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Movie review: 'The People vs. George Lucas'

Fans of the 'Star Wars' movies gripe, opine and nitpick about the director.

May 13, 2011|By Gary Goldstein, Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • An animated George Lucas is seen in the documentary "The People Vs. George Lucas."
An animated George Lucas is seen in the documentary "The People Vs.… (Wrekin Hill Entertainment )

The legacy of "Star Wars" and the tempest in a very large teapot that seminal film has stirred in its vast legion of fans gets a nerd's eye view in the entertaining documentary "The People vs. George Lucas."

You don't have to be a "Star Wars" nut to enjoy this fast-paced film, though it's sure to resonate most with those whose childhoods — and beyond — were shaped by the 1977 phenomenon.

Director Alexandre O. Philippe exhaustively covers the love-hate relationship "Star Wars'" most rabid enthusiasts have had with the franchise's über-creator — and subsequent corporate titan — George Lucas. It's an outrage that largely began with the 1997 rerelease of Lucas' spruced-up and occasionally revisionist "Star Wars (Special Edition)" and festered with each of the original's wildly anticipated and, to some, subpar prequels.

An eclectic plethora of "Star Wars" die-hards gripe, opine and nitpick their way through the documentary, which also features an amusing sampling of the many homegrown fan films, parodies, homages and re-imaginings the mega-series has spawned.

Although Lucas is seen here only via archival footage and previous interview bits and, thus, can never directly defend his post-"Return of the Jedi" choices and "responsibilities," one thing is certain: Even his greatest detractors will still camp out for the next "Star Wars" installment. That's love for you.

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'The People vs. George Lucas'

No MPAA rating

Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Playing: At the Nuart, West Los Angeles; Edwards' University Town Center Cinema, Irvine

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