Filmmaker George Lucas is considering making a short film based on his upcoming "Star Wars" trilogy of "prequels" as part of an updated Star Wars simulation ride at Walt Disney World, Disney sources said on Wednesday. Plans remain sketchy and Disney World's public relations arm had few details when asked about the project. Walt Disney World spokesman Craig Dezern at first said Lucas had "agreed to a whole collaboration" with Disney's design team on the project. But he later characterized "agreement" as an overstatement and said the relationship involved "serious and ongoing discussions." "We don't discuss our business deals," said Dezern. A source at Disney later said the company had a "verbal agreement" with Lucas, but many details remained to be worked out before an agreement could be formalized.
The first of Lucas' new trilogy of "Star Wars" films, which start with the story of Luke Skywalker's father before he became the villainous Darth Vader, is scheduled to premiere in May 1999. "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" will be directed by Lucas, who also directed the original "Star Wars" in 1977.
The new Disney attraction would not be ready until some time after 1999, Dezern said, and it would replace Star Tours, which combines a flight simulator with a short film that uses the first trilogy of features for its source material. Lynne Hale, a spokeswoman for LucasFilm, the director's film company, said features of the new attraction were "just in discussion." (Reuters)