World War II’s extensive on-screen history is being expanded even more with Star Wars creator George Lucas’ latest visual in Red Tails. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first corp of African-American fighter pilots in the United States military and a competent bunch despite the racial tension they faced in the 1940s. Nicknamed “Red Tails” for the color of the tail end of their fighter jets, the unit served their country proudly during a time when they had no logical reason to.
The movie serves as the first time since 1994 a film not named Star Wars and Indiana Jones fell under the Lucasfilm Ltd. title. Red Tails also heavily employees Black actors and actresses in a time where movies directly speaking to Black audiences not associated with a Madea are scarce. Coincidentally, it reunites Tristan Wilds, Method Man, Andre Royo and Michael B. Jordan, who all starred in The Wire, unifies critically-acclaimed personalities in Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard and pairs up R&B stars Ne-Yo and Jazmine Sullivan.
Red Tails hits theaters nationwide on January 20, 2012, just in time for Black History Month. But it’s not just Black history, it’s American history.