No, some people don’t, and they’re featured in director Alexandre O. Philippe’s entertaining, if “The People Vs George Lucas.” They’re the people for whom “Star Wars” is decidedly not “just a movie,” and boy, are they ever pissed that Lucas keeps tinkering with the works that he created and owns.
As one person apparently unconcerned with copyright law puts it, “It’s not about the author. It’s about the culture that embraces it.”
With Jar Jar Binks’ sheer existence ranking a close second, fans are most grievous over Lucas’ decision to alter his 1977 classic so that Greedo shoots at Han Solo first, which fans here deem, among other things, “a betrayal,” “rewrit(ing) history” and “like a Holocaust denier.” At least one on-camera interviewee has some sense to put the angry debate into perspective: “Who shot first? Who gives a shit? You got to admit, it’s what called super nerd nitpicking.”
Personally, I have to side with Lucas: It’s his. He can do whatever he wants with it. However, the issue is not so black-and-white, as he’s taken a hypocritical approach to his stance, going on record in the past as saying films shouldn’t be muddled with. In not practicing what he preaches, he should go ahead and release the high-def versions of his films as originally seen upon their release as an option to whatever else he wishes to do to them next.
Reportedly, that’s 3-D conversion, which is a Very Bad Idea amounting to nothing but a greedy cash-grab. Still, a majority of the “Star Wars” hardcore faithful will pay to see them in the multiplex, then buy them again on home video, so the same people who paid three to 12 times so see “The Phantom Menace” despite hating it only continue to enable the man.
On a kinder, gentler note, “The People vs. George Lucas” gives viewers a peek at several fan films, which reimagine characters from the “Star Wars” universe as cartoons, in silent movies, as video games and in chat windows. My favorite was “Don’t Go in the Endor Woods,” an Ewok-rific, ’70s-style grindhouse horror trailer, scratches and all. —Rod Lott