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Did DINOTOPIA inspire PHANTOM MENACE?

A bit of controversy has arisen due to the striking similarity between somescenes in James Gurney's DINOTOPIA books and George Lucas' STAR WARSEPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE. The questionable parallels include thatbetween PHANTOM MENACE's royal Naboo city of Theed and DINOTOPIA'sWaterfall City; the trip through PHANTOM MENACE's Naboo's core and asubmarine ride in THE WORLD BENEATH; the celebratory parade at the end ofthe film and several scenes from DINOTOPIA books; and between Jar Jar Binksand a character named Bix in DINOTOPIA. According to a statement posted byJames Gurney on the DINOTOPIA website, "Many people are asking whether Ihad any role in designing the (Naboo) city of Theed in STAR WARS: THEPHANTOM MENACE. I didn't. I'm in the process of trying to find out how itcame to be that scenes in that movie seem to resemble scenes fromDINOTOPIA. I am communicating with people from the Lucasfilm organization,and have spoken with George Lucas directly." George Lucas was involved indeveloping a DINOTOPIA film for Columbia in 1994, the same year he beganwriting THE PHANTOM MENACE script. ILM did do some development work forthat film. Formal charges have not been made.

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