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Saga The People vs George Lucas

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darth_Nub, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Well, I finally watched the rest of it today. Overall impression - bunch of angry nerds regurgitate the same cliches we've all been listening to for the last 12+ years, the filmmaker desperately tries to assemble all this material into some sort of coherent, balanced work, & unsuccessfully attempts to extract an overriding truth from the extremely conflicted state of affairs & hyperbole.

    Given the subject matter, it's hard to see this as anything than yet another 'bashing' exercise similar to the efforts of Red Letter Media, but I don't think that's what Philippe was trying to do. The other side of the argument does get a look in, the doco does actually finish on a somewhat positive, ironic note, but the overwhelming negativity tends to steamroll any idea that perhaps the Star Wars juggernaut hasn't gone completely to hell.

    The real problem, I believe, is that such an outcome was inevitable. If you round up a bunch of Star Wars fans in their 20s/30s - the ones that still care - it's a given that 90%+ are going to have some harsh things to say about the Special Editions, the Prequel Trilogy and Jar Jar Binks in particular. Fine. That's all very well & good, but regardless of whether or not you agree, we've heard it all before, and now it's just boring. The last of the films you're all whingeing about was released six years ago.

    It also doesn't help that the particularly passionate interviewees come across as such complete & utter dorks. There's a few with some interesting things to say, but the majority just snivel & sneer, prefacing too many sentences with "Everybody...", as if their opinions are objective truth. It's impossible to take anyone seriously when they virtually accuse GL of being an environmental vandal because of the amount of SW merchandise being produced, or that he's ruined their marriage & lives because they're addicted to buying it. You really just feel like slapping them across the face & telling them to get over it.

    Again, I don't believe that the director embarked on this project with the intention of launching an angry tirade on behalf of all those fans who supposedly had their childhoods raped, but he didn't really achieve much more than put together a compilation of opinions that are largely negative. Red Letter Media's reviews of the PT were, at least, entertaining for the choir they were preaching to.

    For posterity's sake, 'The People vs George Lucas' serves the purpose of preserving this strange slice of pop culture, but not much else. It doesn't provide any closure, nor any further insight into why such a reaction occurred, at least, not for someone who's lived through it.

    Anyone else seen it?

    (Mods: Wasn't sure just which was the right forum for this topic, I don't think it's exactly a 'fan film'.)
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  2. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 7, 2009
    Funny, I got the same sentiment after watching the trailer. I guess thw whole doc is not worth it.
    Ezon Pin and Jarren_Lee-Saber like this.
  3. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Sad thing is, after looking into it past the trailer, by looking at the website & even after the interview with the director, Alexandre O Philippe, on RLM, I was expecting quite a bit more. Really didn't deliver, which is even worse when you consider they had interviews with Gary Kurtz & Dale Pollock (author of the 1983 bio of GL, Skywalking).

    When it comes to these independent works taking on SW, the only one in recent years that's proven itself to be worthwhile is 'The Secret History Of Star Wars', largely because zombie actually had something worthwhile to say, something that no one else bothered to investigate deeply, despite certain commonly accepted 'facts' never ringing true with many a SW fan.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  4. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    I don't think that's true at all. There is a segment of Gen X'ers (so really 30/40 somethings) who are negative about the prequels and SEs, but I'd have to see a very well-done objective poll before I'd believe it's 90+ percent.

    I haven't seen the documentary, and your commentary on it just confirmed why I have absolutely no interest in it.
    Esg likes this.
  5. QsAssistant

    QsAssistant Jedi Master star 2

    Apr 13, 2011
    I saw that Barnes & Noble have this movie for sale and I was tempted to buy it, but it's $27.99. I'll wait for it to be on a red box.
    I've been interested in watching this movie ever since I saw it's trailer a few months back, but even then I knew it was just going to be a movie about Star Wars bashing; I just want to see how wrong/stupid these people are.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  6. Luukeskywalker

    Luukeskywalker Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 23, 1999

    These two links prove that this isn't the case with 90% of fans and 20 and 30 somethings.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  7. MissPadme

    MissPadme Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 9, 1998
    I actually got an e-mail asking if I would be interested in participating in the documentary. I declined. For one thing, you are putting your agenda upfront if you call your movie "The People Vs. George Lucas." It gives the impression that Lucas did something wrong and this is an opportunity for the "people" to lynch him. If the filmmaker honestly wanted different opinions, he probably should have called the movie something else. It's also hard to trust someone you don't know if you participate in these things. You have no control over how your footage is going to be edited or if it will even be in the final cut. I'm sure a lot of people who might have been more supportive of Lucas declined to participate for similar reasons. Conversely, few of the kind of fans with a burning desire to get back at Lucas for all of his perceived wrongs are going to pass up another opportunity to get up on the soap box. They're always willing to run to the next available camera, microphone, or computer keyboard to rant away. So the filmmaker got what he got, big surprise.

  8. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    OK, fine, 90% is something of an overstatement, what I really meant was basically covered in the above post:

    Essentially, the majority of people willing to be interviewed about their opinions on the state of SW will tend to be those with a negative point of view, just as it'll be the angry ranters who will be the most 'entertaining', & will leave the stronger impression in something like this.

    I'm definitely not a gusher, far from it, my own opinion about this documentary doesn't spring from any offence caused by the opinions themselves (which, as I said, I've heard before, & there's virtually nothing new). What I would really liked to have seen is a much greater effort to make the doco balanced, even at the expense of it being more watchable.
    On a positive note, there is a sense that he's taking the piss out of the more extreme fans, who really, really need to get over it.
  9. DarthBoba

    DarthBoba Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 29, 2000
    Yeah, it's nothing like 90%. Back when the Blu-Rays were still new, the people actively complaining were five strong at most. Granted, CT isn't exactly clogged with active users, but still, five. I don't think we even got any new users out of the BR changes; most people, I'd say, don't really care about changes-and yes, people are aware of them or at least can find out easily; I don't think anybody who owns a computer and visits Youtube could not have at least seen them prior to the release. By comparison, when I went to see ANH in-theatres in 1997, I had no idea it had been changed, and most of the changes didn't really register as changes to me; I'm guessing that applied to alot of other people as well.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  10. Darth_Laudrup

    Darth_Laudrup Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 7, 2004
    I think "The people vs. George Lucas" is very very biased from what I have heard, but on the other hand I also find it a bit of a problem that people can't express negative criticism about the PT without being considered a basher or troll or what have you.

    I am 35 years old and since I was a kid watching ANH for the first time, and being frightened by Vader I have loved Star Wars. I love the Star Wars universe and mythology. I live the symbolism and the way Lucas incorporated traditional storytelling in a space adventure.

    However I am also more and more looking at the PT and realizing that they are simply not good movies. Don't get me wrong they are beautifully made, the effects are nice, the symbolism is still there and the vistas are awesome. Lucas however is just not a good director anymore. He is a magnificent editior and storyteller, but he can't direct an emotional scene for the life of him. The dialogue is almost toe-cringing at times and the romance is like something Barbara Cartland would have done. Opposed to the OT I simply don't feel the characters anymore. In the CT I felt the humor and the romance was maybe lightweight but it was still somewhat believable. Kershner did accomplish creating a romantic scene that was funny and also sweet with Leia and Han in a small engineering room where Han plays up the scoundrel part, and Lucas uses CGI, bad looking fruit, CGI animals and two actors with absolutely no chemistry and he fails.

    I understand that Lucas wanted to direct the first one in order to create a playing field if you will, but as the story became more and more tense, the romance got more and more prominent as well as Anakin drifting closer and closer to the dark side, I feel that Lucas should have used his enormous network and asked other directors to do the directing while he should have taken a step back and handles the technical part as well as the production together with McCallum.

    And seeing how George Lucas broke out of the Hollywood studios tring to escape the money hungry monsters that was (and still is) Hollywood, I find it a real shame that he has devolved into exactly what he was trying to escape.

    I am trying to love the PT as they are a part of the SAGA but more and more I find myself simply watching the movies for the battles and vistas. I love the Astroid chase for example and the Clone Trooper angle was a great plot twist with the stormtroopers originally being soldiers commanded by the Jedi. I love Watto, I love watching the scenes on Kamino, I love the battle at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith and many many other things.

    And once again I am not trying to bash or troll or anything, because I love Star Wars and probably will watch the movies till the day I die.
  11. Anakin_Darth

    Anakin_Darth Jedi Knight star 2

    Mar 28, 2005
    It sounds like the same bashing we've heard for over a decade. Is this something you have to go to the store to buy, or can it be viewed online? Because if you have to pay to hear SW bashing, that's a crime in itself.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  12. princethomas

    princethomas Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 19, 2001

    This doesn't prove anything. What does Gallup know about doing polls anyway? Grumble Grumble Hate Hate Grump! Phantom Menace Sucks
  13. Darthman1992

    Darthman1992 Jedi Knight star 1

    Jul 17, 2011
    The thing to be remembered is that in the long run the films are not necessarily hated. But there is a lot of people who like the films, a lot people who don't. With a bigger division than the Original Trilogy. And let's be honest. With almost any film that isn't regarded as a masterpiece (The Godfather, Citizen Kane, etc) or is not regarded as an abysmal failure (The Room, Highlander 2, etc) there generally is a mixed reception with most films in terms of the general public. The only reason the debating is really so fierce is because of how much the first films meant for people, and the only reason it's brought up in the media is because of how famous of a franchise it is and how fierce the arguing becomes. They are not films that are not the most beloved, but I think people also need to realize that they are not the most detested films either.
  14. Darth_Harmon

    Darth_Harmon Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 4, 2005
    I saw six copies of this doc on DVD at my local Best Buy, I scooped all six up and buried them at the bottom of the bargain DVD bin.

    Looks like a total joke of a documentary, very very biased. Hell, even the title says what you're going to get. So why bother watching it? Those who still like Star Wars will only disagree and hate the doc, and those who feel like Star Wars is dead and GL raped their childhood will watch the doc for some weird sick confirmation that there are others out there like them. There appears to be no real debate.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  15. StampidHD280pro

    StampidHD280pro Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 28, 2005
    Well jeesh people, so much for being open-minded.

    I saw it. I used to think I WAS one of the vocal minority who had problems with the prequels. I'm not. The people in this documentary seem to be not just stubborn, but actually incapable of liking new Star Wars. By all means, if you're a gusher like I've come to be, and really want to understand the other side, watch this. It's really not as one-sided as you probably think it is. It's pretty respectful and reverent of "the Maker" George Lucas. A completely different animal than those embarrassing RLM videos.
  16. Bacon164

    Bacon164 Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Mar 22, 2005
    That's not weird at all.
  17. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Have you actually watched it, though? Hardly worth taking such a stance if you haven't seen it. Much along the same lines of fundamentalist Christians going berserk in the 1980s over Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation Of Christ" - even though they hadn't seen it, their various churches forbade them to do so.

    Yeesh. If anything, it makes hardcore Special Edition/Prequel Trilogy bashers look like the real idiots, it's not going to do any harm. Unlike the RLM reviews, which provoked something of a new wave of PT hate, "The People vs George Lucas" is really just a bit old & pointless. Burying a bunch of the DVDs at the bottom of a bargain bin isn't going to protect anyone from anything.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  18. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 7, 2009
    I think anything is better than that.

    Since it's a doc, how and what did they show of the other side of the table? Or is it only a "bashing promo"?
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  19. Rowboatcop

    Rowboatcop Jedi Padawan star 1

    Aug 11, 2011
    Makes sense. (Backing..away..slowly)
  20. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    There are a few interviews with people who are supportive of GL (e.g. Kevin Rubio, director of Troops), but a couple of French film critics deconstructing the character of Jar-Jar as a comic masterpiece seems more like a pisstake (I'm not sure if they're for real), plus a bunch of little kids talking about how funny they think Jar-Jar Binks is hardly comes across as a genuine rebuttal.

    The doco does finish off with many of the ranters finally admitting that they still love Star Wars, & that they can't help but love GL for creating it in the first place, and I think that's supposed to be the overall point, but the whole film just seems like a big venting exercise, & I'm not sure if there's anything worthwhile in such a work. Disappointment with the PT & frustration at the SE's comes up in popular culture all the time, it's not as if the public is unaware of such feelings among SW fans.

    The difficult relationship that George Lucas has with a large section of his fanbase is certainly worthy of discussion, and perhaps a serious documentary, but Philippe failed to achieve much more than give some particularly angry fans some screentime to air their grievances. I don't believe that's necessarily what he set out to do, but it's what he ended up with.
  21. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2004
    The People vs. George Lucas sounds like the title of an ultimate fighting match.

    Just George Lucas in a cage with a bunch of angry fans.
  22. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005
    The funny thing is that one of the film's posters represents the dispute -- if dispute is the right word -- with a pair of scales, with Lucas on one side and the fans on the other. Now, what's interesting about it is that Lucas is shown as an individual, with a caricatured (exaggerated but recognizable) face, plus hair, clothes, shoes, etc., but by some contrast, the fans are merely depicted as white pictograms (like the kind you see representing male and female on public toilet doors)... CLONES. Or, more specifically, ATTACK OF THE. This has the amusing effect of implying it's the creative, intelligent individual -- in many ways, the fulcrum of society -- against the dull, unfeeling mob: a heedless blob of smeared individuality. Seen in this light, the real "enemy" here, so to speak, is not the artist, or the scientist, or the architect, nor any occupation or vocation in particular, but the stifling mass of group-thought and group-ideology, wherever and whenever it is to be found. The poster has a peculiar -- and, perhaps, unintended -- resonance to it. To me, it sorta sums the whole affair up. That is, the twisted love affair between the fans, George Lucas and his work, which this film, however honestly or successfully, purports to explore and pay homage to. I still haven't seen "The People vs. George Lucas", but I might try and get ahold of it over Christmas and watch it for myself. Some of the condemnation sounds hasty; some of it sounds right on the mark. Ultimately, I am glad a film like this exists, even if it's no fairer or deeper than the RLM videos (I'm pretty sure, in actual fact, it is fairer and deeper; from a certain POV, anyway). These things must all be taken with a grain of salt, and they are all, in some way, shape or form, ultimately, a tribute to the mind and methods of George Lucas; not a repudiation.
    Ezon Pin and minnishe like this.
  23. Ord-Mantell70

    Ord-Mantell70 Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 9, 2009
    I've never seen it so far.

    Probably because, like you mention, I didn't think it would bring something new to the subject, unlike SHOSW which is a totally different kind of work, mostly listening to excessive fans bashing Lucas and the SE/PT, unless most opininons are really properly and carefully argumented.

    I'll take a look at it to see what comes out anyway, also to hear this bunch of French critics praising TPM and Jar Jar Binks. I'm really curious to know what they have to say about it.
  24. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Although it's not made clear, I'm pretty sure it's a send-up of the way the French go on about Jerry Lewis being the greatest cinematic genius of all time on both an artistic and intellectual level. If they're serious, it's a worry.

    I've put the boot into the doco thoroughly enough by now, but I hope I've made it clear that my own opinion doesn't simply stem from resenting any sort of criticism against George Lucas and Star Wars - I'm a big fan of The Secret History Of Star Wars, & enjoyed the RLM reviews. I just expected much more from this latest exercise.

    By all means, take a look, but expect to be somewhat underwhelmed.
  25. drg4

    drg4 Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 30, 2005
    That's a bit telling, because I recall an entry on the People vs.... blog, wherein the producers made it known that the majority of the French critics interviewed actually preferred the PT.

    Did the documentary highlight any of these purported conversations, or was it merely Jar Jar-centric?