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Does George (Lucas) mean anything to you?

The documentary The People vs. George Lucas examines the dynamic between the filmmaker and his fans. Watch the trailer, and then share your thoughts about the man and his legacy.

Another geek film for 2010 is the documentary The People vs. George Lucas, which will premiere next month at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival in Austin, TX. From the festival's site, the film is "a no-holds-barred cultural examination of the conflicted dynamic between George Lucas and his fans over the past three decades."

Wired's Lewis Wallace recently interviewed the film's writer and director Alexandre O. Philippe, who had this to say: "It's really hard to imagine what our pop-culture landscape would look like without Star Wars. So our film is a love letter of sorts, but it's a rather twisted one, as we're looking at George through the prism of his fans." To make the documentary, the filmmakers started soliciting fan contributions in 2007 and received more than 600 hours of raw footage from people around the world.

Take a look at the three-minute trailer (the first shot is the question "Does George mean anything to you?"):

I know many Geekend readers have a few thoughts about George Lucas, so please share them in the discussion. Or, in the spirit of Valentine's Day (and pure silliness), post your own love letter to Lucas.

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About

Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

18 comments
Carlos.Barajas1
Carlos.Barajas1

Wonderful movies to have a entertainment, cool books and comics, VERY expensive toys

premdas67
premdas67

There was a series that was aired sometime ago called 'Stargate SG1'. I tell you the least interesting episode of this series more than out-did the best of Star Wars. There was so much that could have been done with Star Wars but George Lucas lacked vision. Sorry George, just being real.

DadsPad
DadsPad

Before SW, the big budget syfy movies all had new ships, transportation, uniforms/clothes, etc. Star Wars was a first with beat up transportation and farmers do not wear sparkling new clothes. He made the movie more "realistic". That plus the religious aspect and a public hungry for a good space fantasy, success.

melias
melias

I loved the original SW movies, and I will always remember Indiana Jones. But I don't put him up on a pedestal. At least not by himself. :) Gene Rodenberry for Star Trek is one of my favorites of all time, and I would not be surprised if the Great Bird of the Galaxy influenced Mr. Lucas to one extent or another. Mr. Lucas gave me several hours of unforgettable entertainment and discussion with friends, and a new perspective on ourselves and cultures. As have the best story tellers throughout human history.

ipardini
ipardini

genius- but the obsession by the fans is over blown.

pgit
pgit

"genius" is made anymore, not "recognized." Lucas did little on his own, creatively speaking, beyond THX 1138. It's all a collective effort. Has been since the advent of the vacuum tube. The Beatles sucked until EMI/Martin injected their magic. Listen to the 'anthology' set and see... In stark contrast the friggin DEMO the Who put together became a top 5 hit and you hear it to this day: "Can't explain." Yep, the version of that song you hear is a demo they put together, which indecently was turned down by Capitol and EMI. (Deca picked 'em up, and who wouldn't given that was their off the street arrival on the scene) I'm not saying Lucas isn't genius at what he does, I'm saying he'd be nobody without a lot of money and influence over his head. Like anything foisted on us as "culture" these days.

GSRich
GSRich

GL's the single most important cultural figure of the past 35 yrs - Period. His creations have an enduring impact distinct from any other contemporary phenomena, and, as with any art, they aren't perfect. Having said that, I find most criticisms of the second trilogy to be completely without merit. In their rush to despise Jar Jar people seem to forget just how putrid the Ewoks were.

bblackmoor
bblackmoor

It started with "I am your father", and it all went downhill from there. Darth Vader KILLED Luke Skywalker's father. "Darth" is not a title -- Darth was the Obi Wan's pupil's NAME. Obi Wan calls him "Darth" when they are talking. Whoever Luke's Father was, he wasn't Darth Vader, and Darth Vader certainly wasn't "Anakin Skywalker". Anakin Skywalker isn't Darth Vader -- he's a putz in a Darth Vader costume. It all went downhill from there. Midichlorians. Jar Jar Binks. Darth Vader building C-3PO when he was a kid. And so on. "I am your father" started the whole thing collapsing in on itself like a black hole of stupidity.

BillGates_z
BillGates_z

First Star Wars fun. The rest BORRRRRRRING, overlong, tedious, full of characters I either irritating or I felt completely indifferent about. Forget the $$$ I spent on those movies, I just wish i could have the time back

20
20

I'm less concerned with my opinion on the fellow and more about how the Star Wars phenomenon's cultural momentum can be used to push points of view. As the final Star Wars movie was released, US Governmental bodies pushed for more restrictions to internet usage. (just this month they've continued their lobbying to force ISPs to record 2 years of people's destinations: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10448060-38.html?tag=newsLeadStoriesArea.1) But in 2005, because of the Revenge of the Sith leak, the FBI/ICE through recently installed Congressional legislature and a newly installed Assistant Attorney General was able to jail and fine several US citizens. A year later George himself would be in Congress pushing for Free Unlimited internet access to all schools and libraries. Also in the time frame of the release of Sith, George's company cease and desisted an individual who reused the Revenge of the Sith trailer to have 133t subtitles. A few years later that same company allowed Star Wars Uncut to have the entire first Star Wars movie available on the website. Yes things are changing quickly, and many of these decisions might still make sense. If your curious, i've put together a video mixtape documenting the recorded perception of the Star Wars phenomenon at the time of Revenge of the Sith, which will have it's five year anniversary this May. http://www.noneinc.com/tBSWM/tBSWM_Video.html %20

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

For a starter, let's get real - the basic plot of the whole Star Wars series is stolen from ancient stories in the public domain - serial numbers filed off, names changed, and updated to a futuristic settings; it's all been done before and since, he just did it at a time it hit peoples' imaginations. There is a dramatic difference between the 1980s movies and the latest ones. So what, different technology and different audiences. All the movies were produced by production companies with a lot of money coming from elsewhere with the expectation of making profits. Most movie profits today come from franchise marketing things like toys etc. Lucas is a business man as well as an author, and sometimes they conflict, when dealing with other people's money, the businessman side must come forth - which it has. As an author myself, there are times when what I want to write, and what I think can be published conflict and I must choose one or the other. Lucas faced more of these conflicts than most, as he also had to move the stories to be made into movies and it's harder to get a visualisation perfect within the technology that the movie industry can deal with. Personally, I found Phantom Menace in line with the 1980s SW movies, but didn't like the way the Clone Wars were done, but that's because many parts of the plot in them were an issue for me too. I think the biggest problem with the second set of movies was audience expectations were so varied and most were not met by the films, the result being a lot of angst about the movies being 'wrong' as perceived by the audience.

angelascanio
angelascanio

Definitively Mr Lucas created much than a rich world and an interesting story. His vision and concept was around 30 years ahead to the time he created SW. We need to give THANKS to him for creating the whole SW universe, and showing the world that you can give Life to any personal project if you plan, work, and dream. May the force be with you.

online
online

So many of the replies here are just plain wrong about George Lucas and money. American Graffiti was a huge success for Lucas, and a good thing, since he needed the money he made from it to finance Star Wars. Fox was very reluctant to put any money into the first Star Wars movie. It was a labor of love for Lucas, and he never expected it to be the hit it was. Nothing he's done since has been as good as the original SW, though he's done some fine work. It's very odd to me that my children hold the prequels in such high regard, but those are Star Wars for their generation (and I really rather liked Jar Jar Binks, as well as the pod race in the Phantom Menace). There are no original stories, just new ways of putting the old stuff together. Star Wars resonates because of its deliberately mythic structure -- Lucas immersed himself in Joseph Campbell and the Hero's Journey as he was writing.

Anchor88
Anchor88

George Lucas did nothing entirely on his own. But without him, the Star Wars phenomenon would not be part of our culture. 30+ years later, kids are still playing SW as I did at age 7 (to 15 or so). Mr. Lucas started out with very little money, especially in today's terms. The original SW was low-budget, and amazing for that. And Lucas and his team (many of the same people worked on all 6 films) continued to push the envelope of what film is all about. Digital film and audio would not be what they are today without Lucasfilm. Like any of us, Lucas is not perfect and I wish he'd done somethings differently, but I am VERY thankful for his life's work. I cherish the days (once a year or so) I can watch all 6 SW movies in a row!

stephanisat_z
stephanisat_z

the ewoks. How a bunch of furry little muppets could destroy the stormtroopers with rocks and sticks, when the rebel alliance couldn't do it is beyond all comprehension.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

will usually have a different agenda to his companies as the companies have other investors and a board of directors too, and they'll go one way while George goes another.

steve-f
steve-f

He hasn't had much impact on me. Looking through his IMDB record, I have only seen 'Labyrinth' and the Indiana Jones movies, none of which hugely excited me. I'm not a sci-fi fan, if you can't tell. I'm sure he's very talented though, and obviously hugely influential to millions of people. I do not wish to detract from that, just answering the question honestly.

darpoke
darpoke

but the Afghans seem to be doing rather well with decades-old rifles against the Western incursion. Never underestimate the value of local knowledge...

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