The People vs. George Lucas

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The People vs. George Lucas
The People vs. George Lucas.jpg
Directed byAlexandre O. Philippe
Produced byAnna Higgs
Robert Muratore
Vanessa Philippe
Kerry Deignan Roy
CinematographyRobert Muratore
Edited byChad Herschberger
Music byJon Hegel
Exhibit A Pictures
Quark Films
Neca Films
Distributed byWrekin Hill Entertainment
Release date
  • March 14, 2010 (2010-03-14) (SXSW)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States

The People vs. George Lucas is a 2010 documentary comedy film directed by Swiss director Alexandre O. Philippe. It explores the issues of filmmaking and fanaticism pertaining to the Star Wars franchise and its creator, George Lucas. The film combines filmmaker and celebrity interviews with fan films, mainly taken from the 2010 online video Star Wars Uncut, which were submitted via the film's site.

Interviewees include a variety of figures such as Neil Gaiman, MC Frontalot and Gary Kurtz. Lucas appears frequently in archival footage, but is never interviewed directly. The film discusses the extent to which the Star Wars franchise is an artistic creation of Lucas and subject to his vision versus a social phenomenon that belongs to the general public of fans and their participatory/remix culture. The film is dedicated to interviewee Jason Nicholl, a blogger at who died before the film's release. The film was released on DVD on October 25, 2011.[1]

In June 2014, it was reported that a sequel was in development.[2]

Background and contents[edit]

Director Alexandre Philippe, a lifetime Star Wars fan from his early childhood, has said that the film was not meant to be one-sided against Lucas, although the title has often created that interpretation. He instead aimed at showing both sides evenhandedly to explore to what extent the Star Wars franchise is controlled by Lucas versus something morally held by the public. Philippe feels that Lucas is a relatively talented director and an "ideas man" based on the original Star Wars trilogy, THX 1138 (1971) and American Graffiti (1973). However, Philippe disliked the changes made by Lucas in re-releases of the original trilogy as well as the prequel trilogy.[3][4]

Philippe thought that fans deserved a complete re-mastering and re-release of the original series in current formats (DVD, Blu-ray, etc.) without any changes. Philippe also stated that, to his knowledge, Lucas has never seen the documentary. However, Philippe has said that he would love to hold a private screening at Skywalker Ranch.[3][4]

The film begins with a brief history of Lucas' career leading up to the release of Star Wars in 1977. The rest of the film is structured by inter-cutting interviews with many different fans, academics, film critics, former colleagues of Lucas, well-known writers in the science fiction/fantasy genre and others. The narrative of the film shows the complex relationship between Lucas and his fans, as well as how and why exactly the elements of the Star Wars franchise have appealed to so many people so deeply.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 72%, based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 6.7/10.[5] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 55 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[6]

The New York Post ran a positive review by Kyle Smith in which the film received three out of four stars.[7] AMC critic Josh Bell wrote, "People is a skillfully edited, wide-ranging look at a subject that's very close to many movie fans' hearts, part of an ongoing debate that will only gain more attention as Lucas continues to tinker with his creations."[1]

Independent critic Christian Toto praised the film and wrote that "the Force is strong with this one".[8] Salt Lake City Weekly ran a negative review by Bryan Young, who commented that the "film comes off as a one-sided attack" and that it's "not hard to talk to people who love Star Wars... the filmmakers should have tried harder to provide that balance."[9]

Slant Magazine writer Elise Nakhnikian lauded the film as "one of this year's best" documentaries, calling it "Smart, funny, and often impassioned."[10]

On September 16, 2011, coinciding with the release of Star Wars on Blu-ray, Philippe appeared on a two-part episode of "Half in the Bag", an online movie review comedy show produced by RedLetterMedia. In the episode, Philippe is interviewed by Mike Stoklasa and Jay Bauman about the film and discusses his personal thoughts on Lucas and the franchise.[3][4]

On February 2, 2017, Mark Hamill stated during an interview that he felt that the documentary is biased against Lucas and the prequels and that he could not believe the backlash that they received.[11]


In June 2014 it was reported that a sequel, The People vs. George Lucas – Episode II, was in development. The film plans to examine what fans think of the Star Wars franchise since George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company, and will pose the question "What does the future of Star Wars look like without George Lucas?"[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Bell, Josh (October 11, 2011). "The People vs. George Lucas". AMC. Archived from the original on December 25, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Franich, Darren (June 17, 2014). "'The People vs. George Lucas 2' will focus on the 'disneyfication' of the 'Star Wars' franchise". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Half in the Bag: The People vs. George Lucas and Star Wars discussion (part 1)". RedLetterMedia. September 16, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "Half in the Bag: The People vs. George Lucas and Star Wars discussion (part 2)". RedLetterMedia. September 21, 2011. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013.
  5. ^ "The People vs. George Lucas (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  6. ^ "The People VS George Lucas reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  7. ^ Smith, Kyle (May 5, 2011). "The People vs. George Lucas". New York Post. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  8. ^ Toto, Christian. "SDFF Review: 'The People vs. George Lucas'". Archived from the original on December 9, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  9. ^ Young, Bryan (December 6, 2011). "The People vs. George Lucas". Salt Lake City Weekly. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  10. ^ "The People vs. George Lucas". Gene Siskel Film Center. Archived from the original on September 5, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  11. ^ Church, Ricky (February 2, 2017). "Mark Hamill "couldn't believe" the backlash to the Star Wars prequels". Flickering Myth. Retrieved October 22, 2017.

External links[edit]