Saturday, August 16, 2014
The title overstates the case of The People vs. George Lucas, the 2010 documentary which purportedly takes the Star Wars creator to the woodshed for the crimes of "raping one's childhood" and "Jar Jar Binks," but in actuality it's more of a statement of occasionally misplaced and other times justified frustration at the man who sparked so much imagination in generations of fans and then didn't do what they imagined he should with the prequel trilogy.
Briskly combining numerous interviews with fans and sci-fi/fantasy luminaries ranging from Neil Gaiman to Chris Gore with archival footage of Lucas, The People vs. George Lucas attempts to square his towering achievement (original trilogy, episodes 4-6) with his supposedly ignoble failure (the other ones, particularly The Phantom Menace), which while not as good as the original trilogy, are a damn sight better than garbage like Pacific Rim. While some arguments are cogent, as when they contrast his firm opposition to colorizing movies with his alterations for the Special Edition versions released in 1997, they also take cheap easy shots at Jar Jar Binks while ignoring what really wrecked The Phantom Menace: Jake Lloyd's dippy Anakin. (There's a reason this kid never really worked again. He's gotta be in his 20s now, someone should ask him about being terrible.)
As someone whose DNA was written as a 10-year-old boy in the summer of 1977 by Star Wars, I've always been annoyed by the squalling crybabies who grew up watching Star Wars on VHS lecturing me how I should be pressing sexual assault charges on behalf of my childhood, something The People vs. George Lucas addresses by noting that it's not as if the three "good" movies ceased to be good because of the "bad" ones. There's an element of, "Who owns Star Wars: the Creator or the Fans" and while that can't be truly answered, they at least give voice to both sides of the argument.
Score: 7/10. Catch it on cable. (Currently available on Amazon Prime and Netflix)
P.S. There's a fresh rumor that the original, unaltered versions of the Original Trilogy may be coming ahead of Episode VII's release in Dec. 2015, something fans have been clamoring for since forever and will probably not shut up their complaining when they get it.
Posted by Dirk Belligerent at 8:00 PM