Slice of SciFi #261: Conversation with Robert Muratore and Alex Phillipe (“The People vs. George Lucas”)

peoplevsgeorgeIn the News:

  • A new interactive stage show, “Star Trek Live” has made its debut at the Kennedy Space Center.
  • Four 3-D movies accounted for one-third of the box-office returns in the first quarter of 2010.  That means 3-D won’t be going away any time soon.
  • The BBC has opened the archives on the behind-the-scenes creation and controversy surrounding “Doctor Who.”

Multiverse News: A Galactic News Report from Nigel Blackwood

Movie Talk:

  • Get your popcorn ready!  The Razzies could be televised next year.
  • Joss Whedon will direct “The Avengers.”  Squee!

Slice of Trivia: This week Kurt in St. George tests the studio crew with clips.   Can you figure it what they are before the studio crew does?  Email your clips to Kurt at Slice of Trivia. Your entries could get picked and played on the show.

TV Talk: Find out more about the on-screen language being created for “A Game of Thrones.”

Interview: This week, we talk to Robert Muratore and Alex Phillipe of “The People vs. George Lucas.” Find out more about this fascinating documentary on the relationship between George Lucas and the fans.

In the Future:

  • David Duchovny is ready to re-open the X-Files.
  • “Danger Girl” could be coming to the big-screen.

Listener comments: If you have any suggestions or comments, please let us know. Keep your comments brief, or funny, and maybe you’ll hear your message on the voicemail show! See you next week with fresh new content.

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  1. says

    Thanks for the interview with the “People vs. George Lucas” folks. It’s made me more receptive to the project now that I understand what they’re trying to achieve.

  2. Anne Gallagher says

    I just saw “The People vs George Lucas” at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto last night. It brings up some interesting questions about the nature of popular culture and its hold on our imaginations. I must add, it is also very respectful to fan boys and girls, in that it takes our devotion to Star Wars seriously and not as other works have done as a joke. During the Q & A the film makers both claim to be long time Star Wars devotees. I admit that I am too. Star Wars came out during the summer I turned fifteen., way too shy for boys and too young to work, reading and movies filled a void. I saw Star Wars that summer so many times that, upon returning home after one of my many visits to our local theatre, my sarcastic father asked it I had finally understood the plot. What Star Wars actually did for me was to open up the world of science fiction and fantasy and made me a fan, even more than the endless repeats of Star Trek I watched on televison that I watched religously after school.

    The film looks at four aspects of the Star Wars phenomenon. Obviously, I am not alone in my devotion as the first section of the The People vs George Lucas is filled with interviews with passionate Star Wars fans who talk about what Star Wars meant to them, and how it inspired some of them to persue creative careers in film and writing. The second part of the film deals with the mountains of Star Wars merchandise and its collectors. Lucas not only changed movies but the way movies are marketed and also the toy industry. The third part is in my opinion, the most interesting as it talks about Lucas’s missteps and the fan backlash. Arguments which mean nothing to anyone but Star Wars fans. These include: Did Han Solo shoot first? or did Greedo? The fan backlash toward the much dispised Jar Jar Binks and Ewoks. Most significant of all is the controversry surrounding the disappearence of the original print of Episodes IV through VI. It is not that the fans mind the different versions we just wish the original Star Wars of our childhood was available. The hardiest laugh by the audience was given to the George Lucas revised version of “Singing in the Rain” complete with laser effects. The final part deals with the future of Star Wars fandom and the disappointment surrounding Episodes I to III by the first genearation fans. The Clone Wars televisions series is mentioned but not really talked about. Threaded thoughout, are fan made films.Some are primative, some funny but all speak volumes of how much Star Wars has shaped our imaginations.

    The most intresting question brought up by the filmmakers is: who owns a creative work? Do the viewers own it? Or does the creator? Is there a point where something like a Star Wars grow beyond the people who made it and have a life of its own? The filmmakers use the example of Alice in Wonderland as a work of literature which surpassed its author and fell into the public domain with its many versions and adaptions. It remains to be seen if Star Wars has the staying power to outlast the first generation that fell in love with it (including me!) It will always have a place in cinema history as it changed the very nature of the movie making business but will it have the same hold on the imaginations of its younger generation of fans? The filmmakers suggested that their film is really a love story between Lucas and his audience. Now that Star Wars phenomenum is over thirty years old, the love is still there but like all long term relationships, it is perhaps a little stale and taken for granted. I agree with Francis Ford Coppala that the real loser in this relationship is ultimately Lucas himself. A brilliant filmmaker the Star Wars empire and to a lesser degree Indiana Jones is perhaps, a prison from which Lucas could not escape and make other movies.