The man behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones was an MVP for Alabama even before the BCS championship game started Monday night.
In a move that figures to do wonders for box office sales in the Heart of Dixie, coach Nick Saban had his Crimson Tide players watch a special advanced preview of Twentieth Century Fox's war movie, Red Tails.
Iconic filmmaker George Lucas gave Saban "special permission" to have Bama players watch the film, according to Jim Dunaway of CBS Birmingham.
The film tells the story of a crew of African-American pilots in the Tuskegee training program. The men, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are suddenly called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard), according to IMDB.com.
"Those guys’ motto was 'The last plane, the last bullet, the last man, the last minute, we always fight. We always stay with the mission,'" Saban told the Times Daily (Florence, Ala.). "That kind of describes the spirit of that group and it also described the spirit of the group of players we have on our team this year."
George Lucas was very appreciative of the plug from Alabama's coach, according to the USA Today.
"The cast and crew of Red Tails are together in New York for Tuesday's world premiere so you can imagine the excitement when we heard Coach Saban reference Red Tails at the forefront of his postgame comments after winning the national championship," Lucas told the paper.
"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. I want to congratulate the Crimson Tide on their tremendous victory ... the Tide truly rolled on Monday night."
The Red Tails cast includes Cuba Gooding Jr., Bryan Cranston, Ne-Yo, Method Man and many more. Director Anthony Hemingway's film written by John Ridley will debut in theaters January 20.
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