Star Wars: Episode III: At Encore's recent tribute to George Lucas, the big man himself spoke about the final Star Wars film in the series:

"It's a darker version of Star Wars," says Lucas. "It's not as dark as a Quentin Tarantino movie, but at the same time, for Star Wars it will be pretty dark."

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In other Episode III production news, a story about the animatic process was recently posted at the official site.

"As with any early development some of the main story elements are still in flux, so we've been concentrating primarily on getting the assets for the initial sequence built." An asset is any computer model or element to be used in animation. "It's a two-part process: when we're assigned the sequence, we build the assets: the ships, the environments, and any dynamic situations such as lasers and explosions. Once they are near complete we clean them up and place them all on a central server. That way we don't have to develop assets in the middle of trying to animate a shot. Two weeks ago, we had turned in a handful of shots. Last week, we turned in about 30 or 40."

"We're in a rushed state from the word go," he says. "Last week was pretty intense. I think Wednesday, Thursday, Friday some people got a total of five hours of sleep."

For those of you who don't know what animatics are, it is the process of visualizing particular costly sequences in the movie by creating simple computer generated scenes of the camera moves. This helps the filmmakers tackle each scenes with precision.

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