The People vs. George Lucas – Film Review

It’s fanboys vs. the billionaire in The People vs. George Lucas, directed by Alexandre O. Phillippe. What starts out as reverent opus to the creator of Star Wars by fans, quickly turns ugly and stays that way. The film, which at its heart examines very real questions, asks us to weigh in on the role of artist and their creations. Does an artist have the right to change something they have created, or do viewers/fans have the final say? A mock trial type atmosphere is punctuated with both irate fan commentaries and George Lucas’ peers taking sides on both the broad issue of creative license and nit-picking changes in different versions of the classic Star Wars films.

While I share some of the frustrations of many of those in the film—I was at the higher end of the demographic when the first film premiered in 1977 – at age 12. I also appreciate the need for an artist to feel comfortable with their work – especially something as culturally defining as these films were. We’d all like to see better films, and the second set of Star Wars films were a disappointment, but can’t we all get along? Sure the Star Wars Christmas Special is classic bad TV, but who doesn’t have a few skeletons in their artistic closet?

Fitting in nicely with this new sub-genre of films about fans of films (think Trekkies, not Fanboys,) one has to marvel at the dedication of those who will spend years of their time dissecting and analyzing frame-by-frame, pop culture movies. Of special note are the highlighted sections in this film from Star Wars Uncut, where fans tackled different segments of the entire film in various genres and styles for an ultimate smorgasbord of both reverence and camp. Squarely aimed at a demographic of mostly men from the ages of 14-47, the film is worth a look, as it brings back memories of standing in line for a film when streaming, DVD’s and even VCR tapes were not even a twinkle in our eyes.

The People vs. George Lucas is playing the Loft Cinema starting August 12, 3233 E. Speedway Boulevard. For showtimes visits 795-7777.


About Herb Stratford

Arts and culture writer and film reviewer. Historic theatre restoration consultant. Artist and arts educator.
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