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Sunday, December 18, 2011


The People vs. George Lucas attempts to give a voice to the silenced Star Wars fans out there in desperate need of a platform to air 15 years worth of grievances, pent-up anger, and … wait, aren't these people everywhere? Seriously, does anyone think "beleaguered" fanboys haven't been heard? This documentary, while quite funny, supposes that George Lucas is this oblivious behemoth with no clue how he's wronged his film's biggest fans. That just isn't the case. And though this film doubles back ultimately and gives thanks to "the creator," it nullifies everything that came before it.

In 1977, director George Lucas changed the film industry forever. Star Wars was more than just a movie, it became a cultural phenomenon as men, women, boys, and girls clamored into the theater to take it in time after time after time. But it wasn't just that—it was toys, clothes, books, videos, everything. Lucas was a hero to these people, but in 1997, with the theatrical release of "special editions" of all three films, he suddenly transformed into a villain. He made a series of seemingly pointless changes to the films and reacted poorly when fans spoke out. But frustration and disappointment turned to venom with the release of the three prequel films. Jar Jar Binks became a symbol of everything that was wrong with Lucas and his new creative vision, and soon, fans that would have bowed before Lucas years earlier began claiming he "raped their childhood."

Following the film world so closely forces you to pay some kind of attention to fanboys and their culture. That's what makes this film feel so unnecessary. I know all the arguments—Jar Jar, Greedo, "NOOOOOOO!!!"—and most of them are valid. But just give it a rest. We're introduced to Star Wars fan fiction—stories and films that reimagine the series in their creators' own way. These seem like great outlets to get your frustration out. But the films are Lucas's. You want to do a better job? Become as successful as him and do it yourself. You'll see how easy it is to please everyone...

So by the end of the film, where exactly are we? We've had 80 minutes of George Lucas bashing followed by 10 minutes of glowing praise. There are some interesting nuggets of information along the way (I must get my hands on that Star Wars Holiday Special), but without a clear focus, the only thing we're left to believe is that these people have too much time on their hands.

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