George Lucas: May the Ford Be With You

04/15/2002 01:50AM

The Force was clearly with the 11th annual BAFTA/LA Britannia Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel this weekend, reports PEOPLE. "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, 57, there to receive the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film, was flanked by his stars from long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away: Carrie Fisher, the evening's host, and Harrison Ford, the award presenter. Ford, 59, who's notoriously press-shy, actually cracked a rare smile and said, "It's an opportunity to acknowledge George and what he's meant to my career and what he means to the film business." Lucas, also a man of few words, said this award was special in that "I've made most of my films in Britain, so it's very special to get an award from the people I work with." The next "Star Wars" installment, "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones," which opens May 16, "is a bit of a love story, which is different from any of the other ones we've done," said Lucas, who promises "there's still a lot of action and all the other stuff. It begins its slide to the dark side, so it's a little tougher than the other ones, but it's getting us to the dark one, which is the next one." The evening's entertainment was provided by former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, though it was Eddie Izzard, now playing the role of Charlie Chaplin in Peter Bogdanovich's "The Cat's Meow," who provided the night's best line to PEOPLE. Asked if he was anxious to meet Lucas and another guest at the affair, Steven Spielberg, he replied: "Sure, that would be fine, but there's nothing worse than going up to people and hanging around and they go, 'Who are you, scumbag?'"

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