Jedi Junkies

Jedi JunkiesSynopsis: JEDI JUNKIES is a one-of-a-kind feature film about the world s most dedicated Star Wars fans. From lightsaber-wielding martial artists to a filmmaker who built the world s only life-size Millennium Falcon, the film offers viewers a rare glimpse into extreme fans personal and professional self-expression.

Featuring the perspectives of celebrity insiders including Olivia Munn (Attack of the Show, The Newsroom), Phantom Menace actor Ray Park (Darth Maul) and Blair Witch Project director Ed Sanchez, JEDI JUNKIES will change the way you look at fandom and Star Wars forever.

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Jedi Junkies 6.25

eyelights: its celebrity interviews. its exploration of the mindset of some collectors.
eyesores: its limited scope. its cheap production.

“Star Wars brings everybody together.”

‘Jedi Junkies’ is an independent 2010 documentary about the ‘Star Wars’ phenomenon – specifically, its fans. Backed by celebrity interviews (ex: Jeremy Bulloch, Peter Mayhew, Olivia Munn and Ray Park), it takes a look at the extent of their fandom, the impetus for and expression of their obsession.

It begins by asking the hard questions that keep most fans awake at night: What was their first experience? How many times did they see ‘Star Wars’? Which is their favourite film of the franchise, and why? What are fan films? Did Han or Greedo shoot first? Who would win in a duel, Darth Vader or Darth Maul?

Then it explores some of its main subjects, including collectors (some of whom have impressive displays at home), lightsaber makers, lightsaber fight choreographers, musicians (including the sad spectacle that is AeroSith, a parody band), independent filmmakers and, most importantly, the Slave Leia girls.

Of which there are many, including models, a burlesque performer and a belly-dancer.

Yum.

Psychologists are even on hand to talk about the collecting of ‘Star Wars’ knick-knacks, during which we explore the mindset of a few of the collectors – one of whom buys multiple copies of many toys and has stocked up a small storage area full of the stuff, and another sleeps on the floor with his spouse for lack of room.

But the end result isn’t really empathy: I ended up looking down upon these Starwoids as much as the lame Trekkies of yore. A wedding reception where the bride and groom don’t have a first dance, they have a first duel? Yeesh. Or the Lightsaber Academy staging lame performances at ‘Star Wars’ conventions.

…forgetting that this artifice isn’t what ‘Star Wars’ was initially about? Sigh.

What didn’t help was the footage from many fan films and the low-grade video of conventions, showing dorks in their half-@$$ed ‘Star Wars’ gear, mugging and/or performing poorly. It was a bit sad at times, seeing the sense of achievement they felt over things poorly done. An obese, bald Jedi in crappy garb? Ugh.

The only notable fan creation was ‘Chad Vader’ a spoof film that is set in a grocery store and follows the antics of Darth Vader’s less assertive brother, Chad, the store’s floor manager. It looks fun because it doesn’t try to recreate ‘Star Wars’; it takes an everyday context and applies ‘Star Wars’ to it.

It’s original. I’d watch that.

But, otherwise, pretty much everything in ‘Jedi Junkies’ is forgettable. It focuses on only a few aspects of ‘Star Wars’ fandom, and merely on a few key people, ignoring the fact that fandom expresses itself on larger scale. it tries to be ‘Trekkies’ for ‘Star Wars’ fan but its limited scope and repetitiveness spoil it.

This one’s for the diehards only.

Date of viewing: December 13, 2015

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