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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Film - Michael Bodey

THE cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance of the Star Wars films is not in doubt. But when our six-yearold be­gan test­ing me, off the top of his head, with Star Wars trivia ques­tions I couldn’t an­swer but he could, I had to doff my lid to Ge­orge Lu­cas.

Our tyro au­teur hasn’t even seen a Star Wars film yet. I’m wait­ing for the right fa­ther­son mo­ment when the girls are at the bal­let. And I haven’t de­cided the or­der in which to screen them: by re­lease date or by episodes?

Prob­a­bly the for­mer, be­cause episode three, Re­venge of the Sith, is the most vi­o­lent (although some peo­ple sug­gest that watch­ing episodes four, five, one, two, three then six works very well).

And my son al­ready knows Darth Vader is Luke Sky­walker’s dad, thanks to his Star Wars Lego sticker book.

Hence my tip of the hat to Lu­cas. Not only did he cre­ate a sem­i­nal movie ex­pe­ri­ence for my gen­er­a­tion in the 1970s, he built a re­lent­less mar­ket­ing and re-dis­tri­bu­tion mon­ster worth bil­lions of dol­lars. Good for him.

It’s not good for us though. That mon­ster has spoiled any po­ten­tial shock my son would have viewing one of cinema’s great plot twists: ‘‘No, I am your fa­ther.’’

That’s just an­other ex­am­ple of why Lu­cas has such a fraught re­la­tion­ship with fans of his ma­jor cre­ation.

The toys we can live with, just; the final three movie ‘‘pre­quels’’ less so. But Lu­cas’s se­vere tin­ker­ing with and re-en­gi­neer­ing of his films, not at all.

Some­thing that was so pro­found in 1977 has be­come cyn­i­cal in 2012. 3D ver­sion, any­one?

That’s one of the tenets of Alexan­dre O. Philippe’s zippy, if whiny, pros­e­cu­to­rial doc­u­men­tary The Peo­ple vs Ge­orge Lu­cas (M, Hop­scotch, 96 min, $19.95). Sure, this doco has a limited au­di­ence — men — but it has its fun mo­ments if you are frus­trated with Lu­cas. Best of all, it as­sem­bles a with­er­ing ar­ray of Star Wars par­o­dies and mash-ups.

Me? I’m a live-and-let-live per­son. I loved Star Wars in the 70s and 80s and tol­er­ated it in the 90s. How­ever, Lu­cas made them, I didn’t. He can do with them what he wants.

But af­ter the se­ries has been de­based my son goes in eyes wide open. And that’s no way to ex­pe­ri­ence cinema.

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