The People vs. George Lucas (2010)


Introduction

The People vs. George Lucas is a 2010 documentary comedy film directed by Swiss director Alexandre O. Philippe.

Outline

The documentary explores the issues of filmmaking and fanaticism pertaining to the Star Wars franchise and its creator, George Lucas.

The film combines filmmaker and celebrity interviews with fan films, mainly taken from the 2010 online video Star Wars Uncut, which were submitted via the film’s site.

Interviewees include a variety of figures such as Neil Gaiman, MC Frontalot and Gary Kurtz. Lucas appears frequently in archival footage, but is never interviewed directly.

The film discusses the extent to which the Star Wars franchise is an artistic creation of Lucas and subject to his vision versus a social phenomenon that belongs to the general public of fans and their participatory/remix culture.

Background

Director Alexandre Philippe, a lifetime Star Wars fan from his early childhood, has said that the film was not meant to be one-sided against Lucas, although the title has often created that interpretation. He instead aimed at showing both sides evenhandedly to explore to what extent the Star Wars franchise is controlled by Lucas versus something morally held by the public. Philippe feels that Lucas is a relatively talented director and an “ideas man” based on the original Star Wars trilogy, THX 1138 (1971) and American Graffiti (1973). However, Philippe disliked the changes made by Lucas in re-releases of the original trilogy as well as the prequel trilogy.

Philippe thought that fans deserved a complete re-mastering and re-release of the original series in current formats (DVD, Blu-ray, etc.) without any changes. Philippe also stated that, to his knowledge, Lucas has never seen the documentary. However, Philippe has said that he would love to hold a private screening at Skywalker Ranch.

The film begins with a brief history of Lucas’ career leading up to the release of Star Wars in 1977. The rest of the film is structured by inter-cutting interviews with many different fans, academics, film critics, former colleagues of Lucas, well-known writers in the science fiction/fantasy genre and others. The narrative of the film shows the complex relationship between Lucas and his fans, as well as how and why exactly the elements of the Star Wars franchise have appealed to so many people so deeply.

Trivia

  • The film is dedicated to interviewee Jason Nicholl, a blogger at nukethefridge.com who died before the film’s release.
  • In June 2014, it was reported that a sequel was in development.
    • The film plans to examine what fans think of the Star Wars franchise since George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company, and will pose the question “What does the future of Star Wars look like without George Lucas?”

Star Wars Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Alexandre O. Philippe.
  • Producer(s): Anna Higgs, Robert Muratore, Vanessa Philippe, and Kerry Deignan Roy.
  • Writer(s):
  • Music: Jon Hegel.
  • Cinematography: Robert Muratore.
  • Editor(s): Chad Herschberger.
  • Production: Exhibit A Pictures, Quark Films, and Neca Films.
  • Distributor(s): Wrekin Hill Entertainment.
  • Release Date: 14 March 2010 (South by Southwest, SXSW).
  • Running Time: 92 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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