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1997-2000: "It's already greenlighted"

Jim Loomis: For the 20th anniversary in '97, I wanted to do something special for the fans, that would also be extraordinarily lucrative. That's how the special editions came about.

Tom Sykes (special effects supervisor, Mechanical Vision and Wizardry): Jim was never satisfied with certain scenes from the first three movies. Some of the alien creatures looked too stiff, some of the matte shots didn't work, some characters displayed moral complexity. New technology allowed us to fix all this. In the most celebrated update to the first film, the alien Hammer-Tail—he's in the background of shot seven of the famous pub scene—is now left-handed, as Jim had always intended.

Bob Davis (president of production, Wolf Studios): When Jim came to us and told us he wanted to go back and make another trilogy, it was pretty much a no-brainer. I said, "Jim, you just send over a script, I'll tell you right now it's already greenlighted." He said, "I know it's already greenlighted, you son of a bitch." Or maybe he said, "I'm not asking you, I'm telling you—I'm making this fucking movie, you're writing the fucking check." I said, "Jim..." and then he swung at me. We didn't speak again until after the $200 million opening weekend.

Jim Loomis: "Episode I" was for the children of the world. It was so important to me to tap into the innocence and wonder of childhood—especially quadrants like preteens, where we knew we could track well in awareness against other summer tentpoles.

Mitch Hamlin: I told Jim, this is going to be so cool. I can play Bo's grandfather or something. Well, I told his voice mail. I guess he never got the message because obviously he went a different direction, but I still think that would've been neat. By the way, if anybody needs any voice-over work, I'm in the book.

Bob Davis: Sure, people called it uninspired, boring, insipid, offensive, cynical crap—but I think there's about 800 million reasons worldwide—and counting—to prove otherwise. And let me assure you, "Episode I: Part 2" is going to take all that to the next level.

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