Jedi Junkies (2010)


I’m surprised that a documentary titled “Jedi Junkies” about many fans that have a passion for “Star Wars” really seems to hold up its nose at the fandom. There are moments when the documentary wants to idolize the franchise that George Lucas molded, and then veers in to segments where we’re forced to explore the pitfalls of the fandom. There are even moments that seem to revel in exploring how much of a drag being a “Star Wars” fan can be, and how it’s consumed the lives of the people that follow the fandom so devoutly.

One man has even lost control of his collection, and seems to think of his obscene collection as a burden. It’s such a burden he and his family now sleep on air mattresses, while he can barely muster up the will to consider selling his whole collection off. There’s also the class of lightsaber enthusiasts that have created a class about handling and wielding the lightsaber, which ends up going absolutely nowhere. We’re not sure why they’re meant to symbolize a corner of the “Star Wars” universe, in the end, and it feels so much like padding. Most of “Jedi Junkies” really manages to be dull and underwhelming.

There’s nothing new we learn about being a “Star Wars” fan, and for the most part the energy is lackluster. The enthusiasm for the “Star Wars” universe almost never shines through, and director Mark Editz can’t seem to transfer that love and passion in to the documentary. We’re never quite sure it’s a word of warning, or a love letter, so it’s just tonally inconsistent. It almost becomes distracting how one moment we’re watching fans joyfully recall building a life-size version of the Millennium Falcon, and then switch to a man who almost regrets collecting so many “Star Wars” figures and replicas. And you have to wonder what director Editz was thinking when he brings on a psychologist to discuss the nature of collecting and fan worship.

So, is “Jedi Junkies” a love letter to “Star Wars”? Or is it a warning about devoting your life to a fictional story? Is Mark Editz profiling the “Star Wars” fans in their element? Or is he asking us to pity them? Are we supposed to find Olivia Munn mocking fan boys funny? There’s nothing wrong with loving something so much you surround yourself with it. There’s something wrong with a documentary called “Jedi Junkies” that tricks its audience in to thinking we’re going to celebrate the series, when in reality the director is just asking us to watch the freak show that ensues. I wouldn’t mind that either, if only the movie were the least bit entertaining or insightful. It’s not.