There is absolutley nothing like nerd rage for unbridled, over-opinionated, bile splattered and contradictory hate. Two people arguing the toss over who has put together the bigger fanwank theory. It’s a sight to behold and must only be attempted when one has had a few beers.
The People vs George Lucas is a documentary using 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 it is to courtrooms and their linguistics, what a mushroom painted purple is to water polo. Absolutely sod all. It’s also about as two sided and even as Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911.
After a brief breakdown on the rise of Lucas and his original space opera, we get straight into what is considered the Bearded One’s 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, by Christ, they want you to know it. People are angered by what they class as a lack of acknowledgment of their childhood. By editing, tweaking and polishing the original movies, the 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…
The rest of the documntary ticks 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.
The idea of who owns a piece of art once it’s complete is an interesting one. 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 it’s 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’s 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 fandom. The five minute love in at the end smacks of the director 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 up on the screen are the ones that are beating themselves up. They’re the ones that are victimizing themselves, not Lucas.