was a more innocent time in the late 1990s, when we still had general faith
George Lucas would not debase his signature series with three dubious prequels.
Not so long ago, Shakespeare in Love had
upended Saving Private Ryan (from
Lucas’s good buddy Steven Spielberg) at the Oscars, largely thanks to Tom
Stoppard’s droll script, which constantly dropped hints of what might have
inspired the Bard’s great masterpieces. Soon after the The Phantom Menace cruelly disillusioned fans, an affectionate
short film spoof started making the rounds, giving Lucas the Stoppard
treatment. A hit with fans as well as its subject, Joe Nussbaum’s George Lucas in Love re-releases
today on iTunes.
is a germ of something to Lucas’s senior screenplay, but he is badly blocked
trying to develop his story of a space farmer. As he ambles around the USC
campus, he unknowingly observes characters that resemble many favorite Star Wars characters. So where the heck
did Jar Jar come from? Guys of the 1980’s generation will also recognize
generous quotes from the original trilogy, which we used to know my heart. Of
course, there are no echoes of Menace, because
there is nothing worth quoting from it. “Kiss your trade franchise goodbye”
just doesn’t cut it.
of any lingering Lucas issues, genre buffs will find GL in Love to be a well meaning tribute to the filmmakers who come
up with this stuff in the first place. Martin Hynes and Lisa Jakub are rather
winning as the earnest young Lucas and the cinnamon bun coiffed Marion, his potential
love interest. However, Patrick Kerr almost steals the film as George’s faculty
advisor, who speaks with Yoda’s odd cadence and indirect syntax.
While just a hair over eight minutes in length, GL in Love is something of an important
film. It crossed the desks and VCRs of a lot of Hollywood decision makers and
directly launched Nussbaum’s career (largely consisting of teen fare, like MTV’s
Awkward and the American Pie series). It certainly proves critics and viewers who
ignore shorts, do so at their peril. Eventually, it would be cool to see it
paired with Roger Christian’s wholly dissimilar but still tangentially Star Wars-related Black Angel, but it is nice to have Nussbaum’s film readily accessible
again on its own. Recommended for all fanboys, George Lucas in Love is now available from iTunes, as of today
Labels: George Lucas, Short Films, VOD