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HuffPost Review: The People vs. George Lucas

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STAR WARS

The People vs. George Lucas is a novelty item, but an often entertaining one.

Essentially, director Alexandre Philippe has rounded up a herd of fan boys to talk about Star Wars. And he gives them free rein to vent about how much the first three Star Wars movies meant to them and how deeply creator George Lucas has subsequently wounded and betrayed them: first with his special-edition versions of the original films, then with his trilogy of prequels.

If you're a fan of the series, then you're well aware of these indictments of Lucas: that it was arrogant and presumptuous of him to tinker with films that are burned in the brains of people who saw them as children. And it was even worse when he made prequels that, to these grown up Luke Skywalker-lovers, were vastly inferior to the originals.

Some of it is esoteric and childish. Some of it is amusingly eye-opening -- like the universe of fan-made films that recreate the original films with everything from costumed live actors to Legos to stop-motion animated cell phones with character faces on their screens. There's also an entire underground phenomenon of people who have taken the various films, downloaded them to their computers, then reedited and otherwise changed them.

Everyone from critics to Star Wars reenactors weighs in. The most interesting argument has to do with Lucas' apparently constant urge to tinker with and otherwise improve his own creation. Which raises the question: To whom do these films really belong? To Lucas, who created them? Or to the fans? They, after all, have absorbed them on an almost cellular level and regard changing Episode 4: A New Hope as comparable to Leonardo da Vinci returning from the dead to add a few brush strokes to the "Mona Lisa."

Fast, witty and imaginative, The People vs. George Lucas is not for the uninitiated. On the other hand, who among us hasn't seen these films and had opinions about them -- even if those opinions don't rise to the life-and-death level to which some of these geeks take it?

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