Is George Lucas more than just a filmmaker with a franchise worth billions? Is he also that franchise’s #1 Fanboy? It’s one of many intriguing questions in Alexandre Philippe’s documentary about the relationship the fans have with the creator of the Star Wars universe. While Philippe demurred about the exact number of Star Wars action figures he himself owns, saying only there is a room involved, he doesn’t deny having been swept up in fandom since his first viewing of the original film when he was five. He, like the film, takes a light-hearted but scholarly look at the phenomenon that has grown up around the films, including the fan-produced films that began almost as soon as the first film debuted, the genius behind the merchandising of said film, the very personal way the fans reacted, badly, to THE PHANTON MENACE, and the intrinstic difference between how Americans see the film cycle, and the take French critics have.
THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS is a documentary about love, betrayal, and acceptance. Phillippe considers the relationship between Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars saga, and the fans whose loyalties were sorely tested with the release of episodes 1, 2, and 3 of the saga. The film does more than depict a fan base that, in some cases, has devoted its collective life to the films. It ponders the rights of both the artist and the consumer when it comes to a creative work as it takes on such hot-button issues as the special editions of the original films that featured changes large and small to those films, and the whole Jar Jar Binks controversy. Phillipe talks to pundits, fans, and superfans in a film that dares to look at passionate feelings these films have engendered and the loyalty the fans, young and old, have despite profound feelings of betrayal that they take personally.