The People vs. George Lucas

Star Wars fans can be, well, a little intense. Their dedication to George Lucas’ creation ranges from endearingly dorky to alarmingly obsessed. More than almost any other film, Star Wars has generated an enormous fan base that dedicates itself whole-heartedly to Lucas’ mythology. Such avid passion, however, can quickly turn to bitterness and anger. A new crowdsourced film, entitled The People vs. George Lucas, explores the fine line between love and hate that is the relationship between Star Wars fans and its creator.

Although written and directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, an unabashed fanboy, the bulk of the film was submitted by thousands of fans (and ex-fans). With the franchise taking a new direction in the last decade, devoted fans have plenty to complain about. Most videos take the expected form of ranting in front of a webcam, but many submitted more creative outlets for their passion, including  puppet skits, 3-D animation and claymation segments, children’s drawings, vintage 8mm films, and more.

Crowdsourced blogs, calendars, and documents have become the norm, but are we ready for crowdsourced art? In an interview with Wired.com, Phillipe says it’s a natural medium to discuss Lucas’ groundbreaking technology.

“In many ways, The People vs. George Lucas is a tribute to the YouTube generation, which Lucas’ advances in technology helped create,” Phillippe said. “On a more profound level, it’s about how new media interacts with old media, as well as ownership and copyright in the digital age; and it was our intent from Day 1 to give the fans a prevailing voice in the doc.”

Despite the film’s antagonistic title, Philippe describes it as a “twisted love letter.” Only through a deep love for Lucas’ work could so many fans become motivated to express their disappointment in art, film, and song. See the trailer for one gentleman’s proclamation “If I saw George Lucas I’d give him a big hug and say thank you,” set against a rousing chorus of “George Lucas raped our childhood.”

For more information, read Lewis Wallace’s post at Wired.com.

*****

Darcy Zacharias, CC ’10

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