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George Lucas is trying to downplay the chances of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ever living up to the inevitable hype. He probably doesn’t want it to come down with a case of The Phantom Menace syndrome.

“It’s just a movie,” he says. “Just like the other movies. You probably have fond memories of the other movies. But if you went back and looked at them, they might not hold up the same way your memory holds up.”

Truer words were never spoken. They are just movies. But they’re also more than movies — they’re adventures that we went on with Indy.

Now, like many fans, I wasn’t thrilled with many aspects of the Star Wars prequels — and that is why Lucas is going on the defensive before the film even comes out on May 22. But they have their moments, and they got better as the trilogy progressed.

Are they great moments in film history? No, at least not like the original movies were, that’s for sure. Lucas did what he always has done: make the movies he wanted for himself, not for the fans.

And that’s why he feels like he has to keep defending these movies.

It feels oddly like an apology, doesn’t it?

Just stop apologizing, Mr. Lucas, and make more movies like the ones we grew up with. We’ll decide whether to like them or not. It’s cheating to pre-sell a thing you built up as something that ‘won’t be that good anyway, so don’t blame me if you don’t like it.’ If that troubles you … well, that’s the price of fame and your shiny hype machine.

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