Siebenaler: “The People vs. George Lucas” home video reviewWritten by Michael Siebenaler | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Compliment the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode I” release in 3-D theaters with the recent, in-depth, DVD-only documentary full of fanatical views, debates, and wry humor that addresses the ultimate Star Wars question — Does ownership go to the people or the producer?
This one hour and 33 minute film, written and directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, also addresses George Lucas’ involvement in “Indiana Jones,” but mainly concentrates on the “Star Wars” saga. Lucas basically speaks through archive footage, though some closely involved parties, like Francis Ford Coppola, provide some great insight.
This DVD gives viewers a great sense of the initial “Star Wars” craze and why it remains at a high level. Has Lucas been gracious to the fans or did he distort the original experience too much? These questions mix into many other debates that eventually create two extremes where fans have disowned Lucas for “ruining their childhood” or devour everything Lucas contributes to his media creations including the famous merchandise. The best point of the documentary addresses fans disappointed with Lucas’ newer creations, but one fan wisely argues people would have to “have to get the original media, time and setting” to accurately recreate the initial experience.
This documentary also focuses on the intriguing argument of how audience expectations make or break a film franchise (e.g. “The Matrix” film series) or sustain itself as the original producer manages and even alters the experience.
The numerous interviews, vintage footage, edited versions, pop culture homages and various “Star Wars”-related event footage all contribute to the overall dynamic debate. Highlights include the “Han Shot First” (i.e. Greedo), the rare “Star Wars” holiday television special and Darth Vader’s “Nooo!” scene in Episode III.
The documentary presents several fan issues with memorable quotes like, “George Lucas may be the brainchild behind ‘Star Wars’; he may have come up with the story and a lot of the characters, but everyone who participated in making those films had some type of creative input.” This setup creates the implied rivalry in the title where “there is no villain … no suit to blame. George is the suit.”
This entertaining experience is a must for Star Wars fans, but entertains any viewer and easily increases interest for both parties. Extra features include a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, director audio commentary, blurry music video and the 14-minute “The People vs. Star Wars 3D” featurette (***, not rated, but contains some foul language and sexual references).