A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY: 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION (2001)




A Galaxy Far Far Away: 10th Anniversary Edition (2001)


 

Actors: Joe Pesci, Adam Corolla, Jimmy Kimmel, Roger Corman, Meat Loaf
Directors:
Tariq Jalil
Format:
Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Surround Sound, Widescreen
Language: English
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33:1
Number of discs:
1
Rating:
NR (Not Rated)
Studio:
Cinevolve Studios
DVD Release Date: March 24, 2009
Run Time: 80 minutes


 

Movie: * * ½
Disc:
* *
*
 

Filmed in 1999 this documentary is ostensibly about the film’s director, Tariq Jalil, trying to understand why the Star Wars movies inspire such cultish behaviour in its many fans. The documentary alas never really achieves its aims because its approach is too scattershot.

The movie loses focus and direction pretty early on. Somewhere along the line it even zooms in on some fans with “daddy issues” and while these emotionally raw scenes are the film’s best, its conclusions are too pat and of the bar drunk variety to be meaningful.

Towards the end Jalil intones that at least Star Wars fans believe in something, whereas many people today don’t believe in anything. This is like saying that the Manson Family may have believed in butchering innocent pregnant women, but hey! at least they believed in something! This is not to equate Star Wars fans with murderous cults, but the assumption that belief in itself is “a good thing” is erroneous at best. After all, the Nazis too believed in “something” . . .

A Galaxy Far Far Away however works better as a snapshot of a particular era and event, namely the enormous hype that preceded the release of The Phantom Menace, the first Star Wars movie in more than fifteen years.

Jalil and his cameraman spend a lot of time interviewing the most dedicated of Star Wars fans as they spend 42 days camping outside cinemas so as to be first in line for Phantom Menace. They also attend various fan conventions and gatherings and seek out some fans at their homes. Early on they gatecrash a charity golfing event and try to interview celebs such as Joe Pesci and Meat Loaf and get their opinions on Star Wars. (If you watch some of the interviews you’ll discover that they forgot to press the record button in some cases and we thus never get the chance to hear what Jack Nicholson thinks of George Lucas’ brainchild.)

But the “celebs” interviewed are the least interesting persons in this documentary. Instead it is the various fans whose cultish behaviour will either have you going “get a life!” or “hey, there are people who are actually bigger Star Wars nuts than I am out there!” who supplies the film’s interest.

THE DISC: A Galaxy Far Far Away clocks in at a brief mere hour’s running time, but the various interviews with director and producer, audio commentaries and deleted scenes more than make up for this. Jalil and his producer are an affable pair and even though their comedy duo shtick seems rehearsed they supply some fascinating behind-the-scenes info.

WORTH IT? We’ve already seen this sort of thing with Trekkies, the documentary about Star Trek fans and the likes of The Force Among Us (a more recent documentary about Star Wars fandom). Still, it’s a whole lot funnier and interesting than the recent Fanboys comedy about a bunch of geeks breaking in into Skywalker Ranch to get a glimpse of The Phantom Menace. Unlike Fanboys, Galaxy Far Far Away mentions that most of the fans camping outside cinemas for weeks on end were disappointed by the film – the sort of irony that if you made it up it’d come across as too contrived.

RECOMMENDATION: Worth a look.


 


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