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The release date of “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” in 3-D has come and gone, and the news is not so great for Mr. George Lucas. Though the film didn’t exactly underperform in its opening weekend (it took in $22.5 million), three other new films did better. Fourth place: there’s not even a medal for that.

I can’t say that I’m surprised; most adults who have already seen the film probably wouldn’t care to see it again, even in 3-D. And the new generation of young moviegoers was likely distracted by “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.”

As for myself, there will be no trip to the megaplex to watch “Menace” once again on the big screen. But my avoidance of “Episode I” has little to do with midi-chlorians or Jake Lloyd or Jar Jar Binks. It’s because of the most heinous, sacrilegious act perpetrated by The Creator: the CG-ification of Yoda.

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Phantom Menace

"Star Wars: Episode I" returns to theaters today, in 3D. But let’s flash back for a few moments to May 19th, 1999 – the day “The Phantom Menace” was originally released. If you were a die-hard “Star Wars” fan, like I was, you were going to see this movie regardless of what the critics wrote about it. You ached to hear, once again, that familiar yet exciting 20th Century Fox fanfare before reading the opening crawl. You may have camped out on a dirty sidewalk for hours, days, weeks even, just so you could be one of the first to experience it.

But if you weren’t one of “those” fans, you might have waited and checked out the reviews before making the decision to see “The Phantom Menace.” The following is a sampling of what you’d have read.

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John Williams

John Williams, the greatest film composer ever (and arguably the greatest living American composer, period) turns 80 years old today. There’s too much to say about Williams for this limited space, but here are a few stats...

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Boba Fett

To commemorate the return of Star Wars to your local megaplex (you probably already know that "Episode I: The Phantom Menace" in 3D hits theaters next Friday) we at MTV Movies have decided to give you a very special gift—a weekly blog devoted to all things "Star Wars."

In this very space I will be reporting, ruminating and ranting about a variety of topics relating to the film franchise that has always been near and dear to my heart. I’ll call this column The Comlink until I come up with something cooler – suggestions are most definitely welcome.

Today’s topic is a character who—although not my personal favorite—has become so big in the Expanded Universe that if he decided to enter the upcoming presidential election he’d probably win. He’s the guy who survived the belly of the Sarlacc and who legions of fans are hoping to see starring in the long-awaited live action Star Wars TV show. I’m talking about The Man-of-Few-Words, The Disintegrator, The Killer from Kamino himself… Boba Fett.

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Liam Neeson rejoins his "A-Team" director Joe Carnahan for the man-versus-nature thriller "The Grey," in theaters today (January 27). The ads might have you thinking it's nothing but wolf punching, but there's a lot more going on.

Here are our five reasons to brave the winter weather and go see "The Grey."

1. Liam the Badass is Back
Neeson seems to specialize in "Tough Guy In Charge" roles, and there aren't many characters more badass than John Ottway, an oil-rig employee who leads a rough band of plane crash survivors through the wilds of Alaska. Neeson is believable as the stern but caring father figure, who tries to keep his co-workers alive, and when he stares down those angry wolves, you don’t doubt that he can take them on with his bare hands.

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Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg is reportedly very close to signing on to direct a biopic of the biblical hero Moses, and that makes this Good Jewish Girl very happy. Of course Mr. Spielberg, VIJ (Very Important Jew), can be trusted to tell the story of Moses with his usual brilliance.

But who will be the lucky fella to portray the man who shepherded his people to freedom? Below, some casting suggestions!

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Step aside, Eric Bana - there’s a new "Star Trek" villain in town: the British gent with the fabulous name and even more fabulous cheekbones, Benedict Cumberbatch.


Which "Star Trek" villain is Benedict Cumberbatch playing?

Cumberbatch’s casting in J.J. Abrams’ next "Trek" flick has turbocharged the 35-year-old actor’s ascent to superstardom, and with all of his current and upcoming high-profile film projects, he’s set to inherit Michael Fassbender’s title of It Movie Guy of the Year.

But if you’re not yet familiar with Mr. Cumberbatch’s work, here’s a brief introduction.

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Bob Anderson

What’s the closest thing to a real-life Jedi Master? That would probably be Sword Master, the role Bob Anderson had on pretty much every big film that featured sword fighting during the past several decades.

Anderson, a former Olympic fencer who died on New Year's Day at age 89, was the one who made the lightsaber duels in the original "Star Wars" trilogy look so cool. Everyone knows that James Earl Jones was the voice of Darth Vader and David Prowse was the man behind the mask, but it was Bob Anderson handling the red lightsaber in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”

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Star Wars

I feel a great disturbance in the Force… late last week Matthew Morrison of "Glee" told Jimmy Kimmel that next Tuesday’s episode will include “a throwback and a tribute to the Star Wars Holiday Special and the Judy Garland Christmas Special.”

And -- wait for it -- Chewbacca will be in it.

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M. Night Shyamalan

Better late than never? Perhaps encouraged by his daughters, M. Night Shyamalan has finally taken a seat on the Twitter train (he’s now on Facebook, too). His first tweet, on November 25th, was a characteristic homage to his childhood hero:

I was thirteen years old when I tried to call Steven Spielberg. I made my mom call and pretend she was my assistant. He didn't take my call.

To commemorate this auspicious occasion, we present to you a collection of bold predictions: the five ways M. Night Shyamalan will reinvent Twitter.

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