First Look: The People vs. George Lucas

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:28 am,

It is rare that you’ll find a Star Wars fan who genuinely believes the saga is perfect. Even more rare is the theatrical release of a Star Wars-related documentary that may have an anti-George Lucas slant. However, this is precisely what The People vs. George Lucas has done.

It’s hard to imagine that Lucas’ limitless wealth couldn’t bring the production to a halt, or that he didn’t create a real-life droid army to prevent its completion. Don’t scoff, you know he could do it if he wanted to.

Premiering at the SXSW Film and Music Festival, Alexandre Philippe’s documentary provides an objective view of Star Wars from all sides, including those with a deep-seeded hatred for the saga. Then again, the creation of this documentary can’t be entirely objective, can it? Only the final product will tell that tale. In an interview with Film School Rejects, Philippe described the process and his hopes of making such an ambitious film.

“It inflames people’s passion for or against George and I think we created a balanced debate. We don’t let George off the hook when we thought we shouldn’t and we don’t let the fans off the hook when we thought we shouldn’t. That was the real challenge.”

“I think it’s really important for people to know that we’re not bitter fans. We love the movies George Lucas has made and I deeply care about film preservation. This film is a really balanced debate. There is a lot of love, there is a lot of frustration and we’re just ultimately trying to understand that from a cultural perspective.”

There you have it. That’s really all you can ask of any documentary filmmaker and something that will make this more than just a Michael Moore-style propaganda film. Star Wars has created an amazing cultural rift on an international scale – it’s about time somebody took a hard look as to why people get so passionate about the films, instead of just emphasizing how cool light sabers and Yoda are.

poster First Look: The People vs. George Lucas

Yes, the mythology is there and the characters are iconic, but what George Lucas did to the saga, starting with the Ewoks in Return of The Jedi, deserves scrutiny. There are just so many levels as to how Lucas tampered with (and merchandised) his own creative genius; many people have opinions as to where the films went wrong (Jar-Jar Binks and the casting of Hayden Christensen?), and others believe that since it is all Lucas’ vision, therefore it is perfect.

Using fan-submitted videos, interviews with David Prowse (Darth Vader), and Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz, the film took over three years to finish and explores the truly painful relationship between George Lucas and the fans of his space opera. It’s too bad they couldn’t actually get George Lucas to appear in the film, but it won’t matter in the end. This is about the people affected by the Star Wars saga and why they would go to such bizarre lengths to prove a point.

The People vs. George Lucas was shown exclusively to 2010 SXSW audiences and a release date has yet to be announced. Check out  the trailer below.

Source: Film School Rejects

Poster Courtesy of: People Vs. George website

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  1. I have one question. Who cares?

    They could have picked a better show to do this kind of silly documentary with Star Trek, that' s a franchise that for years has had it's fair share of battles. Why not Lost since that's a more current show for this generation?

  2. Star Wars has a broader mass appeal and invokes more passionate pro or con. Star Trek isn't nearly as popular as Star Wars, especially globally and there's no where near the passion there is for Star Wars. As for Lost, I don't think that's even close to the same category as either Star Trek or Star Wars.

  3. I think this would be an interesting film to watch, at least just from the topic. The trailer didn't do much to entice me, but I think it's hard for a documentary to have an enticing trailer. Documentaries depend more on the subject material I think. I've always found it interesting that the first three films (ep. 4-6) are so beloved and almost beyond reproach yet the second three are so scrutinized, and it looks like this film explores that pretty well.

  4. I fully agree with Mr. Milam's statement of “Who Care?” …… at the very least, this documentary is 10 years too late to be relevant for the masses (but never too late for fanboys)… I'll probably ending up watching it (sigh) instead of doing something useful with my time.

  5. ……………… you think what Michael Moore does is propaganda?

  6. My best friend and I met freshman year in high school and the first thing we discovered about each other was that we loved “Star Wars.” He couldn't believe a girl liked “Star Wars” and I hadn't met one single person who could hear a part of the music and tell what movie it was from (aside from me).

    This “The People vs. George Lucas” is really hitting home for me and my friends. We just wish we had been able to be interviewed for the documentary. I'd like to think that Seth McFarland and Seth Green did a similar action when they wrote “Family Guy's Blue Harvest” and “Robot Chicken: Star Wars” respectively. Now there are some discussions I'd like a movie of. :)

  7. Absolutely I think what Michael Moore does is propaganda. He takes real footage and manufactures an exaggerated form of realism to stir up emotions and alter viewpoints. He is entitled to his own opinions and to express it as such on his films, but he produces them as true stories with no spin…just fact.

  8. The prequels could have been a huge success if Lucas hadn't tried to rush them to the big screen. Also, he should have watched some of his original SW trilogy over again and studied carefully. Episode 3 should have been broken down into episodes 2 and 3, instead of squeezing everything inot the third. Coulda done without Jar Jar, the annoying boy, and someone else should have portrayed Anikan. In Clones, he was whinny…..My point is that it could have been a classic. Sadly the animated series is better…….

  9. With Star Wars being over 30 years old, it would be extremely difficult to track down the people who had split with the phenomenon prior to the last 10 years, ie before the internet. There are fans who complained when Empire came out (Daddy, what?), then another bunch after Jedi and another set after the Thrawn book series, etc. …but there are others who did make it through these “”Trying Times”” and appear in this doc. (assuming haven't seen it)

    Then there are bigger questions like why in 2008 did George Lucas go to Congress and lobby for unrestricted internet access, while in 2005 he allowed a trade organization to coerce government to pass laws to send people to jail for seeing his movie online? and then in 2010 Lucasfilm has allowed someone (Star Wars Uncut project) to have the complete original film online? Times change and things progress, minds change, it would seem.

    If your curious what the SW phenomenon looked like 5 years ago, or want more interesting but largly unanswerable questions, view some chapters of 'Thee Backslacpkping With Media'. A recomposite of the media released around the release of Revenge of the Sith which will have it's 5 year aniversary this May.

  10. With you there. That guy's deconstruction of The Phantom Menace will be pretty hard to beat on a factual level or for sheer entertainment value.

  11. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. It's done! All the Star Wars movies have their fans and their detractors. Frankly, I agree with those who say this is over and done and past relevant. Enjoy the movies or not. Maybe someone should do a documentary on whether fan boys ever grow up.

  12. They made a movie about it. See: Fanboys

  13. The last three movies that came out were bad but they were still star wars movies and i like anything star wars related.

  14. Not relevant anymore? Um…. Ever type Star Wars into a Google news search? There is a new story everyday about the saga.

    I am so thrilled this is coming out. Any Star Wars fan knows what kind of conversations we've all had with each other at one point or another. I love George Lucas. And I hate George Lucas.

    And what is wrong with fanboys? We like Star Wars and Indiana Jones too much or something? I need to grow up because I like Star Wars? And what exactly is growing up? Do I need to watch a baseball game and talk about crap most people watch on TV?

  15. I'm thrilled that this is coming out. I wonder if they got the RedLetterMedia guy – “Mike from Milwaukee” – to do any commentary. His 7-part review on YouTube was genius – and I honestly think it made so much sense. I grew up on Lucas and think the man has such vision, but wow, how the mighty have fallen.

  16. Agreed.

  17. No, but you also don't have to talk about Star Wars too often. Or imply that almost everything else besides Star Wars is crap (well, it's kinda true). Or imply that being almost fanatical about something (loving it too much) is absolutely perfect.
    Loving something to death often means you don't even listen to people with other opinions. Or dismiss it as being stupid.
    To me, this is one of my major problems I have with (hardcore) fanboys of any fashion.

  18. Yes, Star Wars is relevant in that it has become a part of popular culture. I consider myself a fan. My kids grew up with Star Wars. The movies were a family tradition in our house right through to the prequels. Nothing wrong with being a fan. But come on. The last movie was 5 years ago and what is becoming less and less relevant is the obsessive and near vendetta preoccupation some people carry on with George Lucas, the cast and the movies. It's done.

  19. I don't think I've ever seen “Star Wars” deconstructed to that depth. And your right, so many of his points are valid from the script to George Lucas and his creative team.

    “Star Wars: Episode One The Pantom Menace is the most disappointing thing since my son.” Opening lines I was stunned into silent laughter.

  20. But it's not done. It won't be done because people continue to write books with these characters (which I haven't read). There's about three different versions of The Clone Wars out there in video form alone (that I haven't seen). “Star Wars” is going to continue to relevant because it still sells.

    Younger and younger generations will have something to talk about at family get togethers because they can argue the greatness of the new trilogy while we continue to school them on the genius that is the original trilogy.

    You want the obsessiveness to stop than people need to stop raising their kids on these movies. But they won't… because these movies are awesome. How better a way to teach the kiddies “art from adversity” to take from RedLetterMedia.

  21. Exactly. LOL I've been meaning to see it.

  22. The Star Wars Saga may not be the best films ever made. Episode 4 and 5 are in my Top 25 favorites, but I understand that's not for everybody. Yet, as a topic of discussion and debate, the saga is easily one of the most compelling, polarizing, and captivating in history. Just look at the comments thread in response to a film about the emotions caused by another film.

  23. Can we please talk about Tron now?

  24. I agree with Matthew. WHO CARES!

  25. Mike,
    Have you watched anythink that Michael Moore has made, or are you just reading your response from newspaper (that is most probably Republican (not naming names ah what the hell FOX FOX FOX FOX FOX FOX FOX FOX FOX FOX)). Maybe you should start watching the Daily Show or reading somethink a little more liberal.

  26. I've seen all of his films and I watch The Daily Show almost every chance I get. I also watch The Colbert Report. This isn't about partisanship, it's about filmmaking and storytelling and the credibility with which you present it to the audience in an unbiased way. Michael Moore is to the liberal community what FOX News is to the conservatives. I understand he has the right to tell the story from whatever angle he wants, but he doesn't promote it that way, rather he does that only as truth.

  27. To me it's hilarious that people say this doc is out of date and that Star Wars is done, yet they take the time out to read this whole article, and then they take more time to talk about the fact that no one talks about Star Wars.

    I'm a monster Star Wars fan, but I am not an idiot either. The prequels sucked, but it's kind of like a buddy that does something really dumb. You sort of want to smack him, but he's been with you a long time… So you can't help but love the guy. lol.

  28. I especially liked when he said that Qui-Gon Jin and Obi-Wan Kenobi should've been combined to create a new character called Obi-Wan Kenobi. And how Qui-Gon was the adventurer who defied the council while Obi-Wan just sat on the ship and complained the whole time. Spot on.

  29. I especially liked when he said that Qui-Gon Jin and Obi-Wan Kenobi should've been combined to create a new character called Obi-Wan Kenobi. And how Qui-Gon was the adventurer who defied the council while Obi-Wan just sat on the ship and complained the whole time. Spot on.