A film about the world's most dedicated Star Wars fans. From lightsaber wielding martial arts academies to a filmmaker who built the world's only life-size Millennium Falcon, from a Monster... See full summary »
1967 film student George Lucas has writer's block trying to finish his "Space Wheat" script, until a beautiful fellow student with a familiar hairstyle teaches him that the best stories are in plain sight.
Uses a courtroom debate approach to explore the issues of filmmaking and fanaticism around one of the industry's most famous franchises and its creator. The innovative film combines filmmaker and celebrity interviews with fan films - submitted via the film's site - to make this the world's first digitally democratic feature documentary. Written by
[regarding the changes made to the original Star Wars trilogy]
George Lucas may be the brainchild behind Star Wars; he may have come up with the story and a lot of the characters, but everyone who participated in making those films had some type of creative input. I mean they won an Oscar for best special effects. Some of those effects are stripped out and replaced with CGI enhancements, if you wanna call them that. I think that that's really disrespectful to the people who worked on those ...
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In this day of mass-participatory media it is in some ways inevitable that a film potentially destined for general release would be made incorporating a significant chunk of such material.
You may ask why has George Lucas been singled out for this film's subject? As the film explains, the number of homages, remixes and re-workings by the public of Star Wars is far greater for this work than any other film ever made. Furthermore Lucas has courted controversy through the mass marketing of his product and the slightly dictatorial way older versions of the film have been more or less obliterated. So any analysis of the subject of the art and business of film, rights ownership and its effects on its fans cannot pick a better subject.
In terms of the normal movie goer Alexandre O. Philppe's film provides plenty of laughs and is fascinating to watch. Barely pausing for breath, the film is a visual and auditory onslaught, with a barrage of sound bites and clips from the original material and its many derived manifestations. Producer Anna Higgs - interviewed after the showing - explained that contributions were invited on one of the many Star Wars forums on the Internet. Sifting through the mountain of material that arrived in response was a huge undertaking, and in showing the pick of the crop we the viewer are given an insight into the massive fandom that surrounds these films.
While for most people just watching a movie is enough, serious fans will purchase (sometimes compulsively) associated movie merchandise and involve themselves to varying degrees in paying tribute to the film and its mythos. If you have ever wondered what kind of person will spend three days walking around in a sweaty storm-trooper outfit at Dragon*Con in Atlanta. Or set themselves on fire in order to recreate a scene from a film then this film offers an insight into that world.
A large amount of the discussion in the film is about the differences between the original theatrical release of Star Wars and its subsequent remastering and updating which angered many fans not least as the original film was essentially removed from circulation at the same time. As digital technology empowers audience creativity, the democratisation of media seems to be at odds with filmmakers who want to retain absolute control and ownership of their work. However, despite its title this film is not about simply Lucas bashing. It is pointed out that Lucas has made footage and sound freely available to people who want to play with it.
It is possible to see a similar issue between the behaviour of obsessed film fans and people with strong religious beliefs. While religious texts have been used as an excuse for inhumanity and war. One wonders whether George himself lies awake at night puzzling at how his simple sci-fi story has led to such an amazing cultural legacy even if that legacy includes such things as Ewok yiff. 4 out of 5
Cambridge Film Festival Daily
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