgamation of the organic and the digital.

GIBSON: If I hadn't seen the second and third of the first trilogy or the first trilogy or the first and second, or this last third of the second trilogy, what all are you missing if all you saw was the first one?

BROWN: Between the first one and...

GIBSON: If all you saw was the first one, what are you missing?

BROWN: Well, the first one is, chronologically speaking, I guess, well, it's...

GIBSON: The last one.

BROWN: Yes, the first one — meaning the one in 1977, "Star Wars Episode Four: A New Hope," — would be the one that comes, strictly speaking, after this one.

So what you're seeing, I suppose, is the lead up to that. I think that's what's really got everybody so excited, seeing the stage set, down to even sort of the famous tableau, like, you know, the twin suns of Tatooine. Boy, do I sound like a big dork now.

GIBSON: The twin suns of Tatooine?

BROWN: I just embarrassed myself with the twin suns of Tatooine right now.

GIBSON: Scott Brown, Entertainment Weekly, thanks very much. Appreciate it, Scott.

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