The Director and The Jedi

Competently made and shot documentary about the on-set craft of building a Star Wars. It’s nice to get a peek here, and commendable that it didn’t turn out being an “EVERYTHING WAS ALWAYS GREAT” made for TV promo. There’s conflict here. I mean, it doesn’t run deep or is earth-shattering: there’s simply too many jobs and names on the line to see the Actual Struggle roll out of the boardroom meetings. Someone has yelled something awful and lost their mind at some point. Someone always does. But one can’t expect that from a doc about the HUGEST mass media phenomenon. And for the box it has to fit in, it’s very well done.

It’s kind of a bummer though it’s just a peek in every other way. The scale of the production is gigantic, so shots or scenes can’t really linger because we’re in a rush to see it all within 98 minutes. Granted, making a BTS-doc is incredible difficult, but I wish someone decided to instead of taking every approach, just take one. And let that single element fully develop. Now for the most part this was Rian (and his friendship with Ram, and his difficult relationship with Mark), but too often did it get distracted by telling other stories without that Rian-lens. 

There’s a scene where it’s Rian’s and Ram’s shared birthday, where they’re surprised by the crew, but it doesn’t really say much. The whole bit with Frank Oz is great, but approached from a different perspective than Rian’s. Instead I would’ve loved to see more of those rehearsals on that Pinewood grass, and see the scenes evolve from there up until the final product. Use repeating angles or elements to show progression over time.

This doc is remarkable for Anthony Wonke’s enourmous ambition to capture it all, to show it all. But I wish this was either 8 hours (like that Twin Peaks Making Of) or had a bit more focus from a single perspective.