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Aviation Enthusiasts Eager for Red Tails Premiere

Red Tails
Lucasfilm’s movie Red Tails premieres next Friday, January 20.

January 12, 2012 - The incredible story of the Tuskegee Airmen hits the big screen next week with the highly anticipated premier of George Lucas’ feature motion picture Red Tails on Friday, January 20. In true Lucasfilm fashion, the movie is action-packed, depicting legendary warbirds like the P-51 Mustang and P-40 Warhawk in exciting aerial combat. More importantly, it tells the story of the first African American fighter pilots who bravely fought on two fronts: the enemy in the skies and racial prejudice on the ground.

Lucas, creator of the Star Wars empire, appeared at AirVenture 2011 and introduced a preview of the film at the Gathering of Eagles. His belief in the Red Tails project was so profound that he invested upward of $100 million of his own money to make and distribute the movie after being turned down by numerous studios. (Lucas appeared this week on The Daily Show and explained what it took to make the movie - see video below.)

The aviation and warbird communities are especially eager to see Red Tails. The Commemorative Air Force’s Red Tail Squadron, based in South Saint Paul, Minnesota, owns and flies a Red Tail P-51C Mustang and is holding a special screening event opening night, January 20, in Oakdale, Minnesota, a suburb of the Twin Cities. Organizers are especially eager to draw a large crowd - 500 is the goal - and if enough people make an early reservation, the theater will move the picture to the IMAX screen. If you’re in the Twin Cities area and are interested in attending the premiere, find out more about the event and make a reservation here.

Nick Saban, head coach of the BCS champion Alabama Crimson Tide, told the world in his postgame comments Monday that Red Tails was motivational to his team after they had a special screening on championship eve. “We went to see the movie Red Tails last night, which I would recommend to anybody, but those guys’ motto was the last plane, the last bullet, the last man, the last minute, we fight. And we always stay with the mission. And I think that kind of described the spirit of that group extremely well.”

Lucas responded with the statement, “Everyone associated with the film was so honored that Coach Saban elected to have his entire team screen the film on the eve of their championship game. And then to have Red Tails and its inspirational message of overcoming adversity, never giving up, self-sacrifice, and ultimate teamwork so deeply touch the Alabama team is personally very gratifying.”

Lucas discusses Red Tails on The Daily Show.

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