More than twenty years in the making, George Lucas' World War II adventure Red Tails is finally coming to theaters on January 20th. The story follows the black pilots of the Tuskegee air-training program, who were forced to fly second rate planes on missions deemed less than important.

The film traces how these pilots become superior soldiers, and were called into battle at an important moment in US history. There is over an hour's worth of thrilling dogfights in Red Tails, and as George Lucas has revealed, he directed those scenes himself, allowing Anthony Hemingway to focus on the drama and actors.

According to Lucas, who was praised for his battle scenes in the Star Wars prequels, but criticized for his direction of actors, this came as the perfect marriage between to creative forces.

"I love dogfights and I know how to do them. I told Anthony, 'You worry about the actors and the story on the ground, and I'll worry about the one hour we're in the air.' For me, Red Tails is like Flying Leathernecks. It's corny. It's über-patriotic. And it's a really exciting action-adventure movie. As for the racism in our story, it's embedded in the material, so we just had to be careful not to overdo it."

So far, no one has screened Red Tails, so the verdict is still out. But the dogfights are supposed to be some of the best ever created for a film.

B. Alan Orange