Before there was Star Wars, there was THX 1138.

In 1971, a visionary filmmaker named George Lucas created a chillingly prescient look at a disturbing future world as his feature film debut. Years ahead of its time, THX 1138 has since attracted a strong following, with its cutting edge visual and sound experience, and provocative and resounding messages.

"We wanted to make a different kind of film, and I hope when audiences see it today, they will find it to be as intriguing as we envisioned," says Lucas. The film stars Robert Duvall, and is produced by Francis Ford Coppola and his revolutionary American Zoetrope studios.

This fall, this debut film will return as THX 1138: The George Lucas Director's Cut. It will come to theaters as a special limited engagement, and then to DVD.

On September 14, Warner Home Video and American Zoetrope will make available The George Lucas Director's Cut DVD release. The Two-Disc Collector's Set features the film meticulously restored and a second disc filled with new and classic bonus material. For Star Wars fans, it's the perfect prelude to the Star Wars Trilogy DVD set due out on September 21.

Preceding the DVD release, on September 10, a 20-city theatrical release of the film is planned, including Ann Arbor, MI; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; San Francisco, CA: Seattle, WA; Portland, OR, and others.

The DVD includes the hour-long documentary, A Legacy of Filmmakers: The Early Years of American Zoetrope. It examines the independent film movement of the 1970s -- the world in which THX 1138 was born. It features new interviews with Lucas, Murch, Coppola, Duvall, Martin Scorsese, John Milius, Matthew Robbins, Caleb Deschanel and others who helped build American Zoetrope. The new 30-minute documentary Artifact of the Future goes behind the scenes on the making of THX 1138.

Classic material includes the original production featurette, Bald, George Lucas' award-winning USC student film Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB, and the original theatrical trailer for the feature film.

The DVD set includes an audio commentary track by George Lucas and Co-Writer and Sound Designer Walter Murch. There is also the "Theater of Noise," an audio-only track, which explores the incredibly rich sound world provided by Murch, with branching video showing the development of the sound design.

THX 1138: The George Lucas Director's Cut is presented in widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 Sound.

To enter the world of THX 1138, to see a preview of the film, and for a taste of future things to come, visit the official THX 1138 website here.

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Brian B.