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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Star Wars 'cloner arrested'
Star Wars: Episode II - The Attack of the Clones
The Attack of the Clones was released in May
A production assistant on the last Star Wars film has been arrested after being accused of stealing images, storyboards and video files before the film was released, according to reports.

Shea O'Brien Foley, 30, worked for producers Lucasfilm while Star Wars: Episode II - The Attack of the Clones was being made, according to trade publication Variety.

He was released on $200,000 (£129,000) bail from Los Angeles County jail on Monday, Variety said.

Another report said Lucasfilm accused Mr Foley of leaking a near-completed version of the film to internet review site Ain't It Cool News two months before it was released.

Skywalker Ranch

Lucasfilm tried to keep details of the film secret before its release in May, when it became one of the most successful films of the year.

Mr Foley worked at Lucasfilm's northern California base, known as Skywalker Ranch, according to Variety.

But he moved on to TV channel NBC's facilities department after working on the film.

A leaked copy of The Attack of the Clones was shown to Ain't It Cool News founder Harry Knowles in March.

Tracked down

Mr Knowles said someone slipped a note into a book at a signing session for his autobiography to invite him to a secret screening.

Lucasfilm tracked the leak down to a person with the nick-name "Shay" using Star Wars internet chat rooms, Variety said.

The Attack of the Clones went on to make $636m ($409m) at box offices around the world, making it the second most popular film of 2002 so far after Spider-Man.

But it failed to match the takings of the original Star Wars film in 1977 ($798m) or the first prequel, Episode I - The Phantom Menace ($922m), in 1999.

See also:

21 May 01 | Film
10 Sep 02 | Film
19 May 02 | Reviews
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