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Film: The phantom menace

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is here. The story so far: pounds 360million of US business to date, 24hr screenings, endless merchandising, wall-to-wall press coverage. And it's all in aid of George Lucas's first feature directing credit since the original Star Wars. And, boy, is he rusty. Never the best handler of actors, Lucas ensures that the computer- generated spectacles and a waffly story-line keep Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson (right) well in the background. Which isn't even to mention the allegations of racial stereotyping that have been levelled at characters like Jar Jar Binks. Persuaded you to see The Third Man instead? No? Didn't think so.

`The Phantom Menace' is on release nationwide from Thursday 15 July. Call your local cinema for booking details