The People vs. George Lucas is a light, entertaining survey of the grievances of obsessive Star Wars fans, a colorful lot. The complaints cover three topics: Lucas’s 1997 “special edition” of the 1977 film and his seeming desire to obliterate the original version; the poor quality of the prequel trilogy; and the fiasco of the 1978 televised “Star Wars Holiday Special.”
The first topic is the weightiest. Star Wars was a huge cultural phenomenon, and “the people” have a pretty good moral claim to the original edition. A few details of Lucas’s revision, such as the confrontation between Han Solo and a bounty hunter, are ham-handed attempts to rewrite the story. But beyond this, Lucas has been tolerant, even encouraging of fan fiction and other infringements on his creative product. (Will Disney be so easygoing?) And it’s odd to hear “original version” defenders refer to the first film as Episode Four or A New Hope.
On the prequels: There is some attempt to justify them as seeming bad because they were written for children (which the original Star Wars fans no longer are). I’m with the Lucas critics on this one; they’re not very good films.
The third topic seems thrown into the documentary as filler, a sort of “so’s your face” when there’s nothing else to say.