This week's column is about George Lucas, a long absent figure in the Geek Beat. If you find your blood pressure easily raised by even the slightest mention of his name, then skip reading this week. However, be assured that I'm not going to trot out any of the old Lucas clichés; tell you he raped my childhood, or bring up that cringe-worthy site that analyzes his neck size. But I am going to examine one of his lesser known sins: the 1996 sequel to Willow.

Thankfully, it was consigned only to bookshelves and not foisted on an unsuspecting movie audience. If you've never heard of it, be glad. And you're not alone, as it seems to have come and gone under the radar for most geeks. Which is a shame; it could have warned us that trouble was ahead -- like Lenin's letter warning against Stalin, or the iceberg warnings sent to the Titanic.

Ah, Willow. I didn't see it on its initial release, but rediscovered it as a pre-teen. I was enchanted by it in those days, when I was all about dragons, crystals, swords and the Renaissance Faire. (I've matured in my medieval tastes, though I still admire a well-made sword from time to time. I still have one hanging on my wall, actually.) Though I had read The Hobbit, I had not yet tackled Lord of the Rings, and so Willow struck me as relatively original. Now, of course, I realize it's a blatant rip-off of Tolkien ... but oh, the folly of youth. Plus, Val Kilmer was really handsome in the flick.
categories Cinematical