DVD Review: The People vs George Lucas

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MSRP $27.98
RUNNING TIME 97 minutes
• Filmmaker Commentary
• The People vs Star Wars 3D
• Music Video
• Poetry Slam Selections
• Gary Kurtz Interview

The Pitch

Who really owns the galaxy far, far away? The man who created it, or the fans who live by it? A documentary about the Star Wars fans and the franchise owner, told through various interviews and fan created videos.

The Humans

Edited by Chad Herschberger Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe

The Nutshell

Without taking a side as to whether the fans deserve more that they’ve received, we are presented with a barrage of footage detailing Lucas’ career and focusing on one of the biggest entertainment franchises ever created. It covers the originals, the special editions, the prequels and the fans reactions to all of them.

Lucas got screwed in his THX-1138


The Lowdown

When I put the DVD in, I guess I was hoping to see some unheard of trial entitled The People Vs. George Lucas. Over the years, I feel somewhat alienated by George Lucas, and agree with the person at the Indiana Jones premier at cannes who said “George Lucas, you gotta stop hurting us.” I really liked the documentary, but it definitely had a different tone than the title would lead you to believe.

What do you mean Greedo shot first?

The 97 minutes are split into 4 episodes, each detailing a different aspect of the career of George Lucas. Each episode also seems to be split in two, the first part displaying the things that people have been upset with and the second showing that not everyone is really that upset, or that it’s not as bad as it seems.

I could very easily see myself making a lot of the same commentary in the first section, entitled “The Nerf Herder”. I was 4 years old when Episode IV was released, and I can remember a magnet on our refrigerator holding up the front page newspaper article about the sell out in my small town. I was in the accompanying photo with my immediate family. For the next year and a half, while my friends were all reading Jack and Jill books, while I spent my time at my illiterate Great Aunt’s, reading her the novel for Star Wars, struggling with words like Tatooine,and Dagobah. There were many similar stories in here, but from many different categories of people. Some were just legions of fans, some within the industry and a few well known celebrities. Everyone just tells of the importance Star Wars has made in their lives, broken up by interviews with Mr. Lucas at various times in his life.

The next 3 sections have a little more bite to them, less history and more opinions. The first to bring up controversy is “The Great Tinkerer”. This is where we get to hear about Mr Lucas opposing the colorization of classic films in 1988, the “enhancements” to the effects in the Special Editions and evolution of the films into his “Final vision” by adding scenes and making Greedo shoot first. Revenge of the Geeks talks about the reception of Jar Jar Binks, the fan edits to remove him, Midi-Chlorians and other items that have enraged fans. One of the best scenes has one fan trashing a wall full of figures and cutting to a moment later where he is almost crying about the loss he just caused himself. The last section A New Hope? mentions disappointments about the release expectations of the prequels, Indiana Jones and the fact that to most, Mr. Lucas has become the corporation that he so vehemently struck out against after THS-1138 and American Graffiti.

Come to the dark side….

I felt the movie was presented in an enjoyable method, no voice overs and a nice continuity of fan interviews and fan creations and recreations of the Star Wars Universe. We get to see everything from the George Lucas rape episode of South Park, Star Wars needle point and confessions of life sacrifices. I don’t believe it presented anything that most Star Wars fans or former Star Wars fans don’t already know and it definitely projects a pro Lucas feeling. Overall I didn’t get the Lucas bashing I expected from the cover, but I did get to see a lot of fans with a passion I respect and love, but I don’t necessarily share for the Star Wars Universe anymore.

The Package

The single DVD had 5 special features. The normal filmmaker commentary, which I listened to some but not all. An interview with Gary Kurtz, the producer of Episode IV. A music video for the song “George Lucas raped my childhood” makes for some humorous follow through to a joke from inside the film. The Poetry Slam Selections, which had 3 different poetry readings from a convention that was held in Denver was just one more section of entertaining fans. One poem was a love letter, another one from a girl who said she never saw Star Wars and the last was an charismatic letter to an almost passable name for Mr. Lucas.

This is so much more deserving than Han Solo

The one special feature that did not seem all that special in it’s presentation was the People vs Star Wars 3D. I was a single stationary camera setup at the San Diego Comic Con letting fans talk to the camera. It felt flavorless after seeing all the different styles of tributes mixed into the full film, and without that, I don’t think it was nearly as fun to watch.


Out of a Possible 5 Stars

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