The People Versus George Lucas (2010)

Hold on, because this is going to be a nerdy ride.  This documentary begins with a brief history of George Lucas’ life, how he got into filmmaking, and the troubles he initially encountered with studios re-editing his films.  That was all of 5 minutes; it then quickly ramps into the 1977 phenomenon that was Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) and how that film changed movies forever.  There are dozens of interviews with people from a variety of professions and cultures talking about why people love the film, and how it has affected popular culture for the last 35 years.  There are also some examples of some fan films, including the great and under-rated Star Wars: Uncut (see it), which is the entire film recreated 30 seconds at a time by different people in different mediums.

Now comes the nerd backlash about George tinkering with what they love… probably too much time is spent on ‘who shot first, Han or Greedo’, but when it comes to the alteration of the original film for the special edition, that was probably the biggest gripe fans had.  There are film professionals with alternating views on what a filmmaker has the right to do with their movie, whether it belongs to the public or the creator.  There are basically just a lot of angry individuals here, and most just want to be able to see the film in its original release on a current medium like DVD or BluRay.  Unless you were one of the rich people in the early 90’s who owned a laser disc player, a VHS tape is the only way you can still see it as it was in 1977.

“Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten.” – George Lucas, 1988. Explaining to congress why black and white movies should not be altered to color.  Hypocrite!

The bitching continues as fans recollect their first viewing of Episode I, and try to convince themselves that they really like, but come to the conclusion that it’s 90% shit.  Those on the side of Lucas remind the public that these movies are made for kids, and that kids love Jar Jar Binks, much in the same way that people used to love the Ewoks. Despite everything wrong with Star Wars, everyone agrees that there are a lot of things right about it too.  People love to hate George Lucas, and that is pretty much the main message here… and also that the holiday special is utter crap.

Alex’s Thoughts:  Did someone make a movie just for me?  I couldn’t have asked for anything more in a documentary.  Being a hardcore Star Wars fan I think I have a unique view of this movie compared to the casual fanboy/fangirl.  I went through that big swing in emotion watching Episode I the first time, and came out of it saying ‘at least there were still lightsabers’ since nothing else was really recognizable to me.  I don’t really have an issue with Lucas changing his movies all the time, as I have told myself that I will not be tricked into buying another copy, that guy and his beard already have enough of my cash.  If you are into Star Wars you should definitely see this, as I think you would get a lot out of it.  If you’re not, than this is a pass.  Alex Rates This Movie 9/10

Tim’s Thoughts: I would say this is required viewing for every Star Wars fan, but after about 30 minutes into this, I realized that I was watching the same conversation that I have had with other Star Wars geeks, and that’s where I have a problem. While this is an entertaining documentary, I just got bored listening to other nerds drone on and on about something that will never change. Again, this movie is well made, and there are some interesting points, but for me (being a die hard Star Wars fan) I just got bored listening to the same complaints. I could film my friends and I bitching about why we hate stuff we love, and we would have a similar result. There is nothing terrible here, it just didn’t click for me. Maybe it hurts too much to be reminded of how something I love so much has fallen so far. Tim Rates This Movie: 6/10

 “You really fucked it up, George. What are you going to do to un-fuck it?”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue