Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, June 11, 2012

The case of The People Vs. George Lucas

Last week,I read a review at Saturday Night Screening(a blog that covers the best of the worst in film)that intrigued me so much that I had to go out and rent this flick for myself(via Netflix). It was a documentary entitled The People Vs. George Lucas and as someone who owns both Trekkies and Trekkies 2,my curiosity in seeing Star Wars fans on film was rather peaked.

The People Vs. George Lucas is not as fan friendly,however,as the film explores the love-hate relationship between Lucas and a large portion of his fan base who have grown discontented with him over the years.

Most of that anger sprang from the trio of prequel films(Phantom Menace,Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith)released more than a decade after the last film in the original trilogy,Return of the Jedi,with some hatred left over for the fourth Indiana Jones movie that Lucas had a hand in:

Faithful fans are more than miffed over the weakness of the prequels and the persistent presence of Jar Jar Binks(who hold the distinction of most hated character in the series),they are also not happy with Lucas' remastering of the original films and his efforts to keep them out of the hands of future generations.

Plus,some of the tweaks given to both the new films and the old(the "who shot first,Han or Greedo?" argument and midi-chlorians)have offended the story telling sense of many a viewer. Some,of course,argue that Lucas is a prisoner of his fame and fortune,not to mention the high expectations of his followers and business partners.

While he may be a frustrated artist at heart,Lucas also played well to his strengths as a marketeer which helped him to amass the pop culture empire he now has,which is quite the feat in the pre-internet world that he had to work in and you can't help but admire him for that. However,a little humility would serve him well in reviving some of that former spark,perhaps a few viewings of that infamous Star Wars Holiday special could do the trick:

I must admit that many of the fan debates are pretty legitimate complaints to me,although I do not subscribe to the "George Lucas raped my childhood" screed which I do find offensive. Folks,if you want to be taken seriously in any argument,it helps to expand your vocabulary and use the appropriate terms to express your outrage-"decimated" for example,may be a bit much yet is far more reasonable than the R-word in this instance.

That aside,part of the problem with Lucas and his fans is underestimating their collective intelligence. To Lucas,the Star Wars saga may just be simple
popcorn fare but the reason that science fiction and fantasy resonates so strongly with fans is that it challenges their imaginations and encourages deep thought about life and the consequences of choices along the way.

That might sound silly to some who only see space wizards and laser swords in the hands of the debaters,however,if you look beyond the surface of special effects,there are plenty of savvy schools of thought in session there:

The People Vs.George Lucas does give both sides a fair shake and the one thing that everyone agrees upon is that George Lucas make an indelible mark on pop culture history that,for better or for worse,can never be erased. There is hope for the better,still,with Lucas putting his clout behind Red Tails,that his time to dazzle us is not yet done. With any luck,that will happen before we're stuck in another Death Star with two Chewbaccas:

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