The People Vs George Lucas (2011)

February 7, 2018 — Leave a comment

There is absolutley nothing like nerd rage for unbridled, over-opinionated, bile splattered and contradictory hate. And I say this as a Doctor Who fan. I’ve witnessed rage to the extent where people have fought to death just to explain how the Eighth Doctor can be half human when it’s never been mentioned before. Real ‘Two enter, one leaves’ kind of fighting. It’s quite a sight to behold.

Star Wars fans are equally tenacious in their views. You only have to look at the recent anger aimed at The Last Jedi. But who is really to blame for this outpouring of emotion? The fans for not standing by their love, or perhaps, it’s the creators themselves who deserve scorn for not actually listening to the fans!

M Back in 2011, the documentary The People vs George Lucas used a ‘courtroom based debate’ to expose the dichotomy that exists in all Lucas fans when it comes to the Star Wars universe and its creator.

Quite where the courtroom analogy comes from is hard to say because the documentary is to courtrooms and their linguistics, what a mushroom painted purple is to water polo. It’s also incredibly one sided about the issue at hand.

After a brief breakdown on the rise of Lucas and his original space opera, we get straight into what is considered Lucas’ first mistake: his 1997 special editions and the whole Han shot first debacle.

Didn’t think there’s much to say about that?

Did you notice I used the word debacle? Did you?

Because that’s what it is to some and they want you to know it. People are angered by what they say as a lack of acknowledgment of their childhood. By editing, tweaking and polishing the original movies, some fans see it as a betrayal by Lucas. The films they fell in love with are no longer the films they love. Then there’s the prequels… Oh, lord.

The documentary continues to tick off the rest of Lucas major mistakes including encouraging –  nay – forcing penniless fans to buy Star Wars merchandise. Yep, people’s inability to say no to a Darth Vader shaped night light is all down to the bearded one apparently.

The idea of who owns a piece of art once it’s complete is an interesting topic the film touches upon. On the one side, Lucas is well within his rights to do whatever he wants with his creation. On the other, what he does needs to be seen as respectful by his fans. No one wants to feel like they’re being taken for a ride. However, some Star Wars fans work to a multitude of different criteria. One fan says he hates the prequels whilst praising Jar Jar Binks as a true testament to what Lucas is capable of without studio interference (sic).

As a collection of talking heads and fanfilms, The People vs George Lucas is an entertaining watch, but its wheels constantly spin in a puddle of tears created by so called fans each proclaiming themselves to be the angriest when it comes to Lucas’ legacy. Yes, there is the odd voice that is willing to admit that the fans are getting a little above their station, but they are too few to genuinely say this is a fair and balanced view of George Lucas or his fandom. The five minute love in at the end smacks of the director, Alexandre O. Philippe, panicking that they’ve taken it too far. ‘Don’t sue us George! We love you really! Give us more wookie pez dispensers’.

And that’s the scariest part about the film. For all their cries of ‘unfair’, the fans on screen are the ones that are beating themselves up. They’re the ones that are victimizing themselves, not Lucas. Goodness knows what they’re making of The Last Jedi.

Rather than being an exploration of fan culture, The People vs George Lucas is merely a monument to the kind of overgrown children who ruin any kind of fandom for others, including children.

Court adjourned.

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