Back Comments (50) Share:
Facebook Button
A disclaimer: I'm not much of a Star Wars fan. I know that's pretty blasphemous around these parts but I find it hard to get too excited about a franchise where at least 33% of its input is mediocre. Sure, I know the movies pretty well and they all sit on my shelf (even The Phantom Menace which, let's be honest is awful), but I think the whole craze passed me by.

The Force Among Us
For this reason, I'm probably not the best person to be reviewing a documentary on Star Wars. And I'm certainly not the best person to be reviewing a documentary on Star Wars fans. That's right; the fan-made The Force Among Us has very little to do with the making of the movies. No, this is purely focused on the fans and their feelings about the saga.

And so I approached The Force Among Us with a mix of curiosity and trepidation and, those of you who have spin-off novels and action figures stashed away, should approach the following review in much the same way. To be honest, I thought long and hard about just how critical I could be towards this disc given its amateur status but, at the end of the day, it's only fair that it's given the same treatment as all the other DVDs, professional or otherwise, that have found their way to this website.

This is a fan made feature with no ties to Lucasfilm, so you won’t get any clips or music from the films because no one wants to get sued. What you do get is a rather large cast of obsessives detailing how they got into the craze and what it means to them.

I liken the experience of watching this feature to finding yourself in a dedicated web forum for a topic with which you're only vaguely familiar. Frequently incomprehensible, endlessly repetitive and occasionally boring; you just want to get out of there as quickly as possible. Maybe there are people out there who will be interested in what order one of the interviewees will show the Star Wars films to his children or which particular websites another fan has bookmarked, but this reviewer was left a little baffled.

The Force Among Us
As expected, there are countless shots of various memorabilia collections and the documentary crew follow a few fans as they visit the locations of some of the saga's most key scenes. Would it be snide and rude to confess that I sat laughing in pity at the guy who has spent $30,000 on feeding his habit? It would? Oh well.

Part of the thinking behind this documentary is to explain that Star Wars fans aren't ‘stereotypical’. I'm not sure what the producer/director team of siblings Cristian and Cortney Macht deem to be ‘sterotypical’, but I don't think the documentary disproved any of my opinions. More so it perpetuated the image that Star Wars fans are, well, a little ‘geeky’.

I'm no stranger to the world of overly enthusiastic fandom, but there is surely a limit to how in-depth you can get on any subject; and an eighty-minute documentary on fans themselves is surely pushing it—even for the almighty Star Wars.

Further information on the documentary can be found at the official website

The Force Among Us
First off, a criticism. The main feature is not split into chapters. Depending on your DVD player it is either impossible to skip through the eighty-six minute documentary, or it'll skip you straight to the extras. As for the image quality, well, it varies dramatically according to the interviewee. Some are over-saturated in colour, some are hard to distinguish from the background.

The Force Among Us is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Audio. As expected, it's not an overly impressive mix and requires constant fiddling with volume controls to compensate for the way in which the sound level changes from scene to scene.  

Producer/Director team Cristian and Cortney Macht are on hand with an audio commentary detailing the making of the documentary and, if eighty-six minutes worth of Star Wars centric interviews weren't enough, there's some extended moments with the fans. Questions such as ‘If you were alone on a desert island, which Star Wars character would be your ideal companion’ and ‘Would you like to be buried with some Star Wars merchandise when you die?’ are also asked. Words fail me.

Promotional material is also present on the disc, together with photo galleries of the shooting of the documentary.

The Force Among Us
It's quite hard to recommend a DVD that has such a narrow target audience and you yourself don't fit into it. Basically, the criterion for purchasing this disc is surely whether you yourself would want to be featured in it. If the prospect of Greedo shooting first keeps you awake at night, this is the disc for you.