The People vs. George Lucas – Movie Review

movie reviewThis is a documentary that probably every Scifi fan at least heard of. Beside of that it also got quite some mixed reviews. Some of them, I think, written by people who have absolutely no serious connection to the old Star Wars movies… or Star Wars in general. These people are of course not able to relate to some of the statements in this documentary. And some of the things said in this docu are a little harsh. But, from my point of view, absolutely understandable.

The documentary basically is about the movies 4 to 6 and how Episode 1 to 3 seems to destroy a lot of things a lot of people connected with the first trilogy. Jar Jar Binks is a big point there of course. Now if you have seen the first trilogy in theaters, in the late 70s and early 80s, then it’s pretty much clear what your favourites are. I was born in the early 80s and first saw the Star Wars movies in 1990 or so. It completely blew me away of course. It’s a big influence to what I’m doing today. One of my biggest sources of inspiration. The same goes for a whole generation of artists around the world. The old trilogy was always the trilogy made with heart and soul. When I heard they are doing a new movie I was all for it. I guess everyone was!

Now for a short story hour. Back then a good friend of mine had a friend (guess that’s how it goes) who managed to get one of the internet leaked copies of Episode 1. My buddy got a CD and we watched the first 45 minutes. My english wasn’t really good back then. But the language wasn’t the problem. The movie felt weird. Even now I can recall the weird feel I had when watching it. It ‘looked’ great. The effects and everything… really nice. But the feeling was wrong. I said to myself “well, wait for the theatrical release… maybe it works better on a big screen and much better quality!”. I waited and saw it and no… the big screen made no difference. Everything in the movie screamed “I want to be Star Wars!” and to a certain degree it was. But without heart and soul. Only the fighting sequence between the two Jedi and Darth Maul felt like the real deal. The music… the emotion and the whole pacing was perfect. But that were like 10 minutes of a 2 hrs movie.

The documentary tries to show the reaction of fans to where all the series has gone too. Another, somehow useless, trilogy. Merchandise without end. A Clone Wars comic series. Lego Star Wars. Star Wars everywhere around us. The people talking in this docu deliver some nice perspectives on bad AND positive things about it all. The docu is also a statement to the inspiration Star Wars is. A lot of clips from so-called Fan Films. How much effort went into them. So how can it all be bad if it inspires so many people to get off their asses and create something? Well…

The core of the documentary is to show how these fantastic movies are, every couple of years, used to generate even more money. Just recently the Bluray release. Advertised with “new material! new scenes!”. And soon the 3d re-release of all six movies in theaters again. They milk that cow until there is nothing left than bones. But the funny thing actually is that they are not able to re-release the original 70s/80s cuts of the first trilogy on Bluray or DVD. And there is quite an interest for that! The statement they got was that the original film material was destroyed. Which basically means that you will never see the original movies on big screen again! Ever! (except on your old vhs tapes maybe) And honestly… what a big pile of crap. Who honestly thinks that the original material is lost? OF course it still exists. The question is WHY they force themselfes to such statements and why it is so hard to release the old movies with just the picture quality a little polished? A lot of directors do that! Blade Runner Final Cut is a good example. The big box contains discs with all cuts ever made! And there are quite a few. Even that 160 minute monster Avatar got the big screen version AND the directors cut version in its box. SO why can’t Star Wars?

This documentary asks a lot of questions and not all of them get the deserved answer. We can also see a wide range of people that got inspired by Star Wars. In all the most various ways possible. It’s fascinating to watch and, from my point of view, not only for Fans. It shows a pretty exact picture of that huge empire Mr. Lucas has built there. And yes… ‘Empire’. The docu also shows how that former film and creative rebel became the very thing he always tried to fight against.

However, the man deserves respect. He’s human. He makes mistakes or has a different opinion about things. Like everyone. We must accept that. He changed film making and everything around it. But it’s also the people who worked on the movies who deserve respect. Because they made the idea of Mr. Lucas such a visually inspiring and stimulating experience. And maybe that’s the problem for Mr. Lucas. He only brought the ideas. But other folks brought them to life and gave it soul! That’s the old movies. In the second trilogy he tried to do everything himself. And the results we all know. Movies made for a generation that did not grow up with the first trilogy.

It’s not the most amazing docu ever but certainly a worthful watch. My recommendation to everyone. Especially if you’re a fan of the topic. Then you will probably love it!


A nice talk with the Director (Alexandre Philippe) of the Documentary on Redlettermedia.comPart OnePart Two

The People vs. George Lucas on IMDb

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