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A Galaxy Far Far Away: 10th Anniversary Edition - documentary DVD review
Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Joe Pesci, Adam Corolla, Jimmy Kimmel, Roger Corman, Meat Loaf
Director: Tariq Jalil   Studio: Cinevolve
DVD release: 21 April 2009   Runtime: 80 min. (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Surround Sound, Widescreen
DVD Features: Aspect ratio 1.33:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Surround - English), New 10th Anniversary video commentary (MST3K-Style), New interviews w/ producer and director, All-new audio commentary (prod. & dir.), Deleted scenes, Original DVD commentary, New trailer, Coming attractions, Original trailer

In 1977, George Lucas released Star Wars. The world was affected significantly, needless to say. While the mythology of Star Wars was not unique, the characters were compelling and fascinated audiences through two more sequels. In 1999, Lucas prepared to release the first of three new prequels. Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace was poised to take the box office by storm. Fans had been waiting sixteen years between movies, and there was incredible anticipation. People waited in line for over a month to see The Phantom Menace.

Filmmakers Tariq Jalil and Terry Tocantins decided to capture as much of this astounding phenomenon as they could on film. They snagged interviews with celebrity personalities such as Roger Corman, Andy Garcia, Meat Loaf, and Joe Pesci (most of the celebs had nearly nothing to say about the sensation, but they added some clout to the DVD jacket). Several interviews were recorded without sound; one was with Samuel L. Jackson, who was actually in Episodes I, II and III). Examples of these interviews are attached to the credits with a note that the audio was not captured. How heartbreaking that must have been.

Other interviewees are what I'll call convention weirdos. A Boba Fett impersonator (Morgan Phillips) with a turntable strapped to his back and a large gold chain around his neck gives off a sort of hip-hop Star Wars vibe. Phillips shows up at conventions in his get-up playing his Star Wars-influenced music recorded with samples from the films on a large boombox.

Geoffrie (of Geoffrie's Comics) has a house full of Star Wars stuff; it's plastered with comic book characters and filled with toys and memorabilia. Geoffrie dressed up as Superman for his interview.

Jam Master Jedi, a Jedi-influenced musician - I didn't quite get where he was coming from, though I hail his journey.

Kevin, a big toy collector, has loaded up on full-sized Star Wars replicas, including an R2-D2, Han Solo in carbonite, and a Boba Fett. He'd really like Natalie Portman - the real Natalie Portman. I don't think he's alone.

All these characters and more provide an interesting study, serving to make all but the most geeky fans seem positively normal. I loved Star Wars as a child, and I'm glad I came of age and lived through the whole thing. I don't think there's any way in hell I could be persuaded to wait on line for 42 days as some of these fans did for the film. I didn't even want to be there on the first night (and wasn't). These diehard fans are worthy of my respect and also, to a lesser extent, my ridicule. They are tried and true fans of a genre that will last for ages to come. In true geekishness, they pale only in comparison to Trekkers, may they live long and prosper.

This 10th Anniversary Special Edition includes new commentary, the original commentary, and an MST3K-style video commentary. Don't miss the deleted scenes and the 10th anniversary director/producer interview with the creators.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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