Buzz Wars, Episode One: The Backlash Menace

WITH ONE TRAILER IN THEATERS AND ANOTHER COMING SOON, THE HYPE BLITZ FOR THE NEW ""Star Wars'' film (still four months away) has already provoked a backlash. This week we gather buzz from prequel naysayers--and counterbuzz from true believers:

EXPECTATIONS GAME: It's the most anticipated film in history. Anything less than a masterpiece will disappoint. Counterbuzz: Anticipation will only sweeten the payoff.

AIN'T NOTHING LIKE THE REAL THING: Too much reliance on computer-generated imagery could make the film look cheesy. Counterbuzz: Lucasfilm and ILM are the Jedi masters of CG.

THE KID CAN'T ACT: Insiders call 9-year-old Jake Lloyd (who plays Anakin Skywalker) ""Mannequin Skywalker''--word is he stinks. Counterbuzz: But he's so cute!

LUCAS HAS LOST IT: After the trilogy, he produced ""Howard the Duck'' and ""Willow,'' and took 22 years off from directing. Not promising. Counterbuzz: Lucas is God.

SHINY, HAPPY PREQUEL: It looks too upbeat. To ""Star Wars'' junkies, dark = good. Counterbuzz: Episodes two and three will be more sinister.

SEE NO PREQUEL, HEAR NO PREQUEL: Truly die-hard fans ignore all prequel hype, refusing to spoil opening night. Counterbuzz: You're reading this, aren't you?