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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
Mark Hamill claimed in an interview with New York Magazine to have been approached to appear in this movie, but declined. He would go on to criticize the filmmakers' approach, claiming that it was "an open invitation to trash George" and that he would never do that to family. See more »
[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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Lop off the first 20 minutes and the last 10, and this is a great documentary
We all love George Lucas. And we all hate George Lucas. We love the way, with "Star Wars" (1977) he awakened the collective child within the human race, giving us a visually brilliant fantasy that could be appreciated by 9-year-old kids and 59-year-old astrophysicists alike.
And then we hate him for being so arrogant as to deny us access to the original 1977 movie, instead forcing us to replace our nostalgic memories with his 1990s re-design. He is even quoted saying something about how his new re-designs will be remembered while the original, the 30 million VHS tapes, cannot possibly last more than 40 years. Can Lucas rewrite history? I don't think so, although it's his right to try. Illegal copies of the originals will continue to float around the internet as long as the internet exists. So I believe Lucas's last stand will eventually prove fruitless, even if it takes 100 years. It just sucks for those of us who don't know how to get our hands on those illegal copies. And in all honesty, *that's* why I hate George Lucas.
"The People vs. George Lucas" focuses mostly on the hate aspect, and it doesn't pull any punches. Drawing from archival interviews of Lucas as well as official statements released by Lucasfilm in response to fans requesting the original film versions, we are shown a George Lucas who is an artistic tyrant, a corporate player, the quintessential artist who is corrupted by success. Interspersed with humorous bits by comedians and ex-fanboys alike, most of this movie is like a celebrity roast with Georgie on the spit. And my guess is, if you're interested in a movie called "The People vs. George Lucas", this is what you came for.
In that regard, it does not disappoint. It gives you everything you need to indulge your acidic, bloodthirsty resentment ...and then some (did you know that Lucas himself appeared before congress in 1988 to denounce Ted Turner for colorizing black & white films, calling it a crime to our national heritage... just years before he obliterated the original "Star Wars" with modern visuals?).
But then, as if fearing that it had gone too far, the documentary pulls a 180 in the last 10 minutes with a sudden, inexplicable change of heart. Sappy music swells while we are shown appreciative fans and children (oh not the children! Way to make me feel like a louse) praising Lucas as the guiding light of their dreams. It would have been interesting if the sudden change of heart were explained, but no, it's more like a sarcastic attack punctuated with a very contrived "No offense! We still love you!" I also took off points for the first 20 minutes which feature a bunch of grainy & unappealing fan videos designed to convince us of what an impact Star Wars had on us. Not necessary. We were there, we don't need anyone telling us how important Star Wars was.
So, like my title says, lop off the first 20 minutes and the last 10, and you've got yourself a bold, unapologetic, hard-hitting documentary that explains exactly why so many fans are angry with Lucas. And that's the important part, isn't it? The rest--the stuff about how big a cultural impact Star Wars made--is nothing new.
Final note: the documentary has a significant spoiler for the 3rd Star Wars prequel--the shocking conclusion of all the prequel movies, in fact. After Phantom Menace (prequel #1) I never saw the others although I planned to one day. If you're like me, beware because in the 2nd half of the documentary they spill the beans. So if you ever intend to see them, be sure to watch the prequel movies first, then watch this documentary.
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