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The People Vs George Lucas (2010)

John Barger , Roger Ebert  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Barger, Roger Ebert
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,482 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

• Poetry Slam Selections
• Gary Kurtz Interview
• Music Video
• Filmmaker Commentary
• The People vs STAR WARS 3D

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

They gave him their love, their money and their online parodies. He gave them...the prequels. The passion the original STAR WARS trilogy inspires in its fans is unparalleled; but when it comes to George Lucas himself, many have found their ardor has cooled into a complicated love-hate relationship. This hilarious, heartfelt documentary delves deep into Lucas’s cultural legacy. Utilizing interviews taken from over 600 hours of footage, and peppered with extraordinary STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES re-creations lovingly immortalized in song, needlepoint, Lego, claymation, puppets and papier-mâché, above all this film asks the question: who truly owns that galaxy far, far away—the man who created it, or the fans who worship it?

There are plenty of film franchises with dedicated followings, but for pure fanaticism, it's hard to imagine Harry Potter devotees, swooning Twilight lovers, or even Trekkies surpassing the Star Wars enthusiasts seen in writer-director Alexandre O. Philippe's The People vs. George Lucas. Although there are other elements in this thoroughly entertaining documentary--a few details about creator-writer-director George Lucas's pre-Star Wars years, comments from some well-known talking heads, archival interviews with Lucas himself--it's the fans who provide the most amusing, frightening ("Get a life, people!" comes to mind), and occasionally insightful moments. These are folks who know every line, every scene, indeed every shot, of the first three films in the series (especially Episode IV, A New Hope, and Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back) by heart. The number and variety of fan re-creations of Episode IV in every conceivable medium (film, animation, Claymation, puppets, LEGO, and on and on) is staggering, but even more extraordinary is the kind of proprietary attitude these fans adopted. When Lucas, who'd said that he wasn't completely satisfied with the original version, released a slightly altered cut in 1997, the faithful responded as if the guy had pilfered their childhoods. Talk about obsessed: one viewer notes disapprovingly that in the newer edit, the theme music begins two frames sooner; meanwhile, a minor change in a scene in which Han Solo exchanges gunfire with a bounty hunter is examined as if it were the Zapruder film, earning Lucas nothing but scorn and derision. Forget the fact that Lucas owned the movie and was entitled to do anything he pleased with it. These objections weren't simply the result of "super-nerd nitpicking," but rather a reaction to what they saw as a deliberate betrayal, and from then on, the fans regarded Lucas with a mixture of suspicion and disappointment (don't even get them started on the three prequels that were released starting in 1999, and the easy target that was Jar Jar Binks, one of the most hated characters in all of filmdom). There's a good deal of ranting going on here, but there are some good points made as well. It's hardly coincidental that for the first three movies Lucas relied to some extent on various collaborators, while the next, inarguably inferior three were his responsibility alone; it may also be true that the astounding success of the franchise robbed Lucas of his creativity and turned him into the kind of big businessman he'd always vowed not to be. But in the end, the film is rather poignant, as all (well, most) is forgiven. After all, they wouldn't complain if they didn't care. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Patrick Naugle, DVD Verdict --The People vs. George Lucas is essentially one long rant for the fans. Although it certainly falls on the side of letting art stay as it was originally created--e.g. "George, stop mucking around with your movies!"--it also attempts to lend a sympathetic tone to Lucas and his revisions. Although the man has made fans furious with his tinkering (and become the one thing he always loathed: a businessman), moviegoers also wouldn't have their beloved Star Wars universe without his vision and filmic genius. On one hand, the Star Wars movies are owned by Lucas, and he should be allowed to do whatever he wants with them. But is it hypocritical for a man who stood up against Ted Turner for colorizing classic movies be allowed to rewrite his own cinematic history? Weighty questions, indeed.

Lest this sound like a downer of a film, The People vs. George Lucas is also a celebration of the entire Star Wars franchise; there are interviews with fans, fan films (some good, some...not so good), fan videos, fan writings (Wookie Poetry!), and fan appreciation for everything George has given us. Director Alexandre O. Philippe (in his first major film) has given a good portion of runtime to defending Lucas and his creations (well, except for Jar Jar Binks). Interview subjects run the gamut from writer Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere) and producer Gary Kurtz (The Empire Strikes Back), to casual fans and fan filmmakers, all offering their personal opinions on the subject. While I wouldn't consider this an exhaustive dissertation on the Star Wars universe, it's certainly a fun look at how fans feel about Lucas and the decisions he's made.

When the dust finally settles, The People vs. George Lucas doesn't really provide any rock solid answers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
"I love/hate George Lucas, I love/hate him hard." A documentary that deals with the "Star Wars" saga. Unlike most other movies about this subject this one is a series of interviews with people telling about their love of the original three movies, and the hatred of the prequels. It begins with people telling about how their childhood was shaped by the movies and the extremes they go to to show it. Not only do the people have all multiple copies of all the movies but the merchandise they have is amazing to see. This movie is worth watching just to listen to and watch the passion the fans have and how they almost crucify Lucas for what he did with the prequels. Interviews mixed with homemade tribute movies make the movie very funny and very interesting. Much like "The Captains", this is a movie that will appeal to more then just fans of the series. The most amazing part of the movie is that there are points where you feel like you should defend Lucas against the things people are saying about him. Overall, this is an extremely entertaining documentary that will appeal to all viewers, not just "Star Wars" fans. One of the best for-the-fans movies I have ever seen, and a very worth while watch. I give it an A.

*Also try - Captains & Fanboys
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Like a Love/Hate Letter from "Star Wars" Fans October 1, 2012
I hesitate to call "The People vs. George Lucas" a documentary film. It is more like a passionate love letter (and hate letter as well) from millions of "Star Wars" fans in the world. Though I enjoyed listening to what these fans have to say, I think for many avid fans living in the time of the internet, the film has nothing new to offer.

The considerable portion of the film's running time is spent on interviews with "Star Wars" fans and the "fan film" footage. And it seems most fans interviewed here are disappointed and even angered by the reissued "Star Wars" trilogy, and their prequels. It is easy to dismiss their complaints as nit-picking - "Who shot first - Han or Greedo?" - but the film suggests that there is something more to the voices of the disenchanted fans. What it is, however, "The People vs. George Lucas" does not tell us much.

Another disappointing thing about the film is that we are not allowed to hear much from the creators and artists. Not surprisingly George Lucas seems to have refused to be interviewed (he only appears in archive footage), and those who agreed to appear - including the writer Neil Gaiman and the "Star Wars" producer Gary Kurtz - reveal little, and is very guarded about what they say.

If nothing else, the film will be a visual record that will remind us of the excitement of the time when we first saw "Star Wars" back in 1977, and then "Episode 1." It was a massive cultural phenomenon, something we look back with nostalgia.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More then fair October 31, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I missed seeing this when it came to a few select theatres in my neck of the woods. The main movie is broken down into 4 segments or "episodes" as the authers did it. With a mix of fan reactions, interview footage with Lukas at various points in history.

Darkwater, HIRAM & thetraveler333 have the more in-depth reviews. Anything else I would write would echo most of what they wrote.

I did like the easter egg extras more then another reviewer did, particularly the fan reaction to the 3D versions. If there's one thing I would say that I would've liked the makers of this movie to delve into, possibly as another easter egg, is the expanded STAR WARS universe (Tales of the Jedi, the various novels, Legacy era, & soon the upcoming MMO) & how it relates to what Lukas has been doing. Hows the reaction on peoples ends on that equasion?

Regardless, if you're a STAR WARS fan, particularly if you're old enough to remember even 1 of the original movies (long) before Lukas began with the changes then you do yourself a disservice by not seeing or having this film in your collection.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Star wars fans have too much time on their hands
Published 14 days ago by narlycat
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
A surprisingly informative documentary about the impact on Star Wars, and how/why the fans turned on Lucas. Some go a bit far with the abuse references, though. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jetpack
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing
Okay Documentary. Some entertaining moments but get a little repetitious.
Published 1 month ago by Realalien
1.0 out of 5 stars Biased, Whiney and Obnoxious
I've been a Star Wars since 1980 so it's safe to say that I'm from the "old school" so to speak. My first complaint is the way it treats people who enjoyed the prequels (I'm one... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lev T.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Documentary (Rated R, don't let the kids see it)
This is one cool documentary. I hated the last three Star Wars movies (episodes 1, 2 & 3). I mean, they had their moments, but they had none of the charm of the first three... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Charles Charpentier
3.0 out of 5 stars George Lucas 101
If you're new to STAR WARS meaning you didn't see it back in the late 70's this might help you understand the fan cult and why we're disappointed with Lucas changes to the original... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Joe Alexander
4.0 out of 5 stars just okay
It was interesting and informative, but glad I didn't buy it. The title caught my attention, so just accidentally happened on this.
Published 8 months ago by Rodi
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and thoughtful look at the fanatics' love-hate...
Although there are plenty of fans that take pop-shots at George Lucas, the filmmakers do a nice job counterbalancing that with positive sentiment. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Steve Grantz
3.0 out of 5 stars No bad
it was OK, it was a little to whinny form me. However, it did show how serious people take the things he created
Published 9 months ago by Michael James Rozlog
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Very well done documentary. I'm a huge STAR WARS fan, and this film perfectly encapsulates fan's love/hate relationship with Lucas. Read more
Published 9 months ago by scram
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