George Lucas, 67, got people talking when he decided to shell out $58 million of his own money to produce Red Tails, a film about the war efforts of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.

The movie, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard, follows a group of African-American pilots in the Tuskegee training program who are called on to fight the Germans in WWII. Lucas has a soft spot for the story. "It's uber-patriotic," he told USA Today. "And it's a really exciting action-adventure movie. As for the racism in our story, it's embedded in the material, so we just had to be careful not to overdo it."

The airmen battle not only the Germans abroad, but also racism on the home front that eventually helped spark the Civil Rights Movement. "It was a project that I instantly was attracted to and was determined to get made," Lucas said. "I have only one agenda, and that's for a lot of young people to see this movie."

Red Tails, named for the bright red tail markings on the pilots' aircraft, opens today in theaters.


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