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August 24, 2005 3:00 AM

Exhibition, book reveal storytelling power of `Star Wars' costumes

George Lucas created the Star Wars universe in black and white, essentially. Princess Leia, in the virginal white dress, was good. Darth Vader, in the black plastic variant of a Nazi helmet, was evil. When Lucas returned to making Star Wars movies in 1995, however, he brought with him a richer and more literate imagination not to mention far deeper pockets for costume budgets. Many costumes from both periods will be on display in a new book and in an upcoming Star Wars costume exhibition opening in Los Angeles in September, and in a runway presentation at New Yorks Fashion Week in September. All provide rich insight into the storytelling that costumes did for Lucas.

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