"For more than 20 years, Lucasfilm and millions of fans around the world have reaped tremendous benefits from the Star Wars Trilogy. The success of these films has far exceeded anyone's expectations, especially my own. With this success, Lucasfilm has had the financial means to push the art of special effects to new heights by exceeding the limits of current technology.
No longer are the contents of my scripts confined by the limits in special-effects technology. There is nothing that I can imagine which ILM can't reproduce in a computer. For the first time, I will be able to create the Star Wars film of my deepest dreams and aspirations. Episode 1 is a film which has been playing in my mind for over twenty years and soon you will be able to view it for the very first time.
With the first three films, there was never enough time, money or technology to achieve my complete vision. Comprises with my artistic vision were necessary and unavoidable in order to complete the films. These limitations were constant frustrations which plagued the production of these classic films.
With Episode 1, I have allotted myself and Lucasfilm as much time as necessary to complete this film. With Episode 1, I have allotted myself as much money as needed to capture the vast scope of the environments, vehicles and characters that you will see. With the tremendous advances that ILM has made with computer animation over the past few years, I now have the means to create in reality what I once could only create in my mind. Technology has finally caught up with my imagination. For the first time, I will be able to produce the best Star Wars film that I know how to make and, on May 21, 1999, you are invited to share this cinematic experience, which has been two decades in the making." (Source: George Lucas)
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