The People vs. George Lucas (2011)

people_lucas_dvd_coverI had originally wanted to see “The People Vs. George Lucas” mainly because I hoped it would vent out many of the frustrations that I felt as a ex-Star Wars fan. But at the end of the day, “The People vs. George Lucas” has no idea what it is or what it wants to be, thus we’re left with a generally muddled and awfully confused movie that seeks to do nothing more than make money off of and exploit Lucas as Lucas has purportedly done to his fans. We should love him but hate him. We should question him but also understand he has great intentions. He’s a hack but he’s an artist. He’s a hollow businessman, but a surefire juggernaut of filmmaking. He hasn’t made a film in years but he changed the industry. And that’s no end to what confusing mixed messages you’ll received while watching this slapdash wishy washy little film.

The first thirty minutes plays out exactly like a tribute to the fan culture of “Star Wars,” an unbridled wankathon not only to Lucas, but by fans who spend a duration of the movie congratulating each other for creating bizarre films celebrating the dynasty of Star Wars, then the film ventures in to the generally hollow existence that is a Star Wars fan. They’re pathetic, they’re vulnerable and they’re easily exploited.  From thereon in the film can never decide if it wants to take Lucas to task for the prequels or the changes made to the trilogy, so it attempts to lazily accomplish both. The original motivation behind this documentary many fans assumed was the changes made to the original saga and fans do get their words in, but almost as if they’re afraid of the consequences, we get a lot of fans bickering about the changes made to the saga only for them to turn around and give Lucas a break.

Is it a loving tribute or a scathing dissection? The filmmakers can never seem to decide in the end. The film spends more time on fandom and the mixed messages about following Star Wars than it actually does exploring the consequences of altering a famous film and what Lucas has done in the midst of altering his own saga for his own personal benefit. Along the way there are trite observations about Lucas we’ve heard a thousand times and really not a lot of exposition on what about the alterations have driven fans so crazy. Even when we reach a relatable momentum in the documentary where we examine the hatred for the prequels and Jar Jar Binks, there isn’t a lot of focus on what we hate about them, and why?

What were fans expecting? What would they have changed? Does George Lucas deserve all of the blame? Are these people more of a fandom for complaining or less of a fandom for complaining? If they want change why do they whine when they get it? “The People Vs. George Lucas” attempts to have its cake and eat it too by not only allowing the fans a forum for complaining about the changes made to the saga, but by patting Lucas on the back in the end,. Because someone seriously made sure not to burn that bridge. Typical fandumb. Really a testament to the hollow fruitless worship of the Star Wars Saga, and a tribute to the following of the Star Wars Saga, “The People vs. George Lucas” is a muddled confused, and typically self-congratulatory fan picture that puts Uncle George to task… only for a while or else he might be mad at us.