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A Fun Niche Film Made by Fans, for Fans
eyejacker28 January 2012
No, this film is not 93 minutes of giving George Lucas the finger. It plays out as a bizarre, but highly entertaining, mash-up of love letter, trial, intervention, and therapy session, culminating in a general feeling of hope.

I won't go into details, you're likely either going to really want to see this movie, or you won't. If you loved the original Star Wars trilogy and hated the prequels, you're going to want to see this. If you don't care about the Star Wars movies (and therefore, filmmaking in general) then I can't imagine you'd enjoy this movie.

Personally, I really enjoyed the original Star Wars trilogy, and pretty much hated the prequels. However, I don't enjoy Star Wars enough to want to go out and try to make my own fan film, nor did I enjoy watching the bulk of the fan film footage included in TPvsGL. I think these amateur attempts to recreate Star Wars only serve to trivialize and dilute the magic of the original trilogy, in much the same manner as George Lucas' tampering, and subsequent self-destruction of the series. Actually, one of the most interesting things about TPvsGL is that the fans are guilty of most of the "crimes" they accuse Lucas of. It's a very dysfunctional relationship.

The interviews make this movie. Almost all of the interviewees are excellent. They're, for the most part, keen, poignant, and funny. Sometimes hilarious. I laughed out loud a few times.

A must see for Star Wars fans, of all types.
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Flawed Catharsis
tpaladino5 November 2011
I just watched PvGL, a film that I had been eagerly anticipating for the last several months. I'm a huge Star Wars fan, and like most fans, feel a deep loathing towards the prequels and the changes that Lucas has made to the original trilogy.

Now, if you're reading this, chances are you already know the basic premise of this film (detailing the complex and dysfunctional relationship between Lucas and his fans), so I'm not going to reiterate the various intricacies, emotions, and reasoning that go along with that story. Sufficed to say, if you're a fan, you know what I mean.

And to that end, the film does a decent enough job painting a picture of who the Star Wars fans are and what the film has meant to western culture as a whole. There are some good insights from a wide range of people, from hardcore Star Wars nerds to film critics to other producers and directors. Most of what they say is easily relatable, as Star Wars really has become a cultural touchstone that almost everyone has some kind of feelings towards. It is cathartic to hear so many other people verbalize the frustrations almost every fan has surely felt towards Lucas, the prequels and the special editions.

With that having been said, there are a few flaws. The first being that the film is a bit too long. They could have easily cut about ten minutes out of the first act of the movie, which consisted almost entirely of fan parody and tribute films of varying quality. Yes, Star Wars inspires epic creativity on the part of it's fans, but that is a relatively easy point to make and didn't require quite so much screen time time to illustrate.

The other flaw is the end of the film, which completely goes soft on Lucas and abdicates its responsibility to take a firm position on the subject matter that was detailed in the entire rest of the film. After watching a whole documentary which carefully explained all the ways Lucas was ruining his work, thumbing his nose at film history as a cultural artifact (in direct opposition to positions he himself took years earlier) and acting in deliberate contempt of his fans, the conclusion it reached amounted to little more than a shrug and a soft-pedaled declaration of loyalty to Lucas anyway. Disappointing.

Any catharsis I felt very quickly melted away and once again turned to frustration. Why did the director feel the need to ultimately kiss up to Lucas? Wasn't that the fatal flaw which led to the prequels in the first place? That nobody challenged him? Let me be clear; I was not looking for a hit-piece here either; two hours of Lucas-bashing wouldn't have made for an interesting or informative film (which PvGL certainly is), but the entire premise of this documentary would have been far more credible had the last few minutes not completely undermined everything that was asserted throughout the entire rest of it.

I would still recommend it to fans as there are very interesting points to be heard in this film, but for true geek catharsis (and brilliantly insightful critique), you still can't beat the Red Letter Media long-form reviews of the prequels. People vs. George Lucas is entertaining to be sure, but it still doesn't come close to those reviews.
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Star Wars fans eyes only!
Shane Kester21 June 2010
After seeing The People vs. George Lucas in June at the 2010 Edinburgh Film Festival, I must say that it was the most fun documentary I saw at the festival. And yes, my name is Shane Kester and I am a Star Wars fan, but unlike the others, I can quit any time I want.

The director Alexandre O. Philippe stated that the documentary took three years and was made up of 634 hours of fan films and interviews submitted from all over the globe. You may naturally conclude by the title or what you've heard through the rumor mill that this is simply a "Lucas Bashing" documentary, but it's got much more depth to it than that. The director listened to the impassioned Star Wars and Indiana Jones fan's complaints and rants but also took a very mature look at it from several less "emotional" points of view that gave balance to the force, making this documentary another significant brick in the monument built by fans to honor the cultural phenomenon that Lucas created. This documentary by no means puts an end to the debates as Alexandre Philippe stated in Edinbough, there is still footage being sent in by fans all over the world. And as one of the participants in the documentary stated, "When we're in retirement homes arguing about things, we'll be having conversations about what went wrong with Phantom Menace." The People vs. George Lucas had a surprising array of interviews from the avid Youtube fan to original producers and actors all the way up to Lucas's mentor and friend Francis Ford Coppala who expressed a heart felt lament that George never ventured beyond Star Wars with his story telling.

Even if you aren't an avid fan of Star Wars or Indiana Jones you must at least be aware of the massive cultural influence that George Lucas has had on our little planet. If you're not aware, you must be on the planet farthest from the center of the universe with your head buried in bantha fodder not to have noticed. To you this documentary will be of no interest. But for the rest of you who enjoy a good rant and like to laugh out loud at how seriously people take Star Wars, you really would enjoy this movie.
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'Daddy, please love me!'
John Warton3 July 2010
The term 'documentary' is a difficult label to affix to 'PvGL' but sadly, for lack of a better word, is one that must suffice. I say this because the film does not shed new light or impart new information so much as it distills and summarises what we already know. Director Alexandre O. Philippe condenses and intercuts massive amounts of amateur videos, conversations, and first person tirades with pseudo-authoritative interviews in an effort to douse the acclaimed titular director with a bucket of icy water and wake Lucas from his delusional God-complex so that he will own up to the serious missteps he's made with the 'Star Wars' franchise (as well as 'Indiana Jones'). Make no mistake – this is a film made by disillusioned fans, for disillusioned fans, and the issues that irk the most are well-covered: the erasure of the 1977, 1980, & 1983 originals by the CGI-altered 1990s reissues; the character change in Han Solo by firing AFTER Greedo; the inherent ramifications of quantitatively defining the Force with a microbiological organism; the erasure of the Star Wars Christmas TV special; Jar-Jar Binks; and so on.

The film nicely establishes the original trilogy's place in history and in culture, and sets the tone for why we love George Lucas. But from there, it just gets ugly. As one interviewee put it, 'I love-hate George Lucas. I love-hate him a lot.' The anger and vulgarity that erupts from the wounded fans is unsettling but even more disturbing is the fact that I often found myself nodding in agreement with their arguments. Two-thirds into it, though, I just get the sense that 'PvGL' is acting like a neglected child throwing a tantrum at a parent, begging for attention and respect. Yet Lucas' betrayal of his fans through touting his authorial and divine right to tamper is not without merit. Attributing the disrespect to his secession to the dark-side (that is, entrepreneurship and big business), rather than remain the rebel filmmaker of his youth, 'PvGL' ultimately finds itself in an un-winnable spot, wedged between arguments of public (social and cultural) domain and artistic control. Does 'Star Wars' belong to the general public, or can those that originally penned it rewrite history?

Bearing this in mind, does anyone know where can I get one of those Tauntaun sleeping bags?
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Dedicated to the Star Wars fans who love the films but think George Lucas is Satan.
MartinHafer26 May 2012
Whether or not you'll appreciate this documentary has a lot to do with what you think about George Lucas and his tinkering with his original Star Wars franchise. If you really couldn't care less or if you dislike Star Wars, then you shouldn't bother with the film. Or, if you are such a devoted fan that any criticism seems wrong, then you shouldn't bother with the film. But, if you think that Lucas fundamentally violated his contract with his fans, then this is your film!! That's because although some of the folks interviewed defended Lucas, most folks interviewed were mad, VERY MAD, at the man who created the franchise--making it a serious love-hate relationship.

Let me explain some of the complaints in the film. First, George Lucas has chosen to re-edit and change his original three films--adding scenes, changing scenes and putting in all new special effects. Second, the final three films in the series (oddly, episodes 1, 2 and 3) weren't up to the quality standards of the first films. And third, Jar Jar Binks is a character who so annoys fans (mostly adults) that people wonder why he insisted not only in putting him in these three most recent films (mentioned in the film) but adding him to the DVDs of the original films (oddly, never mentioned in the documentary). It all boils down to who owns the films--are they Lucas' or does he owe more to his devoted (and sometimes rabid) fans?

A few interesting parts of the film include: the fascinatingly hypocritical fact that Lucas led fight AGAINST colorization--

Testifying before Congress that films should be kept as they originally were made and changing them was wrong! A discussion of the Star Wars Christmas Special--a show considered by many to be among the WORST TV shows ever made.

The use of the word 'rape' which was used quite inappropriately towards the end of the film. Sure, I am one who definitely think it's terrible Lucas has changed his original films and WON'T allow the original films to be sold, but to use the R-word?! This belittles rape and is a bit disturbing.

Overall, a film that will appeal to some--and they will love it. Others might just wonder what all the fuss is about anyway!
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"The People vs. George Lucas"
Cambridge Film Festival29 September 2010
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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Fan of Star Wars or not you should like this.
Duncan_C16 June 2010
My first documentary at Edinburgh's International Film Festival this year directed by Alexandre Philippe, The People vs George Lucas.

I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan, in fact I watched the star was franchise in the wrong order. I started with Episode 1 and worked my way to 6. I've received a lot of grief for this over the years from friends and film lovers but I'm not that bothered. I did it that way so as to achieve a unique perspective on the films, it may have been the "wrong" perspective but I was given the chance to watch them from Ep 1 to Ep 6 and it made sense to me at the time. I've watched all the films once, they were OK, the last three (or first three depending on what way you look at it) Ep 4 – 6 were definitely superior but still for me, nothing special. I can appreciate that had I been around in the 70s or watched the films at a younger stage in my life I may feel differently. I know also of the huge fan base Star Wars has. Anyway the point of saying all this is, I went into the film not knowing much about the subject, unlike the majority of the rest of the folk in my screen.

I found the film entertaining, funny and informative. I laughed, not at all the jokes but enough to say its a comedy documentary that will make you laugh despite your knowledge of the subject. If you have seen the films many times over you will no doubt get more of the jokes though.

There was great use of archive photos and footage from the likes of 'The Daily Show' and You tube etc… I found this impressive as I know it can be considerably difficult to gain copyright permission for these type of things. There was maybe a lack of actual footage from the films. There was some but probably not enough in my opinion.

The structure of the film was great and seemed to be appropriate length for the most part. I'd argue the last 3rd of the film dragged on a little, and began to repeat itself a lot. There's only so many times you can make the one point. The film is 97mins and I thing should be at most 80.

The music also at points became a little distracting for me. It was played quite loudly throughout the film which was OK most of the time but sometimes the audio was not lowered enough during interviews and I was distracted. On the subject of the interviews however I was impressed at the sheer amount. There were new opinions all the way to the end of the film. Some reasonably well respected faces appearing for only a few seconds. There was clearly a lot of work put into the film which I respect deeply.

I think Star Wars fans will be happy with the film.

People who aren't bothered about Star Wars should also see the film if possible. I found it interesting finding out some of the big debates in the star wars universe. I will now be able to appreciate and join in discussions with my mates about it. I think girlfriends subjected to Star Wars chat may find it a useful tool.

I'd say the film was a very good one indeed.
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Dropped the Case in the Last 5 Min
renee-22117 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I loved this movie. Was very funny, poignant, and made me yearn for a simpler time where claymation and stop-action was the THING. This movie made a good case for The People without being too hard on George. I had actually never considered some of his reasons for what he did, either in the prequels or the remastering of IV-VI. I got chills when the movie described the build up to Episode 1, and relived the sadness and disappointment I felt as the scroller began its nonsense about Trade Federations, etc.

This was great fun until the last 5 minutes or so, when suddenly all that came before, all the logic and the pleas and the evidence got pushed aside for a bit of butt smooching for George.

He may not have... ahem... violated my childhood, but he took something we all loved, something that had become a part of our culture, and made it clear he had no idea or care for what it had become. To him, it was a vessel for his magic at ILM (his undeniably awesome contribution to the film industry). Star Wars was always more potential than reality, and when it came time to answer questions, to fulfill that potential, he showed he had very little respect for what the movies had become, quite on their own and with the help of the fans.

So, the George love at the end of this film, given the clear case laid out on behalf of The People, seemed a bit forced and unnecessary.

Other than that, truly an excellent film. Enjoyed it immensely.
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Lop off the first 20 minutes and the last 10, and this is a great documentary
rooprect5 November 2014
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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A complicated love letter to George Lucas; a documentary that's brilliant and fun and not just for "Star Wars" experts
RainDogJr4 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It's possible that THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS (O. Phillippe, 2010) is thought as a work done by STAR WARS (Lucas, Kershner, Marquand, 1977-2005) fans for the satisfaction of other geeks of George Lucas' magnum opus. And yes, the debate of who shot first (in a scene of STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE), if Han Solo or Greedo, is in essence only relevant for hard core followers of the saga, however exploring its origin take us to other discussions that without a doubt are incumbent on anyone interested in cinema, its social relevance (and mercantile production), or in the preservation of the arts.

THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS is presented in four episodes but the thematic is mostly divided in a couple of issues. Firstly you'll discover, or understand better for that matter, why STAR WARS is one of the most important films ever made. Authors like Neil Gaiman give us an idea of what was EPISODE IV back in 1977. Later, we examine why people now hates the mind behind the films that they still love. Even persons that worked in the original trilogy criticize Lucas, and it's certainly not gratuitous: thanks to Lucas and his necessity/stubbornness for actualizing/changing his work (even when he testified in 1988 against the colorization of black and white films), now is impossible to watch the original version of the 3 first movies on a home format extracted from the negative, unless you still own a LaserDisc. According to Lucasfilm the negative of the original was permanently altered to create the "special editions" of 1997.

"The SOUTH PARK episode had more impact on Indiana Jones fans than INDY 4" – Brandon Kleyla, director of INDYFANS

SOUTH PARK has helped to spread this generalized feeling of frustration and disenchantment that huge STAR WARS and/or INDIANA JONES (Spielberg, 1981-2008) fans has developed thanks to the decisions of the creator of both universes (those decisions certainly include Jar Jar Binks!). However, and even when he wrote episodes like "The China Probrem" (2008), in which Indiana Jones is literally raped by Lucas and Spielberg (in allusion to the childhoods that INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL "raped"), the creator of SOUTH PARK Trey Parker can be seen in the documentary 6 DAYS TO AIR (Bradford, 2011) showing off his lego STAR WARS toys. The love/hate feeling for Lucas is omnipresent in THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS.

If SOUTH PARK has given voice to Lucas' fans, this documentary gives them full presence, and fanatics of all types express their opinions without reservations. Is really funny to watch the great compilation of fan works inspired by the saga (and some by Indy) – we get from parodies that combine the world of Luke Skywalker with SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (Donen, Kelly, 1952) to the classic stop-motion animations with the toys. Jean-Luc Godard said it: "In order to criticize a movie, you have to make another movie". And STAR WARS fans have done this over the years, creating their very own versions of editing the originals. Thanks to this, THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS becomes great as film criticism too.

With an exceptional work, interviews made in Spain, France, Japan and other countries, and correct use of stock footage (the life of Lucas is perfectly told with previous interviews), O. Phillippe dedicates to the man from Modesto, California a love letter that's truly complicated, and to us a documentary that's just fascinating on all levels.

*Watched it on 03 March, 2013
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Interesting documentary about why we both love and hate George Lucas
IonicBadger30 October 2011
First of all I am a fan of Star Wars and I think you need to be to appreciate this documentary.

It talks about the decisions George made to the Star Wars franchise and for many fans slowly killing it.

We get an interesting discussion about the whole franchise and what it means to people and how hurt a lot of people were (including me) when George started to make one unnecessary change after another.

It also deals with the disappointment of the prequels and the backlash that those movies got.

It also question his intentions and shows just how little he actually cares about the fans and their opinions, and how he is making the original movies more kid friendly.

And the part that really made me a little mad was when he basically gave fans the finger concerning the original cuts of Star Wars.

It's and interesting story about a filmmaker that wanted to dazzle his audience but ultimately fell to power of greed.

And to summarize I will quote a fan from this documentary: If I ever met the man I don't know if I would shake his hand or punch him.
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A Good Look at a Fun Topic For Nerds
mjk28028 May 2012
As a big Star Wars fan I had heard only a brief mention of this movie some months ago, so I was happy to stumble upon it in Netflix's instant library.

What I liked about the film was that they got some hardcore (sometimes scary) fanboys but also some really reputable creative people to discuss the films. Mostly Star Wars fans but also some film industry types. I also enjoyed how they wove so many fan films into it. It will never cease to amaze me how much Star Wars content is out there, and as big a fan as I am I never knew so many people had taken time out to create such things. It's astounding, and again sometimes a little scary haha.

I also enjoyed the opinions that were given. Mind you I am one of those people that has been very frustrated by Lucas in the last 15 years so take it for what it's worth, but I thought they were fair and that the filmmakers made sure to give some grounded perspective on the issues people take with the new films and the re-imagining of the old ones. Questions like "Can a film be altered years after it's been established?" and "Does a creator have the right to change his work after it's been installed as a cornerstone of so many people's lives?" are addressed as I was hoping they would be.

A couple of complaints would be that though they did offer some counter-arguments to us whining fanboys, there could've been more or at least an expansion of those that were there. Also, I really go into it when they broke down the re-creation of the Jabba scene from A New Hope and was hoping they would break down each subsequent change from the original trilogy, however they did not. I suppose that would've been a bit too uniform an approach but I would've liked it and I still think there would've been time to work in all the rest that was presented. I also think that they could've gotten one or two more big names to contribute their opinions. Neil Gaiman and David Brin were by far the biggest but they are not shown often and only in short spurts. Either one alone could've pretty much anchored this entire documentary, so I would've liked to see more of them or one or two more personalities like them.

As far as the ending, at the risk of sounding holier than thou, I think non-Star Wars fans just don't really understand what they were trying to get across. The fact is that though so many of us love/hate Lucas, half of that is still love. No matter what he's done and will do since Return of the Jedi was finalized he has still given us something that has greatly impacted our lives and has brought us countless hours of enjoyment. The bottom line is that we complain because we care, and Lucas is the one who made us care so much. That's what the end of the film was saying.
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This is about Star Wars fandom, not necessarily George Lucas
Mr-Fusion3 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"The People vs. George Lucas" is a film that sets out to examine the animosity shared by a great number of Star Wars fans over the changes made to the Original Trilogy (among other grievances). Included here are interviewers with every known type of Star Wars fan: the casual goer, the passionate geek, and the bitter extremist who took his/her passion too far.

The film does raise some interesting questions at the heart of the matter:

1. What, exactly, does Lucas owe his fans? 2. Are the more bitter of the fanbase blinded by passion (and therefore cannot evaluate the new movies on their own merits)? 3. Perhaps most importantly, *Who Owns Star Wars?*

With a title like "The People vs. George Lucas", it's expected to see the man put on trial, so to speak. And to an extent, that's what we get here. But objectivity suffers when the film is anchored by fan interviews, and the only soundbites we get from Lucas himself are taken from talk show interviews and documentaries done years ago. And it's the preoccupation with the angry hordes that tends to bog down the film; a 90-minute movie tends to run long when things devolve into a fun and playful look at just how far these people take these movies.

So nothing is really answered here, aside from the obvious "Wow, these people are crazy!" sentiment, which we already knew before going in. It's no different than watching "Trekkies" just to laugh at the nerds. You end up asking yourself, "What's the point?"

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An extremely entertaining for-the-fans movie about what people thought of the prequels. Very funny. I say A
Tony Heck18 October 2011
"I love/hate George Lucas, I love/hate him hard." A documentary that deals with the "Star Wars" saga. Unlike most other movies about this subject this one is a series of interviews with people telling about their love of the original three movies, and the hatred of the prequels. It begins with people telling about how their childhood was shaped by the movies and the extremes they go to to show it. Not only do the people have all multiple copies of all the movies but the merchandise they have is amazing to see. This movie is worth watching just to listen to and watch the passion the fans have and how they almost crucify Lucas for what he did with the prequels. Interviews mixed with homemade tribute movies make the movie very funny and very interesting. Much like "The Captains", this is a movie that will appeal to more then just fans of the series. The most amazing part of the movie is that there are points where you feel like you should defend Lucas against the things people are saying about him. Overall, this is an extremely entertaining documentary that will appeal to all viewers, not just "Star Wars" fans. One of the best for-the-fans movies I have ever seen, and a very worth while watch. I give it an A.

*Also try - Captains & Fanboys
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George Lucas joins the Dark Side
kerangador20 December 2010
I find it ironic that George Lucas started out as a rebel film maker who absolutely hated the (orthodox) Hollywood Film Studios and wanted to make indie films, like American Graffiti, tales with soul - stories that were character driven and deal with deep eternal issues like forgiveness, revenge, love.

Somewhere along the line - probably after making Empire Strikes Back - he forgot that - you could say, he went over to the Dark Side - he sold out. Instead of overcoming the Hollywood Studio system - he joined them.

The prequel trilogy of the Star Wars saga is testimony to this fact.

This is perhaps why his wife, and chief editor of the Star Wars saga - left him after the completion of Return of the Jedi. It was just too painful living with a man who had forsaken all his idealism and was now "Darth Vader".

This film explores that betrayal in an amusing manner.
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A Sad Devotion to an Ancient Religion?
mmallon47 May 2015
In this day and age when people use pop culture as an extension of themselves, it surprises me there haven't been more documentaries like this (how about a documentary about the decline of The Simpsons?). I hate what has happened to the Star Wars franchise beginning with the special editions in 1997 as much as the next fan, and The People Vs. George Lucas helps ventilate the anger but it is so much more than that. It isn't just mindless Lucas bashing but does give the man a fair shake.

The documentary raises many thought provoking points of speculation about the man. Does he believe that what he's doing to Star Wars is the right thing? Is he getting revenge on a franchise which turned him into the thing he hated and promised himself he would never become, a corporate entity. It goes to show you how the man is a much of an enigma as the characters in his films, as pointed out in the documentary, the rise and fall of George Lucas parallels Anakin Skywalker's decent to the dark side. By the end of the documentary, I felt as one of the fans interviewed puts it, "I love/hate George Lucas". The other major debate raised in the documentary is that of who owns art, the artist or the public and does the public have the right to the material of its own culture?

You don't have to start a Star Wars related conversation before people start talking about their disdain for the prequels or the changes to the special editions, yet no official Star Wars documentary is certainly going to address this, nor do I doubt this documentary would be shown at the annual Star Wars convention Celebration.

The People Vs. George Lucas showcases a large range of fans from the mature to the more childish, to those defending Lucas. The documentary both celebrates fan culture as well as makes fun of it, weather intentional or not (I wonder if the guy who compares Lucas to a Holocaust denier regrets it?). My favourite part of the documentary is the section which perfectly captures the anticipation and undaunted optimism towards the release of The Phantom Menace and the following disappointment and disenchantment.

Inter cut between the interviews are an astounding showcase of fan films (recreating scenes from the movies, telling their own Star Wars stories and those ridiculing George Lucas). This along with the perfect balance between the more serious debates related to artistic ethics all the way to the more trivial, such as whether or not George Lucas raped people's childhoods, makes The People Vs. George Lucas immensely entertaining to watch, as I've now done so several times, making this my personal favourite documentary.
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The People vs. George Lucas
Phil Hubbs19 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is THE documentary film any Star Wars fan would want to watch if they have ever pondered whether the big George Lucas has been correct in his tinkering. Its not just the constant fiddling that is questioned though, the much talked about prequels are also questioned along with the way the big GL has changed as his fame and fortune has grown since 1977.

To put it bluntly this documentary is brilliant stuff and NOT just a GL bashing exercise for fanboys I must stress. This is a very well made argument against the big GL for his tinkering and decisions that are covered by fans from all other the world. Not only fans I might add but big name stars such as Simon Pegg and director Francis Ford Coppola along with others from the media and effects world, all add their views. Even the last Indiana Jones fiasco gets a once over as fans despaired from the mighty fedora wearing hero's humiliation.

From watching this film you do see (with much video evidence) that Lucas has indeed changed. A man who was once proud to fight the establishment has now become the establishment. A massive money making machine with yes men/women at his beck and call and no other input but his own. Its a shame to see but very evident that the story of how Anakin became corrupted by the dark side in the Star Wars franchise is in fact the story of Lucas. Lucas became a dark lord as did Anakin and some say that the success of Star Wars destroyed Lucas as a film maker.

This documentary is extremely interesting it must be said. You do discover many gems of information such as a letter from the PR department of LucasFilm stating that the original negatives of the classic trilogy were permanently altered when the SE editions were made!! Also ironically we find that Lucas himself testified before US Congress against the colourization of black and white films back in 88, stating that it would be even easier in the future for old negatives to be replaced by new versions. It would be a great loss and that history must not be rewritten! Jesus the hypocrisy.

The main controversy of this film is the SE editions and why Lucas continues to play with his films when there's nothing wrong with them in the first place. The arguments are strong and could go on forever but it has to be said that at the end of the day the films belong to history now. The reason why Lucas wants to change the films is obviously because he is a different man from way back in 77. Of course he wants to change it, any director could change their old films when they look back on them because people change and look at things differently in time and with age. But in general people don't do that (hopefully) because they are products of their time, a moment in history that should not be altered. It would be very easy to spruce up old out of date movies and make them all flashy with modern effects (CGI), but of course then it wouldn't be the same original movie.

Gary Kutz (Star Wars producer) points out that the films work because of their limitations, the lack of money, the use of basic effects and lack of high-tech gadgetry. These are all reasons why the original movies were so great and innovative, especially for the era. People had to be inventive and use their skills, the same could be said for so many classic films across all genres but you wouldn't dare go back and crowbar in CGI bits or replace whole sections or peoples performances. I think GL forgets about all the folk that made his dreams a reality when he hacks away. He created the idea, the story, but he didn't create all the effects, models, sets, costumes, weapons etc...There were many many people who contributed a lot of skill and hard work to create Lucas' vision.

This is the main crux of the documentary and its very very well presented with lots of footage from the movies along with homages...not needless bashing. The originals have been released on DVD of course back in 06 but they were very poor copies plopped onto DVD with no love or attention. We still await good cleaned up versions like Ridley Scott did for 'Blade Runner' or Spielberg with 'E.T.' or even Gilliam with 'Brazil'. Of course there are plenty of Star Wars fans that voice their opinions which some won't agree with, its an argument that both sides will never feel satisfied with but at the end of day everyone still just about respects and loves Lucas for his visual opus. They just wish he would leave it be.

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The Fans "Strike Back" in Response to the Star Wars God Entering "The Dark Side"
classicalsteve20 January 2015
When the new re-digitized enhanced versions of the original three Star Wars films (now called Episodes IV-VI) were released in the late 1990's, some fans were outraged about certain elements. While overall, the enhancements did improve on the original, particularly the scenes in space, a few little "changes" made hardcore fans literally scream in protest in theaters. The two biggest annoyances were from the first film: the killing of the agent in employ to Jabba the Hutt in the bar at Los Eisles Spaceport. In the original, Han Solo fires a single shot from a hidden gun and kills the agent. In the enhancement, the agent fires first, then Han fires his gun. Fans who had seen the original more times than going on dates during adolescents complained it diminished Solo's character from being "dangerous" and "unpredictable". Problem no. 2: the inserting of a scene with Jabba Hutt in discussion with Solo outside the Millennium Falcon. I think those two things might be questionable but they didn't really hurt the new enhancements significantly. But if fans were nit-picky about these aspects with the new versions, they didn't know what being unhappy with Star Wars was really about.

Most fans would admonish the new films of the series, the prequels, Episodes I-III. Bad characterizations, particularly Jar-Jar Binks, bad writing, silly dialog, and terrible acting plague the more recent films. If these films had been not great but good, I think fans could have lived with that. But these films were for the most part god-awful. The visuals were good, but visuals don't make up for a bad story and really bad screen writing. Although the films made a zillion dollars at the box office, most fans, including myself, were beyond disappointed. The resulting Star Wars product appeared to be what a 12 year old might come up with, not a seasoned filmmaker whose creative control would supposedly make the films incredibly good without the interference of dimwitted studio executives. (See my review of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, where I gave it 2 stars out of 10.) I rated Episode III a mere 5 stars, that would be barely a C- without much entertainment value but still better than Menace. However my minimum for real entertainment value is 7.

The present film, called The People vs. George Lucas, is a kind of cinematic hate mail response to Lucas from the fans of Star Wars in the form of a loose format documentary. The film is mainly about how the fans of the original Star Wars films, and a little bit about the 4th Indiana Jones film, felt betrayed by Lucas. The first part demonstrates how the original kids who saw Star Wars in 1977 (before it became Episode IV) and the two sequels energized a cultural phenomenon, now called "fandom". The first generation of kids in the late 1970's and early 1980's did more than simply see the films, they lived and reenacted them. They made their own videos, movies, and plays, even their own props, as well as buying all the merchandise for sale. Much of this documentary shows endless homemade videos and movies inspired by Star Wars, as well as interviews with the most hardcover of fans.

These same kids were young adults when the new films were released in the late 1990's and early 2000's and felt betrayed by Lucas. I saw it during its first run at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, and I remember there were screams of elation when the words "STAR WARS" in its special lettering took over the screen. But there was little to be happy about when by film's end, all of my group were talking about how dumb a film it was and how could Lucas have come up with something so ill-conceived and poorly produced. Some people regard it as Lucas' worst film since he became a high-budget filmmaker, right up there with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It may be the worst film to gross over $1 billion.

Some elements could have made the documentary much better. I didn't want to just hear endless fans talking about their disappointments. There's a few scenes where hardcore fans are tearing up their cherished Star Wars toy collections. Even one group of conspiracy theorists proposed that Lucas was in fact dead, having been killed by corporate executives circa 1990, and a corporate figurehead had taken his place which will do the studio's bidding! I wish the documentary had gone into more details about the releases of the original films and the newer ones, and offered box office and merchandising information. That said, the fans needed to have their say about why they were disappointed in Lucas. It shows that sometimes artistic creations can occasionally have lives of their own outside their creators. Lucas may be the creative head of the Star Wars Franchise, but he doesn't and can't own how fandom will either deify or vilify him for his next Star Wars creations. In a word, Lucas inadvertently created a Frankenstein's monster (the fans) when he made the original Star Wars movies, and now he can't seem to control them.
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They Love to Hate Him
rjtheoret6 May 2012
I had put off watching this movie for a while. I assumed it was going to be an hour and a half of George Lucas bashing. Was I wrong? Not entirely... but I wasn't right either.

I will never deny that I am a fan of all 6 of the Star Wars movies. I never understood the hatred towards the prequels. In fact, people who had turned on Lucas and his recent work, REALLY bothered me. I was tired of fans flipping Lucas the bird and all that he created.

In "The People vs. George Lucas" you certainly hear from many disgruntled fans, but at the same time you feel their love for Star Wars. You can see how they are frustrated, but at the same time respect the man who shaped their childhoods. It is an entertaining and well put together film featuring hilarious Star Wars fan film clips and energy-charged interview clips. It is a ball of hatred and sweet at the same time. By the end you remember why you love Star Wars, even if there are things that bother you about them... you still love them and you have to give Mr. Lucas respect for creating it all.
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Interesting if you're a die-hard Star Wars fan
statesofunrest30 November 2017
I enjoyed this documentary. My only real complaint is that it felt just a little long, but I mean, I guess there's only so many ways you can say that George Lucas made a mistake in making those Star Wars prequels. This was presented in an interesting way and I was captivated with the content throughout.
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Interesting take in Star Wars
Pierre Boulang Moreau18 April 2017
This was a very interesting and kind of emotional doc to watch. As a big Star Wars fan, I like most other Star Wars fans, have felt at least a little burned by George Lucas on a few occasions. I can mostly forgive those things since he has also done so many great things via his stories. I don't hate the prequels, but they are certainly not as good as the originals. They have their fair share of problems, but I still find enjoyment in them and I'm still thankful for what he has give the world. I look forward to future films, now that it has been taken out of his hands and is being stewarded by Disney moving forward.
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Could Have Used More Perspective, But Still Quite Interesting
zkonedog10 March 2017
When it comes to George Lucas, there is a love/hate relationship between him and his fans. This documentary explores that relationship from a number of different angles, including Lucas's constant tinkering with the original films & the prequels that (to many fans) just didn't quite seem right.

The strength of this documentary is that the fans "against" Mr. Lucas make some compelling cases as to why the Star Wars creator has come under such scrutiny as of late. For example, they bring up the point that Lucas vehemently opposed the Ted Turner notion of colorizing old black-and-white films, yet then himself will NOT release his original Star Wars movies (IV-VI) in their original theatrical versions on DVD. The fans here bring up some good points that paint Lucas as a sort of "creative obsessive", bent on changing little facets of each of his Star Wars films each time they are re-released (whether for profit or for creative reasons is also a large part of the debate.

The only problem with this doc? There is practically no perspective given to the "other side" of the issue, or those who actually enjoyed the prequels and don't mind a bit of tinkering. By viewing this documentary, one would think that there is no "other side" to the issue whatsoever, because the fans doing 99% of the talking are those who viewed the original Star Wars in 1977. Those who took the opposite approach-growing up with the prequels & discovering the older films later--are given no shrift whatsoever in this discussion, a forum in which I believe they should firmly have a place.

Either way, "The People vs. George Lucas" is an interesting documentary that will make you think a little bit about Lucas's antics regarding certain aspects of the Star Wars saga both on and off the screen. As long as you can recognize the group of fans for what they are (essentially die- hard "New Hope" loyalists whose seminal moment in life was at the theater in 1977), there is no harm in this fun little romp.
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A must watch for Star Wars fans!
Pheeke11 December 2015
In preparation for 'Star Wars The Force Awakens' I re-watched this documentary about George Lucas and the relationship he has with the Star Wars fans.

I agree with a lot of the views the fans in this movie had (although not as passionately as most of them). I do feel the same way as most fans about the prequel movies and the changes he made past release date on the original trilogy. This documentary made me feel bad for George Lucas sometimes. It was like he created something so much bigger than himself, something he wanted to keep his own but couldn't because the fans see it as their collective property. He created a world that he couldn't keep contained by himself. In that way it's sad that he sold Star Wars and won't be involved with 'Star Wars The Force Awakens' (at least not as much, I don't know if he's an adviser or something). Clearly George Lucas had strong feelings about how the Star Wars franchise should look, even though most fans didn't agree with him. Still Star Wars, this world, was his brainchild. This documentary showed how Star Wars affected George Lucas, good and bad. I think the relationship between Lucas and the fans became so loaded, maybe a clean cut with the franchise was necessary, although it's still sad.

That said I am glad J.J. Abrams will be directing the next Star Wars movie, I think he can bring a new, fresh view to the films and he seems to understand the fans better.

I liked that the movie also showed the appreciation and gratitude the fans give George Lucas for creating this wonderful universe (An appreciation I share). George Lucas deserves all the love he gets from the Star Wars fans.

I enjoyed this documentary, and it got me hyped for the next Star Wars movie. It made me wonder what reaction that movie might get from these die-hard Star Wars fans, Hopefully a good reaction! I loved all the fan made Star Wars clips weaved through the film, that really showed the deep- seeded love the fans have for these movies. This documentary was creative and interesting, a must watch for Star Wars fans!
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A surprisingly balanced documentary on a passionate topic
MissSimonetta10 August 2014
From the title, you'd expect The People vs. George Lucas (2010) to be a total hate-fest, but this documentary is actually more balanced than one would expect. It is a film which is honest in admitting its disdain for Lucas' choice to suppress the original theatrical versions of the original Star Wars trilogy in favor of the (mostly wretched) special editions which showcase his "true vision," but it also remembers that none of the Star Wars franchise would have existed without Lucas, even if he is not 100% responsible for the greatness of the older films.

The director interviewed all sorts of folks, from those who were impacted by Star Wars in 1977, to hardcore fans who show their love via cosplay and fan films, to film industry experts, to young kids who were acquainted with the franchise through the prequel trilogy. The interviews are fascinating. My favorite sequence covered the anticipation and following disappointment attached to the release of The Phantom Menace (1999) as recollected by fans who waited hours in line to see it on opening night.

However, the film's central flaw is that the final five minutes essentially say, "Yeah, George screwed up, but we can't hate him too much, right? We can't really blame him for anything!" This spits on all the points the director and the majority of his subjects made.

Like I said before, this film was not a hate-fest and did admit gratitude for the good Lucas has done as a filmmaker; but as a film history buff and as a Star Wars fan, it is hard for me to just hand wave those special editions and Lucas' blatant contempt for his fan base in telling them they're wrong to enjoy or want the original cuts back. If we can live in a world where five versions of Blade Runner (1982) can coexist in the same set, then what's the big deal with wanting two versions of Star Wars? I can forgive the prequels and Crystal Skull (Lucas is not the first person to make a bad movie, let's face it), but it's hard to let go of what he has done to those earlier movies, which are among the most important in cinematic history.

I think both Star Wars nerds and film buffs will enjoy this documentary. It's not terribly long and the interviews are fantastic.
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Semi-OK documentary about things going way too far
Lasse Laitinen14 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, I think of myself as a star wars fan. I've seen the movies more times than any other (not competing with crazy people but still around 20+), I had the toys and collections as a kid. Then I did grew up. I don't have the toys anymore and I don't really hate the new movies as much I should.

This documentary made me so angry for so many reasons, well maybe not the documentary but the people in it. By far best definitions of "1st world problems".

You can argue about adding the new scenes with cgi on 97 editions, and the dancing monkey in rotj omg, but they also did release the original theatrical cut in 2006 as DVD, so what is the crying? I think that was the key element in this film that they should release original as DVD, which they have already done many years ago. OK its the laserdisc edition, but to be honest if that doesn't count as theatrical cut, you really are just being a dick.

"George Lucas has stolen my childhood" - actually Lucas gave you your childhood which seems to have stolen your adulthood. Even if you love a film so much to be counted as crazy, why are these people attacking the one man who created the whole thing? All in all, its always enjoyable to see crazy people doing their thing, agree here and there but in the end the whole thing collapses on itself.
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