Fan Film, Fan Films

People Vs. George Lucas Trailer Intrigues, Disappoints

Word has circulated among fan sites for the last few years about The People Vs. George Lucas, an upcoming documentary that would hold an imaginary ‘trial’ against the creator of Star Wars. Now the film’s first trailer has landed online.

It’s no secret that I love fan documentaries, but when I first heard about this flick, I thought it sounded hokey and mean-spirited. The trailer, however, seems to show a production that’s moving away from its original brief. Who knows what the end result will be like, but the preview itself, with a colorful mix of good and bad points, is intriguing—find out why after the jump.

On the upside, man oh man, they landed some excellent interviewees, and got some great commentary in return. Some of the folks slated to be in the flick include:

• Gary Kurtz, the estranged producer of Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back.
• Sandy Lieberson, ex-head of production at 20th Century Fox.
• Dale Pollock, author of the go-to Lucas biography, Skywalking.
• David Prowse (Darth Vader).
• Ian Freer of UK film bible, Empire magazine.
• Glenn Kenny, who edited the excellent unauthorized essay collection .

That’s a hell of a think-tank right there, and who knows, they may round-up more intelligent voices as they go along. Simply putting a slew of thoughtful viewpoints together in a film that won’t be vetted by Lucasfilm has already gotten this movie off to a very promising start, and given the film’s original premise, I’m sort of surprised they landed some of these names. Color me impressed.

Whatever excitement one can build for that, however, gets tempered when the trailer turns to the same cliché found in every fandom documentary: overzealous dorks in costume pontificating. OK, geeks with bad judgment enjoy Star Wars and they don’t like Jar-Jar Binks. We get it. What else you got?

Mixed in with all this are blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em snippets of fan films, including the Silent But Deadly series, various stop-motion toy antics, and more. One can only presume they’ll be interviewing a few fan filmmakers along the way, which could prove interesting. Or not.

For now, it appears the filmmakers are casting a wide net—they’re still looking for interviewees on their website—and will “find” the movie in the editing process. Hopefully they’ll ditch the “trial” concept and just go with smart commentary from insiders and informed opinions from outsiders. Whichever way they go, however, it’ll be a while before we see the results: The People Vs. George Lucas isn’t due out until 2010.

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One Response to “People Vs. George Lucas Trailer Intrigues, Disappoints”

  1. I laughed. I cried, I kissed $3 bucks goodbye.

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