Days before the third entry in the series is set to be released, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert examine the "Star Wars" phenomenon. They explain why the series has been so successful and compare it to other successful series, such as the James Bond and Rocky films. Roger Ebert describes the films as westerns set in outer space and shows a clip of a John Wayne movie to demonstrate his point. He also notes that George Lucas read books on ancient mythology, including Joseph Campbell's "The Masks of God," in preparation for the film. They point out several parallels between the series and ancient mythology. Ebert notes that the movies have the same sense of fun as the old Saturday morning serials, but the film-makers take them seriously enough to construct good stories and to employ top craftsmen in creating the special effects. In the last segment, the critics mention two off-beat secrets to the series' success. Siskel compares the movies to video games. Ebert points out that R2-D2 has an ancestor in the squat robots featured in Silent Running (1972).- Written by J. Spurlin
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