Star Wars in Review: ‘The People vs George Lucas’
A Review by G-FUNK
Taking a moment to step away from the ‘Star Wars’ movies to review an outsider perspective on the culture surrounding ‘Star Wars’ fandom and the pressing issue that divides the community. Check in tomorrow for the review of ‘A New Hope’.
Director: Alexandre O. Phillipe
Plot: A somewhat straightforward documentary which looks at the fan community that has build up around Star Wars and their attitude towards its creator George Lucas.
Review: In terms of documentary this is not one that stretches itself, being almost exclusively made up of talking heads and stock footage montages most likely compiled from youtube. The lack of creativity in presentation isn’t much of a detraction from the movie as the real hook comes from the passion the subjects have for this film series.
The purpose of the movie is to put George Lucas ‘on trail’ for the mess that he made of his once great franchise, examining his background in film-making and his changing attitudes to the business by interviewing die-hard fans about whether or not they feel betrayed. The strength of the movie is providing an insight into the geek community of cosplayers and fan-film makers. It is genuinely interesting to meet these people and hear them talk about why this series of movies has become such a big part of their lives. The efforts people have gone to in creating their own versions is quite startling.
Where the movie falls down is on its main selling point – George Lucas. Although unspoken it becomes clear, especially at the end, that the film-maker is also a die-hard fan and will ultimately continue to gobble up any garbage that Lucas will put out with the Star Wars logo on it. All the easy and well trod targets get their boxes including Jar Jar Binks and ‘Han shot first’. What would’ve been more damning, had the film-maker actually wanted to make a case, would the full extent of Lucas’s work on the original trilogy, how much was changed by the studio and the writers/directors of Empire and Jedi, and how little claim who really has on the ‘Star Wars’ franchise on a creative level.
Instead he gets painted as a visionary who has lost his way with the movie ending with all his critics from the documentary ‘forgiving’ him. The movie will be interest to movie fans for the look at the geek culture and the explanations as to why people felt so betrayed and angered by the Special Editions and prequels from people who are specialists in the field (whilst other interviewees just need to get out there and meet some women).
The biggest omission is the man himself. Any response from Lucas comes in the form of stock footage and actors portraying him. Was any attempt to contact him for an interview made?
A good subject that should be addressed by someone from outside the fan base.
Score: FIVE outta TEN
This documentary sounded so promising but from your review I gather that it fizzled at the end.